Scientific Coordinators of the Disease Area

Prof. Dr. Susanne Krauss-Etschmann (ARCN), Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Erika von Mutius (CPC-M)

Administrative Coordinator of the Disease Area

Dr. Jörn Bullwinkel (ARCN)

Contributing DZL Sites



Asthma is the most prevalent chronic respiratory disease in childhood and is also very common in adults. Although the clinical manifestations of asthma in children and adults are rather uniform with wheezing, shortness of breath and cough, population-based clinical and genetic studies suggest that asthma is not one disease, but many.  Thus, a single “one-size-fits-all” treatment approach is unlikely to work to tackle this important health problem.  In order to design personalized treatment approaches for asthma patients, there is urgent need to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the various types of asthma.  The decoding of such mechanisms and their translation to the individual patient is the aim of the Disease Area Asthma and Allergy of the DZL.


  • Design phenotype-specific (individualized) therapies
  • Identify novel phenotypic targets and biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, monitoring, and therapy
  • Characterize selected asthma phenotypes using high-throughput platforms for deep phenotyping (genome, transcriptome, proteome, lipidome, microbiome)
  • Establish a clinical cohort of well-characterized asthma patients to be investigated over time
  • Evaluate candidate targets/biomarkers in novel (transgenic) fly, mouse models of distinct asthma phenotypes
  • Identify phenotypic key factors in cellular and molecular pathomechanisms of distinct asthma phenotypes

Asthma and Allergy:  Selected Publications from DZL Faculty Members Published Since 2010

Veres TZ, Voedisch S, Spies E, Valtonen J, Prenzler F, Braun A. Aeroallergen challenge promotes dendritic cell proliferation in the airways.  J. Immunol 2013; 190(3):  897-903.

Warmbold C, Uliczka K, Rus F, Suck R, Petersen A, Silverman N, Ulmer AJ, Heine H, Roeder T. Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus major allergen 1 activates the innate immune response of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. J Immunol 2013; 190(1): 366-71.

Klaenhammer TR, Kleerebezem M, Kopp MV, Rescigno M. The impact of probiotics and prebiotics on the immune system. Nat Rev Immunol 2012; 12: 728-34.

Ege MJ, Mayer M, Normand AC, Genuneit J, Cookson WO, Braun-Fahrländer C, Heederik D, Piarroux R, von Mutius E; GABRIELA Transregio 22 Study Group. Exposure to environmental microorganisms and childhood asthma. N Engl J Med. 2011 Feb 24;364(8):701-9.

Fuchs O,  Latzin P, Thamrin C, Stern G, Frischknecht P, Singer F, Kieninger E, Proietti E, Riedel, Frey U. Normative data for lung function and exhaled nitric oxide in unsedated healthy infants. Eur Respir J 2011; 37: 1208–1216.

Kılıç A, Sonar SS, Yildirim AO, Fehrenbach H, Nockher WA, Renz H. Nerve growth factor induces type III collagen production in chronic allergic airway inflammation. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2011; 128(5): 1058-66.

Krasteva G, Canning BJ, Hartmann P, Veres TZ, Papadakis T, Mühlfeld C, Schliecker K, Tallini YN, Braun A, Hackstein H, Baal N, Weihe E, Schütz B, Kotlikoff MI, Ibanez-Tallon I, Kummer W. Cholinergic chemosensory cells in the trachea regulate breathing. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2011; 108(23): 9478-83.

Lommatzsch M, Kummer W, Virchow JC. Bronchoconstriction and airway remodeling. Letter to: Effect of methacholine and albuterol on airway remodeling in asthma. New Engl J Med 2011; 365(12): 1156.

Peters M, Kauth M, Scherner O, Gehlhar K, Steffen I, Wentker P, von Mutius E, Holst O, Bufe A. Arabinogalactan isolated from cowshed dust extract protects mice from allergic airway inflammation and sensitization. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010; 126(3): 648-56.