Project Supervisor

Klaus Warnatz


I am a physician-scientist at the Center for Chronic Immunodeficiency (CCI) at the university medical center Freiburg. After finishing my medical studies at the RWTH Aachen, Germany, I spent my first years of residency in gastroenterology at the Klinikum rechts der Isar, Munich before I went for a 2,5-year DAAD sponsored postdoctoral research appointment in the group of Prof. Dennis Carson at UC San Diego, USA.

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Here, I entered the world of basic immunology, murine peripheral B cell differentiation, immune tolerance and germinal center response which became the basis for my further research career in human primary immunodeficiency. After returning to Germany, I first spent another two years in basic research with Prof. Hermann Eibel investigating central B cell development in mice. In 1999 I joined the clinical staff under Prof. Hans-Hartmut Peter in Freiburg, where I specialized in internal medicine and rheumatology. As adjunct professor I was a cofounder of the CCI in 2008. Since 2018 I am heading the division of Immunodeficiency at the clinic of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology and a research group on CVID allowing for a close translation from bedside to bench and back.

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Our research group is interested to discover underlying principles of altered immunity in patients with primary immunodeficiency. Our main model is common variable immunodeficiency (CVID). Here we are especially interested in the molecular, cellular and site-specific pathogenesis of main clinical manifestations causing high morbidity such as enteropathy and interstitial lung disease. With a strong background in B cell immunology we continue our investigations in the altered germinal center response in CVID and the exploration of TbethiCD21low B cells which we had discovered in CVID patients. Fascinated by the multifaceted disturbances of the NF-κB pathway in immunodeficiency we are currently investigating the impact of these alterations on cellular and systemic immune responses. We strongly believe that a deeper understanding of the pathogenesis will open new paths for targeted therapies for the benefit of our patients.


1. Strohmeier, V., G. Andrieux, S. Unger, A. Pascual-Reguant, A. Klocperk, M. Seidl, O. C. Marques, M. Eckert, K. Gräwe, M. Shabani, C. von Spee-Mayer, D. Friedmann, I. Harder, S. Gutenberger, B. Keller, M. Proietti, A. Bulashevska, B. Grimbacher, J. Provaznik, V. Benes, S. Goldacker, C. Schell, A. E. Hauser, M. Boerries, P. Hasselblatt, and K. Warnatz. (2022) Interferon-Driven Immune Dysregulation in Common Variable Immunodeficiency-Associated Villous Atrophy and Norovirus Infection. J Clin Immunol.

2. Smits, B., S. Goldacker, S. Seneviratne, M. Malphettes, H. Longhurst, O. E. Mohamed, C. Witt-Rautenberg, L. Leeman, E. Schwaneck, I. Raymond, K. Meghit, A. Uhlmann, C. Winterhalter, J. van Montfrans, M. Klima, S. Workman, C. Fieschi, L. Lorenza, S. Boyle, S. Onyango-Odera, S. Price, M. Schmalzing, V. Aurillac, A. Prasse, I. Hartmann, J. J. Meerburg, M. Kemner-van de Corput, H. Tiddens, B. Grimbacher, P. Kelleher, S. Y. Patel, A. S. Korganow, J. F. Viallard, H. P. Tony, C. Bethune, H. Schulze-Koops, T. Witte, A. Huissoon, H. Baxendale, S. Grigoriadou, E. Oksenhendler, S. O. Burns, and K. Warnatz. (2022) The efficacy and safety of systemic corticosteroids as first line treatment for granulomatous lymphocytic interstitial lung disease. J Allergy Clin Immunol.

3. Keller, B., V. Strohmeier, I. Harder, S. Unger, K. J. Payne, G. Andrieux, M. Boerries, P. T. Felixberger, J. J. M. Landry, A. Nieters, A. Rensing-Ehl, U. Salzer, N. Frede, S. Usadel, R. Elling, C. Speckmann, I. Hainmann, E. Ralph, K. Gilmour, M. W. J. Wentink, M. van der Burg, H. S. Kuehn, S. D. Rosenzweig, U. Kolsch, H. von Bernuth, P. Kaiser-Labusch, F. Gothe, S. Hambleton, A. D. Vlagea, A. Garcia Garcia, L. Alsina, G. Markelj, T. Avcin, J. Vasconcelos, M. Guedes, J. Y. Ding, C. L. Ku, B. Shadur, D. T. Avery, N. Venhoff, J. Thiel, H. Becker, L. Erazo-Borras, C. M. Trujillo-Vargas, J. L. Franco, C. Fieschi, S. Okada, P. E. Gray, G. Uzel, J. L. Casanova, M. Fliegauf, B. Grimbacher, H. Eibel, S. Ehl, R. E. Voll, M. Rizzi, P. Stepensky, V. Benes, C. S. Ma, C. Bossen, S. G. Tangye, and K. Warnatz. (2021) The expansion of human T-bet(high)CD21(low) B cells is T cell dependent. Science immunology 6: eabh0891.

4. Keller, B., Z. Cseresnyes, I. Stumpf, C. Wehr, M. Fliegauf, A. Bulashevska, S. Usadel, B. Grimbacher, M. Rizzi, H. Eibel, R. Niesner, and K. Warnatz. 2017. Disturbed canonical nuclear factor of kappa light chain signaling in B cells of patients with common variable immunodeficiency. J Allergy Clin Immunol 139: 220-231.e228.

5. Wehr, C., T. Kivioja, C. Schmitt, B. Ferry, T. Witte, E. Eren, M. Vlkova, M. Hernandez, D. Detkova, P. R. Bos, G. Poerksen, B. H. von, U. Baumann, S. Goldacker, S. Gutenberger, M. Schlesier, C. F. Bergeron-van der, G. M. Le, P. Debre, R. Jacobs, J. Jones, E. Bateman, J. Litzman, P. M. van Hagen, A. Plebani, R. E. Schmidt, V. Thon, I. Quinti, T. Espanol, A. D. Webster, H. Chapel, M. Vihinen, E. Oksenhendler, H. H. Peter, and K. Warnatz. 2008. The EUROclass trial: defining subgroups in common variable immunodeficiency. Blood 111: 77-85.