KURTH group

Infectious diseases at the interface between clinical research and basic science

Despite impressive advances in diagnostics, treatment and prevention during the last century, infectious diseases are still a leading cause of death worldwide. Increased global travel, aging societies and the yet unknown consequences of rapidly changing environments due to climate change are reasons for the high complexity of tackling infectious diseases in the 21st century. A disease outbreak on another continent is just a short plane ride away and vectors of infections formerly confined to tropical regions expand to more moderate climate zones.

Our group employs bedside-to-bench approaches by taking clinical and epidemiological observations as a starting point for mechanistic studies, employing state-of-the-art molecular technologies through a tightly-woven network of interdisciplinary, national and international collaborators. Our main clinical and scientific interest is centred on the understanding of host responses to infections and their role in clinical outcomes and design of future therapeutic and preventive strategies. We particularly focus on pathogens and diseases with high prevalence in tropical regions of the world, such as malaria. Another important area of our work is the improvement and new development of vaccines, again with a focus on tropical diseases.

It is a fundamental philosophy of our group to integrate well established research structures and cutting-edge technologies in the northern hemisphere with clinical samples and patient populations from low-resource settings in order to generate new knowledge and establish research protocols and methods that can be validated in and translated to Africa.