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Institute of Experimental Immunology

About us

Institute of Experimental Immunology 2022

The Institute of Experimental Immunology (IEI) was founded 1992 from parts of the Institute of Pathology (Experimental Pathology directed by Prof. G. Zbinden) and the Institute of Immunology and Virology (directed by Prof. J. Lindenmann, who co-discovered interferon with Dr. Alick Isaacs in 1957). Until 2008 the Institute was co-directed by Prof. Hans Hengartner and Prof. Rolf Zinkernagel, who was awarded the Nobel Prize of Physiology and Medicine 1996 together with Dr. Peter Doherty “for their discoveries concerning the specificity of the cell mediated immune defence”. The IEI is co-directed by Prof. Burkhard Becher and Prof. Christian Münz since 2008 and has become an independent institute affiliated with both the faculty of medicine (MeF) and the faculty of science (MNF) at the UZH. The IEI hosts currently 11 individual research groups and more than 100 employees including group leaders, postdocs, PhD students, technicians and administrative staff. Our research covers multiple research areas of immunology including human immunology, autoimmunity, tumor immunology, viral immunology, mucosal and neuroimmunology with focus on cytokine and cellular immunology including B- and T-cell, myeloid and innate immune cell biology. We are specifically interested in the crosstalk between immune cells with themselves and other cells (e.g. tumor cells and stromal cells) and aim to understand how these interactions are regulated during health and disease and how this is affected by therapeutic manipulations. The IEI profits from its unique immunology network in Zurich with collaborations within the institute, within the faculties of the UZH and the ETH as well as nationally and internationally renown research institutions.