Immune Aging and Chronic Infections

T cells are immune cells important for the defence against viruses. The on-going exposure to cytomegalovirus impairs their function. 
In the picture: Two T cells (red) interacting with a dendritic…

“Back then, I wasn’t ill so often”: With advancing age not only the skin loses its elasticity – many organs lose their functions. So does the immune system: Defense cells do not react promptly anymore, and immunological memory is not established. As a result, we are poorly protected by vaccines and more susceptible to infections. While the mechanisms of immune aging remain unknown, it is speculated that chronic viral infections play a crucial role in this age-related loss of immune functions. Read more about how pathogens may have an impact on the real age of our immune system.

Research Projects

  • Viral Strategies of Immune Evasion: VISTRIE
  • Chronische Infektionen: Mikrobielle Persistenz und ihre Kontrolle: SFB 900

Finished Projects

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Displaying results 1 to 2 out of 2


  • Prof M.D., PhD Luka Cicin-Sain

    Luka Cicin-Sain

    Head of the Junior Research Group Immune Aging and Chronic Infections

    +49 531 6181-4616

    +49 531 6181-4699



Bachelor & Master
Are you interested in a bachelor or master thesis? We are looking forward to your request!


  • KrankheitsErregend - Transplantation

Audio Podcast

  • Immunologischer Altersstarrsinn – Wie unser Immunsystem im Laufe des Lebens seine Anpassungsfähigkeit einbüßt
    Mit uns wird auch unser Immunsystem immer älter und schwächer. Unsere Lebenserwartung steigt, das Immunsystem altert aber deswegen nicht langsamer. Die Folge: Wir werden häufiger und schwerer krank. Welche Faktoren unser Immunsystem altern lassen, untersucht Luka Cicin-Sain am Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung (HZI). Folgen Sie dem Forscher ins Zelllabor und hören Sie, wie er einen Weg sucht, um das Altern des Immunsystems aufzuhalten…