Klaus Schmetterer studied Molecular Biology and Human Medicine at the University of Vienna. For his Master and PhD thesis he joined the laboratory of Winfried Pickl, MD at the Institute of Immunology, Medical University of Vienna. In 2010 he obtained his MD degree from the Medical University of Vienna, followed by his PhD degree in Molecular Biology in 2011. In 2012 he joined the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna for his residency, which he finished in 2018. In parallel, he started to establish a research group in cellular and molecular immunology. In 2018 he obtained the Venia docendi (“Habilitation”) from the Medical University of Vienna and since 2021 he holds a tenure track position as Associate Professor at the Medical Unveirsity of Vienna.
Know-how and research interests
The immune system is a highly regulated network of interacting cells and factors (e.g. hormones, cytokines,...) which protects the organism from invading pathogens as well as cancer cells. T-lymphocytes (T-cells) play central roles in these processes. On the one hand T-cells promote immune responses (CD4+ T-cells) and directly remove infected or malignant cells (CD8+ T-cells). On the other hand specialized subsets down-regulate overshooting, aberrant or misdirected immune responses (regulatory T-cells; Treg) In our group we aim to define molecular mechanisms which regulate the activation induced functions of T-cells with focus on the differences between distinct T-cell subgroups and especially Treg. To that end we mainly study highly purified human T-cell (subsets) from healthy donors and patients with gene defects impacting on distinct cellular functions. We combine proteomics and transcriptomic screenings with genetic manipulation of primary T-cells and multicolor flow cytometry, biochemical as well as metabolic assays. Overall, these studies aim to define novel targets for the improvement of immunosuppressive therapy but also for the enhancement of tumor immunotherapy.