Dr. Tobias Lenz

Emmy Noether Group Evolutionary Immunogenomics

The coevolution between hosts and parasites is increasingly being recognized as one of the major drivers for the evolution of genetic diversity. We are interested in the evolutionary forces and constraints that shape the functional diversity of the vertebrate immune system, from the sequence level to genomic organisation and protein structure. Our research is strongly based on computational analysis of genomic and epidemiological data from human populations, but includes also molecular and experimental approaches using the three-spined stickleback and other model species. Current projects range from the genomic organisation of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in both sticklebacks and humans to immunogenetic selection in human populations and an evolutionary perspective on the association between human leukocyte antigen (HLA) diversity and autoimmunity.
Our research group is supported by the Emmy Noether Programme of the German Research Foundation (DFG).

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Dr. Tobias Lenz

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön

Tel.: +49 (0) 4522 763-228

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Selected Publications

  • Arora J, McLaren PJ, Chaturvedi N, Carrington M, Fellay J, Lenz TL (2019) HIV peptidome-wide association study reveals patient-specific epitope repertoires associated with HIV control. PNAS 116: 944-949.
  • Pierini F, Lenz TL (2018) Divergent allele advantage at human MHC genes: signatures of past and ongoing selection. Molecular Biology and Evolution 35: 2145-2158.
  • Krause-Kyora B, Nutsua M, Böhme L, Pierini F, Pedersen DD, Kornell S-C, Drichel D, Bonazzi M, Möbus L, Tarp P, Susat J, Bosse E, Willburger B, Schmidt AH, Sauter J, Franke A, Wittig M, Calibe A, Nothnagel M, Schreiber S, Boldsen J*, Lenz TL*, Nebel A* (2018) Ancient DNA study reveals HLA susceptibility loci for leprosy in medieval Europeans. Nature Communications 9: 1569.
  • Lenz TL (2018) Adaptive value of novel MHC immune gene variants [Invited Commentary]. PNAS 115: 1414-1416.
  • Lenz TL, et al. (2015) Widespread non-additive and interaction effects within HLA loci modulate the risk of autoimmune diseases. Nat Genet 47(9):1085–1090.