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).