Prof. Dr. Elvira Mass
We study the ontogeny and functions of tissue-resident macrophages - a diverse family of specialized phagocytic cells of the innate immune system that are present in most tissues.
Recent work has led to a major paradigm shift regarding the origin of resident macrophages, as it showed that in many organs they develop during embryogenesis and self-renew in steady state in adult tissues with little contribution from monocytes.
Macrophages represent a founding cell type within most organ anlagen, and as such most likely support organ development and functions.
We are interested to delineate their contribution to homeostatic functions during organogenesis but also to disease processes, e.g. in obesity and infection in human and mice.