Welcome to Neuroscience Center Zurich

Prof. Dr. Burkhard Becher



Institute of Experimental Immunology
Department of Neuroimmunology
University of Zurich

Y44/J7 (Office), J38/42 (Lab)
Winterthurerstrasse 190
8057 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 635 3701
Fax +41 44 635 6883

Main Goals, Keywords

Our research aims to understand i) the development of tissue-specific autoimmunity ii) the interaction of the nervous system with the immune system under inflammatory conditions:

1) Neuroimmunology, Cytokine biology

2) Identification of pathogenic molecules specific for autoimmune T lymphocytes

3) Immune tolerance and lymphoid development

4) Anti-tumor immunity

Keywords: Autoimmunity, anti-tumor immunity, Neuroimmunology , Neuro-Immune-Networks, Antigen-Presentation, Cytokines, transgenic mice, Gene-targeting, Embryonic stem cells, EAE, MS.

Group Members

1 Professor, 1 Research Associate, 8 Post-docs, 12 PhD-Students, 1 Masterstudent

Previous and Current Research

Although the central nervous system (CNS) has been characterized as an immune privileged site, its privilege can be breached as a result of infection or of the development of anti-self reactivity. In autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) neuroantigen-reactive, auto-aggressive T lymphocytes escape immune tolerance mechanisms and infiltrate the CNS to cause tissue damage leading to neurologic deficit. A focus of our research is to achieve a better understanding of the events leading to autoimmunity and the pathogenicity of auto-reactive lymphocytes. We further aim to delineate the immune/CNS interface and the ability of CNS-resident cells to orchestrate the development of CNS inflammation.

Techniques and Equipment

In vivo immunology using gene-targeted and transgenic mice, Immune-modulation, protein biochemistry, molecular biology, in vivo bioluminescence imaging, gene-targeting and ES-cell culture.

Selected Publications


Swiss National Research Foundation, Swiss MS-Society, National MS-Society (USA), Koetser Foundation, NCCR Neural Plasticity and Repair, Merck-Serono



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© 2015 ETH Zurich | Imprint | Disclaimer | 1 May 2013