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Dr. Stefan Uderhardt is a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Ronald Germain's group within the Laboratory of Systems Biology (LSB), NIAID. Stefan received his medical degree (Dr. med.) from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany in 2011. Early during medical school he developed a passion for immunological research, and thus spent most his spare time working on an experimental thesis on osteoimmunology in the lab of Georg Schett and Gerhard Krönke, investigating the mechanisms of bone loss during inflammatory arthritis. He then started a residency in rheumatology and clinical immunology at the University Hospital Erlangen, while still continuing his active bench work with research on pro- and anti-inflammatory macrophage functions in the context of clearance of apoptotic cells.
In 2014, after 3 years of hospital work, he decided to pause his clinical training and join Dr. Germain's lab to intensify his scientific training in immunology with focus on different imaging techniques. In Dr. Germain's lab, he developed a new intravital imaging platform, which enabled him to study different innate immune populations and their interactions under inflammatory conditions in vivo in exceptional detail. Using intravital and static multi-parameter imaging, he identified a multi-layered regulation of the initial steps in an inflammatory response to tissue damage, comprising concerted action by tissue-resident and recruited immune cells. Specifically, he found that tissue-resident macrophages, displaying an anti-inflammatory expression profile by default, actively regulate inflammatory neutrophil activation and swarming in response to tissue damage, thereby fine-tuning the threshold for onset of damaging inflammation in peripheral tissues. His work provides novel insights in mechanisms of host defense and tissue protection, and introduces potential new aspects in the treatment and management of inflammatory diseases. Stefan is a superb photographer, and his ‘eye’ has led him to generate not just incredible new insights into immunobiology using microscopy methods, but to do so with images that will mesmerize while also revealing details of biology not previously visualized. His talk will be an extremely engaging combination of science and art, not to be missed.