Professor Daniela Finke
Development of innate lymphoid cells, in particular lymphoid tissue inducer cells
The crosstalk between hematopoietic and stromal cells is fundamental for the development of the immune system, but also for generating protective host defense.
Research by Daniela Finke is shedding light on how innate lymphoid cells and mesenchymal stromal cells orchestrate the generation and function of secondary lymphoid organs. Daniela Finke and her colleagues at the Department of Biomedicine, Basel University (CH), did pioneer work on identifying a subset of innate lymphoid cells named lymphoid tissue inducer (LTI) cells.
Without LTi cells, the body can’t develop lymph nodes and Peyer’s patches. Daniela Finke’s laboratory could identify cytokine-driven pathways involved in the life cycle and differentiation of LTi cells and in their function to control lympho-organogenesis. More recently, other subtypes of innate lymphoid cells in the intestinal mucosa were discovered, but their relationship to LTi cells and their function during immune responses is poorly understood.
Daniela Finke, working as full professor at the Basel University since 2010, is now focusing on the origin, development and the immune function of LTi cells and related cell subsets using various genetic models. Moreover, cell dynamics such as growth, differentiation and survival are evaluated comparing fetal and adult LTi cells.
The understanding of how the growing family of innate lymphoid cells regulates innate and adaptive immunity will be substantial for the discovery of new biomedical targets of inflammation and autoimmunity.