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Bertram Bengsch Profile Page
Bertram Bengsch


Lab: Prof. Dr. Dr. Bertram Bengsch
Department: Clinic for Internal Medicine II
University Medical Center
Address: Hugstetterstr 55
79106 Freiburg
Phone: +49 761 270 32870
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Lab homepage:
PhD positions available: YES
Research Area: Immunology and Virology
Research Interests: - Mechanisms of T cell exhaustion and tissue residency
- Regulation of immune responses in Cancer, viral infection and autoimmunity
- Immunometabolism
- Systems immunology
- Mass cytometry and imaging mass cytometry


Education & Training: 2018: Board Certification Internal Medicine
2013: PhD Dissertation (Faculty of Biology & SGBM), University of Freiburg
2008: MD Dissertation (Faculty of Medicine), University of Freiburg
2002-2008: Study of Medicine in Freiburg with electives in London, Philadelphia, PA (Prof. R. Reddy)
Employment & Experience: Since 2020: Heisenberg Professor and Section Head of Translational Hepatogastroenterology, Clinic for Internal Medicine II, University Medical Center Freiburg
Since 10/2017: Group leader, Department of Medicine II, Freiburg, Germany
2014-2017: Postdoctorate (DFG fellowship), Institute for Immunology & Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (Prof. E.J. Wherry), University of Pennsylvania, USA
2009-2014 Clinical and research fellow, Department of Medicine II, University Hospital Freiburg, Germany
Scientific Activities: Reviewer for: Immunity, Science Immunology, Cancer Immunology Research, Gastroenterology, Gut, Hepatology, Journal of Hepatology, Blood, Nature Communications, Cell Reports, Cytometry A.
Editor Frontiers Immunology.


Honors and Awards:

2020: Heisenberg Professorship (German Research Foundation)
2017-2019: EXCEL Fellowship for Clinician Scientists, Faculty of Medicine, Freiburg
2016: Postdoc scholarship award, Keystone meeting Q8 “Immunometabolism in Immune Function and Inflammatory Disease”
2014-2016: Postdoctoral research fellowship of the German Research Foundation
2014 & 2015: University of Pennsylvania, IGG retreat, poster prize
2012: MSD stipend for young clinician scientists (Hepatology / HIV)
2011 & 2013: EASL young investigator grant, poster award
2010: Poster prize Annual Retreat of SGBM
2009–2013: Spemann Graduate School of Biology & Medicine (SGBM) MD/PhD Scholarship
2008: Ismar-Boas Prize –Prize (DGVS) for excellent medical thesis.
2006 & 2007: Prize for distinguished dedication to academic Teaching, 2006-2007 (Medical Faculty Freiburg, Project „Cicil“), and Media Prize 2006 (University Freiburg)


Selected Publications:

Schwabenland M, Salié H, Tanevski J, Killmer S, Lago MS, Schlaak AE, Mayer L, Matschke J, Püschel K, Fitzek A, Ondruschka B, Mei HE, Boettler T, Neumann-Haefelin C, Hofmann M, Breithaupt A, Genc N, Stadelmann C, Saez-Rodriguez J, Bronsert P, Knobeloch KP, Blank T, Thimme R, Glatzel M, Prinz M, Bengsch B. Deep spatial profiling of human COVID-19 brains reveals neuroinflammation with distinct microanatomical microglia-T-cell interactions. Immunity. 2021 Jul 13;54(7):1594-1610.e11.  Abstract

Schulien I, Kemming J, Oberhardt V, Wild K, Seidel LM, Killmer S, Sagar, Daul F, Salvat Lago M, Decker A, Luxenburger H, Binder B, Bettinger D, Sogukpinar O, Rieg S, Panning M, Huzly D, Schwemmle M, Kochs G, Waller CF, Nieters A, Duerschmied D, Emmerich F, Mei HE, Schulz AR, Llewellyn-Lacey S, Price DA, Boettler T, Bengsch B, Thimme R, Hofmann M, Neumann-Haefelin C. Characterization of pre-existing and induced SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells. Nat Med. 2021 Jan;27(1):78-85.  Abstract

Le Coz C, Bengsch B, Khanna C, Trofa M, Ohtani T, Nolan BE, Henrickson SE, Lambert MP, Kim TO, Despotovic JM, Feldman S, Fadugba OO, Takach P, Ruffner M, Jyonouchi S, Heimall J, Sullivan KE, Wherry EJ, Romberg N. Common variable immunodeficiency-associated endotoxemia promotes early commitment to the T follicular lineage. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019 Dec;144(6):1660-1673.  Abstract

Bengsch B, Ohtani T, Khan O, Setty M, Manne S, O'Brien S, Gherardini PF, Herati RS, Huang AC, Chang KM, Newell EW, Bovenschen N, Pe'er D, Albelda SM, Wherry EJ. Epigenomic-Guided Mass Cytometry Profiling Reveals Disease-Specific Features of Exhausted CD8 T Cells. Immunity. 2018 May 15;48(5):1029-1045.e5.  Abstract

Bengsch B, Ohtani T, Herati RS, Bovenschen N, Chang KM, Wherry EJ. Deep immune profiling by mass cytometry links human T and NK cell differentiation and cytotoxic molecule expression patterns. J Immunol Methods. 2018 Feb;453:3-10.  Abstract

Bengsch B, Johnson AL, Kurachi M, Odorizzi PM, Pauken KE, Attanasio J, Stelekati E, McLane LM, Paley MA, Delgoffe GM, Wherry EJ. Bioenergetic Insufficiencies Due to Metabolic Alterations Regulated by the Inhibitory Receptor PD-1 Are an Early Driver of CD8(+) T Cell Exhaustion. Immunity. 2016 Aug 16;45(2):358-73.  Abstract

Bengsch B, Martin B, Thimme R. Restoration of HBV-specific CD8+ T cell function by PD-1 blockade in inactive carrier patients is linked to T cell differentiation. J Hepatol. 2014 Dec;61(6):1212-9.  Abstract

Globig AM, Hennecke N, Martin B, Seidl M, Ruf G, Hasselblatt P, Thimme R, Bengsch B. Comprehensive intestinal T helper cell profiling reveals specific accumulation of IFN-γ+IL-17+coproducing CD4+ T cells in active inflammatory bowel disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2014 Dec;20(12):2321-9.  Abstract

Jo J, Bengsch B, Seigel B, Rau SJ, Schmidt J, Bisse E, Aichele P, Aichele U, Joeckel L, Royer C, Sá Ferreira K, Borner C, Baumert TF, Blum HE, Lohmann V, Fischer R, Thimme R. Low perforin expression of early differentiated HCV-specific CD8+ T cells limits their hepatotoxic potential. J Hepatol. 2012 Jul;57(1):9-16.  Abstract

Bengsch B, Seigel B, Ruhl M, Timm J, Kuntz M, Blum HE, Pircher H, Thimme R. Coexpression of PD-1, 2B4, CD160 and KLRG1 on exhausted HCV-specific CD8+ T cells is linked to antigen recognition and T cell differentiation. PLoS Pathog. 2010 Jun 10;6(6):e1000947.  Abstract

SGBM PhD students

SGBM PhD students:

Lea Seidel (since July 2019)

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