Selina Keppler - Inflammation and Immunity

Selina studied Biology with a focus on Molecular Immunology, Virology and Microbiology at the University of Freiburg and the ENS Lyon; obtaining her diploma degree in 2007. She was then awarded a postgraduate fellowship from the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) to conduct her doctoral studies in Immunology, investigating the role of cytokines in T cell activation and memory formation during infection. After receiving her Dr. rer. nat in 2011, Selina joined the group of Facundo D. Batista at Cancer Research UK (now the Francis Crick Institute) in London, where she was awarded a fellowship of the German Research Foundation (DFG) to study the role of actin regulators in mediating B cell receptor signaling. In 2017, Selina was awarded funding from the DFG to investigate the role of the actin cytoskeleton in mediating receptor signaling to regulate B cell responses during inflammatory challenges at the TranslaTUM in Munich.  

Research focus

Our group focusses on the modulation of the immune response through the actin cytoskeleton. The integrity of the actin cytoskeleton is crucial for cell motility and migration. Genetic defects affecting actin regulators can result in reduced B cell activation, limited antibody production and hence cause disease associated with immunodeficiency. On the other hand, impaired actin cytoskeleton regulation can lead to aberrant immune cell activation and autoimmunity. Our work aims at elucidating the mechanisms and signalling pathways of how the actin cytoskeleton can mediate both, immunodeficiency and autoimmunity.

We are particularly interested in the immune cells involved in our models of sepsis and inflammatory bowel diseases in order to better understand cell-cell interactions, cytokine secretion and differentiation leading to disease. In order to address these questions, we employ immunological methods like advanced multi-colour flow cytometry but also modern imaging techniques like high-resolution microscopy and image cytometry.


Iana Gadjalova (PhD student)

Oliver Schütz (Master Student)

Emely Scherer (Hiwi)

Key publications

Burbage M, Keppler S.J.

Shaping the humoral immune response: Actin regulators modulate antigen presentation and influence B-T interactions. Mol Immunol. 2018 Jul 25;101:370-376. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2018.07.026


Keppler S.J., Burbage M., Gasparrini F., Hartjes L., Aggarwal S., Massaad M.J., Geha R.S., Bruckbauer A., Batista F.D.

The lack of WIP binding to actin results in impaired B cell migration and altered humoral immune responses. Cell Reports DOI 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.06.051. (2018)


Wartewig T, Kurgyis Z, Keppler S.J., Pechloff K, Hameister E, Öllinger R, Maresch R, Buch T, Steiger K, Winter C, Rad R, Ruland J.

PD-1 is a haploinsufficient suppressor of T cell lymphomagenesis. Nature. 2017 Dec 7;552(7683):121-125. (2017)


Keppler S.J., Gasparrini F., Burbage M., Aggarwal S., Frederico B., Geha R., Way M., Bruckbauer A., Batista F.D.

Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Interacting Protein deficiency uncovers the role of the co-receptor CD19 as a generic hub for PI3K signaling in B cells. Immunity Oct 20;43(4):660-73 (2015)


Keppler, S.J., Theil, K., Vucikuja, S. and Aichele, P.

Effector T-cell differentiation during viral and bacterial infections: Role of direct IL-12 signals for cell fate decision of CD8 T cells, European Journal of Immunology. 39, 1774-83 (2009)