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Stephan Grabbe

Skin Immunology & Immunotherapy of Skin Tumours

In my group, we pursue several aspects of cutaneous and general immunology research with the goal of developing immunotherapies to treat cancer. Our projects centre on cellular immunology, with a focus on dendritic cells (DCs) and regulatory T cells. DCs are responsible for presenting antigens to and activating cytotoxic T cells, which in turn kill infected and tumour cells. We test multi-functionalised nano-vaccines for their ability to activate DCs and stimulate DC-mediated T cells to mount a sustained anti-tumour response. We also work to develop anti-cancer immunotherapeutic strategies using nanoparticle-based approaches or by modulating the tumour microenvironment with β2 integrins, a type of leukocyte adhesion molecule. We also investigate the relevance of β2 integrins, which are important regulators of the immune system and their role in immune system ageing (“immunoageing”).

Research website

Positions held

  • Since 2007: Director (W3), Dept. of Dermatology, University Medical Center (UMC), Mainz
  • 2003 - 2007: Director (C4), Dept. of Dermatology, University of Essen Medical Center 
  • 2000 - 2003: Professor (C3) for Dermatology and Dermato-Oncology, University of Münster 
  • 1998 - 1999: Heisenberg scholarship: Visiting Scientist at the “Skin Disease Research Center“, Brigham and Womens’ Hospital, Harvard University, Boston 
  • 1992 - 1998: Research associate, later ‘University Assistant’ (C1), ‘Senior University Assistant’ (C2), Dept. of Dermatology, University of Münster 
  • 1989 - 1992: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Wellman Laboratories of Photomedicine and MGH-Harvard Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Mass. General Hospital, Harvard University, Boston 
  • 1987 - 1989: Research associate, Dept. of Dermatology, University of Münster


  • 1996: Habilitation, University of Münster
  • 1995 - 1996: Dermatology, Allergology & Phlebology National Boards (Germany) 
  • 1987: Doctoral degree in human medicine, University of Münster
  • 1980 - 1987: Human medicine, University of Münster

Selected publications by Stephan Grabbe

Bednarczyk M, Bolduan V, Haist M, Stege H, Hieber C, Johann L, Schelmbauer C, Blanfeld M, Karram K, Schunke J, Klaus T, Tubbe I, Montermann E, Röhrig N, Hartmann M, Schlosser J, Bopp T, Clausen BE, Waisman A, Bros M and Grabbe S (2022) β2 Integrins on dendritic cells modulate cytokine signaling and inflammation-associated gene expression, and are required for induction of autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Cells, 11:2188 Link

Fleischer MI, Röhrig N, Raker VK, Springer J, Becker D, Ritz S, Bros M, Stege H, Haist M, Grabbe S, Haub J, Becker C, Reyda S, Disse J, Schmidt T, Mahnke K, Weiler H, Ruf W and Steinbrink K (2022) Protease- and cell type-specific activation of protease-activated receptor 2 in cutaneous inflammation. J Thromb Haemost, 20:2823-2836 Link

Klaus T, Wilson AS, Vicari E, Hadaschik E, Klein M, Helbich SSC, Kamenjarin N, Hodapp K, Schunke J, Haist M, Butsch F, Probst HC, Enk AH, Mahnke K, Waisman A, Bednarczyk M, Bros M, Bopp T and Grabbe S (2022) Impaired Treg-DC interactions contribute to autoimmunity in leukocyte adhesion deficiency type 1. JCI Insight, 7:e162580 Link

Sohl J, Hartmann AK, Hahlbrock J, Bartneck J, Stassen M, Klein M, Bros M, Grabbe S, Marini F, Woods K, Guezguez B, Mack M, Schild H, Muth S, Melchior F, Probst HC, Langguth P and Radsak MP (2022) Dithranol as novel co-adjuvant for non-invasive dermal vaccination. NPJ Vaccines, 7:112 Link