Schefold Lab

Brief description

The group applies translational research to address important everyday problems in acute or intensive care. We are particularly interested in studying how the patient’s response («host response») affects critical disease.

The translational section of our group (research group on «Immunosuppression in Critical Illness», Head Dr. T. Spinetti) concentrates on important elements of the reaction of the immune system to critical disease. We are particularly interested in the metabolic and immunological interfaces, as well as the interface between innate and acquired immunity. Our preliminary studies have shown that many critically ill patients pass through a phase of marked immunosuppression («injury-associated immunosuppression»). If this immune suppressive phase is protracted, this is associated with an impaired immune response, more secondary infections and a poor clinical outcome.

Our clinical studies have already shown that innovative personalised therapies can be used to treat this «immune organ failure» caused by critical disease – for example, by employing immune stimulation or extracorporeal therapies. We are convinced that the future of intensive care medicine lies in these individualized therapies and that these can lead to considerable improvements in the clinical course of these patients.