• sense clinically
  • think mechanistically
  • act interdisciplinarily
  • treat innovatively

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Gerald Willlimsky

Cooperation Unit for Experimental and Translational Cancer Immunology
Institute of Immunology
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ Heidelberg)

Campus Berlin-Buch
Haus 31.1
Robert-Rössle-Straße 10
13125 Berlin
Tel: +49 30 9406 1242
Fax: +49 30 450 751 3607


Scientific Scope

Research activities include the establishment of experimental cancer models in order to analyze cancer-host interactions, mechanisms involved in tumor rejection and to improve the efficacy of adoptive T cell therapy against various cancer. Novel therapeutic human T cell receptors to target cancer and virus antigens are identified and TCR gene therapy will be employed in the clinic.

Selected References

  • Willimsky G, Beier C, Immisch L, Papafotiou G, Scheuplein V, Goede A, Holzhütter HG, Blankenstein T, Kloetzel, PM. In vitro proteasome processing of neo-splicetopes does not predict their presentation in vivo. eLife. 2021;10:e62019.
  • Çakmak-Gorür N, Radke J, Rhein S, Schumann E, Willimsky G, Heppner FL, Blankenstein T, and Pezzutto A. Intracellular expression of FLT3 in Purkinje cells: implications for adoptive T-cell therapies. Leukemia. 2019;33(4):1039-1043.
  • Blanc E, Holtgrewe M, Dhamodaran A, Messerschmidt C, Willimsky G, Blankenstein T, and Beule D. Identification and ranking of recurrent neo-epitopes in cancer. BMC Med Genomics. 2019;12(1):171-185.
  • Schmidt K, Keller C, Kühl AA, Textor A, Seifert U, Blankenstein T, Willimsky* G, and Kloetzel* PM. ERAP1-Dependent Antigen Cross-Presentation Determines Efficacy of Adoptive T-cell Therapy in Mice. Cancer Res. 2018;78(12):3243-3254. *equal contribution.
  • Hoser D, Schön C, Loddenkemper C, Lohneis P, Kühl AA, Sommermann T, Blankenstein T, and Willimsky G. Oncogene-specific T cells fail to eradicate lymphoma-initiating B cells in mice. Blood. 2018;132(9):924-934.
  • Shalapour S, Font-Burgada J, Di Caro G, Zhong Z, Sanchez-Lopez E, Dhar D, Willimsky G, Ammirante M, Strasner A, Hansel DE, Jamieson C, Kane CJ, et al. Immunosuppressive plasma cells impede T-cell-dependent immunogenic chemotherapy. Nature. 2015;521(7550):94-98.
  • Willimsky G, Schmidt K, Loddenkemper C, Gellermann J, and Blankenstein T. Virus-induced hepatocellular carcinomas cause antigen-specific local tolerance. J Clin Invest. 2013;123(3):1032-1043.
  • Schmidt K, Zilio S, Schmollinger JC, Bronte V, Blankenstein T, and Willimsky G. Differently immunogenic cancers in mice induce immature myeloid cells that suppress CTL in vitro but not in vivo following transfer. Blood. 2013;121(10):1740-1748.
  • Willimsky G, Czeh M, Loddenkemper C, Gellermann J, Schmidt K, Wust P, Stein H, and Blankenstein T. Immunogenicity of premalignant lesions is the primary cause of general cytotoxic T lymphocyte unresponsiveness. J Exp Med. 2008;205(7):1687-1700.
  • Willimsky G, and Blankenstein T. Sporadic immunogenic tumours avoid destruction by inducing T-cell tolerance. Nature. 2005;437(7055):141-146.