Susanne VRTALA, PhD

vrtalaAssoc. Prof. at the Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research

MSc: University of Vienna, Austria
PhD: University of Vienna, Austria

Research Interests:
• Molecular characterization of house dust mite allergens
• Development of new vaccines based on recombinant house dust mite allergens

Susanne Vrtala is Associate Professor at the Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research. She obtained her M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Vienna, Austria. Prof. Vrtala is author on 129 publications in the field of allergy research. Her efforts led to the identification of cDNAs coding for new allergens from grasses and house dust mites and the production and characterization of recombinant allergens for new diagnostic concepts. Additionally, she developed allergy vaccines based on recombinant allergens for improved immunotherapy. Her work laid the basis to the first immunotherapy trial in allergic humans worldwide with hypoallergenic allergen derivatives. Currently, she works at the development of a house dust mite vaccine by biotechnological techniques for prevention and treatment of house dust mite allergy. For her research, Prof. Vrtala obtained several international research awards like the Allergopharma Award and the PhARF award from Phadia. From 2009 to 2016, she was Director of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for the development of allergen chips at the Medical University of Vienna.

Proposed PhD research projects:
Molecular strategies for oral tolerance against house dust mite allergy

Selected publications:

  1. Chen, K. W., P. Zieglmayer, R. Zieglmayer, P. Lemell, F. Horak, C. P. Bunu, R. Valenta, and S. Vrtala. 2019. Selection of house dust mite-allergic patients by molecular diagnosis may enhance success of specific immunotherapy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 143: 1248-1252 e1212.

  2. Huang, H. J., Y. Resch-Marat, A. Rodriguez-Dominguez, K. W. Chen, R. Kiss, P. Zieglmayer, R. Zieglmayer, P. Lemell, F. Horak, R. Valenta, and S. Vrtala. 2018. Underestimation of house dust mite-specific IgE with extract-based ImmunoCAPs compared with molecular ImmunoCAPs. J Allergy Clin Immunol 142: 1656-1659

  3. Resch, Y., S. Michel, M. Kabesch, C. Lupinek, R. Valenta, and S. Vrtala. 2015. Different IgE recognition of mite allergen components in asthmatic and nonasthmatic children. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 136:1083-1091

  4. Weghofer, M., M. Grote, Y. Resch, A. Casset, M. Kneidinger, J. Kopec, W. R. Thomas, E. Fernandez-Caldas, M. Kabesch, R. Ferrara, A. Mari, A. Purohit, G. Pauli, F. Horak, W. Keller, P. Valent, R. Valenta, and S. Vrtala. 2013. Identification of Der p 23, a Peritrophin-like Protein, as a New Major Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus Allergen Associated with the Peritrophic Matrix of Mite Fecal Pellets. J Immunol. 190: 3059-3067.

  5. Vrtala, S., K. Hirtenlehner, L. Vangelista, A. Pastore, H. G. Eichler, W. R. Sperr, P. Valent, C. Ebner, D. Kraft, and R. Valenta. 1997. Conversion of the major birch pollen allergen, Bet v 1, into two nonanaphylactic T cell epitope-containing fragments: candidates for a novel form of specific immunotherapy. J Clin Invest 99: 1673-1681.

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