Winfried F. PICKL, MD

Pickl JB

Head Department of Cellular Immunology and Immunohematology, Institute of Immunology, Vienna
Speaker of the PhD Program Molecular, Cellular and Clinical Allergology, MCCA
Deputy Speaker of the Danube Allergy Research Cluster, Danube ARC

MD: University of Vienna Medical School, Vienna, Austria
Postdoctoral Training: Department of Genetics, Harvard University, MA

Research Interests:

• Better definition of the immunological synapse
• Development of humanized (animal) models for allergy and autoimmunity research
• Development of novel strategies for prevention and cure of allergic diseases

Professor Dr. Winfried F. Pickl is MD, board certified immunologist and head of the Division of Cellular Immunology and Immunohematology at the Institute of Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Austria. Dr. Pickl received postdoctoral training in immunology (Walter Knapp, Vienna) and molecular biology (Brian Seed, Boston, MA). He has critically contributed to the molecular and functional characterization of T cell activation antigens and monocyte-derived dendritic cells. More recently he has centered his scientific interests towards the better definition of the immunological synapse. Hence, he and his group have created novel forms of antigen-presenting platforms based on virus-like nanoparticles (immunosomes, VNP) and novel, human-relevant model systems for allergy research based on humanized double transgenic mice (human TCR and HLA). Dr. Pickl is now seeking to develop novel forms of preventive and therapeutic allergy treatment. Dr. Pickl was president of the Austrian Society of Allergology and Immunology (ÖGAI;; term 2014-2016) and the 4th European Congress of Immunology. Currently, Dr. Pickl is speaker of the PhD program Molecular, Cellular and Clinical Allergology, MCCA ( and deputy speaker of the Danube Allergy Research Cluster, Danube ARC. He serves as Member of the Clinical Immunology and the Education Committee of the Austrian Society for Allergology and Immunology, ÖGAI (, is Steering Member of the Vaccine Committee (VAC) of the International Union of Immunological Societies, IUIS (, and Treasurer (term 2015-2021) of the European Federation of Immunological Societies, EFIS ( Dr. Pickl believes that education of early career scientists but also of specialists and intensive communication between national immunological societies on the European and global level is crucial for the further development of all aspects of immunology and allergology.

Proposed PhD research projects:
Viral particle-based vaccines for treatment and prevention of allergy

Selected publications:

  1. Kratzer, B., C. Köhler, S. Hofer, U. Smole, D. Trapin, J. Iturri, D. Pum, P. Kienzl, A. Elbe-Bürger, P. Gattinger, I. Mittermann, B. Linhart, G. Gadermaier, B. Jahn-Schmid, A. Neunkirchner, R. Valenta, and W. F Pickl. 2019. Prevention of allergy by virus-like nanoparticles (VNP) delivering shielded versions of major allergens in a humanized murine allergy model. Allergy 74: 246-260. PMID: 30035810

  2. Neunkirchner, A., B. Kratzer, C. Köhler, U. Smole, L. F. Mager, K. G. Schmetterer, D. Trapin, V. Leb-Reichl, E. Rosloniec, R. Naumann, L. Kenner, B. Jahn-Schmid, B. Bohle, R. Valenta, and W. F. Pickl. 2018. Genetic restriction of antigen-presentation dictates allergic sensitization and disease in humanized mice. EBioMedicine 31: 66-76. PMID: 29678672

  3. Schmetterer, K., D. Haiderer, V.M. Leb-Reichl, A. Neunkirchner, B. Jahn-Schmid, H-J. Kueng, K. Schuch, P. Steinberger, B. Bohle, Pickl, W.F. 2011. Bet v 1-specific TCR/Foxp3 double transgenic T-cells suppress the effector function of Bet v 1-specific T-cells in an activation dependent manner. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 127: 238-245. PMID: 21211658

  4. Derdak, S. V., H. J. Kueng, V. M. Leb, A. Neunkirchner, K. G. Schmetterer, E. Bilek, O. Majdic, W. Knapp, B. Seed, and W. F. Pickl. 2006. Direct stimulation of T lymphocytes by immunosomes: virus-like particles decorated with T cell receptor/CD3 ligands plus costimulatory molecules. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A 103: 13144-13149. PMID: 16924110

  5. Pickl, W. F., O. Majdic, P. Kohl, J. Stockl, E. Riedl, C. Scheinecker, C. Bello-Fernandez, and W. Knapp. 1996. Molecular and functional characteristics of dendritic cells generated from highly purified CD14+ peripheral blood monocytes. J. Immunol. 157: 3850-3859. PMID: 8892615

Other Publications extlink