steinbergerDivision of Immune Receptors and T Cell Activation

Diploma Degree: (Zoology and Biochemistry) University of Vienna
PhD: University of Vienna (Rudolf Valenta)
Postdoctoral Training: The Scripps Research Institute, CA (Carlos Barbas 3rd)

Research Interests:
• Surface molecules that govern T cell activation processes
• Receptor-ligand interactions on immune cells

Peter Steinberger investigates the contribution of positive and negative costimulatory molecules on human T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APC) in immune responses. Currently it is incompletely understood why the immune system employs many different inhibitory and activating receptor-ligand pairs to regulate T cell responses. A better knowledge regarding the similarities and differences among human T cell costimulatory pathways might help to clarify this question and will also be invaluable for the preclinical assessment of therapeutic targets in pathologies associated with aberrant T cell responses. His group has developed novel experimental systems that make it possible to efficiently analyse the contribution of individual costimulatory molecules to T cell activation processes. They have identified inhibitory costimulatory pathways that can potently down-modulate human T cell responses. In this context he is currently interested in the ability of such pathways to inhibit established pathologic T cell responses to well-defined antigens and allergens. In addition he is trying to identify novel receptors and ligands that regulate the activation of T cells by APC. In this context his research team relies on extensive experience in the analysis of receptor-ligand interactions as well as in the generation, expression and screening of eukaryotic cDNA libraries.

Proposed PhD research projects:
1) Receptor-ligand interactions in the development and function of human Tfh cells    
2) T cell stimulatory properties of allergen-containing extracts

Selected publications:

  1. Leitner, J, A. Rieger, W.F. Pickl, G. Zlabinger, K. Grabmeier-Pfistershammer, and P. Steinberger. 2013. TIM-3 does not act as a receptor for galectin-9. Plos Pathogens in press.
  2. Leitner, J., W. Kuschei, K. Grabmeier-Pfistershammer, R. Woitek, E. Kriehuber, O. Majdic, G. Zlabinger, W.F. Pickl, and P. Steinberger. 2010. T cell stimulator cells, an efficient and versatile cellular system to assess the role of costimulatory ligands in the activation of human T cells. J. Immunol. Methods 362: 131-141. PMID: 20858499
  3. Leitner, J., C. Klauser, W.F. Pickl, J. Stockl, O. Majdic, A.F. Bardet, D.P. Kreil, C. Dong, T. Yamazaki, G. Zlabinger, K. Pfistershammer, and P. Steinberger. 2009. B7-H3 is a potent inhibitor of human T-cell activation: No evidence for B7-H3 and TREML2 interaction. Eur. J. Immunol. 39: 1754-1764. PMID: 19544488
  4. Pfistershammer, K., A. Lawitschka, C. Klauser, J. Leitner, R. Weigl, H.M. Heemskerk, W.F. Pickl, O. Majdic, G.A. Bohmig, G.F. Fischer, H.T. Greinix, and P. Steinberger. 2009. Allogeneic disparities in immunoglobulin-like transcript 5 induce potent antibody responses in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. Blood 114: 2323-2332. PMID: 19617579
  5. Pfistershammer, K., C. Klauser, W.F. Pickl, J. Stockl, J. Leitner, G. Zlabinger, O. Majdic, and P. Steinberger. 2006. No evidence for dualism in function and receptors: PD-L2/B7-DC is an inhibitory regulator of human T cell activation. Eur. J. Immunol. 36: 1104-1113. PMID: 16598819

Other Publications extlink