General research interests
Type 2 immune responses and effector cells in host defense and disease
Type 2 immunity is key for tissue recovery after injury as well as host defense against parasites and toxins. At the same, time mis-directed type 2 immune responses can lead to allergies. The propensity to develop type 2 immune responses can be influenced by the history of prior immunological exposures, such as microbial infections.
We aim to better understand the mechanisms of adaptive type 2 immune responses and how they are influenced by prior interactions with commensal and pathogenic microbes. In addition, we are fascinated by the enigmatic biology and functions of innate type 2-related immune effector cells like mast cells, eosinophils and basophils in host defense, physiology and disease.
Ultimately, we want to exploit the gained knowledge for the development of novel treatments and therapeutic strategies for infectious and allergic diseases.
Mast cell-derived BH4 is a critical mediator of postoperative pain. P. Starkl, G. Jonsson, T. Artner, B. Lenfers Turnes, N. Serhan, T. Oliveira, L.M. Gail, K. Stejskal, K.M. Channon, T. Koecher, G. Stary, V. Klang, N. Gaudenzio, S. Knapp, C.J. Woolf, J.M. Penninger*, S.J.F. Cronin*. BioRxiv, 2023 Jan 25. *co-last author;
ACE2 is the Critical In Vivo Receptor for SARS-CoV-2 in a Novel COVID-19 Mouse Model with TNF- and IFN-driven immunopathology. R. Gawish*, P. Starkl*, L. Pimenov, A. Hladik, K. Lakovits, F. Oberndorfer, S.J.F. Cronin, A. Ohradanova-Repic, G. Wirnsberger, B. Agerer, L. Endler, T. Capraz, J.W. Perthold, D. Cikes, R. Koglgruber, A. Hagelkruys, N. Montserrat, A. Mirazimi, L. Boon, H. Stockinger, A. Bergthaler, C. Oostenbrink, J.M. Penninger, S. Knapp. eLife, 2022 Jan 13;11:e74623. *equal contribution;
IgE antibodies increase honeybee venom responsiveness and detoxification efficiency of mast cells. P. Starkl*, N. Gaudenzio, T. Marichal, L.L. Reber, R. Sibilano, M.L. Watzenboeck, F. Fontaine, A.C. Mueller, M. Tsai, S. Knapp, S.J. Galli*. Allergy, 2022 Feb; 77(2):499-512. *corresponding author;
Lipocalin 2 Modulates Dendritic Cell Activity and Shapes Immunity to Influenza in a Microbiome Dependent Manner. M.L. Watzenboeck, B. Drobits, S. Zahalka, A.D. Gorki, A. Farhat, F. Quattrone, A. Hladik, K. Lakovits, G. M. Richard, T. Lederer, B. Strobl, G. A. Versteeg, P. Starkl*, S. Knapp*. PLoS Pathogens, 2021 Apr 27;17(4). *equal contribution and correspondence;
IgE Effector Mechanisms and Mast Cells Contribute to Acquired Host Defense Against Staphylococcus aureus. P. Starkl*,+, M.L. Watzenboeck, L.M. Popov, S.E. Zahalka, A. Hladik, K. Lakovits, M. Radhouani, A. Haschemi, T. Marichal, L.L. Reber, N. Gaudenzio, R. Sibilano, L. Stulik, F. Fontaine, A.C. Mueller, M.R. Amieva, S.J. Galli*, S. Knapp*. Immunity, 2020 Oct 13; 53(4): 793-804. *corresponding author; +Lead contact;
Decoupling the Functional Pleiotropy of Stem Cell Factor by Tuning c-Kit Signaling. C.C. Ho, A. Chhabra, P. Starkl, P.J. Schnorr, S. Wilmes, I. Moraga, H.S. Kwon, N. Gaudenzio, R. Sibilano, T.S. Wehrman, M. Gakovic, J.T. Sockolosky, M.R. Tiffany, A.M. Ring, J. Piehler, I.L. Weissman, S.J. Galli, J.A. Shizuru, K.C. Garcia. Cell, 2017 Mar 9; 168(6):1041-1052;
Different Activation Signals Induce Distinct Mast Cell Degranulation Strategies. N. Gaudenzio, R. Sibilano*, T. Marichal*, P. Starkl, L.L. Reber, N. Cenac, B.D. McNeil, X. Dong, J.D. Hernandez, R. Sagi-Eisenberg, I. Hammel, A. Roers, S. Valitutti, M. Tsai, E. Espinosa, S.J. Galli. J. Clin. Invest., 2016 Oct 3;126(10):3981-3998. *equal contribution;
IgE Antibodies, FceRIa, and IgE-mediated Local Anaphylaxis Can Limit Snake Venom Toxicity. P. Starkl*, T. Marichal*, N. Gaudenzio, L.L. Reber, R. Sibilano, M. Tsai, S.J. Galli. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol., 2016 Jan; 137(1):246-57.e11. *equal contribution;
A Beneficial Role for Immunoglobulin E in Host Defense Against Honeybee Venom. T. Marichal*, P. Starkl*, L. L. Reber, Janet Kalesnikoff, H. C. Oettgen, M. Tsai, M. Metz+, S. J. Galli+. Immunity, 2013 Nov 14;39(5):963-75. *equal contribution; +shared correspondence; An Unfolded Variant of the Major Peanut Allergen Ara h 2 with Decreased Anaphylactic Potential. P. Starkl, F. Felix, D. Krishnamurthy, C. Stremnitzer, F. Roth-Walter, S. R. Prickett, A. L. Voskamp, A. Willensdorfer, K. Szalai, M. Weichselbaumer, R. E. O’Hehir, and E. Jensen-Jarolim*. Clin. Exp. Allergy, 2012 Dec;42(12):1801-12; *PhD supervisor