Professor Georg Holländer | Action Medical Research

Professor Georg Holländer

The Hoffmann and Action Medical Research Chair in Developmental Medicine

University of Oxford

Georg Holländer holds the Hoffman and Action Medical Research Chair in Developmental Medicine in Oxford.

“My work focuses on the body’s immune system – a highly sophisticated machine that can support tissue repair and search out and destroy threats to our health such as infections and cancerous cells,” says Professor Holländer.

“How this potent system recognises potential threats, and fights against them, while leaving the body’s own healthy cells unharmed is the focus of our work. We are studying how the immune system develops in an organ called the thymus. This is where some cells of the immune system, called T cells, learn how to distinguish between cells that are safe and those that are life-threatening. We want to know more about the development of the thymus, how this organ is maintained and why it sometimes becomes defective.”

“Defects in the immune system can give rise to autoimmune diseases and immune deficiencies. Autoimmune diseases, which happen when the immune system attacks healthy cells in the body by mistake, include type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. People with immune deficiencies can be more vulnerable to infections, cancers and other threats because their immune system is less able to fight them. Our work could one day help in the search for new ways to tackle these problems.”

Previous holders

Professor E Richard Moxon 1984 – 2008
Professor Sir P Tizard 1972 – 1984
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