Klinik und Poliklinik
für Innere Medizin II
Klinik und Poliklinik für Innere Medizin II
Direktor: Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Roland. M. Schmid

Principal Investigator Dr. med. Katrin Böttcher, PhD

Our research focuses on metabolic regulation of non-conventional T cells and their role for the development of liver diseases.


  • Dr. med. Katrin Böttcher, PhD (PI)
  • Sebastian Deschler, M.sc., PhD student
  • Dr. med. univ. Juliane Kager
  • Dr. med. univ. Robin Kemper
  • Junika Pohl-Topcu, M.Sc., PhD student
  • Sophia Erlacher (cand. med.)
  • Alexandra Georgieva (cand. med.)
  • Joseph Zink (cand. med.)

Research area and collaborations

Chronic liver diseases and their complications affect a large population worldwide and represent a major health burden. They can develop from various stimuli, although inflammation is considered as a key pathogenic driver. Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells, innate-like T cells, are particularly enriched in the liver and are important mediators of hepatic inflammation.


Our research group is investigating the regulation of MAIT cell activation and function through metabolic reprogramming and their relevance for the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its complications. The group closely collaborates with the Institute of Molecular Immunology and Experimental Oncology, TUM.


 Böttcher Lab is part of the Division of Translational Gastrointestinal Immunology


  1. Deschler S, Kager J, Erber J, Fricke L, Koyumdzhieva P, Georgieva A, Lahmer T, Wiessner JR, Voit F, Schneider J, Horstmann J, Iakoubov R, Treiber M, Winter C, Ruland J, Busch DH, Knolle PA, Protzer U, Spinner CD, Schmid RM, Quante M and Böttcher K. Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are highly activated and functionally impaired in COVID-19 patients. Viruses 2021. 13(2): 241
  2. Böttcher K, Longato L, Marrone G, Mazza G, Ghemtio L, Hall A, Luong T, et al. AICAR and Compound C negatively modulate HCC-induced primary human hepatic stellate cell activation in vitro. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2021. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00262.2020
  3. Mazza G, Telese A, Al-Akkad W, Frenguelli L, Levi A, Maralli M, Longato L, Thanapirom K, Vilia MG, Lombardi B, Crowley C, Crawford M, Karsdal MA, Leeming DJ, Marrone G, Bottcher K, et al. Cirrhotic Human Liver Extracellular Matrix 3D Scaffolds Promote Smad-Dependent TGF-β1 Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition. Cells 2019; 9(1). pii: E83.
  4. Böttcher K, Rombouts K, Saffioti F, Roccarina D, Rosselli M, Hall A, Luong T, et al. MAIT cells are chronically activated in patients with autoimmune liver disease and promote pro-fibrogenic hepatic stellate cell activation. Hepatology 2018; 68(1):172-186
  5. Alberts R, de Vries EMG, Goode EC, Jiang X, Sampaziotis F, Rombouts K, Böttcher K, et al. Genetic association analysis identifies variants associated with disease progression in primary sclerosing cholangitis. Gut 2018;67:1517-1524.
  6. Marrone G, De Chiara F, Böttcher K, Levi A, Dhar D, Longato L, Mazza G, et al. The adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase-vacuolar adenosine triphosphatase-pH axis: A key regulator of the profibrogenic phenotype of human hepatic stellate cells. Hepatology 2018; 68(3):1140-1153
  7. Böttcher K, Pinzani M. Pathophysiology of liver fibrosis and the methodological barriers to the development of anti-fibrogenic agents. Adv Drug Deliv Rev 2017;121:3-8.
  8. Singh HD, Otano I, Rombouts K, Singh KP, Peppa D, Gill US, Böttcher K, et al. TRAIL regulatory receptors constrain human hepatic stellate cell apoptosis. Sci Rep 2017;7:5514.
  9. Schölzel K, Schildberg FA, Welz M, Börner C, Geiger S, Kurts C, Heikenwälder M, et al. Transfer of MHC-class-I molecules among liver sinusoidal cells facilitates hepatic immune surveillance. J Hepatol 2014;61:600-608.

MD/PhD thesis | Grant support

MD/PhD thesis
Applications for a PhD or MD degree are welcome. Please apply via email.


Grant support
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung
Kommission für Klinische Forschung (KKF)


Head: Dr. Katrin Böttcher, MD, PhD
Klinik und Poliklinik für Innere Medizin II
Klinikum rechts der Isar der TUM
Ismaninger Str. 22, 81675 München
Tel.: (0 89) 41 40 - 93 28

Fax: (0 89) 30 62 - 67 96

E-Mail: katrin.boettcher@mri.tum.de