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Cambridge Immunology Network



Research summary

I trained in microbiology and immunology of infection with a focus on pattern recognition receptors and their role in host defence against mycobacteria (MRC CMM, Aberdeen). During my time at the MRC LMB (Cambridge), my research revolved around the role of innate lymphocytes in type-2 immune responses, complemented by investigating the efficacy and molecular mechanism of novel treatments in (transgenic) murine models of disease and human primary tissues.

I’m currently a preclinical expert at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI), a German government research institute and the national regulatory authority for biomedicines. Here, I am engaging in national and European Medicines Agency (EMA) scientific advice on medicines development, approval of clinical trial applications, marketing authorisations and official batch release lab testing of microbiological vaccines.

My current scientific interests include preclinical animal models (member of the animal welfare board), antimicrobial resistance, vaccinology and lymphocyte biology. I am a member of the EU-H2020 funded Innovative Medicines Initiative’s “Collaboration for prevention and treatment of MDR bacterial infections” (IMI - COMBINE) consortium and the “Training towards Innovative Personalized Antibiotic Therapy” (MSCA ITN - TIPAT) network, which tackle the antimicrobial resistance problematic. My focus in on the immunology of infection in the context of antibiotics treatment and the development of more predictive preclinical models including e.g. a preclinical “QC kit”.



Key publications: 


Kerscher, B. et al. BET Bromodomain Inhibitor iBET151 Impedes Human ILC2 Activation and Prevents Experimental Allergic Lung Inflammation. Frontiers in immunology 10, 678 (2019).

Halim, T.Y.F. et al. Tissue-Restricted Adaptive Type 2 Immunity Is Orchestrated by Expression of the Costimulatory Molecule OX40L on Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cells. Immunity 48, 1195-1207.e6 (2018).

Stappers, M.H.T. et al. Recognition of DHN-melanin by a C-type lectin receptor is required for immunity to Aspergillus. Nature 555, 382–386 (2018).

Kerscher, B. et al. Signalling through MyD88 drives surface expression of the mycobacterial receptors MCL (Clecsf8, Clec4d) and Mincle (Clec4e) following microbial stimulation. Microbes and infection 18, 505–509 (2016).

Kerscher, B. et al. Mycobacterial receptor, Clec4d (CLECSF8, MCL), is coregulated with Mincle and upregulated on mouse myeloid cells following microbial challenge. European journal of immunology 46, 381–389 (2016).

Redelinghuys, P. et al. MICL controls inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. Annals of the rheumatic diseases 75, 1386–1391 (2016).

Wilson, G.J. et al. The C-type lectin receptor CLECSF8/CLEC4D is a key component of anti-mycobacterial immunity. Cell host & microbe 17, 252–259 (2015).

Kerscher, B., Willment, J.A. & Brown, G.D. The Dectin-2 family of C-type lectin-like receptors: an update. International immunology 25, 271–277 (2013).

Arnold, M.F.F. et al. Partial complementation of Sinorhizobium meliloti bacA mutant phenotypes by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis BacA protein. Journal of bacteriology 195, 389–398 (2013).

Haag, A.F. et al. Molecular insights into bacteroid development during Rhizobium-legume symbiosis. FEMS microbiology reviews 37, 364–383 (2013).

Haag, A.F.#, Kerscher, B.# et al. Role of cysteine residues and disulfide bonds in the activity of a legume root nodule-specific, cysteine-rich peptide. The Journal of biological chemistry 287, 10791–10798 (2012).

Haag, A.F. et al. Biochemical characterization of Sinorhizobium meliloti mutants reveals gene products involved in the biosynthesis of the unusual lipid A very long-chain fatty acid. The Journal of biological chemistry 286, 17455–17466 (2011).

Haag, A.F. et al. Protection of Sinorhizobium against host cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides is critical for symbiosis. PLoS biology 9, e1001169 (2011).

Kerscher, B., Nzukou, E. & Kaiser, A. Assessment of deoxyhypusine hydroxylase as a putative, novel drug target. Amino acids 38, 471–477 (2010).

 Bernhard G. R.  Kerscher
Available for consultancy


Departments and institutes: 
Person keywords: 
innate lymphoid cells
transgenic mouse models
infection and inflammation