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Important publications (selection)

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Hans-Georg Rammensee

Important publications (selection)

Finn OJ, Rammensee HG. Is It Possible to Develop Cancer Vaccines to Neoantigens, What Are the Major Challenges, and How Can These Be Overcome? Neoantigens: Nothing New in Spite of the Name. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2017 Dec 18. pii: a028829. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a028829. [Epub ahead of print]

Schuster H, Peper JK, Bösmüller HC, Röhle K, Backert L, Bilich T, Ney B, Löffler MW, Kowalewski DJ, Trautwein N, Rabsteyn A, Engler T, Braun S, Haen SP, Walz JS, Schmid-Horch B, Brucker SY, Wallwiener D, Kohlbacher O, Fend F, Rammensee HG, Stevanović S, Staebler A, Wagner P. The immunopeptidomic landscape of ovarian carcinomas. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 114(46):E9942-E9951, 2017. Pubmed

Löffler MW, Chandran PA, Laske K, Schroeder C, Bonzheim I, Walzer M, Hilke FJ, Trautwein N, Kowalewski DJ, Schuster H, Günder M, Carcamo Yañez VA, Mohr C, Sturm M, Nguyen HP, Riess O, Bauer P, Nahnsen S, Nadalin S, Zieker D, Glatzle J, Thiel K, Schneiderhan-Marra N, Clasen S, Bösmüller H, Fend F, Kohlbacher O, Gouttefangeas C, Stevanović S, Königsrainer A, Rammensee HG. Personalized peptide vaccine-induced immune response associated with long-term survival of a metastatic cholangiocarcinoma patient. J Hepatol. 2016; 65(4):849-55. Pubmed

Kowalewski DJ, Schuster H, Backert L, Berlin C, Kahn S, Kanz L, Salih HR, Rammensee HG, Stevanovic S, Stickel JS. HLA ligandome analysis identifies the underlying specificities of spontaneous antileukemia immune responses in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 112(2):E166-75, 2015. PubMed

Walter S, Weinschenk T, Stenzl A, Zdrojowy R, Pluzanska A, Szczylik C, Staehler M, Brugger W, Dietrich PY, Mendrzyk R, Hilf N, Schoor O, Fritsche J, Mahr A, Maurer D, Vass V, Trautwein C, Lewandrowski P, Flohr C, Pohla H, Stanczak JJ, Bronte V, Mandruzzato S, Biedermann T, Pawelec G, Derhovanessian E, Yamagishi H, Miki T, Hongo F, Takaha N, Hirakawa K, Tanaka H, Stevanovic S, Frisch J, Mayer-Mokler A, Kirner A, Rammensee HG, Reinhardt C, Singh-Jasuja H. 2012. Multipeptide immune response to cancer vaccine IMA901 after single-dose cyclophosphamide associates with longer patient survival. Nat Med. 18(8):1254-61, 2012.  PubMed

Lob, S., A. Konigsrainer, H. G. Rammensee, G. Opelz, and P. Terness. 2009. Inhibitors of indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase for cancer therapy: can we see the wood for the trees? Nat. Rev. Cancer 9:445. Pubmed

Feyerabend, S., S. Stevanovic, C. Gouttefangeas, D. Wernet, J. Hennenlotter, J. Bedke, K. Dietz, S. Pascolo, M. Kuczyk, H. G. Rammensee, and A. Stenzl. 2009. Novel multi-peptide vaccination in Hla-A2+ hormone sensitive patients with biochemical relapse of prostate cancer. Prostate 69:917. Pubmed

Weide, B., J. P. Carralot, A. Reese, B. Scheel, T. K. Eigentler, I. Hoerr, H. G. Rammensee, C. Garbe, and S. Pascolo. 2008. Results of the first phase I/II clinical vaccination trial with direct injection of mRNA. J Immunother. 31:180. Pubmed

Osterloh, P., K. Linkemann, S. Tenzer, H. G. Rammensee, M. P. Radsak, D. H. Busch, and H. Schild. 2006. Proteasomes shape the repertoire of T cells participating in antigen-specific immune responses. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A 103:5042.Pubmed

Rammensee, H.-G. 2006. Peptides made to order. Immunity 25:693-695. Pubmed

Dengjel, J., O. Schoor, R. Fischer, M. Reich, M. Kraus, M. Muller, K. Kreymborg, F. Altenberend, J. Brandenburg, H. Kalbacher, R. Brock, C. Driessen, H. G. Rammensee, and S. Stevanovic. 2005. Autophagy promotes MHC class II presentation of peptides from intracellular source proteins. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A 102:7922. Pubmed

Rammensee, H.-G. 2004. New and Views: Immunology: Protein surgery. Nature 427:203-204. Pubmed

Lemmel, C., S. Weik, U. Eberle, J. Dengjel, T. Kratt, H. D. Becker, H. G. Rammensee, and S. Stevanovic. 2004. Differential quantitative analysis of MHC ligands by mass spectrometry using stable isotope labeling. Nat. Biotechnol. 22:450. Pubmed

Dengjel, J., P. Decker, O. Schoor, F. Altenberend, T. Weinschenk, H. G. Rammensee, and S. Stevanovic. 2004. Identification of a naturally processed cyclin D1 T-helper epitope by a novel combination of HLA class II targeting and differential mass spectrometry. Eur. J Immunol. 34:3644. Pubmed

Drexler, I., C. Staib, W. Kastenmuller, S. Stevanovic, B. Schmidt, F. A. Lemonnier, H. G. Rammensee, D. H. Busch, H. Bernhard, V. Erfle, and G. Sutter. 2003. Identification of vaccinia virus epitope-specific HLA-A*0201-restricted T cells and comparative analysis of smallpox vaccines. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A 100:217. Pubmed

Rammensee, H.-G. 2002. Survival of the fitters. Nature 419:443-445. Pubmed

Weinschenk, T., C. Gouttefangeas, M. Schirle, F. Obermayr, S. Walter, O. Schoor, R. Kurek, W. Loeser, K. H. Bichler, D. Wernet, S. Stevanovic, and H. G. Rammensee. 2002. Integrated functional genomics approach for the design of patient-individual antitumor vaccines. Cancer Res. 62:5818. Pubmed

Rammensee, H. G., T. Weinschenk, C. Gouttefangeas, and S. Stevanovic. 2002. Towards patient-specific tumor antigen selection for vaccination. Immunol. Rev. 188:164. Pubmed

Rammensee, H.-G., T. Friede, and S. Stevanovic. 1995. MHC ligands and peptide motifs. First listing. Immunogenetics 41:178-228. Pubmed

Falk, K., O. Rötzschke, S. Stevanovic, G. Jung, and H.-G. Rammensee. 1991. Allele-specific motifs revealed by sequencing of self-peptides eluted from MHC molecules. Nature 351:290-296. Pubmed
Comment in  J Immunol. 2006;177(5):2741-7. Pubmed

Rötzschke, O., K. Falk, K. Deres, H. Schild, M. Norda, J. Metzger, G. Jung, and H.-G. Rammensee. 1990. Isolation and analysis of naturally processed viral peptides as recognized by cytotoxic T cells. Nature 348:252-254. Pubmed

Falk, K., O. Rötzschke, and H.-G. Rammensee. 1990. Cellular peptide composition governed by major histocompatibility complex class I molecules. Nature 348:248-251. Pubmed

Rötzschke, O., K. Falk, H.-J. Wallny, S. Faath, and H.-G. Rammensee. 1990. Characterization of naturally occurring minor histocompatibility peptides including H-4 and H-Y. Science 249:283-287. Pubmed

Wallny, H.-J. and H.-G. Rammensee. 1990. Identification of classical minor histocompatibility antigen as cell-derived peptide. Nature 343:275-278. Pubmed

Rammensee, H.-G. R. Kroschewski, and B. Frangoulis. 1989. Clonal anergy induced in mature Vß6+ T lymphocytes on immunizing Mls-1b mice with Mls-1a expressing cells. Nature 339:541-544. Pubmed

Deres, K., H. Schild, K.-H. Wiesmüller, G. Jung, and H.-G. Rammensee. 1989. In vivo priming of virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes with synthetic lipopeptide vaccine. Nature 342:561-564. Pubmed

Rammensee, H. G., P. J. Robinson, A. Crisanti, and M. J. Bevan. 1986. Restricted recognition of beta 2-microglobulin by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Nature 319:502-504. Pubmed

Rammensee, H. G. and M. J. Bevan. 1984. Evidence from in vitro studies that tolerance to self antigens is MHC-restricted. Nature 308:741-744. Pubmed


Scientific Profile

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Hans-Georg Rammensee

Scientific Profile

I started to work on immunology in 1979, with the specific aim of using tumor immunology to fight against cancer. My first research projects were on minor histocompatibility antigens, which revealed some similarity to tumor antigens: weak immunogens, MHC-restricted, nature completely unknown at that time. After contributing to the areas of genetics and immune regulation (“veto cells”), I showed that central tolerance to such antigens is MHC restricted (Rammensee HG, Bevan MJ., Nature 1984; 308:741). Later, I identified the first minor H antigen (Rammensee HG et al., Nature 1986; 319:502).
After setting up my own research group, we 1) showed that minor H antigens are peptides presented by MHC (Nature 1990; 343:275, Science 1990; 249:283); 2) identified the first naturally processed viral T cell epitopes (Nature 1990; 348:252; 634 citations), 3) for the first time eluted and identified peptides directly from MHC, and discovered the nature of MHC peptide specificity (“motifs”) (Nature 1991; 351:290; 1882 citations; featured in “pillars of immunology”, J Immunol. 2006 Sep 1; 177(5):2741-7), 4) showed that MHC itself contributes to processing of peptides (Nature 1990; 348:248), 5) demonstrated, for the first time, induction of T cell anergy in vivo (Nature 1989; 339: 541; 542 citations), 6) used a covalent peptide/TLR-ligand compound for efficient immunization (Nature 1989; 342:561; 521 citations). Building on the MHC/peptide work, we were the first group to exactly predict T cell epitopes. We then systematically developed bioinformatic tools for this purpose, e.g., our database SYFPEITHI, which is the gold standard in this field (Immunogenetics 1995; 41:178; 1212 citations).
Several of my former PhD students or postdocs have achieved leading positions. E.g., my first PhD student, Hansjörg Schild, is now chair of Immunology at the University of Mainz; Christian Münz is full professor for Experimental Immunology at the University of Zürich, Dept. of Pathology, and thus, the successor of Rolf Zinkernagel; Alexander Steinle is full professor for Molecular Medicine at the University of Frankfurt/M; Olaf Rötzschke is group leader at the Singapore Immunology Network (BIOPOLIS); Eckhard Lammert is full professor and chair of the Institute for Zoophysiology at the University of Düsseldorf; and Harpreet Singh is CSO of immatics biotechnologies.
More recently, I am frequently invited to write comments on new developments in immunology by the leading journals, e.g., Rammensee HG. Peptides made to order. Immunity. 2006; 25:693; Rammensee HG. Immunology: protein surgery. Nature. 2004; 427:203; Rammensee HG. Survival of the fitters. Nature. 2002; 419:443.
In recent years, we have combined basic research on MHC biology with translational research; thus, I could build upon 20 years of research by finally bringing tumor immunology into clinical practice, together with expert clinicians. This work has led already to two flourishing spin-off companies (immatics and CureVac), both in clinical phase I and phase II trials. Please look in the ASCO 2010 (June 4th – 8th in Chicago) reports on their latest results! I now intend to use the next 10 years to bring truly individualized cancer immunotherapy (something big pharma is not interested so far) into the clinic, taking advantage of the latest technological advances in genome sequencing and peptidome analysis.

Scientific Career History

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Hans-Georg Rammensee

Scientific Career History

2008 – present

Director, Interfaculty Institute for Cell Biology, University of Tübingen, Germany

05/2014 - 04/2019

ERC-Advanced Grant (EU) for the project: Mutaediting: Mutation-driven immunoediting of human cancer? 


Co-founder of the biotechnology enterprise SYNIMMUNE GmbH


Co-founder of the biotechnology enterprises immatics GmbH and CureVac GmbH

1996 – present

Chair, Department of Immunology (Full Professor, C4), Interfaculty Institute for Cell Biology, University of Tübingen, Germany

1993 – 1996

Head of Department, Tumor-Virus-Immunology Section, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg; appointment as Professor, University of Heidelberg


Habilitation in immunology at the University of Tübingen

1988 – 1993

Academic teaching duties at the Universities of Tübingen and Heidelberg

1987 – 1993

Group leader at the Department of Immunogenetics, Max Planck Institute for Biology, Tübingen, Germany

1985 – 1987

Scientific Member of the Basel Institute for Immunology (Minor H antigens and self tolerance)

1982 – 1985

Postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Michael J. Bevan, Ph.D., at Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, CA, USA (Self tolerance of cytotoxic T lymphocytes)

1980 – 1982

PhD thesis in the laboratory of Professor Dr. Jan Klein at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biology, Tübingen, Germany. (Minor histocompatibility antigens)


Diploma thesis in the laboratory of Professor Dr. Jan Klein at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biology, Tübingen, Germany

1974 – 1980

Study of biology at the University of Tübingen, Germany

Scholarships, awards, qualifications

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Hans-Georg Rammensee

Scholarships, awards, qualifications

2020 Landesforschungspreis 2020 -  Baden-Württemberg (background)
2014 – 2020
(2008 – 2014)
Co-opted member of the Scientific Council of the Paul Ehrlich Foundation / (Download Brochure)
2016 Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine (background)
2014 German Cancer Aid Award 2013 (for exceptional achievements in the field of oncology)(background)
2013 The Hansen Family Award (background)
2012 Deputy Site Coordinator, German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK). Joint initiative of the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the participating federal states, German Cancer Aid and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
2011 – 07/2017 Chairman of the Integrated Research Training Group (IRTG): Immunotherapy of the SFB685
2011 – present Member of the Scientific Advisory Board, RCI Regensburg Center for Interventional Immunology
2011 – present Member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Cluster for Individualized Immunointervention (CI3)
2009 – present Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, International Society for Dendritic Cell and Vaccine Science
2008 – present Member of the Baden-Württemberg Steering Committee for the organization of joint projects between the National University of Singapore and universities in Baden-Württemberg
2008 – present Advisory Board Member of BayImmuNet (Immune Therapy Network of the Bavarian State Ministry of Sciences, Research and the Arts)
2007 – 2011 Member, HFSP Council of Scientists
2008 Ceppellini Lecture Award of the European Federation of Immunogenetics
2006 – present Member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz
2006 – 2010 Panel member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council
2005 – 06/2017 Chairman of the Sonderforschungsbereich 685: Immunotherapy: Molecular basis and clinical application (SFB685)
2002 – 2011 Chairman of the Graduiertenkolleg 794: Graduate School for Cellular Mechanisms of Immune-associated Processes (GRK794)
2002 – present Co-founder and association member of the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy (CIMT)
2002 – present Member of the Academy of Cancer Immunology
2002 – 2004 Research Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Tübingen
1998 – present Member of the Cooperation Program in Cancer Research
(German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg and the Ministry of Science, Israel)
1997 – 2004 Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Sonderforschungsbereich 510: Hemopoietic Stem Cell Biology and Antigen Processing
1997 – 2001 Chairman of the Graduiertenkolleg : Cell Biology in Medicine
1997 Rose Payne Distinguished Scientist Award
1996 Paul Ehrlich Prize
1996 Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize
1993 Robert Koch Prize
1992 Avery Landsteiner Prize
1991 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize
1991 Wilhelm und Maria Meyenburg Prize
1988 Heinz-Maier-Leibnitz Prize
  • The story about the moose

    The structure of the HLA-A2 molecule (left), which was reported in 1987 by Bjorkman and colleagues, inspired Hajo Schild three years later to accentuate its outline in order to show the resemblance of this structure to the head of a moose (center). Later, a cartoon drawn by a caricaturist based in Tübingen, Sepp Buchegger, appeared in the local newspaper reminding us of our own moose picture. Sepp Buchegger then kindly agreed to design a logo for us which depicted a moose’s head with horns that could be envisaged as a peptide receptacle. The design has represented the official logo of our department for very many years.

  • ........The "birth" of the moose logo

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Hans-Georg Rammensee

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Hans-Georg Rammensee

University of Tübingen
Interfaculty Institute for Cell Biology
Department of Immunology
Auf der Morgenstelle 15
72076 Tuebingen

Phone: +49-7071-29 87628
Fax:     +49-7071-29 5653
Email:   rammensee (@)

Information für interessierte Krebspatienten

Liebe Krebspatientin, lieber Krebspatient,

(25. Juli 2014)


wir sind eine Einrichtung der Grundlagenforschung. Wir sind keine Krebsklinik, und ich selbst bin kein Arzt, sondern Naturwissenschaftler.

Seit vielen Jahren bemühen wir uns um neue Krebsimmuntherapien; wir haben dabei bereits Erfolge vorzuweisen: Von Ausgründungen aus meiner Abteilung, den Firmen immatics und CureVac, wurden bereits Studien durchgeführt. Informationen über aktuell laufende Studien finden Sie unter 

Unser Ziel ist,  auf den bisherigen Erfahrungen aufzubauen, und eine Strategie zu entwickeln, die - aufgrund unserer wissenschaftlichen Überlegungen - noch weit bessere Erfolge zeigen müsste. Nämlich eine individualisierte Immuntherapie, bei der zunächst vom Tumorgewebe eines jeden Patienten die geeigneten Zielstrukturen ermittelt werden (diese sind nämlich bei jedem Patienten anders) um diese dann als sogenannte Peptide synthetisch herzustellen und dem Patienten als Impfstoff zu verabreichen. Für jeden Patienten soll also eigens ein individueller Impfstoff hergestellt werden. Die am weitesten fortgeschrittenen Projekte befassen sich mit dem Hirntumor Glioblastom (GAPVAC; und dem Leberkrebs hepatozelluläres Karzinom (HEPAVAC,, beide mit mehreren europäischen Partnern und von der Europäischen Union gefördert. Die ersten Patienten können jedoch erst 2015 bzw. 2016 eingeschlossen werden, vor allem deshalb, weil wir bis vor Kurzem an der Lösung unseres Hauptproblems gearbeitet haben:  Solche Impfpeptide, auch wenn sie nur für einen einzigen Patienten gemacht werden, müssen als Arzneimittel nach dem Arzneimittelgesetz (AMG) hergestellt werden. Seit vielen Jahren bemühten wir uns um eine behördliche Erlaubnis für eine solche Herstellung; wir haben ein eigenes Gebäude mit Reinräumen errichtet, haben diese Erlaubnis jedoch erst vor Kurzem erreicht (genauer: für Impfstoffzubereitungen mit bis zu 5 Peptiden im März, für solche mit bis zu 10 Peptiden am 15. 07. 2014. Es dauerte so lange,  weil die zuständigen Behörden uns wie einen Großpharmahersteller behandeln (müssen), da das AMG solche "Einzelherstellungen" bisher nicht vorhergesehen hat. 

Wir können nun die beiden obengenannten Studien durchführen. Leider können wir darüber hinaus derzeit keine weiteren Studien konkretisieren, vor allem aus Kapazitätsgründen; wir arbeiten jedoch daran. Für Sie konkret bedeutet das, dass wir Ihnen derzeit keine Behandlung Ihrer Krankheit anbieten können. In Zukunft hoffen wir jedoch in der Lage zu sein, Sie diesbezüglich an die mit uns eng zusammenarbeitenden klinischen Abteilungen am Universitätsklinikum Tübingen bzw. an weitere Universitätskliniken verweisen zu können.

Ich bitte Sie deshalb, von Anrufen oder Anfragen wegen Behandlungsmöglichkeiten für Sie oder Ihre Angehörigen an unsere Abteilung abzusehen; wir werden Sie an dieser Stelle von neuen Entwicklungen bzw. neuen klinischen Studien informieren. Sollten Sie jedoch Informationen zu aktuellen Studien und Therapiemöglichkeiten am Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, Kontakte zu spezialisierten Ärzten oder Selbsthilfegruppen benötigen, so könne Sie sich gerne an den „Krebswegweiser Tübingen" (über wenden, wo Ihnen kompetente Ansprechpartner zu diesen Themen zur Verfügung stehen.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Hans-Georg Rammensee (NICHT Dr. med.!)


German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK)

Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Rammensee is member of the
German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research (DKTK)

and overall coordinator of the research program
Cancer immunology of therapeutic vaccines

Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) Tübingen

Prof. Rammensee is board member of the
Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) Tübingen

Interfaculty Institute for Cell Biology / third floor: Department of Immunology

Auf der Morgenstelle 15