Dr. Hinrich Abken is Professor and Chair for Genetic Immunotherapy at the RCI, Regensburg Center for Interventional Immunology, University Regensburg where he is working towards the development of adoptive cell therapy of malignant diseases using engineered T cells. Dr. Abken studied medicine at Essen University, doctoral thesis at the Institute for Molecular Biology, and was post-doc at the Institute for Cell Biology (Prof Rajewsky). He received his venia legendi in Genetics and Immunology from the Faculty of Science of the Rheinische Wilhelms Universität Bonn where he was group leader at the Institute for Genetics. In 1993 he became C3 University Professor for Tumor Genetics at the Medical Faculty of the University of Cologne and member of the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC) with an Independent Research Group. Since June 2018 Dr Abken holds the Chair for Genetic Immunotherapy at the RCI at the University Regensburg.
Prof. Abken's group is committed to the adoptive cell therapy and the development of novel T cell targeting strategies, in particular by chimeric antigen receptors (CAR's). Dr. Abken's group was one of the first working on immunoreceptors/CARs for trageting T cells since the early 1990’s and is internationally leading in pre-clinical research of adoptive therapy with T cells engineered with chimeric antigen receptors. As one of the pioneers the Abken group introduced a number of novel CAR modifications now in routine practice including the second generation CAR, the modified spacers, the TRUCK strategy and others were developed by this group. Current research is aimed at improving T cell targeting of cancer, at developing novel strategies in modulating an immune response and at translating the T cell strategy into clinical trials.