My research focuses on the identification and characterization of allergen molecules originating from plant food and pollen sources. Several novel allergens were produced as recombinant proteins and in-depth characterized by a comprehensive panel of physicochemical and immunological methods. Molecular allergy diagnostics thus enabled a broader understanding regarding the sensitization status of allergic patients as well as predictions for risk assessment. I am particularly interested in diagnosis and treatment of food allergy as there is currently no sustainable treatment for adverse reactions which can be life-threatening. We further established the aptamer technology for structural characterization of biopharmaceuticals within the CD laboratory for biosimilar characterization.
An additional important aspect is the seeding and integration of science in the general population which should start early in the school career. We therefore launched the interdisciplinary “Sparkling Science” project ALRAUNE where we had the chance to reach more >700 pupils in Salzburg. They were actively participating in the research projects and encountering basic science at the University. In the follow up Citizen Science project an allergy research tool was developed together with interested project participants. I consider Citizen Science and Open Innovation interesting and powerful applications for research and development.