Professor Heidrun Moll's primary research interests in the field of immunology are cytokines and accessory cells, in particular dendritic cells (DC), regulating the T cell-mediated immune responses to infections. In the early 1990s, her laboratory was among the first to demonstrate that DC actively take up microorganisms and have a pivotal role in the initiation and regulation of antimicrobial immunity. Major topics of her current work are the development of DC-based vaccines for prophylaxis and immunotherapy, and the immunomodulatory effects of novel anti-infective compounds, using infections with the protozoan parasite Leishmania major as a model system.
Heidrun Moll studied biology in Konstanz, performed her doctoral studies at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology, Freiburg, and received her Ph.D. from the University of Konstanz in 1985. Her post-doctoral training was at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia. She was Assistant Professor at the University of Erlangen Medical School from 1988 to 1993 and moved to the then newly established Research Center for Infectious Diseases, Würzburg, as head of an independent young investigator group working on Leishmania immunology in 1993. Since 1995 she holds the position of a professor at the Institute for Molecular Infection Biology, University of Würzburg Medical School, and is head of the Infection Immunology Unit. Heidrun Moll is member of the boards of the German Society for Immunology and the German Society for Parasitology. From 2004 to 2009, she was Vice President of the University of Würzburg and, from 2009 to 2012, she was President of the German Society for Parasitology. Presently, she is member of the Executive Board of the University of Würzburg Graduate Schools and Vice Dean of the Graduate School of Life Sciences at the University of Würzburg. Furthermore, she is member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Robert Koch Stiftung. She is presently on the editorial board of three journals (European Journal of Cell Biology, Current Immunology Reviews, Parasite Epidemiology and Control) and is Associate Editor of the journal Pathogens and Infectious Disease. She has supervised 13 PhD students to completion. In the year 2000, her scientific achievements were honored with the Siebold Nagasaki Medical Award, and in 2016, with the Rudolf-Leuckart Award. In 2007, she had an accident that resulted in permanent paraplegia.