Profiles of Leading Women Scientists on AcademiaNet – an initiative of the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
Search among the members of the Leopoldina for experts in specific fields or research topics.
|Year of election:||2014|
|Section:||Microbiology and Immunology|
Erika von Mutius is a physician scientist in the field of childhood asthma and allergies. She coordinated numerous interdisciplinary projects investigating the role of genetic and environmental factors for the development of these diseases. With her team of collaborators she discovered a new gene for childhood asthma. Furthermore, she has shown that the environmental microbial exposures have a strong protective effect on the development of asthma and allergic diseases.
She is particularly known for her research on the ‘hygiene hypothesis’. This hypothesis states that exposure to microbes early in life shapes the innate and adaptive immunity inducing tolerance and not allergic sensitization against normal environmental exposures like pollen, animal dander or house dust.