We are interested in the innate immune system, its activation, development and interaction with other aspects of physiology. To understand innate immunity at the organismic level, we use insect models, in particular the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster.

Presently our research focuses on three major projects:
• The coagulation of insect hemolymph
• The insect response against entomopathogenic nematodes.
• The immune response against early stages of tumor development 


hemolymph clot
Fig1: left: a hemolymph sample turns viscous after bleeding. In the hemolymph clot, fibers can be stained with lectins (middle part) in which bacteria are captured (right part, the bacteria are labeled with green fluorescent protein).



insect immunity, hemocytes, nematodes, tumor immunity, coagulation 


Selected publications

NLP Keehnen, J Rolff, U Theopold, CW Wheat, Insect Antimicrobial Defences: A Brief History, Recent Findings, Biases, and a Way Forward in Evolutionary Studies, Advances in Insect Physiology, (2017)

M Kunc, B Arefin, P Hyrsl, U Theopold, Monitoring the effect of pathogenic nematodes on locomotion of Drosophila larvae, Fly (2017)

L Kucerova, V Broz, B Arefin, HO Maaroufi, J Hurychova, H Strnad, The Drosophila chitinase-like protein IDGF3 is involved in protection against nematodes and in wound healing, Journal of innate immunity 8 (2), 199-210 (2016)

B Arefin, L Kucerova, R Krautz, H Kranenburg, F Parvin, U Theopold, Apoptosis in hemocytes induces a shift in effector mechanisms in the Drosophila immune system and leads to a pro-inflammatory state, PloS one 10 (8), e0136593 (2015)

T Hauling, R Krautz, R Markus, A Volkenhoff, L Kucerova, U Theopold, A Drosophila immune response against Ras-induced overgrowth, Biology open, BIO20146494 (2014)


See all publications 

(Link to Researcher ID)