Virus-infected cells - Foto Line Reinert Paludan Group

Center for immunology of viral infections (CiViA)

Center leader:

Søren Riis Paludan


April 2023 - March 2029

Application round:

11th Round

Host institution(s)

Aarhus University


60 million DKK

CiViA aims to uncover novel immune mechanisms that contribute to early defense against infections, and to decipher how the delicate balance between protective and pathological immune responses are achieved. In addition, the center aims to connect experimental research with philosophy of Science, and therefore to challenge current paradigms by exploring their rational basis and propose new ones.

Viral infections can cause a broad range of acute diseases and may also predispose to chronic diseases. Efficient host defense against invading viruses is therefore essential for health, and thus one of the most fundamental biological requirements for life. This task is carried out by the immune system. However, the immune system can also lead to excessive inflammation, and in fact cause disease. Since living organisms are frequently exposed to viruses, but rarely develop disease, one of the most important unresolved questions in immunology is, therefore, how the early immune activity to infections achieves efficient elimination of infection without inducing inflammation  – and hence limits the disturbance of homeostasis. This cannot be explained by the current knowledge in immunology and may require that we challenge some of the paradigms in the field.

The knowledge generated in CiViA will break new ground in the fundamental understanding of immunity against virus infections, which may have direct impact on future treatment of viral infections through the development of novel antiviral and immunomodulatory treatments. In addition, by challenging current concepts in immunology, CiViA may open new research directions, which can have an impact on clinical medicine beyond infection immunology.

Annual highlights

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