Friedemann Kiefer

Research Topic

We are interested in the morphogenetic processes that shape and maintain the vascular systems. We focus especially on lymphatic vessels, during development1, 2 but also in healthy and diseased adult life3. In particular, we are interested in the interplay of blood and lymph vessels, tissue oxygenation (or the lack thereof called hypoxia) and leukocytes and the relevance of this finely balanced system for organ function in developmental and pathological settings4. Our work rests on the intense use and refinement of innovative microscopic approaches, relying heavily on multiphoton and light sheet microscopy5, 6. We combine these imaging modalities with reporter mouse models to visualize the interactions between, vessels, leukocytes and tissue parenchyma three dimensionally in the context of large tissue volumes or longitudinally in the living organism.


  • [1] Bohmer, R., Neuhaus, B., Buhren, S., Zhang, D., Stehling, M., Bock, B., and Kiefer, F. (2010) Regulation of developmental lymphangiogenesis by Syk(+) leukocytes, Dev. Cell 18, 437-449.
  • [2] Hagerling, R., Pollmann, C., Andreas, M., Schmidt, C., Nurmi, H., Adams, R. H., Alitalo, K., Andresen, V., Schulte-Merker, S., and Kiefer, F. (2013) A novel multistep mechanism for initial lymphangiogenesis in mouse embryos based on ultramicroscopy, EMBO J 32, 629-644.
  • [3] Hagerling, R., Drees, D., Scherzinger, A., Dierkes, C., Martin-Almedina, S., Butz, S., Gordon, K., Schafers, M., Hinrichs, K., Ostergaard, P., Vestweber, D., Goerge, T., Mansour, S., Jiang, X., Mortimer, P. S., and Kiefer, F. (2017) VIPAR, a quantitative approach to 3D histopathology applied to lymphatic malformations, JCI Insight 2.
  • [4] Erapaneedi, R., Belousov, V. V., Schafers, M., and Kiefer, F. (2016) A novel family of fluorescent hypoxia sensors reveal strong heterogeneity in tumor hypoxia at the cellular level, EMBO J 35, 102-113.
  • [5] Orlich, M., and Kiefer, F. (2017) A qualitative comparison of ten tissue clearing techniques, Histol Histopathol, 11903.
  • [6] Hagerling, R., Pollmann, C., Kremer, L., Andresen, V., and Kiefer, F. (2011) Intravital two-photon microscopy of lymphatic vessel development and function using a transgenic Prox1 promoter-directed mOrange2 reporter mouse, Biochem. Soc. Trans 39, 1674-1681.