The Immunopathology Research Group is framed within the Immunology Service of Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital. It is made up of an experienced interdisciplinary team that is highly motivated to conduct translational research and give support to clinical teams who are developing their own research projects to examine the mechanisms of the immune response in different diseases.

In the laboratory, the group has advanced immunopathology diagnostics services including: autoimmunity, allergies, immunochemistry, cellular immunology, immunodeficiencies, histocompatibility and various panels for immune monitoring of immune-mediated illnesses and immunological treatments (immune-modulating drugs, monoclonal antibodies, cellular therapies and other immunotherapeutic procedures).  Their clinical laboratory belongs to the Clinical Laboratory of the North Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (LCMN),  and is a certified (ISO 9001:2015) and advanced laboratory in the implementation of the accreditation of UNE-EN ISO 15189 standards. Since 2008, the group has been developing new immune tolerance-inducing therapies.

The team is made up of staff immunologists, postdoctoral researchers, pre-doctoral researchers and technicians who conduct prestigious national and international research projects. The laboratory is one of 25 centres of European excellence recognized by the Federation of Clinical Immunological Societies (FOCIS).  Since 2009, it is a Consolidated Group as recognised by the Agency for Management of University and Research Grants of the Catalan Government. The leader of the group was also the coordinator of a COST European network consisting of the most important groups in the field of tolerogenic cellular therapies for autoimmunity, severe allergies and transplants (European Action COST BM1305-AFACTT).

GII3_Grup Martinez_Caceres

Group leader

Research lines

Innovation and diagnostic immunology

Modern clinical immunology has to translate the new possibilities for therapies into an optimised personal treatment. This requires knowledge of the immunological status of healthy controls, and of patients in different pathological situations for selection of the best treatment and monitoring of its efficiency. The aim of this research line is to identify new biomarkers for diagnostics or monitoring response to treatment and to implement functional immune-phenotypic panels for patients with immune-mediated illnesses and/or in treatment with therapies that target the immune system.

Different research lines are currently ongoing:

  • Normal values of immunological parameters (Dr A. Teniente Serra)
  • Immunological follow-up of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients (Dr B. Quirant Sánchez)
  • Follow up immune responses of SARS-CoV-2 and Long COVID patients (Dr B Quirant Sánchez)
  • Immunology of Transplantation (Dr M Iglesias-Escudero)
  • Immunooncology (Dr J Climent Martí)
  • Neuroimmunology (Prof  E. Martínez-Cáceres and Dr C Ramo Tello)
  • Mechanisms of immunological tolerance (E Martínez-Cáceres)

Clinical epidemiology research

The objective is to understand the immunopathology of immuno-mediated illnesses, the predictive value and pathogenicity, diagnostic and/or prognostic values of serological and genetic cellular markers available. 

Immune therapies inducing tolerance

The objective is to develop therapeutic strategies to re-establish immunological tolerance to autoantigens (in autoimmune diseases), to allergens (in severe allergies) and to alloantigen (in transplantation). Currently, the group is concentrating on innovative therapies for autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system (multiple sclerosis) and kidney transplantation.

Neuroimmunology: cellular tolerance therapy in multiple sclerosis

Codirection by Dr C. Ramo Tello, Head of the Multiple Sclerosis Unit in the Department of Neuroscience, and E. Martínez-Cáceres

From in vitro studies in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis) the group has developed a autologous tolerogenic cell product consisting of VitD3 monocyte-derived dendritic  cells from multiple sclerosis patients. This therapy was approved by the Spanish Regulatory Agency (AEMPS) and a Phase I dose-scalation clinical trial was developed, showing safety, tolerability and feasibility. Currently, the group is set to start a Phase II trial (already approved by the AEMPS).

Active projects

El sistema immunitari al llarg de la vida: Base per a una medicina personalitzada

PI: Aina Teniente Serra
Funding agency: JMC Legacy Research Fund of Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital
Agency code: 2022_51
Duration: 2.5 years

Inmunomonitorización de los biomarcadores CD64 y HLA-DR para el estudio de sepsis en el paciente crítico

PI: Fernando Arméstar. Collaborator: B Quirant
Funding agency: JMC Legacy Research Fund of Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital
Agency code: 2022_58
Duration: 2.5 years

Selección de la mejor terapia en melanoma BRAF mutado: impacto de la heterogeneidad tumoral en la validación de marcadores y de la plasticidad celular en la adquisición de resistencia a terapia dirigida

PI: Anna Martínez Cardus. Collaborator: Joan Climent Martí
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI23/00421

Novel approaches to dissect mechanisms of immune tolerance and develop novel biomarkers in multiple sclerosis

PI: Eva Martínez Cáceres
Funding agency: Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Agency code: PI23/00158

HORIZON-HLTH-2022-DISEASE-06-02-two-stage. Advanced Antigen-Specific Dendritic Cell-Based Therapy to Re-establish Tolerance in Immune-Mediated Diseases (IMMUTOL)

WP leader: Eva Martínez Cáceres
Funding agency: EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation
Duration: 2023 – 2026

H2020 -MSCA-ITN-2023. Innovative applications of extracorporeal photopheresis in solid organ transplantation

PIs: Maria Iglesias Escudero, Eva Martinez-Caceres
Funding agency: EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

FWO-TBM. Treatment of multiple sclerosis patients with VitD3 tolerogenic dendritic cells. Phase II trial

PIs: Nathalie Cools, C Ramo Tello, E Martinez Caceres
Funding agency: EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation
Agency code: T002523N

Past projects

Immunoterapia con células dendríticas tolerogénicas en esclerosis múltiple. Estudios preclínicos e immunomonitorización

PI: Eva Martínez Cáceres
Agency code: FIS21000
Duration: 2015 – 2018

Inducción de TOLERancia con células dendríticas tratadas con VITamina D3 y cargadas con péptidos de mielina, en pacientes con Esclerosis Múltiple: TolerVit-MS

PI: Cristina Ramo
Agency code: PI16/01737
Duration: 01/01/2017 – 30/06/2021

Neuronal self-renewal by antigen-specific tolerization in multiple sclerosis reinstalling the balance between inflammation and regeneration

PI: Eva Martínez Cáceres
Agency code: EUR44500
Duration: 2018 – 2022

Inducción de Tolerancia: Nuevas vías y dianas terapéuticas

PI: Eva Martínez Cáceres
Agency code: FIS36400
Duration: 2018 - 2020

A negative dendritic-cell based vaccine for the treatment of multiple sclerosis: a first-in-man multicenter trial

PI: Eva Martínez Cáceres
Agency code: IWT17400
Duration: 2015 - 2019

Neuronal Self-Renewal By Antigen-Specific Tolerization In Multiple Sclerosis Reinstalling The Balance Between Inflammation And Regeneration (RESTORE)

PIs: Eva Martínez Cáceres, Cristina Ramo Tello
Agency code: 779316
Duration: 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2022
More information

Scientific publications

Highlighted 2023 publications

Iglesias-Escudero M, Arias-González N, Martínez-Cáceres E. Regulatory cells and the effect of cancer immunotherapy. Mol Cancer. 2023 Feb 4;22(1):26. DOI: 10.1186/s12943-023-01714-0.

Quirant-Sánchez B, Plans-Galván O, Lucas E, Argudo E, Martinez-Cáceres EM, Arméstar F. HLA-DR Expression on Monocytes and Sepsis Index Are Useful in Predicting Sepsis. Biomedicines. 2023 Jun 26;11(7):1836. DOI: 10.3390/biomedicines11071836.

Mansilla MJ, Hilkens CMU, Martínez-Cáceres EM. Challenges in tolerogenic dendritic cell therapy for autoimmune diseases: the route of administration. Immunother Adv. 2023 Jul 18;3(1):ltad012. DOI: 10.1093/immadv/ltad012.


Additional information

The Group is a member of the INSTRUCT Consortium

A network of European scientists from academic and industry focused on developing innovative myeloid regulatory cell (MRC)-based immunotherapies. The consortium recevies funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860003.


- Recerca, Innovació, Projectes

Dos projectes de l'IGTP, finançats amb 1,6 milions d'euros per la Comissió Europea

La Comissió Europea ha concedit dos projectes a l'IGTP dins del Programa HORIZON, que sumen un total d'1.670.346 euros de finançament i tracten sobre el desenvolupament preclínic d'immunoteràpies.

- Recerca

Noves dades sobre els mecanismes de les teràpies tolerogèniques per reduir la immunitat agressiva en tractaments per a malalties autoimmunes i inflamatòries

El grup de recerca d'Immunopatologia, amb el Servei d'Immunologia i la Unitat d'Esclerosi Múltiple a l'Hospital Germans Trias continuen les línies de recerca per a nous tractaments contra l'esclerosi múltiple. El seu darrer article, publicat a Frontiers of Immunology, examina els mecanismes pels quals les cèl·lules dendrítiques de la vitamina D3 s'utilitzen per alterar els limfòcits propis dels pacients per inhibir respostes autoimmunes.

+ Notícies


Eva Mª Martínez Cáceres, Head of Immunology Department, Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital

(+34) 93 497 8666 / (+34) 93 497 8656