Katrin D. Mayer-Barber, Dr. rer. nat. (Ph.D.)

Stadtman Investigator

Inflammation and Innate Immunity Unit


Building 33
Room 2W10A
33 North Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892



Research Topics

The Inflammation and Innate Immunity Unit (IIIU) investigates the function and regulation of inflammatory cytokines and lipid mediators during pulmonary infections, the immunological mechanisms of host protective versus host detrimental inflammation, and the translation of basic observations into host-directed immunotherapies.

In vivo cellular immunological techniques such as highly dimensional multi-parameter flow cytometry are employed in mouse models of pulmonary infection, chief among them Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Findings and hypotheses derived from the mouse model are tested in patient material to advance our understanding of the underlying pathological mechanisms and to aid in the design of novel treatment strategies. In turn, observations in patient material will be studied in appropriate animal models.

Research in the IIIU is based on the hypothesis that during infection distinct arms of innate inflammatory responses establish counter regulatory cytokine and lipid mediator networks that ultimately determine the outcome of infection. Understanding different classes of inflammation and the corresponding innate effector cells, lipids, and cytokines that orchestrate protective versus detrimental inflammatory responses will provide critical insight for the development of new treatment strategies for a variety of inflammatory diseases, including non-infectious chronic inflammatory conditions.


Dr. Mayer-Barber received her diploma in biology from the University of Würzburg, Germany, in 2002. In 2003 she came to the United States for her Ph.D. thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. Markus Mohrs at the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake, New York. There she specialized on multi-parameter flow-cytometry analysis of pulmonary CD4 effector T cells after viral and parasitic infections and studied immune cell-derived interferon responses in vivo. She obtained her doctoral degree (Doctor rerum naturalium: Dr. rer. nat.) in 2006 from the University of Würzburg, Germany and joined NIAID in 2007 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases. There she studied pulmonary innate effector cells, such as inflammatory monocytes and dendritic cells, and delineated the role of inflammatory mediators like IL-1, type I Interferons and prostaglandins in host resistance to tuberculosis. Dr. Mayer-Barber was awarded the Earl Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator position in the NIAID Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases in 2015.

Selected Publications

  1. Bohrer AC, Castro E, Tocheny CE, Assmann M, Schwarz B, Bohrnsen E, Makiya MA, Legrand F, Hilligan KL, Baker PJ, Torres-Juarez F, Hu Z, Ma H, Wang L, Niu L, Wen Z, Lee SH, Kamenyeva O, Tuberculosis Imaging Program, Kauffman KD, Donato M, Sher A, Barber DL, Via LE, Scriba TJ, Khatri P, Song Y, Wong KW, Bosio CM, Klion AD, Mayer-Barber KD. Rapid GPR183-mediated recruitment of eosinophils to the lung after Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Cell Rep. 2022;40(4):111144.
  2. Bohrer AC, Castro E, Hu Z, Queiroz ATL, Tocheny CE, Assmann M, Sakai S, Nelson C, Baker PJ, Ma H, Wang L, Zilu W, du Bruyn E, Riou C, Kauffman KD, Tuberculosis Imaging Program, Moore IN, Del Nonno F, Petrone L, Goletti D, Martineau AR, Lowe DM, Cronan MR, Wilkinson RJ, Barry CE, Via LE, Barber DL, Klion AD, Andrade BB, Song Y, Wong KW, Mayer-Barber KD. Eosinophils are part of the granulocyte response in tuberculosis and promote host resistance in mice. J Exp Med. 2021;218(10).
  3. Bohrer AC, Tocheny C, Assmann M, Ganusov VV, Mayer-Barber KD. Cutting Edge: IL-1R1 Mediates Host Resistance to Mycobacterium tuberculosis by Trans-Protection of Infected Cells. J Immunol. 2018;201(6):1645-1650.
  4. Mayer-Barber KD, Andrade BB, Oland SD, Amaral EP, Barber DL, Gonzales J, Derrick SC, Shi R, Kumar NP, Wei W, Yuan X, Zhang G, Cai Y, Babu S, Catalfamo M, Salazar AM, Via LE, Barry CE 3rd, Sher A. Host-directed therapy of tuberculosis based on interleukin-1 and type I interferon crosstalk. Nature. 2014;511(7507):99-103.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Tuesday, January 30, 2024