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Tobias Kaeser, PhD

Assistant Professor in Swine Immunology


I studied biology at the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen (Germany) with a focus on molecular biology, virology and microbiology. In 2004, I started my diploma (=master) thesis at one of the best swine immunology laboratories, the Institute of Immunology of Prof. Armin Saalmüller at the Vetmeduni Vienna, Austria. My research emphasis was the porcine T-cell immune system. We were the first to discover porcine regulatory T cells (Tregs), we defined their mechanisms and targets of suppression during my PhD thesis, and studied their role in PRRSV infection during my PostDoc. Due to my strong interest in flow cytometry, I also started the production of fluorescently-conjugated antibodies enabling multi-color flow cytometry for swine.
In 2013 I joined the well-recognized Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) in Saskatoon, Canada, to use my expertise for vaccine development. Under the supervision of Drs. François Meurens and Volker Gerdts, we established the pig as a model to study genital chlamydia infections. We developed cell culture systems to study innate and antigen-specific adaptive immune responses in pigs with focus on immunological memory. In 2016, I started as an assistant professor in swine immunology at NC State.

Service experience:
Reviewer experience:
I reviewed grant applications for USDA, National Pork Board and NSERC, and manuscripts for 15+ journals including PLOS One, Vaccine, Cytometry A, Vet. Research, Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. and Helyion.


View online at NCBI My Bibliography
- American Association of Veterinary Immunologists (AAVI)
- Edward Jenner Vaccine Society
- German Society of Immunology (DGfI)
- Austrian Society for Cytometry (ÖGfZ)
- Chlamydia Basic Research Society
- Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases (CRWAD)
In addition, am a member of the “Young Investigator Program class of 2015” from the journal “Vaccine” ( and acted as a guest editor for their special issue on the World Vaccine Congress 2016.
PhD Immunology
Immunology, Infectious Diseases
Research emphasis:
The overall goal of my lab is to study memory immune responses in pigs to facilitate the development of vaccines and intervention strategies for porcine and human diseases. My lab currently consists of one lab manager and two PhD students, representing the three research foci of my lab: i) We study the porcine adaptive immune response to heterologous PRRSV strains to evaluate the capacity of vaccines to provide cross-protection. ii) and iii), we use the pig as a model to study human food allergy and Chlamydia trachomatis infections.
We use in vivo trials in combination with in vitro re-stimulation assays to study pathogen load, the production of neutralizing antibodies, and the induction and function of memory immune cells using qPCR, fluorescent microscopy, and up to 9-color flow cytometry.
  • (2017) Chlamydia suis and Chlamydia trachomatis induce multifunctional CD4 T cells in pigs.Käser T., Pasternak J.A., Delgado-Ortega M., Hamonic G., Lai K., Erickson J., Walker S., Dillon J.R., Gerdts V., Meurens F. | Vaccine 35, 91-100
  • (2016) Ubiquitous LEA29Y Expression Blocks T Cell Co-Stimulation but Permits Sexual Reproduction in Genetically Modified Pigs.Bähr A.*, Käser T., Kemter E., Gerner W., Kurome M., Baars W., Herbach N., Witter K., Wünsch A., Talker S.C., Kessler B., Nagashima H., Saalmüller A., Schwinzer R., Wolf E., Klymiuk N. | PLoS One 11(5), 1-22
  • (2016) Extended semen for artificial insemination in swine as a potential transmission mechanism for infectious Chlamydia suis.Hamonic G., Pasternak J.A., Käser T., Meurens F., Wilson H.L. | Theriogenology, doi 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2016.03.018
  • (2016) Flow cytometry as an improved method for the titration of Chlamydiaceae and other intracellular bacteria.Käser T.*, Pasternak J.A., Hamonic G., Rieder M., Lai K., Gerdts, V., Meurens F. | Cytometry Part A 89A, 451-460
  • (2016) Expression of T-bet, Eomesodermin and GATA-3 in porcine αβ T cells.Rodríguez-Gómez I.M., Talker S.C., Käser T, Stadler M., Hammer S.E., Saalmüller A., Gerner W.*, | Dev. Comp. Immunol. 60, 115-126
  • (2015) Porcine retinal cell line VIDO R1 and Chlamydia suis to modelize ocular chlamydiosis.Käser T., Cnudde T., Hamonic G., Rieder M., Pasternak J.A., Lai K., Tikoo S.K., Wilson H.L., Meurens F.* | Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. 166, 95-107
  • (2015) Natural and inducible Tregs in swine: Helios expression and functional properties.Käser T.*, Mair K.H., Hammer S.E., Gerner W., Saalmüller A. | Dev. Comp. Immunol. 49, 323–331
  • (2015) PRRSV-infected monocyte-derived dendritic cells express high levels of SLA-DR and CD80/86 but do not stimulate PRRSV-naïve regulatory T cells to proliferate.Rodríguez-Gómez I.M., Käser T., Gómez-Laguna J., Lamp B., Sinn L., Rümenapf T., Carrasco L., Saalmüller A., Gerner W.* | Veterinary Research 46, 54-66
  • (2015) The systemic multiplication of Gallibacterium anatis in experimentally infected chickens is promoted by immunosuppressive drugs which have a less specific effect on the depletion of leukocytes.Paudel S., Hess C., Wernsdorf P., Käser T., Meitz S., Jensen-Jarolim E., Hess M., Liebhart D.* | Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 166, 22-32
  • (2014) Grouping Pig-Specific Responses to Mitogen with Similar Responder Animals may Facilitate the Interpretation of Results Obtained in an Out-Bred Animal Model.Pasternak J.A., Hon Ng S., Käser T., Meurens F., Wilson H.L.*, | J. Vaccines Vaccin. 5, 1-9
  • (2014) The porcine innate immune system: An update.Mair K.H., Sedlak C., Käser T., Pasternak J.A., Levast B., Gerner W., Saalmüller A., Summerfield A., Gerdts V., Wilson H.L., Meurens F.* | Dev. Comp. Immunol. 45, 321-343
  • (2013) Phenotypic maturation of porcine NK- and T-cell subsets.Talker S.C., Käser T., Reutner K., Sedlak C., Mair K.H., Koinig H., Graage R., Viehmann M., Klingler E., Ladinig A., Ritzmann M., Saalmüller A., Gerner W.* | Dev. Comp. Immunol. 40, 51-68
  • (2013) Human Placental Alkaline Phosphatase as a Tracking Marker for Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells.Rosado Balmayor E., Flicker M., Käser T., Saalmüller A., Erben R.G.* | Biores Open Access. 2, 346–355
  • (2013) Immunohistochemical Characterization of Type II Pneumocyte Proliferation after Challenge with Type I Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus.Balka G.*, Ladinig A., Ritzmann M., Saalmüller A., Gerner W., Käser T., Jakab C., Rusvai M., Weißenböck H. | J. Comp. Pathol. J. Comp. Pathol. 149, 322– 330
  • (2012) Porcine T-helper and regulatory T-cells exhibit versatile mRNA expression capabilities for cytokines and co-stimulatory molecules.Käser T.*, Müllebner A., Hartl R.T., Essler S.E., Saalmüller A., Duvigneau C.J. | Cytokine 60, 400– 409
  • (2012) Current knowledge on porcine regulatory T cells.Käser T.*, Gerner W., Bolzer K., Hammer SE., Patzl M., Saalmüller A. | Vet. Immunol. and Immunopathol. 148, 136– 138
  • (2011) Porcine regulatory T cells: mechanisms and T-cell targets of suppressionKäser T.*, Gerner W., Saalmüller, A. | Dev. Comp. Immunol 35, 1166– 1172
  • (2009) Molecular characterisation of porcine Forkhead-box p3 (Foxp3).Bolzer K., Käser T., Saalmüller A., Hammer SE. | 132, 275–281
  • (2009) Porcine T lymphocytes and NK cells-an update.Gerner W., Käser T., Saalmüller A. | Dev. Comp Immunol. 33, 310-320.
  • (2008) Detection of Foxp3 protein expression in porcine T lymphocytes.Käser T., Gerner W., Hammer S.E., Patzl M., Saalmüller A. | Vet. Immunol Immunopathol. 125, 92-101.
  • (2008) Detection of intracellular antigens in porcine PBMC by flow cytometry: A comparison of fixation and permeabilisation reagents.Gerner W.*, Käser T., Pintaric M., Groiss S., Saalmüller A. | Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. 121, 251-259.
  • (2008) Phenotypic and functional characterisation of porcine CD4(+)CD25(high) regulatory T cells. Vet.Käser T., Gerner W., Hammer S.E., Patzl M., Saalmüller A. | Immunol. *, Immunopathol. 122 (2008) 153–158.