Britta Engelhardt is Professor for Immunobiology and the Director of the Theodor Kocher Institute at the University of Bern in Switzerland. She has obtained a degree in Human Biology from the Philipps-University, Marburg in Germany in 1987. She performed her PhD thesis in the laboratory of Hartmut Wekerle (Max-Planck Clinical Research Group for Multiple Sclerosis, Würzburg and Max- Planck Institute for Psychiatry, Martinsried, Germany) and obtained a PhD in Human Biology (Dr. rer. physiol.) in January 1991. After a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Eugene C. Butcher at Stanford University, California, she set up her own research group at the Max- Planck Institute for Physiological and Clinical Research, Bad Nauheim, Germany in the department of Werner Risau (†December 13th, 1998) in 1993. In 1998 she obtained the Venia Legendi for Immunology and Cell Biology from the Medical Faculty of the Philipps University Marburg, Germany. From 1999 to 2003 she headed her research group as a senior group leader at the same institute and the Max-Planck-Institute for Vascular Cell Biology (Director Dietmar Vestweber) in Münster, Germany. In 2003 she accepted the call as Full Professor from the University of Bern.
Britta Engelhardt is an expert in brain barriers biology and her research is dedicated to understanding the role of the brain barriers in maintaining central nervous system (CNS) immune privilege. Using advanced in vitro and in vivo live cell imaging approaches her laboratory has significantly contributed to the current understanding of the anatomical routes and molecular mechansism used by immune cells to enter the CNS during immune surveillance and neuroinflammation in the context of multiple sclerosis and ischemic stoke. She regularly presents her findings and concepts as invited speaker and keynote speaker at international meetings.
Britta Engelhardt has served the scientific community by coordinating several national (Singergia UnmetMS, ProDocCellMigration) and international collaborative networks (JUSTBRIN, BtRAIN) dedicated to brain barriers research and neuroinflammation. She was elected Vice-Chair and Chair of the Gordon Research Conference Barriers of the CNS in 2016 and 2018, respectively and is the president of the Swiss Society for Microcirculation and Vascular Research (SSMVR).