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Hans R. Haecker

Hans R. Haecker, MD, PhD

Languages spoken: English

Academic Information

Departments Primary - Pathology

Academic Office Information

Board Certification

  • Bavarian State Medical Association (Sub: Microbiology and Infection Epidemiology)

Research Interests

  • Innate Immunity, Inflammation and Myelopoiesis
  • Inflammatory and Autoimmune Diseases
  • Role of Microbiota in Inflammatory Diseases
  • Anti-Inflammatory Drug Discovery
  • Signal Transduction

Hans Haecker, MD, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Pathology, Division of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Utah. He is currently also serving as the director of the Basic Immunology course and as Co-Chair of the Department Advisory Committee (DAC). He is Co-Founder and Board Member of He is also member of the Cell Response and Regulation program within the Huntsman Cancer Institute and member in the Center for Iron & Heme Disorders (CIHD) at the University of Utah.

Dr. Haecker received is MD from the University of Ulm and his PhD and MD board certification from the Technical University Munich/ Germany. While there, he explored how innate immune cells recognize and respond to pathogenic DNA. He then moved on to a postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Karin at the University of San Diego, California, where he studied the signaling pathways used by Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and their role in inflammation and host protection. He then joined the faculty of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he expanded his work on TLR signaling towards different inflammation/ autoimmune disease models, blood cell development (myelopoiesis) and drug discovery. After 13+ years at St. Jude, he moved to the University of Utah, where he joined the faculty of the Department of Pathology, Division of Microbiology & Immunology. Here, he continues with his previous work, with the addition of the role of the microbiota in inflammatory diseases and the development of innovative point-of-care diagnostics, which is also the basis of the startup company

The major focus of the Haecker lab is on innate immunity/ inflammation and inflammatory/ autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and psoriasis. While many clinical aspects of these devastating diseases are known, major aspects related to their etiology (providing the basis for therapeutics development) remain uncertain. Those aspects include molecular mechanisms of signaling pathways, cell differentiation programs of involved immune cells and, likely, the participation of the microbiota. Exploring such underlying mechanisms and translating discoveries into novel therapeutic approaches is a major goal of the Haecker lab.

Education History

Postdoctoral Fellowship University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
Postdoctoral Fellow
Technical University of Munich
Residency University of Ulm
University of Ulm

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Piperno GM, Naseem A, Silvestrelli G, Amadio R, Caronni N, Cervantes Luevano KE, Liv N, Klumperman J, Colliva A, Ali H, Graziano F, Benaroch P, Haecker H, Hanna RN, Benvenuti F (2020). Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein restricts cGAS-STING activation by dsDNA immune complexes. JCI Insight. (Read full article)
  2. Kuriakose J, Redecke V, Guy C, Zhou J, Wu R, Ippagunta SK, Tillman H, Walker PD, Vogel P, Hcker H (2019). Patrolling monocytes promote the pathogenesis of early lupus-like glomerulonephritis.LID - 10.1172/JCI125116 [doi]LID - 125116 [pii]. J Clin Invest, 130. (Read full article)
  3. Pollock JA, Sharma N, Ippagunta SK, Redecke V, Hcker H, Katzenellenbogen JA (2018). Triaryl Pyrazole Toll-Like Receptor Signaling Inhibitors: Structure-Activity Relationships Governing Pan- and Selective Signaling Inhibitors. ChemMedChem, 13(20), 2208-2216. (Read full article)
  4. Ippagunta SK, Pollock JA, Sharma N, Lin W, Chen T, Tawaratsumida K, High AA, Min J, Chen Y, Guy RK, Redecke V, Katzenellenbogen JA, Hcker H (2018). Identification of Toll-like receptor signaling inhibitors based on selective activation of hierarchically acting signaling proteins.LID - eaaq1077 [pii]LID - 10.1126/scisignal.aaq1077 [doi]. Sci Signal, 11(543). (Read full article)
  5. Leithner A, Renkawitz J, De Vries I, Hauschild R, Hcker H, Sixt M (2018). Fast and efficient genetic engineering of hematopoietic precursor cells for the study of dendritic cell migration. Eur J Immunol, 48(6), 1074-1077. (Read full article)
  6. Yang CH, Wang Y, Sims M, Cai C, He P, Hcker H, Yue J, Cheng J, Boop FA, Pfeffer LM (2017). MicroRNA203a suppresses glioma tumorigenesis through an ATM-dependent interferon response pathway. Oncotarget, 8(68), 112980-112991. (Read full article)
  7. Di Ceglie I, van den Akker GG, Ascone G, Ten Harkel B, Hcker H, van de Loo FA, Koenders MI, van der Kraan PM, de Vries TJ, Vogl T, Roth J, van Lent PL (2017). Genetic modification of ER-Hoxb8 osteoclast precursors using CRISPR/Cas9 as a novel way to allow studies on osteoclast biology. J Leukoc Biol, 101(4), 957-966. (Read full article)
  8. Penkert RR, Jones BG, Hcker H, Partridge JF, Hurwitz JL (2017). Vitamin A differentially regulates cytokine expression in respiratory epithelial and macrophage cell lines. Cytokine, 91, 1-5. (Read full article)
  9. Grajkowska LT, Ceribelli M, Lau CM, Warren ME, Tiniakou I, Nakandakari Higa S, Bunin A, Hcker H, Mirny LA, Staudt LM, Reizis B (2017). Isoform-Specific Expression and Feedback Regulation of E Protein TCF4 Control Dendritic Cell Lineage Specification. Immunity, 46(1), 65-77. (Read full article)
  10. Ippagunta SK, Gangwar R, Finkelstein D, Vogel P, Pelletier S, Gingras S, Redecke V, Hcker H (2016). Keratinocytes contribute intrinsically to psoriasis upon loss of Tnip1 function. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 113(41), E6162-E6171. (Read full article)
  11. Kaewborisuth C, Zanin M, Hcker H, Webby RJ, Lekcharoensuk P (2016). G45R mutation in the nonstructural protein 1 of A/Puerto Rico/8/1934 (H1N1) enhances viral replication independent of dsRNA-binding activity and type I interferon biology. Virol J, 13, 127. (Read full article)
  12. Redecke V, Chaturvedi V, Kuriakose J, Hcker H (2016). SHARPIN controls the development of regulatory T cells. Immunology, 148(2), 216-26. (Read full article)
  13. Bunin A, Sisirak V, Ghosh HS, Grajkowska LT, Hou ZE, Miron M, Yang C, Ceribelli M, Uetani N, Chaperot L, Plumas J, Hendriks W, Tremblay ML, Hcker H, Staudt LM, Green PH, Bhagat G, Reizis B (2015). Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase PTPRS Is an Inhibitory Receptor on Human and Murine Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells. Immunity, 43(2), 277-88. (Read full article)
  14. Wache C, Klein M, Ostergaard C, Angele B, Hcker H, Pfister HW, Pruenster M, Sperandio M, Leanderson T, Roth J, Vogl T, Koedel U (2015). Myeloid-related protein 14 promotes inflammation and injury in meningitis. J Infect Dis, 212(2), 247-57. (Read full article)
  15. Tawaratsumida K, Phan V, Hrincius ER, High AA, Webby R, Redecke V, Hcker H (2014). Quantitative proteomic analysis of the influenza A virus nonstructural proteins NS1 and NS2 during natural cell infection identifies PACT as an NS1 target protein and antiviral host factor. J Virol, 88(16), 9038-48. (Read full article)
  16. Schwab L, Goroncy L, Palaniyandi S, Gautam S, Triantafyllopoulou A, Mocsai A, Reichardt W, Karlsson FJ, Radhakrishnan SV, Hanke K, Schmitt-Graeff A, Freudenberg M, von Loewenich FD, Wolf P, Leonhardt F, Baxan N, Pfeifer D, Schmah O, Schonle A, Martin SF, Mertelsmann R, Duyster J, Finke J, Prinz M, Henneke P, Hcker H, Hildebrandt GC, Hcker G, Zeiser R (2014). Neutrophil granulocytes recruited upon translocation of intestinal bacteria enhance graft-versus-host disease via tissue damage. Nat Med, 20(6), 648-54. (Read full article)
  17. Klein M, Brouwer MC, Angele B, Geldhoff M, Marquez G, Varona R, Hcker G, Schmetzer H, Hcker H, Hammerschmidt S, van der Ende A, Pfister HW, van de Beek D, Koedel U (2014). Leukocyte attraction by CCL20 and its receptor CCR6 in humans and mice with pneumococcal meningitis. PLoS One, 9(4), e93057. (Read full article)
  18. Redecke V, Wu R, Zhou J, Finkelstein D, Chaturvedi V, High AA, Hcker H (2013). Hematopoietic progenitor cell lines with myeloid and lymphoid potential. Nat Methods, 10(8), 795-803. (Read full article)
  19. Gautam S, Kirschnek S, Gentle IE, Kopiniok C, Henneke P, Hcker H, Malleret L, Belaaouaj A, Hcker G (2013). Survival and differentiation defects contribute to neutropenia in glucose-6-phosphatase-beta (G6PC3) deficiency in a model of mouse neutrophil granulocyte differentiation. Cell Death Differ, 20(8), 1068-79. (Read full article)
  20. Hohne C, Wenzel M, Angele B, Hammerschmidt S, Hcker H, Klein M, Bierhaus A, Sperandio M, Pfister HW, Koedel U (2013). High mobility group box 1 prolongs inflammation and worsens disease in pneumococcal meningitis. Brain, 136(Pt 6), 1746-59. (Read full article)
  21. LeMessurier KS, Hcker H, Chi L, Tuomanen E, Redecke V (2013). Type I interferon protects against pneumococcal invasive disease by inhibiting bacterial transmigration across the lung. PLoS Pathog, 9(11), e1003727. (Read full article)
  22. Hcker H, Chi L, Rehg JE, Redecke V (2012). NIK prevents the development of hypereosinophilic syndrome-like disease in mice independent of IKKalpha activation. J Immunol, 188(9), 4602-10. (Read full article)
  23. Zhou J, Wu R, High AA, Slaughter CA, Finkelstein D, Rehg JE, Redecke V, Hcker H (2011). A20-binding inhibitor of NF-kappaB (ABIN1) controls Toll-like receptor-mediated CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein beta activation and protects from inflammatory disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 108(44), E998-1006. (Read full article)
  24. Kirschnek S, Vier J, Gautam S, Frankenberg T, Rangelova S, Eitz-Ferrer P, Grespi F, Ottina E, Villunger A, Hcker H, Hcker G (2011). Molecular analysis of neutrophil spontaneous apoptosis reveals a strong role for the pro-apoptotic BH3-only protein Noxa. Cell Death Differ, 18(11), 1805-14. (Read full article)
  25. Stempin CC, Chi L, Giraldo-Vela JP, High AA, Hcker H, Redecke V (2011). The E3 ubiquitin ligase mind bomb-2 (MIB2) protein controls B-cell CLL/lymphoma 10 (BCL10)-dependent NF-kappaB activation. J Biol Chem, 286(43), 37147-57. (Read full article)
  26. Garrison SP, Thornton JA, Hcker H, Webby R, Rehg JE, Parganas E, Zambetti GP, Tuomanen EI (2010). The p53-target gene puma drives neutrophil-mediated protection against lethal bacterial sepsis. PLoS Pathog, 6(12), e1001240. (Read full article)
  27. LeMessurier K, Hcker H, Tuomanen E, Redecke V (2010). Inhibition of T cells provides protection against early invasive pneumococcal disease. Infect Immun, 78(12), 5287-94. (Read full article)
  28. Woehrl B, Klein M, Rupprecht T, Schmetzer H, Angele B, Hcker H, Hcker G, Pfister HW, Koedel U (2010). CXCL16 contributes to neutrophil recruitment to cerebrospinal fluid in pneumococcal meningitis. J Infect Dis, 202(9), 1389-96. (Read full article)
  29. Koedel U, Frankenberg T, Kirschnek S, Obermaier B, Hcker H, Paul R, Hcker G (2009). Apoptosis is essential for neutrophil functional shutdown and determines tissue damage in experimental pneumococcal meningitis. PLoS Pathog, 5(5), e1000461. (Read full article)
  30. Wang H, Matsuzawa A, Brown SA, Zhou J, Guy CS, Tseng PH, Forbes K, Nicholson TP, Sheppard PW, Hcker H, Karin M, Vignali DA (2008). Analysis of nondegradative protein ubiquitylation with a monoclonal antibody specific for lysine-63-linked polyubiquitin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 105(51), 20197-202. (Read full article)
  31. Into T, Inomata M, Nakashima M, Shibata K, Hcker H, Matsushita K (2008). Regulation of MyD88-dependent signaling events by S nitrosylation retards toll-like receptor signal transduction and initiation of acute-phase immune responses. Mol Cell Biol, 28(4), 1338-47. (Read full article)
  32. Frankenberg T, Kirschnek S, Hcker H, Hcker G (2008). Phagocytosis-induced apoptosis of macrophages is linked to uptake, killing and degradation of bacteria. Eur J Immunol, 38(1), 204-15. (Read full article)
  33. El Kasmi KC, Smith AM, Williams L, Neale G, Panopoulos AD, Watowich SS, Hcker H, Foxwell BM, Murray PJ (2007). Cutting edge: A transcriptional repressor and corepressor induced by the STAT3-regulated anti-inflammatory signaling pathway. J Immunol, 179(11), 7215-9. (Read full article)
  34. Wang GG, Calvo KR, Pasillas MP, Sykes DB, Hcker H, Kamps MP (2006). Quantitative production of macrophages or neutrophils ex vivo using conditional Hoxb8. Nat Methods, 3(4), 287-93. (Read full article)
  35. Hcker H, Redecke V, Blagoev B, Kratchmarova I, Hsu LC, Wang GG, Kamps MP, Raz E, Wagner H, Hcker G, Mann M, Karin M (2006). Specificity in Toll-like receptor signalling through distinct effector functions of TRAF3 and TRAF6. Nature, 439(7073), 204-7. (Read full article)
  36. Kirschnek S, Ying S, Fischer SF, Hcker H, Villunger A, Hochrein H, Hcker G (2005). Phagocytosis-induced apoptosis in macrophages is mediated by up-regulation and activation of the Bcl-2 homology domain 3-only protein Bim. J Immunol, 174(2), 671-9. (Read full article)
  37. Amir RE, Hcker H, Karin M, Ciechanover A (2004). Mechanism of processing of the NF-kappa B2 p100 precursor: identification of the specific polyubiquitin chain-anchoring lysine residue and analysis of the role of NEDD8-modification on the SCF(beta-TrCP) ubiquitin ligase. Oncogene, 23(14), 2540-7. (Read full article)
  38. Redecke V, Hcker H, Datta SK, Fermin A, Pitha PM, Broide DH, Raz E (2004). Cutting edge: activation of Toll-like receptor 2 induces a Th2 immune response and promotes experimental asthma. J Immunol, 172(5), 2739-43. (Read full article)
  39. Seegmuller I, Hcker H, Wagner H (2003). IL-4 regulates IL-12 p40 expression post-transcriptionally as well as via a promoter-based mechanism. Eur J Immunol, 33(2), 428-33. (Read full article)
  40. Hcker H, Furmann C, Wagner H, Hcker G (2002). Caspase-9/-3 activation and apoptosis are induced in mouse macrophages upon ingestion and digestion of Escherichia coli bacteria. J Immunol, 169(6), 3172-9. (Read full article)
  41. Ahmad-Nejad P, Hcker H, Rutz M, Bauer S, Vabulas RM, Wagner H (2002). Bacterial CpG-DNA and lipopolysaccharides activate Toll-like receptors at distinct cellular compartments. Eur J Immunol, 32(7), 1958-68. (Read full article)
  42. Vabulas RM, Ahmad-Nejad P, da Costa C, Miethke T, Kirschning CJ, Hcker H, Wagner H (2001). Endocytosed HSP60s use toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and TLR4 to activate the toll/interleukin-1 receptor signaling pathway in innate immune cells. J Biol Chem, 276(33), 31332-9. (Read full article)
  43. Bauer S, Kirschning CJ, Hcker H, Redecke V, Hausmann S, Akira S, Wagner H, Lipford GB (2001). Human TLR9 confers responsiveness to bacterial DNA via species-specific CpG motif recognition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 98(16), 9237-42. (Read full article)
  44. Hcker H, Vabulas RM, Takeuchi O, Hoshino K, Akira S, Wagner H (2000). Immune cell activation by bacterial CpG-DNA through myeloid differentiation marker 88 and tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor (TRAF)6. J Exp Med, 192(4), 595-600. (Read full article)
  45. Vabulas RM, Pircher H, Lipford GB, Hcker H, Wagner H (2000). CpG-DNA activates in vivo T cell epitope presenting dendritic cells to trigger protective antiviral cytotoxic T cell responses. J Immunol, 164(5), 2372-8. (Read full article)
  46. Schrezenmeier H, Hildebrand A, Rojewski M, Hcker H, Heimpel H, Raghavachar A (2000). Paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria: a replacement of haematopoietic tissue? Acta Haematol, 103(1), 41-8. (Read full article)
  47. Hcker H, Mischak H, Hacker G, Eser S, Prenzel N, Ullrich A, Wagner H (1999). Cell type-specific activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases by CpG-DNA controls interleukin-12 release from antigen-presenting cells. EMBO J, 18(24), 6973-82. (Read full article)
  48. Hcker H, Mischak H, Miethke T, Liptay S, Schmid R, Sparwasser T, Heeg K, Lipford GB, Wagner H (1998). CpG-DNA-specific activation of antigen-presenting cells requires stress kinase activity and is preceded by non-specific endocytosis and endosomal maturation. EMBO J, 17(21), 6230-40. (Read full article)
  49. Sparwasser T, Miethke T, Lipford G, Erdmann A, Hcker H, Heeg K, Wagner H (1997). Macrophages sense pathogens via DNA motifs: induction of tumor necrosis factor-alpha-mediated shock. Eur J Immunol, 27(7), 1671-9. (Read full article)
  50. Sparwasser T, Miethke T, Lipford G, Borschert K, Hcker H, Heeg K, Wagner H (1997). Bacterial DNA causes septic shock. Nature, 386(6623), 336-7. (Read full article)
  51. del Val M, Hengel H, Hcker H, Hartlaub U, Ruppert T, Lucin P, Koszinowski UH (1992). Cytomegalovirus prevents antigen presentation by blocking the transport of peptide-loaded major histocompatibility complex class I molecules into the medial-Golgi compartment. J Exp Med, 176(3), 729-38. (Read full article)


  1. Hcker H, Tseng PH, Karin M (2011). Expanding TRAF function: TRAF3 as a tri-faced immune regulator. [Review]. Nat Rev Immunol, 11(7), 457-68. (Read full article)
  2. Hcker H, Karin M (2006). Regulation and function of IKK and IKK-related kinases. [Review]. Sci STKE, 2006(357), re13. (Read full article)
  3. Hcker H, Karin M (2002). Is NF-kappaB2/p100 a direct activator of programmed cell death? [Review]. Cancer Cell, 2(6), 431-3. (Read full article)
  4. Hcker G, Redecke V, Hcker H (2002). Activation of the immune system by bacterial CpG-DNA. [Review]. Immunology, 105(3), 245-51. (Read full article)
  5. Wagner H, Lipford GB, Hcker H (2000). The role of immunostimulatory CpG-DNA in septic shock. [Review]. Springer Semin Immunopathol, 22(1-2), 167-71. (Read full article)
  6. Wagner H, Hcker H, Lipford GB (2000). Immunostimulatory DNA sequences help to eradicate intracellular pathogens. [Review]. Springer Semin Immunopathol, 22(1-2), 147-52. (Read full article)
  7. Hcker H (2000). Signal transduction pathways activated by CpG-DNA. [Review]. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol, 247, 77-92. (Read full article)
  8. Heeg K, Sparwasser T, Lipford GB, Hcker H, Zimmermann S, Wagner H (1998). Bacterial DNA as an evolutionary conserved ligand signalling danger of infection to immune cells. [Review]. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis, 17(7), 464-9. (Read full article)

Book Chapter

  1. Hcker H, Karin M (2006). Regulation of IKK. In Handbook of Transcription Factor NF-kappaB (pp. 25-51). CRC Press.


  1. Häcker H, Katzenellenbogen J, Pollock J (2019). Toll-Like Receptor Signaling Inhibitors. U.S. Patent No. 62613137. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  2. Häcker H (2015). Method for Generation of Conditionally Immortalized Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell Lines with Multiple Lineage Potential. U.S. Patent No. 2015/0087065. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.