Boyman Onur

Group Leader

Prof. Dr. med. Onur Boyman

Onur Boyman

Department of Immunology

University Hospital Zurich


Häldeliweg 4
8044 Zurich


Telefon / Phone

+41 44 634 1502

Group Members

Main Fields of Research

Our laboratory is interested in approaches modulating immune responses, thereby either stimulating the immune system against cancer and chronic viral infections or, alternatively, dampening harmful immune responses such as seen with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases or allograft rejection. One of our research focuses deals with the modification of cytokines for improved immunotherapy. As an example, the cytokine interleukin (IL)-2 can be conjugated to particular anti-IL-2 monoclonal antibodies to form IL-2 complexes. Certain IL-2 complexes are able to vigorously expand CD8+ T cells and natural killer (NK) cells, thereby leading to significant tumor control in different preclinical models of cancer. Combination of such IL-2 complexes with other stimulatory or modulatory agents even further increases the observed anti-tumor effects. Other IL-2 complexes selectively stimulate CD4+ CD25+ forkhead box p3 (Foxp3)+ regulatory T (Treg) cells, which are known to be crucial for peripheral immune tolerance. Use of these kind of Treg-selective IL-2 complexes in models of autoimmunity or graft rejection markedly reduces and delays the immunopathology associated with these conditions. Interestingly, cytokine complexes can also be generated using other cytokines, including IL-4, IL-7, IL-15, and others, thus opening the possibility of stimulating various immune cell subsets in a selective and potent manner.

Keywords for Research Fields

Cytokines, immunomodulation, immune tolerance, tumor immunotherapy, inflammation, autoimmunity, transplantation

Education and Training

We offer training opportunities for master students, PhD and MD-PhD students, as welll as postdoctoral researchers.

Selected Publications


  • Swiss National Science Foundation
  • Swiss Cancer League
  • University of Zurich
  • University Hospital Zurich
  • Eurostars
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • Helmut Horten Foundation
  • LEO Pharma Research Foundation
  • National Psoriasis Foundation
  • Novartis Foundation for Medical-Biological Research