International Journal of Immunology is a peer-reviewed open access journal that publishes original research articles as well as review articles in all areas of immunology. Immunology is a diverse and growing discipline that can be defined as the study of the tissues, cells and molecules involved in host defense mechanisms. Immunologists attempt to understand how the immune system develops, how the body defends itself against disease, and what happens when it all goes wrong. Priority is given to work that provides fundamental insight into the workings of the immune system. Areas covered include, but are not limited to, innate immunity and inflammation; development; immune receptors, signaling and apoptosis; antigen presentation; gene regulation and recombination; cellular and systemic immunity; vaccines; immune tolerance; autoimmunity and tumor immunology, microbial immunopathology; and transplantation.

The great advances in immunology in recent years make this field one of the most dynamic and rapidly growing in biological sciences. This remarkable growth is stimulated by the influx of investigators from other disciplines such as biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, microbiology, virology and various medical disciplines. These disciplines are so well interlinked with immunology that no immunological challenge can now be properly addressed without sophisticated applications of expertise of combinations of these disciplines. As a consequence, immunology has become a vast and rich field encompassing discoveries and outlooks that range from the highly clinical to the highly molecular. Although such perspectives may appear diverse, they are, in fact, extremely interdependent. The journal seeks to present a balanced overview of contemporary immunology and melds together different aspects of molecular immunology, immunobiology and clinical immunology.

Immunology is the branch of biomedical science that deals with the response of an organism to antigenic challenge and its recognition of what is self and what is not. It deals with the defense mechanisms including all physical, chemical and biological properties of the organism that help it to combat its susceptibility to foreign organisms, material, etc

Immunology has its origins in the study of how the body protects itself against infectious diseases caused by microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi, and also parasitic organisms, such as helminth worms. Research / review articles deals with, among other things, the physiological functioning of the immune system in states of both health and disease; malfunctions of the immune system in immunological disorders (autoimmune diseases, hypersensitivities, immune deficiency, transplant rejection); the physical, chemical and physiological characteristics of the components of the immune system in vitro, in situ, and in vivo are of prime interest.




Irene Maier

Principal Investigator

Born in a small town in Lower Austria, Irene studied Biochemistry at the University of Vienna and earned her PhD for the development of an optical immunochip for the rapid detection of allergens in complex food matrices in 2007. For her postdoc she went to California, started at Caltech in Pasadena and later moved to UCLA in Los Angeles. She is interested in the molecular understanding of immune diseases and molecular toxicology and oncology. In her most recent work with NASA she established broad cancer research projects with a team of international collaborators committed to high-level space biology. Her work is highly interdisciplinary and impacts novel scientific advances through radiation-mediated toxicity and genomic instability in the fields of space biology and radiation biology.

Dr. Maier’s research is aiming at establishing translational research that emphasizes new microbiota-related biomarkers for side-effects of local pelvic radiation therapy, e.g. in pelvic bones and rectum. Her work has been published in top-ranked journals, including, e.g. Analytical Chemistry, Cancer Research, and Radiation Research.

Irene is a member of the Austrian Society for Radiation Oncology, Radiobiology and Medical Radiation Physics and the American Society for Radiation Oncology, as well as several of the most prestigious professional associations in the world. She has gained experience through international teaching, mentoring, and leadership activities and teaches patho-biochemistry with a focus on the development and metabolism of cancer and molecular genotoxicity. The goal of her course is to integrate molecular biology with key mechanisms underlying disease development and their applications in therapy.

Current Research

  • Radiation-induced intestinal microbiota changes
  • Osteo-immunogenicity
  • Protein-metabolism
  • Cancer cell metabolism and genotoxicity
  • Radiation oncology

Interested topics

  • Space biology
  • Mucosal immunity
  • Safety to radiation exposure
  • Mentoring
  • Mouse model


  • 2018 – ASciNA (Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America) Mentoring Program (Coordination)
  • 2017 – Fulbright Visiting Scholar for Teaching and Research at University of California, Riverside
  • 2017 - University of Trento, Trento, Italy, April 3, 2017, Osteo-immunogenicity and intestinal microbiota in radiotherapy (Invited by Prof. Dr. Marco Durante)
  • 2017 - FrauennetzwerkMedizin (Senior Mentoring Program)
  • 2016 - Nutrition Day, Interdisciplinary Career Platform, Vienna, Austria, April 8, 2016, Nutrition and Microbiome (Invited Speaker)
  • 2014 - Chapter Head ASciNA Alumni Vienna
  • 2012 - Head of Chapter Pacific South, Ascina
  • 2011 - UC Berkeley, NSF Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), Program in Cell, Developmental and Evolutionary Biology – Panel: Int. Perspectives on Research
  • 2011 - Annual Meeting - Science without Borders, Washington, DC, February 17-21, 2011, Career Develop. Workshop: How to Use a Fellowship Program to Jumpstart Your Career (Panel)
  • 2009 - Caltech, Pasadena, Women mentoring Women-program (MENTOR)            
  • 2008 - DSM Science and Technology Award (South), 2nd prize winner         
  • 2006 - International UNESCO-L’Oréal Fellowship for Young Women in Sciences
  • 2005 - Research Fellowship from the University of Vienna                                  
  • 2005 - Mentoring program, University of Vienna (MENTEE)    
  • 2003 - Scholarship from the University of Vienna
  • 2002 - Siegfried Ludwig-Fonds Fellowship
  • 2001 - Student Union Spokesman at the University of Vienna
  • 2001 - Executive Director of the Union AktionsGemeinschaftNawi

Prof. Dr. James Borneman, PhD: College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, UCR;

Prof. Dr. Amrita Cheema, PhD: Georgetown University Washington, DC;

Prof. Dr. Robert Schiestl: Professor of Pathology, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA;

Prof. Dr. William McBride, PhD, DSc: Division of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, UCLA;

Dr. Ruth Globus, PhD, and Dr. Joshua Alwood, PhD, NASA AMES Research Center, Moffet Field, CA;

Dr. Oz Sharabi, PhD: Hazera Genetics, Sderot, Israel.

American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO);

Austrian Society for Radiation Oncology, Radiobiology and Medical Radiation Physics (ÖGRO);

American Chemical Society (ACS);

Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America (ASciNA);

Caltech Alumni Association;

Association for Women in Science (AWIS)