Tobias Lanz, MD is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Immunity, Transplantation, and Infection and the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology at Stanford. His research focuses on B cell biology in neuroimmunological diseases and rheumatic diseases with neurological manifestations. He uses high-throughput screening technologies, and methods from structural and cell biology to identify new autoantigens and to understand how certain self-reactive B cells escape tolerance mechanisms. He is particularly interested in molecular mechanisms that explain the association between Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) and autoimmunity.
Tobias went to medical school at the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen, Germany and at the University College of London. He wrote his MD thesis at Dr. Michael Platten's laboratory at the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research in Tübingen, Germany before joining Dr. Lawrence Steinman’s neuroimmunological laboratory at Stanford as a research scholar. After medical school he pursued his scientific and clinical training at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Department of Neurology at the University Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany. In 2015 he joined Dr. William Robinson’s lab at Stanford, where he investigated environmental triggers of autoimmunity, including viruses and milk consumption. In his most recent work, he characterized the B cell repertoire in the spinal fluid of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and identified molecular mimicry between EBV EBNA1 and the glial cellular adhesion molecule GlialCAM as a driver of neuroinflammation (Lanz et al., Nature, 2022). His long term objective is to leverage these newly discovered mechanistic insights to develop next-generation biomarkers and therapeutics for autoimmune diseases.