Trauma remains one of the leading causes of death especially in people below the age of 45, with more than 5 million deaths worldwide every year. Around 20% of ICU patients face multiple organ dysfunction and failure during the clinical course, resulting in substantial morbidity. This clinical picture can be caused by excessive inflammation, leukocyte tissue recruitment, and breakdown of intercellular barriers, leading to edema formation, end organ damage, and functional deficits. The group is focused on unraveling the underlying pathomechanisms of barrier and organ dysfunction in order to advance diagnostic and preventive strategies. In this context, current studies address trauma-induced acute kidney injury (TRAKI), the role of adipose tissue after trauma, systemic inflammation, and the significance of hemorrhagic shock as a driver of posttraumatic barrier and organ damage.

Group Leader

Profilbild von PD Dr. rer. nat. Rebecca Halbgebauer

PD Dr. rer. nat. Rebecca Halbgebauer

Deputy Head ITI, Group Leader AG MODS



Glomerulus in acute kidney injury:

Complement (C3d) deposition (in red),
podocytes (in green),
and nucleus staining (in blue).




  • Halbgebauer, R., Halbgebauer, S., Oeckl, P., Steinacker, P., Weihe, E., Schafer, M.K., Roselli, F., Gebhard, F., Huber-Lang, M., Otto, M. (2022) Neurochemical Monitoring of Traumatic Brain Injury by the Combined Analysis of Plasma Beta-Synuclein, NfL, and GFAP in Polytraumatized Patients. Int J Mol Sci. 23(17), 9639.

  • Wrba, L., Halbgebauer, R., Roos, J., Huber-Lang, M., and Fischer-Posovszky, P. (2022) Adipose tissue: a neglected organ in the response to severe trauma? Cell Mol Life Sci 79, 207

  • Appiah, S. A., Foxx, C. L., Langgartner, D., Palmer, A., Zambrano, C. A., Braumuller, S., Schaefer, E. J., Wachter, U., Elam, B. L., Radermacher, P., Stamper, C. E., Heinze, J. D., Salazar, S. N., Luthens, A. K., Arnold, A. L., Reber, S. O., Huber-Lang, M., Lowry, C. A., and Halbgebauer, R. (2021) Evaluation of the gut microbiome in association with biological signatures of inflammation in murine polytrauma and shock. Sci Rep 11, 6665

  • Messerer, D. A. C., Halbgebauer, R., Nilsson, B., Pavenstadt, H., Radermacher, P., and Huber-Lang, M. (2021) Immunopathophysiology of trauma-related acute kidney injury. Nat Rev Nephrol 17, 91-111

  • Mannes, M., Dopler, A., Zolk, O., Lang, S. J., Halbgebauer, R., Hochsmann, B., Skerra, A., Braun, C. K., Huber-Lang, M., Schrezenmeier, H., and Schmidt, C. Q. (2021) Complement inhibition at the level of C3 or C5: mechanistic reasons for ongoing terminal pathway activity. Blood 137, 443-455

  • Debler, L., Palmer, A., Braumuller, S., Klohs, B., Mollnes, T. E., Holzmann, K., Huber-Lang, M., and Halbgebauer, R. (2021) Hemorrhagic Shock Induces a Rapid Transcriptomic Shift of the Immune Balance in Leukocytes after Experimental Multiple Injury. Mediators Inflamm 2021, 6654318

  • Halbgebauer, R., Karasu, E., Braun, C. K., Palmer, A., Braumueller, S., Schultze, A., Schäfer, F., Bückle, S., Eigner, A., Wachter, U., Radermacher, P., Resuello, R. R. G., Tuplano, J. V., Nilsson-Ekdahl, K., Nilsson, B., Armacki, M., Kleger, A., Seufferlein, T., Kalbitz, M., Gebhard, F., Lambris, J. D., van Griensven, M., and Huber-Lang, M. (2020) Thirty-eight-negative Kinase 1 Is a Mediator of Acute Kidney Injury in Experimental and Clinical Traumatic Hemorrhagic Shock. Front Immunol 11, 2081

  • Karasu, E., Demmelmaier, J., Kellermann, S., Holzmann, K., Kohl, J., Schmidt, C. Q., Kalbitz, M., Gebhard, F., Huber-Lang, M. S., and Halbgebauer, R. (2020) Complement C5a Induces Pro-inflammatory Microvesicle Shedding in Severely Injured Patients. Front Immunol 11, 1789

  • Halbgebauer, R., Kellermann, S., Schafer, F., Weckbach, S., Weiss, M., Barth, E., Bracht, H., Kalbitz, M., Gebhard, F., Huber-Lang, M. S., and Perl, M. (2020) Functional immune monitoring in severely injured patients-A pilot study. Scand J Immunol 91, e12837

  • Wrba, L., Ohmann, J. J., Eisele, P., Chakraborty, S., Braumuller, S., Braun, C. K., Klohs, B., Schultze, A., von, B. H., Palmer, A., Huber-Lang, M., and Halbgebauer, R. (2019) Remote Intestinal Injury Early After Experimental Polytrauma and Hemorrhagic Shock. Shock 52, e45-e51

  • Halbgebauer, R., Braun, C. K., Denk, S., Mayer, B., Cinelli, P., Radermacher, P., Wanner, G. A., Simmen, H. P., Gebhard, F., Rittirsch, D., and Huber-Lang, M. (2018) Hemorrhagic shock drives glycocalyx, barrier and organ dysfunction early after polytrauma. J Crit Care 44, 229-237

All publications on PubMed




2023 - 2026DFG funding for a project within the CRC1149
2023Position funded by a Hertha-Nathorff program stipend
2020 - 2022Bausteinprogramm Medizinische Fakultät Ulm
2020, 2021Start-Up Funding by the CRC1149
2020Laboratory support by the Hertha-Nathorff program of Ulm University
2019Start-up project funding by the CRC1149


Students and alumni

  • Alitsia Ast (medical dissertation)
  • Yvonne Kimmig (medical dissertation)
  • Claudius Berger (medical dissertation)
  • Florian Weißhaupt (medical dissertation)
  • Michael Steinberger (medical dissertation)
  • Christina Rastner (medical dissertation)
  • Onno Borgel (medical dissertation)
  • Lorena Schult (medical dissertation)


  • Natalia Wisowski (Bachelor thesis)
  • Nicole Biebel (Master thesis)
  • Ebru Karasu-​Trübenbach (PhD thesis)
  • Alica Eigner (medical dissertation)
  • Sarah Bückle (Bachelor thesis)
  • Lisa Debler (medical dissertation)
  • Jonas Wrba (medical dissertation)
  • Fabian Schäfer (medical dissertation)
  • Josephine Ohmann (medical dissertation)
  • Julia Demmelmaier (medical dissertation)
  • Felix Hönes (medical dissertation)



  • F. Gebhard (Department of Trauma Surgery, University Medical Center Ulm)

  • K. Danzer (German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Ulm, and Neurology, University Clinic, University of Ulm)

  • M. Otto (Department of Neurology, Ulm University, and Department of Neurology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg)

  • P. Radermacher (Institute of Pathophysiology and Process Development in Anesthesia, Ulm University)

  • F. Roselli (German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Ulm, and Neurology, University of Ulm)

  • C. Schmidt (Institute of Pharmacology of Natural Products and Clinical Pharmacology, Ulm University)

  • T. Seufferlein (Department of Internal Medicine I, University Medical Center Ulm)

  • G. Kerckhofs (Institute of Mechanics, Materials, and Civil Engineering, UCLouvain, Belgium)

  • C. A. Lowry (Department of Integrative Physiology and Center for Microbial Exploration, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA)

  • B. Nilsson (Department of Clinical Immunology, Uppsala University, Sweden)

  • K. Nilsson Ekdahl (Department of Clinical Immunology, Uppsala University, Sweden)

  • M. Ratajczak (Cancer Biology, University of Louisville´s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Louisville, USA)

  • D. Rittirsch (Dept. of Trauma Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland)

  • M. van Griensven (CBITE, MERLN, Fac. Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Netherlands)