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ImmunoSensation - the immune sensory system

Western Diet enhances Inflammation - Cell Publication

January 12, 2018


The immune system reacts similarly to a high fat and high calorie diet as to a bacterial infection. This is shown by a recent study led by the Cluster member Prof. Dr. Eicke Latz, who is director of the Institute of Innate Immunity Bonn.
Particularly disturbing: Unhealthy food seems to make the body’s defenses more aggressive in the long term. Even long after switching to a healthy diet, inflammation towards innate immune stimulation is more pronounced. These long-term changes may be involved in the development of arteriosclerosis and diabetes, diseases linked to Western diet consumption. The results will be published in the journal ‘Cell’.
“Genomic studies did, in fact, show that the Western diet had activated a large number of genes in the progenitor cells. The genes affected included those responsible for proliferation and maturation“, explains cluster member Prof. Dr. Joachim Schultze from the Life & Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES) and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE).
Publication: Anette Christ, Patrick Günther, Mario A.R. Lauterbach , Peter Duewell, Debjani Biswas, Karin Pelka, Claus J. Scholz, Marije Oosting, Kristian Haendler, Kevin Baßler, Kathrin Klee, Jonas Schulte-Schrepping, Thomas Ulas, Simone J.C.F.M. Moorlag, Vinod Kumar, Min Hi Park, Leo A.B. Joosten, Laszlo A. Groh, Niels P. Riksen, Terje Espevik, Andreas Schlitzer, Yang Li, Michael L. Fitzgerald, Mihai G. Netea, Joachim L. Schultze und Eicke Latz: Western diet triggers NLRP3-dependent innate immune reprograming; Cell, 11.1.2018, DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.12.013
Find the german press release here and the english press release here.


Open spots for the Translational Immunology School

January 08, 2018


Dear Cluster members and associated scientists,
we would like to announce that we have a limited number of Cluster fellowships for the Translational Immunology School (TIS) 2018. 
You can apply for a fellowship that covers travel costs and the registration fee, including courses, accommodation, full board and social program.
What? Translational Immunology School (please find more information here: and in the attachment)
When? March 15 – 17, 2018 
Where? Resort Schwielowsee - Potsdam
For whom? Cluster PhD students and postdocs
Application deadline? January 12, 2018
What do I have to do to apply for a fellowship?
Send a letter of motivation, a letter of recommendation and an abstract (in word format) before January 12, 2018 to
If you would like to apply but can’t submit your documents until Friday, January 12, please contact Catherine Drescher.


Cluster member Heneka publishes in Nature

December 21, 2017


Another great publication completes this fantastic year 2017.
Cluster member Prof. Heneka from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and his colleagues could publish their findings in the well-known Journal Nature.
According to a study now published in the journal “Nature”, inflammatory mechanisms caused by the brain’s immune system drive the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. These findings, which rely on a series of laboratory experiments, provide new insights into pathogenetic mechanisms that are believed to hold potential for tackling Alzheimer’s before symptoms manifest. The researchers envision that one day this may lead to new ways of treatment. Further institutions both from Europe and the US also contributed to the current results.
Congratulations to this amazing achievement!
Publication: “Microglia-derived ASC specks cross-seed ß-amyloid in Alzheimer’s disease”, Carmen Venegas, Sathish Kumar et al., Nature (2017), DOI: 10.1038/nature25158
Find the german press release here and the english press release here.


Immunity Publication by Prof. Schultze and Dr. Schlitzer

December 20, 2017


A new study by cluster member Prof. Joachim Schultze and Dr. Andreas Schlitzer was recently published in the renowned journal Immunity.
When the immune system mobilizes its troops, antigen-presenting cells play an important role. They can emerge from white blood cells (monocytes) that circulate in the blood. An international research team under the leadership of the University of Bonn has now taken a closer look at these important helpers. The research revealed that the monocyte-derived cells are not identical descendants, but rather a very diverse mixture. This finding is important for the further development of tailor-made immunotherapies for combating tumor cells.
Publication: Cellular differentiation of human monocytes is regulated by time-dependent IL4 signalling and NCOR2, Immunity, DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2017.11.024

Find the german press release here and the english press release here.


We are looking for a Data Scientist in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology

December 19, 2017


The Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation is looking for a Data Scientist in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology.
Have a look here to find further information about the job posting.


Prof. Latz and former member Prof. Hornung receive Leibniz Price

December 14, 2017


Congratulation to Prof. Eicke Latz, Institute of Innate Immunity and former cluster member Prof. Veit Hornung, now Gene Center Munich (LMU Munich) for receiving the most prestigious german research award: the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Price.
The Latz Lab has a longstanding interest in deciphering the molecular mechanisms of innate immune receptor activation. In particular, the lab is interested in understanding how innate recep- tors interact with their ligands and how this molecular interaction leads to receptor activation. Recently, we have also focused on the molecular details of the mechanisms that lead to the activation of the NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasome. Another goal is to devise means to pharmacologically interfere with the activation of innate immune receptors in order to develop novel approaches to treat in ammatory diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or atherosclerosis.
Eicke Latz and Veit Hornung are two of the most well-known researchers in the field of innate immunology. The two researchers share their price worth 1,25 Million Euro each.


Prof. Beck receives American Epilepsy Society Award

December 07, 2017


Cluster member Prof. Heinz Beck receives the prestigious Research Recognition Award of the American Epilepsy Society.
The price worth 10.000 Euro was presented at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society in Washington. It is one of the most distinguished prices in the research field of epileptology.
Congratulation to Prof. Heinz Beck for receiving this price.
You can find the german press release here.


Welcome Event for Doctoral Researchers

November 24, 2017


"Welcome Event for Doctoral Researchers" on December 05, 2017. 

Hosts are the Bonn Graduate Center and
the International Office (University of Bonn).

Registration deadline: November 29, 2017 

Date: December 05, 2017 Time: 05pm - 07pm 

Place: Fest- and Senatssaal, main University Building, Regina-Pacis-Weg 3, Bonn 

Including some "Glühwein".


Open PhD Position in Mass lab

November 17, 2017


The Mass laboratory at LIMES Institute, University of Bonn, is seeking a PhD student (m/f)
The research group of Dr. Elvira Mass is looking to recruit a highly motivated PhD student to join her group Developmental Biology of the Innate Immune System. Our research focuses on tissue-resident macrophages and their homeostatic functions. Specifically, we are interested how macrophages impact organ development and function during embryogenesis and postnatal stages on the cellular and molecular level. Based on new developmental and mechanistic knowledge, we seek to improve our understanding of disease pathophysiology and treatment.
We are part of the Life & Medical Science (LIMES) Institute, which is supported by DFG and Cluster of Excellence funding and which offers a great scientific environment for young researchers.
  • Previous experience in cell biology/immunology/hematopoiesis/animal models

  • The willingness to work with mice is a prerequisite

  • basic immunological and histological techniques such as flow cytometry and

    immunofluorescent stainings are beneficial

  • Programming skills (R/Python) for transcriptome analysis are advantageous

    Your application should include:

  • CV

  • brief summary of your previous work experience (max. 1/2 page)

  • contact information of referees and dates when you wish to start the position

  • optional: 1 page research proposal for your PhD project, which builds on the

    study Mass et al. Science 2016
    Enquiries and applications to: Dr. Elvira Mass

    Mass E., Jacome-Galarza C.E., Blank T., Lazarov T., Durham B.H., Ozkaya N., Pastore A., Schwabenland M., Chung Y.R., Rosenblum M.K., Prinz M., Abdel-Wahab O., Geissmann F. (2017) A somatic mutation in erythro-myeloid progenitors causes neurodegenerative disease. Nature. doi:10.1038/nature23672

    Mass E., Ballesteros I., Farlik M., Halbritter F., Günther P., Crozet L., Jacome-Galarza C.E., Handler K., Klughammer J., Kobayashi Y., Gomez-Perdiguero E., Schultze J.L., Beyer M., Bock C., Geissmann F. (2016) Specification of tissue-resident macrophages during organogenesis. Science. doi:10.1126/science.aaf4238

    Geissmann F., Mass E. (2016) A stratified myeloid system, the challenge of understanding macrophage diversity. Semin Immunol. doi:10.1016/j.smim.2016.03.016

    Mass E., Wachten D., Aschenbrenner A.C., Völzmann A., Hoch M. (2014) Murine Creld1 controls cardiac development through activation of calcineurin/NFATc1 signaling. Dev Cell. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2014.02.012


Application Deadline for Spring School extended

November 17, 2017


Spring School on Immunology 2018

March 18th to March 23rd, 2018
Ettal, Bavaria

The application deadline is November 30, 2017.



The Spring School on Immunology is an advanced training in specialized immunological topics for scientists with solid knowledge of immunology, e.g. doctoral students in their last year. 

Lectures and interactive discussions cover:
Innate Immunity 
Adaptive Immunity 
Cutting edge: Basics & Perspectives 
Career Planning/Publishing

For full details of faculty, location, application procedure etc. please see


Cluster Newsletter Issue 6 released

November 16, 2017


We are happy to present you our newest edition of the Cluster Newsletter. This time we focused on new developments within the Cluster and will introduce our newest member to you.
Next to that, three interviews about the use and future of Core Facilities and an overview of all the Core Facilities of the Bonn Technology Campus are provided.
Enjoy reading our Issue 6 of the Newsletter.
You can find the newsletter here or here


Bonn Immunoscience Days 2017

November 13, 2017 - November 14, 2017


Dear colleagues and scientists,

We are pleased to announce that this year's Cluster Science Days will be jointly held with the SFB 704 Symposium. Together we present the Bonn Immunoscience Days 2017!
Please register through our eAntrag system: If you don't know how to use the system, please follow the attached instructions. You can also register for the conference party here!
What? Bonn Immunoscience Days 2017 (presented by ImmunoSensation and SFB 704)
When? November 13 & 14, 2017
Where? Biomedical Center (BMZ, building 13), University Hospital Bonn, 53127 Bonn
What else? Don’t miss the conference party on November 14, 2017! It’s for free!

Registration and abstract submission are now open. Participation in the meeting is free of charge and open to everyone who is interested.
Childcare during the meeting is provided. CME Points for doctors are available. For more information please contact Nicole Dahms (
Find here the program.

The deadline for registration and abstract submission is September 25, 2017. Registration without an abstract is open until October 13, 2017.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone at the Bonn Immunoscience Days 2017!

With kind regards,
The organizers
ImmunoSensation and SFB 704


Prof. Förster and colleagues published in Molecular Therapy

November 03, 2017


Researchers from the University of Bonn have isolated a molecule that is suitable for the control of contact allergies. The study illuminates a central immune mechanism, which may also play a role in other inflammatory diseases such as arthritis or arteriosclerosis. The results will soon be published in the journal Molecular Therapy, but are already available online.
Last author Irmgard Förster is a member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation and a Professor of the LIMES Institute Bonn.

Find the german press release here and the english press release here.

Publication: Lorenz Fülle, Nancy Steiner, Markus Funke, Fabian Gondorf, Franziska Pfeiffer, Julia Siegl, Friederike V. Opitz, Silvana Haßel, Anna Belen Erazo, Oliver Schanz, H. James Stunden, Michael Blank, Carsten Gröber, Kristian Händler, Marc Beyer, Heike Weighardt, Eicke Latz, Joachim L. Schultze, Günter Mayer und Irmgard Förster: RNA aptamers recognizing murine CCL17 inhibit T cell chemotaxis and reduce contact hypersensitivity in vivo; Molecular Therapy; DOI: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2017.10.005


From Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde of cancer immunotherapy

October 19, 2017


Novel immunotherapies can strengthen the body’s own defenses against cancer cells. Treatment of patients with advanced disease can promote partial and complete tumor regressions. However, such strategies also frequently fail. The underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. An international research team led by the University Hospitals of Magdeburg and Bonn has now discovered a previously unrecognized braking mechanism that limits the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies. Former Cluster Member Prof. Thomas Tüting and Cluster member Prof. Michael Hölzel published these findings in the renowned journal ‘Immunity’ and provide a scientific basis to further develop cancer immunotherapy.
Find the german press release here.
Publication: Reactive neutrophil responses dependent on the receptor tyrosine kinase c-MET limit cancer immunotherapy, „Immunity“, Internet:


Cluster Publication in Cell Reports about Cancer Immunotherapy

October 18, 2017


Many tumors possess mechanisms to avoid destruction by the immune system. For instance, they misuse the natural “brakes” in the immune defense mechanism, which normally prevent an excessive immune response. Prof. Christian Kurts, Dr. Janine Gotot and Christoph Heuser from the Institute of Experimental Immunology have now been able to take off one of these brakes. The study, which involved colleagues from Hamburg and Würzburg, could pave the way for more effective cancer therapies. It is being published in the journal Cell Reports.
Prof. Christian Kurts is a member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.
You can find the german press release here and the english press release here.
Publication: Christoph Heuser, Janine Gotot, Eveline C. Piotrowski, Marie-Sophie Philipp, Christina Johanna Felicia Courrèges, Martin Sylvester Otte, Linlin Guo, Jonathan Leo Schmid-Burgk, Veit Hornung, Annkristin Heine, Percy Alexander Knolle, Natalio Garbi, Edgar Serfling, César Evaristo, Friedrich Thaiss, Christian Kurts: Prolonged IKKβ inhibition improves ongoing CTL antitumor responses by incapacitating regulatory T cells; Internet:


ImmunoSensation in for full application

September 29, 2017


Our new concept ImmunoSensation2 was selected for full application in the German Excellence Strategy. The selection process was highly competitive and we are proud to be invited to submit a full proposal for the next round.
‚We are all excited and pleased that our concept of the immune sensory system was selected for the second round of the german excellence strategy,' says Prof. Gunther Hartmann, speaker of ImmunoSensation. 'In depth knowledge about the immune sensory system will lead to a better health and successful applications into the clinics. We want to face the challenges of a growing and older population with insights into our immune system.‘
The decision, which clusters are going to be funded is expected for September 2018.
Find here the press release of the University Bonn:


Nature Publication by Prof. Joachim L. Schultze

September 27, 2017


Cluster member Prof. Joachim L. Schultze and colleagues at Yale university published a study about fat tissue in the elderly.
Their findings about malfunctioning fat degradation could explain why fat tissue is accumulating in the belly region especially in the elderly.
The results were published in the high-ranking journal Nature.
Find the german press release here.
Publication: Christina D. Camell, Jil Sander, Olga Spadaro, Aileen Lee, Kim Y. Nguyen, Allison Wing, Emily L. Goldberg, Yun-hee Youm, Chester W. Brown, John Elsworth, Matthew S. Rodeheffer, Joachim L. Schultze & Vishwa Deep Dixit: Inflammasome-driven catecholamine catabolism in macrophages blunts lipolysis during ageing; Nature; DOI: 10.1038/nature24022


Dr. Anna Brewitz receives Otto-Westphal PhD Award

September 18, 2017


Congratulation to Dr. Anna Brewitz from the Lab of Prof. Wolfgang Kastenmüller (Institute for Experimental Immunlogy) for receiving the Otto-Westphal PhD award 2017.

Here you can find more information about here most recent publication.

Otto-Westphal Thesis Prize (1.500 €)
The German Society for Immunology e.V. (DGfI) annually awards the Otto-Westphal Thesis Prize to one of its members. The prize is awarded for the best dissertation on the subject of immunology that was successfully completed in the German-speaking countries during the last calendar year (as determined by the date of the oral exam).


Melbourne - Bonn excellence academy BM-AXIS starts

August 25, 2017


A new excellence academy: BM-AXIS (Bonn & Melbourne Academy for Exellence in ImmunoSciences/Infection) is getting funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Within the next 5 years more then 100.000 Euro per year will be used to provide a better scientific transfer between Melbourne and Bonn.
The exchange program for scientific excellence wants to enhance the Bonn-Melbourne activities by sending german scientists to Melbourne and vice versa.
Congratulation to Prof. Christian Kurst, cluster member and spokes person of the newly established BM-AXIS.
Find the german press release here.


How does the immune system work? Video by Prof. Gunther Hartmann

August 14, 2017


Cluster member Prof. Gunther Hartmann explains in this video what the immune system is doing and how it works.
Together with Uni Bonn TV he answers the question, if we can fight the flu without using drugs or medicine.
You can find the interesting video here.