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ImmunoSensation - the immune sensory system

Our new intranet / wiki is online!

September 08, 2020

 

A new wiki/ intranet for the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation is now available for our member:
https://confluence.team.uni-bonn.de/x/n4hWAQ
Thereby we use Confluence form the University of Bonn, where some Uni institutions (like the HRZ or Human Resources Development) with their areas can already be found.
In our new wiki / intranet information about our funding opportunities; Software and Hardware within the Cluster or important documentes for e.g. travel expenses can be found.
Access to Confluence is available to all employees with an Uni-ID.The access to the area for the cluster is limited, that means you will not see the area in the overview at the beginning.
Only after you have registered in the following form and we have activated your account you will have access to our area.
Registration: https://www.umfrageonline.com/s/d070df5
In the attachment you will find an FAQ with all relevant links and details about the requirements for usage as well as further information (for example contents of the area).
If you have any questions or feedback regarding our Confluence area, please feel free to contact us.We are happy if the new wiki is used a lot and we can encourage a good exchange!

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COVIMMUNE being funded

August 24, 2020

 

A new consortium COVIMMUNE under the direction of Prof. Eicke Latz, speaker of the cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation is being funded with around 2 Million Euros by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).The project "Understanding divergent host reactions to SARS-CoV-2

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COVID-19: Immune system gone astray

August 07, 2020

 

Contrary to what has been generally assumed so far, a severe course of COVID-19 does not solely result in a strong immune reaction – rather, the immune response is caught in a continuous loop of activation and inhibition.
Experts from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the University of Bonn, the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), along with colleagues from a nationwide research network, present these findings in the scientific journal "Cell".
Most patients infected with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 show mild or even no symptoms. However, 10 to 20 percent of patients develop pneumonia during the course of COVID-19 disease, some of them with life-threatening consequences. "There is still not very much known about the causes of these severe courses of the disease. The high inflammation levels measured in those affected actually indicate a strong immune response. Clinical findings, however, rather indicate an ineffective immune response. This is a contradiction," says Joachim Schultze, professor at the University of Bonn and member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation. "We therefore assumed that immune cells are produced in large quantities, but that their function is defective. Therefore, we analyzed the blood of patients with varying degrees of COVID-19 severity," explains Leif Erik Sander, Professor of Infection Immunology and Senior Physician at Charité's Medical Department, Division of Infectious Deseases and Respiratory Medicine.
The investigations involved single-cell OMICs technologies, a collective term for modern laboratory methods used to determine, for example, the gene activity and the amount of proteins on the level of individual cells - thus with very high resolution. Using this data, the scientists characterized the properties of immune cells in the blood - so-called white blood cells.
The researchers found out that neutrophils and monocytes were activated during a case of mild disease courses and could thereby initiate and effective immune response. In contrast, the situation is different in severe cases of COVID-19, where neutrophils and monocytes are only partially activated and they do not function properly. There are more immature cells that have a rather inhibitory effect on the immune response. The findings indicate that the immune system stands in its own way during severe courses of COVID-19.
"If the case of excessive dysfunctional immune cells, as our study shows, one would however very much wish to suppress or reprogram such cells.", says Anna Aschenbrenner LIMES Institute at the University of Bonn. Jacob Nattermann, Professor at the Medical Clinic I of the University Hospital Bonn and head of a research group at the DZIF, further explains: "Drugs that act on the immune system might be helpful. But this is a delicate balancing act. After all, it's not a matter of shutting down the immune system completely, but only those cells that slow down themselves, so to speak. In this case these are the immature cells. We can possibly learn from cancer research. There is experience with therapies that target these cells."
Find here the german and here the english press release.
Original publication: Severe COVID-19 is marked by a dysregulated myeloid cell compartment, Schulte-Schrepping et al., CELL (2020), DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.08.001

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How tumor cells evade the immune system

August 04, 2020

 

A new study by the University of Bonn and research institutions in Australia and Switzerland shows the strategies that tumor cells use to avoid being attacked by the imune system.
The method developed for this work contributes to a better understanding of the "arms race" between immune defense and disease. The results could help to improve modern therapeutic approaches and were published in 'Immunity'.
Cancer cells differ from healthy body cells - by their appearance, by their behavior, by the genes that are active in them. Often this does not go unnoticed: the immune system registers that something is wrong and sends its troops to fight the tumor. However, this answer is often too weak to keep cancer at bay in the long term or even to destroy it. Scientists have therefore been trying to strengthen the immune system's response for many years.
Many tumors have developed strategies that can help them escape the immune system. "In our study, we examined what these strategies look like and what they depend on," explains Dr. Maike Effern from the Institute of Experimental Oncology at the University Hospital Bonn. "We focused on melanoma cells, i.e. black skin cancer."
"When T cells were directed against genes that are responsible for melanoma-typical traits, we observed that the cancer cells changed their appearance and suppressed these genes over time," explains Effern's colleague Dr. Nicole Glodde. "So they hid from the immune system."
"Our work may open the way to more effective immunotherapy," hopes Prof. Dr. Michael Hölzel, head of the Institute of Experimental Oncology at the University Hospital Bonn and member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation at the University of Bonn. "The method we developed also allows us to better understand the processes by which cancer cells slip under the radar of the immune system."
You can find the german press release here.
Publication: Maike Effern, Nicole Glodde, Matthias Braun, Jana Liebing, Helena N. Boll, Michelle Yong, Emma Bawden, Daniel Hinze, Debby van den Boorn-Konijnenberg, Mila Daoud, Pia Aymans, Jennifer Landsberg, Mark J. Smyth, Lukas Flatz, Thomas Tüting, Tobias Bald, Thomas Gebhardt, Michael Hölzel: Adoptive T cell therapy targeting different gene products reveals diverse and context-dependent immune evasion in melanoma. Immunity
Contact:
Prof. Dr. Michael Hölzel
Institute of Experimental Oncology, Unversity Hospital Bonn
Phone: 0228/287-12170
E-Mail: michael.hoelzel@ukbonn.de

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Cluster goes Charity

August 03, 2020

 

Cluster goes Charity!
All of our cluster member were invited to collect bootle caps, which have have a certain amount of recyclable materials which can be reused.
Similar to gold this resource will be recycled and the earnings will be donated to the FÖRDERKREIS BONN E.V..
For more than 35 years, the Förderkreis Bonn e.V. has been at the side of young
patients of the oncology ward of the University Children’s Hospital Bonn. From overnight accommodation close to the clinic for parents, games, handicrafts, workshops or holiday periods for patients and their siblings, psycho-oncological and psychosocial counselling, palliative care to support for the paediatric oncology ward. (More information: https://www.foerderkreis-bonn.de/helfen/kronkorken-aktion/)
We want to say - Thank you! - to all our members who donated such a massive amount of bottle caps.
We are still happy to receive any bottle cap in our office located in the basement of BMZI.

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Funding success for international Research Training Group

July 20, 2020

 

Joint project by Universities of Bonn and Melbourne extended until 2025
Launched in 2016, the international Research Training Group of the Universities of Bonn and Melbourne will now continue to receive funding until 2025.
This was confirmed by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The joint project facilitates the training of young researchers in an excellent academic environment at two globally distinguished research locations. The Research Training Group examines the role of certain immune cells in infections, tumor diseases, autoimmunity and vaccinations. The international Research Training Group allows doctoral students to establish an international network early on. The doctoral students are part of a structured program in which they are mentored by two senior researchers in Bonn and Melbourne. Of an average of three years of doctoral studies, the doctoral students spend one year at the partner university. Graduates are awarded a joint PhD of the Universities of Bonn and Melbourne.
"We are very happy that we can continue our successful cooperation. With this extension, the DFG is honoring the added value of international partnerships and the performance of our doctoral students. The entire team is very proud of this success," says Prof. Dr. Christian Kurts, Leibniz laureate and speaker of the Research Training Group in Bonn.
Obtaining a doctorate at the only German immunological Cluster of Excellence "ImmunoSensation" can be even more attractive for young researchers when they are given the opportunity to conduct one year of their research at one of Australia's leading universities. This is exactly what the German-Australian Research Training Group "Bonn & Melbourne Research and Graduate School Immunosciences" (ITRG 2168) has been offering since funding was confirmed by the DFG in April 2016.
Find the here the german and english press release.
Contact:Prof. Dr. Christian KurtsPhone: +49 228 287-11050Email: iei@uni-bonn.de

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Newest Edition of our Newsletter is out

July 15, 2020

 

You can check our newest edition of our Newsletter out here:
https://www.immunosensation.de/news/links_downloads.html
Or by clicking here.
Enjoy reading and subscribe to our Newsletter if you want to be the first one to receive it.
Your Cluster Coordination Office

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Possible SARS-CoV-2 mass testing with new technology

June 29, 2020

 

Prof. Dr. Jonathan Schmid-Burgk heads the new working group for "Functional Immunogenomics" at the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology at the University Hospital Bonn. As part of the newly established professorship and management position, the 34-year-old genome researcher is investigating the complex interplay between genes and our immune system. With the help of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), he is developing new techniques for protein analysis in living human cells with programmable gene scissors. The aim is to accelerate the modification of the human genome in order to analyze it. Prof. Schmid-Burgk is currently working on a mass test for COVID-19 using the LAMP-Seq process he developed. He brings his new techniques to the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation at the University of Bonn. Following his doctorate, for which he received the doctoral award from the Bonn University Society in 2017, his previous academic career led Prof. Schmid-Burgk to Cambridge (USA). There he spent three and a half years researching at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard - funded by a grant from the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

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A new tool to study signaling with the help of nanobodies

June 27, 2020

 

Combining optogenetics with nanobody technology
A new study of the groups from Dagmar Wachten and Florian I. Schmidt from the Institute of Innate Immunity shows the capability of combining two different techniques for studying unknown processes. The results were published in the Journal eLife. Using a nanobody-based targeting approach in combination with optogenetic tools could overcome the loss of protein function observed after fusion to ciliary targeting sequences. Hereby the ciliary signaling and function can be studied in mammalian cells an in vivo in zebrafish.
Compartmentalization of cellular signaling forms the molecular basis of cellular behavior. The primary cilium constitutes a subcellular compartment that orchestrates signal transduction independent from the cell body. Ciliary dysfunction causes severe diseases, termed ciliopathies. Analyzing ciliary signaling has been challenging due to the lack of tools investigate ciliary signaling. We functionally localized modifiers of cAMP signaling, the photo-activated adenylate cyclase bPAC and the light-activated phosphodiesterase LAPD, and the cAMP biosensor mlCNBD-FRET to the cilium. Using this approach, we studied the contribution of spatial cAMP signaling in controlling cilia length. Combining optogenetics with nanobody-based targeting will pave the way to the molecular understanding of ciliary function in health and disease.
You can find the publication here.

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Receptor makes mice strong and slim

June 26, 2020

 

Receptor makes mice strong and slim
Study by the University of Bonn identifies molecule that regulates two side effects of aging
Increasing abdominal girth and shrinking muscles are two common side effects of aging. Researchers at the University of Bonn from the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation have discovered a receptor in mice that regulates both effects. Experiments with human cell cultures suggest that the corresponding signaling pathways might also exist in humans. The study, which also involved researchers from Spain, Finland, Belgium, Denmark and the USA, has now been published in the renowned journal "Cell Metabolism".
Publication: Thorsten Gnad, Gemma Navarro, Minna Lahesmaa, Laia Reverte-Salisa, Francesca Copperi, Arnau Cordomi, Jennifer Naumann, Aileen Hochhäuser, Saskia Haufs-Brusberg, Daniela Wenzel, Frank Suhr, Naja Zenius Jespersen, Camilla Scheele, Volodymyr Tsvilovskyy, Christian Brinkmann, Joern Rittweger, Christian Dani, Mathias Kranz, Winnie Deuther-Conrad, Holger K. Eltzschig, Tarja Niemi, Markku Taittonen, Peter Brust, Pirjo Nuutila, Leonardo Pardo, Bernd K. Fleischmann, Matthias Blüher, Rafael Franco, Wilhelm Bloch, Kirsi A. Virtanen, Alexander Pfeifer: Adenosine/A2B receptor signaling ameliorates the effects of ageing and counteracts obesity. Cell Metabolism, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2020.06.006
Find here the english press release.

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Tuberculosis vaccine strengthens immune system

June 16, 2020

 

Study by the Universities of Bonn and Nijmegen explains how BCG vaccination reduces susceptibility to infections
A tuberculosis vaccine developed 100 years ago also makes vaccinated persons less susceptible to other infections. While this effect has been recognized for a long time, it is not known what causes it. Together with colleagues from Australia and Denmark, researchers from Radboud university medical center the universities of Nijmegen and Bonn have now presented a possible answer to this question. Their results are also interesting against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic: several studies are currently testing the use of the vaccine in preventing severe disease progression in populations at risk such as hospital staff and elderly individuals. The study is published in the journal "Cell Host & Microbe".
Publication: Branko Cirovic, L. Charlotte J. de Bree, Laszlo Groh, Bas A. Blok, Joyce Chan, Walter J.F.M. van der Velden, M.E.J. Bremmers, Reinout van Crevel, Kristian Händler, Simone Picelli, Jonas Schulte-Schrepping, Kathrin Klee, Marije Oosting, Valerie A.C.M. Koeken, Jakko van Ingen, Yang Li, Christine S. Benn, Joachim L. Schultze, Leo A.B. Joosten, Nigel Curtis, Mihai G. Netea und Andreas Schlitzer: BCG vaccination in humans elicits trained immunity via the hematopoietic progenitor compartment; Cell Host & Microbe; DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2020.05.014
You can find the english press release here.

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Hair loss gene discovery

June 04, 2020

 

Hairlessness, skin changes, a strong hypersensitivity to light: these are the symptoms of the so-called IFAP syndrome. Scientists from the universities of Beijing, Hamburg and Bonn have now identified a genetic defect that triggers the rare disorder. The results have been published in the "American Journal of Human Genetics". IFAP syndrome is very rare; Probably not even 100 people in Germany suffer from this congenital disorder. Those affected are sparsely hairy to complete hairlessness, even eyebrows and eyelashes may be missing. The skin is often keratinized; Sunlight or strong artificial light hurts the eyes. The abbreviation "IFAP" stands for the medical names of these three key symptoms.
In the medium term, the study could also open up new ways of treating IFAP syndrome. Perhaps, for example, the lack of cholesterol in the skin can be improved by special fatty ointments. However, further studies have to show whether this really works. The results already provide an insight into the diverse processes that must work together for the healthy development of skin and hair.
Publication: Huijun Wang u.a.: Mutations in SREBF1, Encoding Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Transcription Factor 1, Cause Autosomal Dominant IFAP Syndrome; American Journal of Human Genetics; DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.05.006
You can find here the german press release.

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Microtubules control migrating cells

May 29, 2020

 

Scientists from the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation and the Institute of Science and Technology Austria published their recent findings about microtubules controling migrating cells in the Journal of Cell Biology. Cells need to navigate throughout the body. How they find their right way and how they adapt their body size to moving into the right direction is poorly understood. Here, scientists demonstrate that spatially distinct microtubule dynamics regulate amoeboid cell migration by locally promoting the retraction of protrusions. Prof. Eva Kiermaier is member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.
You can find the publication here.

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Publication about Platelets in Cell Reports

May 13, 2020

 

Platelets exacerbate immune response
Clotting cells are also an important regulator of inflammation, reveals study by the University of Bonn
Platelets not only play a key role in blood clotting, but can also significantly intensify inflammatory processes. This is shown by a new study carried out by scientists from the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation together with colleagues from Sao Paulo (Brazil). In the medium term, the results could open up new ways to treat autoimmune diseases. They have now been published in the renowned journal Cell Reports. For a long time, the role of platelets appeared to be clear: in the event of an injury, they adhere to the wound and stick to each other to rapidly stop the bleeding. This wound closure mechanism works quickly and efficiently, but its protagonists were not considered to have any other functions. For some years now, this picture has begun to change significantly: these tiny cells, each of which is about the size of an intestinal bacterium, are also believed to perform important functions in the immune system. The current study by the universities of Bonn and Sao Paulo supports this thesis: it shows that platelets ensure that the white blood cells (the leukocytes) secrete significantly more inflammatory messengers. "It is possible that this effect contributes to the often severe course of autoimmune diseases," explains Prof. Dr. Bernardo Franklin from the Institute of Innate Immunity at the University Hospital Bonn. "These are diseases in which the immune system attacks and destroys the body's own tissue."
Publication: Verena Rolfes, Lucas Secchim Ribeiro, Ibrahim Hawwari, Lisa Böttcher, Nathalia Rosero, Salie Maasewerd, Marina Lima Silva Santos, Tomasz Próchnicki, Camila Meirelles de Souza Silva, Carlos Wagner de Souza Wanderley, Maximilian Rothe, Susanne V. Schmidt, H. James Stunden, Damien Bertheloot, Magali Noval Rivas, Cor Jesus Fontes, Luzia Helena Carvalho, Fernando de Queiroz Cunha, Eicke Latz, Moshe Arditi and Bernardo Simoes Franklin: Platelets fuel the inflammasome activation of innate immune cells; Cell Reports, DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107615
Find here the english press release.

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New Speaker and Executive Board Member

May 11, 2020

 

Prof. Joachim L. Schultze from the LIMES Institute Bonn resigned in his position as speaker and member of the executive board of the Cluster of Excellence.
We wish him all the best for his future tasks in the field of immunology and we are more then happy that he supports the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation as a member of the steering committe and valuable group leader.
As a succesor for the speaker position Prof. Waldemar Kolanus and as succesor for the executive board member position Prof. Elvira Mass, both from the LIMES Institute in Bonn, will replace Prof. Joachim L. Schultze.
Welcome Prof. Kolanus and Prof. Mass in your new roles in the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.

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Heinsberg-Study Published

May 05, 2020

 

Heinsberg Study results published
Bonn-based research team determine COVID-19 infection fatality rate
The district of Heinsberg in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is considered a hot spot for the novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Following a carnival celebration, the district became one of the first areas in Germany where the pathogen spread and infected large quantities of people. As part of the study, a research team led by Prof. Dr. Hendrik Streeck and Prof. Dr. Gunther Hartmann from the University of Bonn and members of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation carried out a large study to precisely determine the infection fatality rate for the first time among other findings. The results of the study have been pre-published and are now presented to scientists and the public. Publication in a peer-reviewed journal is to follow.
"The results can be used to further improve models on the transmission behavior of the virus. Until now, basis for such data has been relatively uncertain," says co-author Prof. Dr. Gunther Hartmann, Director of the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology at the University Hospital Bonn and speaker of the Cluster of Excellence, ImmunoSensation. The study also provides important indicators for further research on SARS-CoV-2 such as: the infection risk dependent on age, gender and pre-existing conditions; the increased severity of illness amidst special circumstances of a massive infection incident such as in Gangelt, or on the risk of infection within families.

Publication: Infection fatality rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a German community with a super-spreading event Hendrik Streeck, Bianca Schulte, Beate M. Ku¨mmerer, Enrico Richter, Tobias Höller, Christine Fuhrmann, Eva Bartok, Ramona Dolscheid, Moritz Berger, Lukas Wessendorf, Monika Eschbach-Bludau, Angelika Kellings, Astrid Schwaiger, Martin Coenen, Per Hoffmann, Birgit Stoffel-Wagner, Markus M. Nöthen, Anna-Maria Eis-Hu¨binger, MartinExner, Ricarda Maria Schmithausen, Matthias Schmid and Gunther Hartmann
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.04.20090076v2
Contact for the media:Dr. Andreas Archut University Communications University of Bonn Phone: +49 (0)228 73-7647 E-Mail: kommunikation@uni-bonn.de

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TLR8 Publication in Immunity

April 15, 2020

 

Until now, the immune sensor TLR8 has remained in the shadows of science. A research team led by members of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation from the University of Bonn -  Eva Bartok and Gunther Hartmann - has now discovered how this sensor plays an important role in defending human cells against intruders. The enzymes RNaseT2 and RNase2 cut ribonucleic acids (RNAs) of bacteria into small fragments that are as characteristic as a thumbprint. Only then can TLR8 recognize the dangerous pathogens and initiate countermeasures. The results have now been published in the renowned journal "Immunity".
Publication: Thomas Ostendorf, Thomas Zillinger, Katarzyna Andryka, Thais Marina Schlee-Guimaraes, Saskia Schmitz, Samira Marx, Kübra Bayrak, Rebecca Linke, Sarah Salgert, Julia Wegner, Tatjana Grasser, Sonja Baersachs, Leon Soltesz, Marc Hübner, Maximilian Nastaly, Christoph Coch, Matthias Kettwig, Ingo Roehl, Marco Henneke, Achim Hörauf, Winfried Barchet, Jutta Gärtner, Martin Schlee, Gunther Hartmann, Eva Bartok: Immune sensing of synthetic, bacterial and protozoan RNA by Toll-like receptor 8 requires coordinated processing by RNase T2 and RNase 2, Immunity, DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2020.03.009
Find the german press release here and the english press release here.

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Corona Virus Research in the News

April 09, 2020

 

Members of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation conduct research in various fields of the current Corona virus pandemic and are in contact with the public to provide expertise.
Find here recent links to newspaper and press conferences.
Prof. Gunther Hartmann and Prof. Hendrik Streeck in a press briefing with minister Armin Laschet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnrHamW8OXQ
Article April 8th Generalanzeiger https://www.general-anzeiger-bonn.de/bonn/stadt-bonn/bonner-virologe-hendrik-streeck-zu-frueh-fuer-klare-ergebnisse_aid-49970225
Podcast with Prof. Hendrik Streeck (BR) https://www.br.de/mediathek/podcast/wissenschaft-und-technik/aktuelles-zu-corona-der-virologe-prof-hendrik-streeck-im-gespraech/1794617
Article April 9th FAZ https://www.faz.net/aktuell/gesellschaft/gesundheit/coronavirus/corona-in-heinsberg-virologe-streeck-sieht-moegliche-lockerung-16718884.html
Article April 6th ZEIT Online https://www.zeit.de/wissen/gesundheit/2020-04/hendrik-streeck-covid-19-heinsberg-symptome-infektionsschutz-massnahmen-studie

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Special diet against asthma - publication in Immunity

April 08, 2020
lymphoid cells, fatty acid stored in small fat droplets

 

Can a special diet help in certain cases of asthma? A new study at the University of Bonn at least points to this conclusion. According to the study, mice that were switched to a so-called ketogenic diet showed significantly reduced inflammation of the respiratory tract. The results are now published in the renowned journal "Immunity".

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Newsletter Edition 9 is out!

March 31, 2020
Newsletter Picture

 

You can check our newest edition of our Newsletter out here:
https://www.immunosensation.de/news/links_downloads.html
Or by clicking here.
Enjoy reading and subscribe to our Newsletter if you want to be the first one to receive it.
Your Cluster Coordination Office

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