ImmunoSensation - the immune sensory system

New approach against chronic inflammation

April 20, 2022


ASC-specks in mice targeted with nanobodies
Researchers of ImmunoSensation2 at the Universities of Bonn together with colleagues at the University of Sao Paulo have succeeded in mitigating chronic inflammation in mice using customized "mini-antibodies". These nanobodies enabled them to dissolve molecular complexes in tissue that normally activate the immune system. The nanobodies produced may in future help to slow down unwanted inflammatory reactions that cause diseases such as arthritis or neurodegeneration. The study is published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.


ImmunoSensation2 participates in research network CANTAR

April 14, 2022


CANTAR (CANcer TARgeting) research network funded with 19.4 million euros
The new research network CANTAR (CANcer TARgeting) in the field of oncology aims to develop new chemical substances to identify specific driving pathways of cancer and to explore how cancer can "escape" the immune system. The lead partner is the University of Cologne, with Humboldt Professor Dr. Henning Walczak of the Center for Biochemistry as designated spokesperson. Cluster Member Prof. Dr. Michael Hölzel, director of the Institute for Experimental Oncology at the University Hospital Bonn, is involved. CANTAR is funded with a total of 19.4 million euros for the funding period.


Surprising finding on the cause of hydrocephalus

April 05, 2022


Prof. Dr. Waldemar Kolanus, speaker of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2, together with an international team of scientists, shows that hydrocephalus is often caused by disrupted brain development.
Hydrocephalus in children often has completely different causes than previously assumed. This is the conclusion of an international study with a substantial participation by the University of Bonn. The researchers identified a series of mutations that cause disruption of early brain development. The characteristic enlargements of the fluid-filled cavities in the brain are a consequence of this. The study was led by Yale, Harvard and Bonn Universities; its findings also have implications for the diagnosis and treatment of this serious condition. The results are published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.


Felix Meißner receives prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant

March 15, 2022


The European Research Council is funding the Bonn professor of systems immunology and proteomics with around 2 million euros.

Inflammatory processes are a fundamental part of the body's defense system. But how are these processes regulated at the molecular level? How do the involved cell types coordinate their action? These are the questions that biochemist and systems immunologist Prof. Dr. Felix Meißner of the Bonn Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 at the University Hospital Bonn is addressing. For his research, he now receives the coveted Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council (ERC). The selected project of the Bonn professor will be funded with about 2 million euros.


"Science for Ukraine" - Information for Scientists

March 04, 2022


The Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 at Bonn participates in the initiative "Science For Ukraine"
We are a research consortium focused on innate immunity and welcome researchers in this field at all early career stages. The Cluster Coordination Office can advise you on finding available positions in our groups and applying for funding, or arrange short-term internships. Housing is not available, but we can help find it. Just contact us!


New strategy for COVID-19 prophylaxis identified

March 03, 2022


Researchers of the Bonn Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 observe increased protection against severe COVID-19 courses through targeted stimulation of the RNA receptor RIG-I
The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has caused an imminent urge for both antiviral therapeutical drugs and vaccines. While the development of vaccines was accomplished in a remarkably short timeframe, the identification of direct antiviral treatments has progressed comparatively slowly. In the light of the further risk of pandemics in the future, however, there remains need for direct antiviral drugs and treatments. Moreover, emerging immune-evasive SARS-CoV-2 variants are of concern.  These cause high numbers of infections even in a highly immunized population, underscoring the continuing need for effective antiviral drugs to treat COVID-19.
PhD student Samira Marx and her advisor Prof. Gunther Hartmann of the Institute of clinical chemistry and clinical pharmacology at the University Hospital Bonn, in collaboration with further members of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 at the University of Bonn  Prof. Eva Bartok, Prof. Martin Schlee, Prof. Hiroki Kato, and colleagues have now shown that prophylactic stimulation of the antiviral innate immune receptor RIG-I provides protection against lethal SARS-CoV-2 infections in mice and reduces disease severity. The work has recently been published in the journal Molecular Therapy – Nucleic Acids.


Casein may contribute to MS development

March 01, 2022


Cow's milk protein triggers autoimmune response, inducing neuronal damage in mice

Patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) often complain of more severe disease symptoms after consuming dairy products. Researchers of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 at the University of Bonn, together with colleagues at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, have now found a possible cause for this: Casein, a protein in cow's milk, can trigger inflammation that damages myelin sheaths around nerve cells. The study was able to demonstrate this link in mice, but also found evidence of a similar mechanism in humans. The researchers therefore recommend that certain groups of affected individuals avoid dairy products. The study has now been published in the journal PNAS.


AI-driven facial analysis improves diagnosis

February 11, 2022


Researchers at the University of Bonn use artificial intelligence (AI) to detect rare diseases even more accurately

Rare genetic diseases can sometimes be recognized through facial features, such as characteristically shaped brows, nose or cheeks. Researchers of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 have now trained software that uses portrait photos to better diagnose such diseases. The study has now been published in the journal "Nature Genetics".


Molecular Structure of human NLRP3 solved

February 04, 2022


Elucidating the structure of a central inflammatory switch provides the basis for the development of powerful anti-inflammatory therapeutic tools

ImmunoSensation2 Member Prof. Matthias Geyer and his team, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Regensburg, have solved the structure of a central cellular inflammatory switch: NLRP3. Cryo Electron Microscopy (Cryo-EM) analysis revealed NLRP3 to form a decameric structure when incubated with the inhibitor CRID3 (Cytokine Release Inhibitory Drug 3). Identifying the CRID3 binding-site as well as solving the overall structure of human NLRP3 now provides the basis to further elucidate the molecular mechanisms leading to activation of NLRP3, as well es the development of potent anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals. The results are published in the journal Nature.


Tumor Cell Plasticity in Therapy Resistance

January 18, 2022


Prof. Dr. Michael Hölzel, Member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 at the University of Bonn receives project funding of 1.5 million euros provided by the German Cancer Aid.
Cancer cells can constantly change and in this way evade the immune system. Prof. Dr. Michael Hölzel from the Institute of Experimental Oncology at the University of Bonn is developing an immunotherapy against black skin cancer: He wants to use "smart" immune cells to get a grip on the tumor cells that are currently trying to make themselves invisible. German Cancer Aid is funding the project with 1.5 million euros over the next five years as part of its new "Excellence Funding Program for Established Scientists".


Alzheimer’s: Inflammatory markers conspicuous at an early stage

January 12, 2022


Evidence of damage and neuroprotective processes long before symptoms of dementia manifest
Long before the onset of dementia, there is evidence for increased activity of the brain’s immune system. Researchers from the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 of the DZNE and Bonn University come to this conclusion based on a study of more than 1,000 older adults. To this end, various proteins were measured in the cerebrospinal fluid: They served as so-called biomarkers that indicate inflammatory processes of the nervous system. As it turned out, some of these molecules seem to be part of a damage control program of the immune system, which could be useful for the development of new drugs. The study results have been published in the scientific journal “Neuron”.


Stem cells organize themselves to form embryoid

December 17, 2021


New insights into stem cell development in mice could enable an alternative to animal experiments in the future
Researchers of the Cluster of Excellence in cooperation with an international team have developed a method to generate embryo-like cell complexes from the stem cells of mice. The method provides new insights into embryonic development. In the medium term, it might also be suitable for developing tests for substances that could be harmful to fertility. The study has recently been published in Nature Communications.


Prof. Mass selected as EMBO Young Investigator junior scientist

December 08, 2021


Member of the Cluster of Excellence, Prof. Elvira Mass, joins the EMBO YIP Network in January 2022
Prof. Elvira Mass, developmental biologist at the LIMES Institute of the University of Bonn and member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2, will join the EMBO Young Investigator Program on 01.01.2022. The program supports selected young European scientists with outstanding achievements in the field of life sciences. The award is linked to a financial support of 15,000 €, which can be extended by up to 10,000 € per year. Prof. Elvira Mass and her team study the development and function of resident macrophages - phagocytes that are present in almost every tissue and, as part of the innate immune system, are an important part of the body's defense system.


CRC for Brown and Beige Fat Organ Crosstalk, Signaling and Energetics

November 26, 2021


Prof. Dr. med. Alexander Pfeifer becomes speaker of the newly founded Collaborative Research Center for Brown and Beige Fat Organ Crosstalk, Signaling and Energetics

Worldwide, the number of overweight and obese patients is increasing, and consequently diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Obesity is also a risk factor for developing severe Covid19. In the Transregional Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 333 "Brown and Beige Fat Organ Crosstalk, Signaling and Energetics ( BATenergy)", researchers from the University of Bonn and the University Hospital Bonn, the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Helmholtz Zentrum München are investigating different types of adipose tissue and their role in metabolic diseases. As speaker of the CRC, Prof. Dr. med. Alexander Pfeifer, member of the Cluster of Excellence and head of the institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University Clinics Bonn, was appointed.


Abemaciclib inhibits kinases involved in transcriptional regulation

November 18, 2021


Protein structures of Homeodomain-interacting protein kinase (HIPK) and dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinases (DYRK) reveals abemaciclib as potent inhibitor

Abemaciclib is a widely used drug in the therapy of hormone-receptor positive (HR-positive) and human epidermal growth factor receptor negative (HER2-negative) advanced breast cancer. The drug functions as a direct inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (Cdk4/Cdk6). Both kinases are responsible for the deactivation of retinoblastoma protein (Rb) by phosphorylation. Until its deactivation, Rb prevents cell cycle progression. The defective functionality of Rb in several major cancers leads to extensive cell growth and tumor progression. Direct targeting and inactivation of Cdk4/Cdk6 by abemaciclib prevents Rb deactivation and reduces therefore oncogenic cell proliferation.

Prof. Matthias Geyer, Director of the Institute of Structural Biology and member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 at the University Clinics Bonn, and his team now show that abemaciclib also acts as potent inhibitor of further kinases involved in transcriptional regulation. In collaboration with the team of Prof. Nathanael Gray from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School, Boston, the scientists found Homeodomain-interacting protein kinases (HIPKs) and dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinases (DYRKs) to be inhibitable by abemaciclib. Both proteins are auto-activated and supposed to directly act in transcriptional regulation, as recombinant HIPKs and DYRK1A phosphorylate the negative elongation factor SPT5, the transcription factor c-Myc, and the C-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II.


Cerebral dysfunctions caused by sepsis during aging

November 18, 2021


A differentiated look at the relationship between sepsis and acute cerebral dysfunction
Sepsis occurs when the body's own immune reactions against an infection inflicts damage to its own organs and tissues.  Such systemic inflammation is a life-threatening condition and one of the most severe complications of infectious diseases. It may be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites.
Systemic inflammations caused by Sepsis may induce an acute cerebral dysfunction known as sepsis- associated encephalopathy (SAE). Recent data from intensive care units show, that half of all patients with sepsis also develop SAE. Patients surviving a sepsis show an increased prevalence of sustained cognitive impairments for several years after initial sepsis onset.


Development of retinal disease closely linked to intestinal flora

November 16, 2021


Study on the role of intestinal flora, metabolism and immune defense in Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) receives research award
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the main cause of blindness and severe visual impairment at old age in Germany and throughout Europe. Prof. Zeinab Abdullah, member of the Cluster of Excellence and group leader at the Institute of Molecular Medicine & Experimental Immunology of the University Clinics Bonn and Prof. Robert Finger from the University Hospital Bonn are taking a closer look at immune mechanisms in AMD. The researchers investigate the interactions of intestinal flora, metabolism and immune defense. Prof. Abdullah and Prof. Finger have now received the EURETINA Medical Retina Clinical Research Award 2021 for their research project at the University of Bonn, which is endowed with 293,000 €.


Prof. Tobias Bald awarded with the Lisec-Artz Prize

November 11, 2021


Tobias Bald and Sebastian Kobold receive research award for their work on Tumor Immunobiology at the Cluster Science Days 2021
Professor Bald heads the research group „Tumor Immunobiology” as part of the Cluster of Excellence „ImmunoSensation2“, and is a member of the Transdisciplinary Research Area (TRA) "Life and Health“, both at the University of Bonn. He is now awarded with the Lisec-Artz price for his contributions to better understand the interactions between cancer cells and immune cells. His research focus is set on the role of the T-cell activating receptor CD226 during this interaction, with the goal to significantly improve cancer immunotherapy.


Artificial Intelligence helps diagnose Leukemia

November 04, 2021


Software trained with more than 30.000 data sets from B-Cell Lymphoma patients

Already in 2020, Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 Member Prof. Dr. Peter Krawitz and his team showed, how artificial Intelligence can help in the diagnosis of lymphomas and leukemias. The machine learning method developed by the scientists has since been further developed. It is made freely accessible and may be utilized also by smaller laboratories. The respective study has now been published in "Patterns".


Epigenetics: Immunization is passed on to offspring

October 18, 2021


Adaptations to infection shown to be passed on over several generations in mice

Does an infection affect the immunity of subsequent generations? Prof. Andeas Schlitzer, member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 and the Life & Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES) at the University of Bonn, Prof. Dr. Mihai G. Netea from Radboud University (Netherlands), together with researchers from Saarland University, Lausanne (Switzerland) and Athens (Greece), have investigated this. Mouse sires that either had previously overcome infection with fungi or were stimulated with fungal substances, passed on their improved protection over several generations. The team simultaneously demonstrated an improved immune response that was passed on to the offspring. The study has now been published in Nature Immunology.


"Open doors" at the Institute of Structural Biology

October 05, 2021


TV show “Sendung mit der Maus” visits the lab of Prof. Matthias Geyer, Member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2

It all started with a curious orange mouse in the TV children’s program “Sendung mit der Maus”, explaining how toothpaste is produced, why leaves change color in fall and for which reason the sky is blue. Ten years ago, in 2011, the curiosity of children and parents to look behind doors that usually remain closed to the public resulted in a campaign of “open doors with the mouse”. Once every year, institutes, laboratories and companies offer visits on-sight, explain what their daily work is all about and how they aim to shape the future.


Patent-Prize awarded for programing of stem cells into Photoreceptors

October 04, 2021


Discovery and utilization of three different transcription factors enables the directed differentiation of human stem cells into photoreceptors

Prof. Volker Busskamp, Member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2, is awarded with the Patent-Prize of the German Ophthalmological Society for his work on photoreceptors. The Biotechnologist and his team developed a technology, which allows the rapid programming of human stem cells to become photoreceptors. The resulting cells are used in retinal research and shall serve in clinical application to treat blindness in the near future.


Immune cells in the brain share the work

September 22, 2021


Microglial cells join together to better cope with threats

To break down toxic proteins more quickly, immune cells in the brain can join together to form networks when needed. This is shown by a joint study of the University of Bonn, the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Institut François Jacob in France. However, in certain mutations that can cause Parkinson's disease, this cooperation is impaired. The findings are published in the renowned journal Cell.


'Falling Walls' Award for Nanobodies targeting Corona virus

September 15, 2021


Cluster Member Florian Schmidt receives ‘Falling Walls’ award in the category Life Sciences for the development of a novel drug for Covid-19 therapy

In early 2020, Florian Schmidt and Paul-Albert König at the University Hospital Bonn and an international team of researchers developed a special kind of antibody against SARS-CoV-2 with strong potential for therapeutic use. Today, the cluster scientists and their international team are recognized for their groundbreaking success. A success that would not have been possible without the help of an alpaca and a llama


Impaired function of white blood cells in severe COVID-19 courses

September 13, 2021


Members of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 and a team of international scientists find persistent dysfunction of Natural Killer cells in severe COVID-19 courses

The acute respiratory syndrome COVID-19, caused by coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), emerged in late 2019. Since then, a comprehensive understanding of both the virus itself and the respective host immune-response has rapidly been gained. Recent studies suggest a specific form of white immune cells, natural killer (NK) cells, to play a crucial role in the early antiviral immune response. But to what extend do NK cells contribute to the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 infections? In a multicenter study, Scientists from the Cluster of Excellence Immunosensation2, located at the University Hospital Bonn and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), together with an international team, have now been able to investigate the role of NK cells in the progression of COVID-19 in detail.


How danger signaling is amplified in Influenza A-virus infected cells

September 03, 2021


Young research goup around Cluster Member Stephanie Jung shows how danger signaling is amplified in Influenza A-virus infected cells.

Influenza virus-induced acute respiratory infections occur in all parts of the world and represent a constant disease-burden. While the seasonal epidemic outbreaks are caused by Influenza-subtypes A and B, only Influenza-A strains are reported to have caused pandemic spreads. Overall, Influenza-A infections account for 250,000 to 300,000 deaths p.a.

To protect us from microbial threats, the innate immune system provides several immune sensing receptors. These recognize foreign microbial molecules and induce an immunological response. RNA-viruses like Influenza-A and Hepatitis-C are detected by the intracellular receptor RIG-I (retinoic acid inducible gene I). RIG-I binds to double-stranded viral RNA and hairpin structures of viral genomes. Upon activation, the receptor multimerizes and ultimately induces the cellular release of antiviral cytokines.


Mathematics meets Life Sciences - Joint symposium

September 01, 2021


The tremendous advances made in experimental life sciences in recent years provide a wealth of data on how organisms function. To gain biomedical knowledge from these data, both mathematical modeling and numerical analysis techniques in conjunction with experimental data are essential. At a joint symposium of the Clusters of Excellence Hausdorff Center for Mathematics and ImmunoSensation2 as well as the Transdisciplinary Research Areas "Modelling" and "Life and Health" of the University of Bonn, the professors working at the interfaces and their colleagues presented their research and invited to participate.


What factors impact the spread of viruses?

August 23, 2021


German Research Foundation funds transdisciplinary project by researchers at the University of Bonn with 270,000 euros.

Many different factors are responsible for the spread of infectious diseases. What is known is that the spread process depends essentially on the infectiousness of the pathogen and the immune response of the host, but also on human behavior. This relates, for example, to the extent to which distance regulations are observed. Less often considered, however, is the fact that the factors and their influence can vary greatly between groups of people - both at the biomedical and socioeconomic levels. Mathematicians, physicians and economists now want to take a closer look at this so-called inter-individual variability in a joint collaboration project of the University of Bonn and the University Hospital Munich. The goal is to determine new factors that are relevant for the transmission or containment of SARS-CoV-2 viruses. The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding the project with several hundred thousand euros, of which 270,000 euros will go to Bonn.


Exciting science in the center of Cologne

August 13, 2021


On August 21, female scientists from the universities of Bonn, Cologne and Düsseldorf will talk at the Rudolfplatz
Think "outside the box" is often the phrase used to describe leaving your old thinking habits behind and getting creative. This is exactly what scientists from the universities of Cologne, Bonn and Düsseldorf will be doing on August 21, starting at 2 p.m. on Cologne's Rudolfplatz: Standing on a "soap box," they want to inspire the general public with their research topics. They have previously learned in a workshop how to do this without technical aids, PowerPoint presentations or lecture halls. All citizens are invited to learn about exciting science from the world of immunology, aging and plant research in a relaxed atmosphere. The lectures will be held mostly in German and partly in English. Participation is free of charge.


Novel method for fast 3D microscopy

July 28, 2021


A team of scientists from the University of Bonn and the research center caesar develop a method to observe fast movements in 3D
In the past, many discoveries have been made because better, more accurate measurement methods have become available, making it possible to obtain data from previously unexplored phenomena. For example, high-resolution microscopy has begun to dramatically change our perspectives of cell function and dynamics. Researchers at the ImmunoSensation2 Cluster of Excellence at the University of Bonn, the University Hospital and the research center caesar have now develop a method that allows using multi-focal images to reconstruct the movement of fast biological processes in 3D. The study has been recently published in the journal Nature Communications.


Funding in the millions to combat river blindness

July 19, 2021


University of Bonn receives grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for artificial intelligence project
The Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology at the University of Bonn is the recipient of a $1.48 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Together with the international IT consultancy Capgemini and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) in Geneva, researchers are developing technology to better combat river blindness, which is caused by parasitic worms. Artificial intelligence will be used to machine-read sections of worm nodules in tissue, enabling drug testing to be standardized and significantly accelerated.


New corona mass test developed by Cluster member

July 02, 2021


Cluster member Jonathan Schmid-Burgk and colleagues developed a new corona test that is up to 100 times more sensitive than rapid antigen tests. The "LAMP-Seq" test is based on sequencing technology and can analyze a large number of swabs simultaneously with similar high sensitivity to the commonly used qPCR test. The innovative method offers great potential, especially for systematic testing in day care centers, schools or companies. The results of the study on the new Corona test have been published in the renowned journal "Nature Biotechnology". WDR Lokalzeit from Bonn also reported about this new Corona test and talked to the scientists involved.


AI with swarm intelligence

May 26, 2021


Novel technology for cooperative analysis of big data
Communities benefit from sharing knowledge and experience among their members. Following a similar principle - called "swarm learning" - an international research team has trained artificial intelligence algorithms to detect blood cancer, lung diseases and COVID-19 in data stored in a decentralized fashion.
Cluster member Prof. Joachim Schultze from the DZNE and LIMES Institute is lead author of this study.


Collaborative research center being renewed

May 26, 2021


German Research Foundation funds CRC "Synaptic Micronetworks in Health and Disease"  for another four years
Member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation Prof. Heinz Beck is spokesperson of the recently renewed CRC.
The mammalian brain is extraordinarily complex - it is estimated to consist of around 100 billion nerve cells. Each of these cells is linked via synapses to tens of thousands of other brain cells. How do the elements of such a complex network work together to produce behavior? How do the networks change as a result of disease? For eight years, scientists have been investigating these and other questions in the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1089 "Synaptic Micronetworks in Health and Disease" at the University of Bonn. With great success: The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding the interdisciplinary network for another four years. The requested funding amount is around 11.1 million euros. Partners are the caesar research center in the Max Planck Society and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn.
The researchers in the interdisciplinary CRC 1089 aim to make a significant contribution to a better understanding of how the brain works. However, a particular goal is also to investigate brain dysfunction in two of the most common neurological diseases: Epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. The speaker of the Collaborative Research Center is the neuroscientist Prof. Dr. Heinz Beck, head of the Institute for Experimental Epileptology and Cognition Research at the University and the University Hospital of Bonn and a member of the ImmunoSensation2 Cluster of Excellence. Vice speaker is the biochemist Prof. Dr. Susanne Schoch McGovern from the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Bonn.
Prof. Dr. Heinz Beck, Speaker
Institute for Experimental Epileptology and Cognitive Research, University of Bonn, University Hospital Bonn
Phone: +49 228 6885270

Prof. Dr. Susanne Schoch McGovern, Vice Speaker
Institute of Neuropathology, University of Bonn, University Hospital Bonn
Phone: +49 228 28719109


Largest genetic study to date on bipolar disorder

May 18, 2021


In cooperation with the University of Bonn, researchers studied a total of 400,000 people
Genetic factors contribute significantly to the development of bipolar disorder. The probably largest analysis to date on the hereditary factors involved has now been published. More than 40,000 affected individuals and 370,000 controls were included in the study; some 320 researchers around the globe were involved. Lead partners for the project included the Icahn School of Medicine, New York, the University of Oslo and the University Hospital Bonn. The results not only provide new insights into the genetic basis of the disease, but also into possible risk factors in living conditions or behavior. They are published in the journal "Nature Genetics".
The name "bipolar disorder" is not a coincidence: The mood of those affected oscillates between two extremes. Sometimes they are so depressed for weeks that they barely manage to go about their daily activities. At other times, there are phases when they feel euphoric and full of energy, frantically pursuing their projects.
Risk factors include early childhood traumas such as abuse or the loss of a parent, but also, for example, a stressful lifestyle or the use of certain drugs. To a large extent, however, bipolar disorder is a matter of genes: Experts estimate the contribution of genetic makeup at 60 to 85 percent. Hundreds of genes are probably involved.
DNA lexicon compared at hundreds of thousands of sites
This greatly improves the understanding of the genetic basis. The international consortium searched the DNA of more than 400,000 participants for abnormalities. By comparing the DNA of their subjects at many hundreds of thousands of sites that occur variably in the population, they were able to identify genetic regions that are thought to contribute to the disease. "In this way, we identified 64 gene loci associated with bipolar disorder," explains Prof. Dr. Markus Nöthen, head of the Institute of Human Genetics and meme of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2. "33 of them were previously unknown." The hits thus also provide clues to new therapeutic approaches.


Digital Day of Immunology 2021

April 29, 2021


Once again this year, the ImmunoSensation Cluster of Excellence is celebrating the Day of Immunolgy, which takes place worldwide on April 29, with a digital event.
On April 24th (Saturday) we will opened the world of immunology to young and old with various lectures and live experiments. The focus was on the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and how it affects the immune system.
Kids and their parents participated in a live experiment on how to extract DNA from banana performed from Dr. Gregor Hagelüken. The TRR 259 Aortic Disease performed a live tour through one of their laboratories explaining how and what kind of research is conducted here.
In a following section various researchers from our Cluster of Excellence explained the most up-to-date results concering research in the field of SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Paul Albert König and Dr. Florian Schmidt, Institute for Innate Immunity gave a talk on Promising antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 Nanobodies as a new therapy. How the molecular fingerprint of diseases can be deciphered with the latest technology using the example of SARS-CoV-2 was presented by Dr. Anna Aschenbrenner, Dr. Thomas Ulas and Prof. Dr. Joachim Schultze from the LIMES Institute & DZNE. 
The final slot in our program was dedicated to questions participants had concerning SARS-CoV-2 and the immune system. Our members Prof. Irmgard Förster (LIMES Institute), Prof. Gunther Hartmann (Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and Clinical Chemistry) and Prof. Eicke Latz answered all the open questions.
Throughout the program more then 350 participants listend and discussed recent science with us and asked lots of interesting questions.
The Day of Immunology 2021 was organized together with the TRR 259 Aortic Disease and TRR 237 Nucleic Acid Sensing.


Successful Girls' Day 2021

April 23, 2021


Girls' Day is a once a year action day that aims to motivate girls and women to take up technical and scientific professions.
Since 2014 we participate in this event. This year due to Corona restrictions we held our Girls' Day in a digital way.
12 girls isolated DNA from a banana, visited one on our labs with a live tour online and checked the growth of bacteria from different places in their homes.
The lab of Katrin Paeschke supported the Girls' Day and helped giving insights to the young girls.


Salt in our body and in our immune system

April 21, 2021


How is salt acting on our body and immune system?

Our member Prof. Christian Kurts explains these topics from minute 17:30 on.


Opening BMZII

April 18, 2021


The "Biomedical Center II" on the Venusberg campus in Bonn is ready! The new building for excellent biomedical research, which began in 2017, has now been inaugurated with an event in hybrid format.
Economics and Innovation Minister Prof. Pinkwart said in his keynote address: "The inauguration of the modern biomedical campus with digital technology is a milestone that will be both recognition and incentive for the Bonn University Hospital. The campus is an expression of the previous success and opens - physically and as an innovation environment - new spaces for excellent research."
Rector Prof. Hoch emphasized: "In the global competition for the best minds, we need optimal and future-oriented infrastructures for our excellent science. On behalf of the University of Bonn, I would like to thank the state government very much for their great support in the new building of the BMZ II, which will enable our medical faculty and the university clinic to continue doing research and teaching at the highest level."
The users of BMZ II are primarily 150 employees from three institutes from the ImmunoSensation2 excellence cluster at the University of Bonn under the leadership of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize winners, Prof. Christian Kurts, Institute for Experimental Immunology, Prof. Gunter Hartmann, Institute for Clinical chemistry and clinical pharmacology, and Prof. Eicke Latz, Institute for Innate Immunology.
Prof. Bernd Weber, Dean of the Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn, explained: "As one of six clusters of excellence, the ImmunoSensation2 association, which has existed since 2012, received funding approval for a further funding period in 2018. As part of the future concept of the University of Bonn, six transdisciplinary research areas were set up, including the area "Life and Health", in which researchers from various disciplines work on overarching issues. "
The concept of the BMZ II is that different users share technical equipment for their scientific work and support each other in so-called core facilities. This collaboration is also promoted by large-scale laboratories, all of which are approved for genetic engineering work. Zones for informal meetings of researchers outside the laboratory areas are also a characteristic of the new BMZ II. The building has four full floors with conference and seminar rooms on almost 9,000 square meters of floor space. The usable area of ​​5,000 square meters is supplemented by 4,000 square meters of laboratory space and 1,000 square meters of office space.


Success in the "Advanced Clinician Scientist" proposal

March 29, 2021


Researching medical professionals receive funding from the BMBF
The Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn and the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) will be in the next five years part of the tender "Advanced Clinician Scientist" (ACS) of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the areas of immunopathogenesis and organ dysfunction as well as brain and neurodegeneration. The Medical Faculty and the UKB will receive around 9,000,000 euros for the project, with which the "ACCENT" (Advanced Clinician Scientist Program Bonn) will be set up. The innovative concept supports research specialists with a focus on immunology, neurosciences, genetics and epidemiology as well as cardiovascular diseases and oncology. For this purpose, in addition to their clinical work, they are closely linked to research associations such as Collaborative Research Centers and the ImmunoSensation² cluster of excellence through co-affiliation with research institutes.
The aim of the BMBF initiative is to increase career prospects in research and health care through the funding of Advanced Clinician Scientists (ACS) positions in university medicine throughout Germany. To this end, 12 ACS positions will be created in Bonn over the next three years. In addition, two other positions in Bonn are financed by the ImmunoSsensation² excellence cluster. In addition to interdisciplinary work and individual offers in the areas of coaching, mentoring and management training, ACCENT also focuses on equal opportunities and the compatibility of work and family. This ensures, among other things, that at least 50 percent of the participants are female.
Co-spokeswoman Prof. Annkristin Heine and member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation says: "For the participating physicians, our program represents a great opportunity to both sharpen their scientific profile and their clinical goals, thanks to the 50 percent exemption from clinical work in favor of research follow. Support with administrative tasks, cooperation with basic science institutes and structured career development are specifically promoted. "


Spring Newsletter Out

March 08, 2021


Dear ImmunoSensation Friends,
our first Newsletter this year is out for you to read.
You can find lots of information regarding new members, funding success and past events.
Download the Newsletter Edition here.


Postdoc Innovation Fund Symposium

February 28, 2021


In 2020 we invited all postdoctoral researchers who work in the group of an ImmunoSensation member and do not yet lead an independent research group to apply for an open call of an ImmunoSensation Postdoc Innovation Fund.
We funded up to 10.000 Euro for own innovative ideas, including, but not limited to:
  • new research topics
  • joint projects between two or more different groups
  • interdisciplinary projects
  • international collaborations
  • etablishment of new networks

The funding period was from July 1st 2020 until December 31st 2020.
This Friday, February 26th 2021, we invited all awardees to present their results, which they obtained during the funding period.
21 projects were funded in the ImmunoSensation PostDoc Innovation Fund and presented during the symposium.
Lots of great findings and results were presented and during break out sessions lively discussion took place.
We thank all awardees and atendees for making this online symposium such a great success.


Less inflammation with a traditional diet

February 12, 2021


Urban Tanzanians have a more activated immune system compared to their rural counterparts. The difference in diet appears to explain this difference: in the cities, people eat a more western style diet, while in rural areas a traditional diet is more common. A team of researchers from Radboud


Prestigious award for Elvira Mass

January 27, 2021


Insights into organ development: Elvira Mass from the University of Bonn receives Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for Young Researchers
The course for organ health is set in the early embryo. For this finding, Prof. Elvira Mass, a scientist from the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation, receives the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for Young Researchers, which is endowed with 60,000 euros. In her research, she showed that specialized immune cells from the yolk sac accompany organ development and contribute to maintaining their health throughout life.
For Elvira Mass, impaired function of these immune cells might cause many diseases. Once a year, the Paul Ehrlich Foundation honors a young scientist for outstanding achievements in biomedicine. The prestigious prize is named after the physician and researcher Paul Ehrlich († August 1915) and the chemist Ludwig Darmstaedter († October 1927). This year, the choice fell on developmental biologist Prof. Elvira Mass from the Life and Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES) at the University of Bonn. "Elvira Mass's research has provided a completely new perspective on the role of cells of the innate immune system regulating embryonic development of tissues and organs," says Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch, Rector of the University of Bonn and supervisor of the doctoral thesis of Elvira Mass. "Her outstanding achievement is also reflected by fact that she has now won two of the most prestigious awards for junior researchers in Germany within a year. This is something she can be very proud of, and of course the University of Bonn as well."
Last year, Elvira Mass had already been awarded the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize of the German Research Foundation. "With her high-level scientific work, Elvira has particularly enriched our understanding of the role of macrophages in brain development and function," emphasizes Prof. Dr. Waldemar Kolanus, Managing Director of the LIMES Institute at the University of Bonn. "Through skill and commitment, she very quickly established a high reputation in the life science scene at the University of Bonn, thus demonstrating real leadership qualities in her young years. We at the LIMES Institute congratulate her on this renewed, fantastic award," he says.
In the future, Mass will investigate which environmental factors change the epigenetic imprinting of the yolk sac-derived tissue-resident macrophages and how these changes affect the health of organs. To this end, she will use a recently awarded "Starting Grant" from the European Research Council (1.5 million euros in funding) to study, among other things, the influence of nanoplastics on macrophages.


ImmunoSensation scientist discover differences in fat metabolism

January 26, 2021


The liver processes coconut oil differently than rapeseed oil
Coconut oil has increasingly found its way into German kitchens in recent years, although its alleged health benefits are controversial. Scientists at the University of Bonn from the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation have now been able to show how it is metabolized in the liver. Their findings could also have implications for the treatment of certain diarrheal diseases. The results are published in the journal Molecular Metabolism.
Coconut oil differs from rapeseed or olive oil in the fatty acids it contains. Fatty acids consist of carbon atoms bonded together, usually 18 in number. In coconut oil, however, most of these chains are much shorter and contain only 8 to 12 carbon atoms. In the liver, these medium-chain fatty acids are partly converted into storage fats (triglycerides). Exactly how this happens was largely unknown until now. The new study now sheds light on this: "There are two enzymes in the liver for storage fat synthesis, DGAT1 and DGAT2," explains Dr. Klaus Wunderling of the LIMES Institute at the University of Bonn. "We have now seen in mouse liver cells that DGAT1 processes mainly medium-chain fatty acids and DGAT2 processes long-chain ones."
"The enzymes therefore seem to prefer different chain lengths," concludes Prof. Dr. Christoph Thiele of the LIMES Institute, who led the study and is also a member of the Cluster of Excellence Immunosensation. Surprising side effect whether fatty acids in the liver are used at all to build up storage fat depends on the current energy requirement. When the body needs a lot of energy at a particular moment, the so-called beta oxidation is fired up - the fatty acids are "burned" straight away, so to speak. Medically, this metabolic pathway is of great interest. In diabetes, for instance, it might be useful to reduce beta-oxidation. 
Also interesting is a finding published a few years ago by Austrian and Dutch scientists: They had studied patients suffering from chronic diarrheal diseases. In 20 of them, they found alterations in the DGAT1 gene that rendered it nonfunctional. "We now want to find out whether the impaired processing of medium-chain fatty acids is responsible for the digestive complaints," says Wunderling. This is because the DGAT1 enzyme is active not only in the liver but also in the intestine. Perhaps this is why its disorder causes diarrhea when sufferers consume medium-chain fatty acids.
Funding: The study was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of the Excellence Strategy. It additionally received funding from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) of the Republic of Austria.


School Project about Healthy Food and the Immune System

January 21, 2021


Learning about nutrition in a school podcast
Young researchers Dr. Anette Christ and Dr. Elisabeth Jurack at the University of Bonn receive 10,000 euros from the BMBF and "Wissenschaft im Dialog" for their idea: How do we eat in the 21st century?
Bonn schoolchildren will soon be able to deal with this question together with scientists in a podcast. The biologists Dr. Anette Christ and Dr. Elisabeth Jurack from the University of Bonn impressed with their communication idea in the Germany-wide university competition "Show your research!" And are among the ten winning teams who will each receive 10,000 euros for implementing their ideas.
The aim of the competition launched by the "Science in Dialogue" initiative this year is to promote projects that deal with dwindling resources, environmental pollution and the climate crisis and to enter into dialogue with the public. The competition is thematically embedded in the Science Year 2020 | 21 - Bioeconomy. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research supports the project.
In their now award-winning project "Nutrition in a School Podcast", Dr. Anette Christ and Dr. Elisabeth Jurack from the Cluster of Excellence "ImmunoSensation2" at the University of Bonn are developing a podcast together with pupils from the Liebfrauen School in Bonn, in which the participants learn how the bioeconomy and a healthy diet are related. The young people don't keep their knowledge to themselves, but share it in eight self-produced podcast episodes on podcast platforms such as or Spotify.


Immune system mechanism against filarial larvae

January 20, 2021


Researchers at the University of Bonn investigate immune system mechanism against filarial larvae Filariae, slender but sometimes up to 70 centimeters long nematodes, can set up residence in their host quite tenaciously and cause serious infectious diseases in the tropics. The tiny larvae of the


COVID-19 has multiple faces

January 20, 2021


ImmunoSensation scientists present latest findings on the coronavirus in "Genome Medicine"
According to current studies, the COVID-19 disease which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus comprises at least five different variants. These differ in how the immune system responds to the infection. Researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn, together with other experts from Germany, Greece and the Netherlands, present these findings in the scientific journal "Genome Medicine".
Their results may help to improve the treatment of the disease. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 can manifest in different ways: Many of those affected do not even seem to notice the presence of the virus in their bodies. In other cases, the effects can include flu-like symptoms and neurological disorders to severe and even life-threatening pneumonia. "The classification of COVID-19 into mild and severe courses falls short. The disease is much more diverse, and for each affected person, one certainly would want a therapy that is tailored to fit. What helps one person may be ineffective for another," said Dr. Anna Aschenbrenner, a scientist of the LIMES Institute at the University of Bonn and the DZNE's Systems Medicine division. "In this respect, it is obvious to want to understand what underlies these differences. If we can pin them down to scientific criteria and categorize patients accordingly, this increases the chances of effective treatment. We therefore took a look at the immune system. Because many studies are indicating that its response to infection with SARS-CoV-2 plays a crucial role in the course of COVID-19," said Aschenbrenner, who is a member of the "ImmunoSensation2" Cluster of Excellence at the University of Bonn.
Five Manifestations
"First of all, it is important to note that the expression patterns of immune cells in people with COVID-19 differ fundamentally from those in healthy individuals. The gene activity we can detect in the blood is strongly altered. But there are also striking differences among patients. On this basis, we have identified five different groups. We refer to them as molecular phenotypes," said Dr. Thomas Ulas, an expert in bioinformatics at the DZNE. "Two of them represent severe disease courses. The others have more moderate symptoms." The classification was based solely on transcriptome data. Only in retrospect, molecular phenotypes were matched to registered clinical courses.
COVID-19 Is Different
The researchers used their findings to compare COVID-19 with other diseases and also with data from healthy individuals. For this purpose, they were able to draw on data from the "Rhineland Study" - a population study conducted by the DZNE in the Bonn area - as well as on data from scientific databases. For the comparison, a large spectrum of diseases was considered: including viral infections such as influenza, infections with HIV and Zika, bacterial infections such as tuberculosis and bacterial sepsis, and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. "All five COVID-19 phenotypes are different from the other diseases we studied," Ulas said, summing up the findings. "Apparently, COVID-19 has a unique biology that is reflected in the gene activity of immune cells in the blood. Insofar, expression analysis could be used to diagnose COVID-19. This would be an alternative or complement to current methods."


New promising antibodies against SARS-CoV-2

January 13, 2021


Cluster member Florian I. Schmidt together with Paul-Albert König, head of the Nanobody Core Facility and an international team have identified and further developed novel antibody fragments against the SARS coronavirus-2.
These "nanobodies" are much smaller than the classic antibodies used to treat SARS-CoV-2 infections, for example. They therefore penetrate the tissue better and can be produced more easily in larger quantities. The researchers at the University Hospital Bonn have also combined the nanobodies into potentially particularly effective molecules. These attack different parts of the virus simultaneously. The approach could prevent the pathogen from evading the active agent through mutations. The results are published in the journal Science.
"We focus on another group of molecules, the nanobodies," explains Dr. Florian Schmidt, who heads an Emmy Noether group on this promising new field of research at the University of Bonn's Institute of Innate Immunity. "Nanobodies are antibody fragments that are so simple that they can be produced by bacteria or yeast, which is less expensive."
The researchers also exploit another major advantage of nanobodies over antibodies: Their simple structure allows straight forward combinations to form molecules that can be several hundred times more effective. "We have fused two nanobodies that target different parts of the spike protein," explains König. "This variant was highly effective in cell culture. Furthermore, we were able to show that this drastically reduces the probability of the virus to become resistant to the active agent through escape mutations." The researchers are convinced that the molecules may be developed into a novel and promising therapeutic option.
Dioscure Therapeutics, a spin-off of the University of Bonn, will test the nanobodies in clinical studies. The success of the project is mainly based on the excellent cooperation of the participating research groups at the University with national and international cooperation partners, emphasizes Florian Schmidt.


Cluster member publishes in PNAS

January 08, 2021


Intelligence deficit: Conclusion from the mouse to the human being
The group from Peter Krawitz, member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation create an animal model for studying GPI anchor deficiencies Impaired intelligence, movement disorders and developmental delays are typical for a group of rare diseases that belong to GPI anchor deficiencies. Researchers from the University of Bonn and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics used genetic engineering methods to create a mouse that mimics these patients very well. Studies in this animal model suggest that in GPI anchor deficiencies, a gene mutation impairs the transmission of stimuli at the synapses in the brain. This may explain the impairments associated with the disease. The results are now published in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)".
"GPI anchor deficiencies comprise a group of rare diseases that primarily cause intellectual deficits and developmental delays," explains Prof. Dr. Peter Krawitz from the Institute for Genomic Statistics and Bioinformatics at the University Hospital Bonn, who started his research at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and continued it at the University Hospital Bonn.


With stem cells against blindness

January 08, 2021


Prof. Volker Busskamp from the University of Bonn and member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation has received a "Proof of Concept Grant" worth 150,000 euros from the European Research Council (ERC).
This funding line is intended to support scientists in transferring their research results from previous ERC projects into commercial applications. Volker Busskamp and his team are working at the Eye Clinic of the University Hospital Bonn on a technology to rapidly program human stem cells to photoreceptor for retinal research and treating blindness in the future.
Volker Busskamp's research focuses on photoreceptors. These are sensory cells of the retina that convert light into electrochemical signals. These stimuli are processed further and enable that seeing. Photoreceptors have special antennae, so-called outer segments, which are very fragile and are the first to degenerate in many eye diseases causing blindness. Busskamp and his team are aiming to protect and restore the structure and function of such photoreceptor cells.
Based on his ERC Starting Grant, which was launched at the Dresden University of Technology in 2016 and funded with 1.5 million euros, Volker Busskamp and his team have succeeded in developing a technology to precisely differentiate human stem cells into photoreceptor cells. Having an unlimited photoreceptor cell source is essential for drug screening, further basic and biomedical research such as photoreceptor replacement therapies.
Find here the german and english press release.


Focus Funding for ImmunoSensation Member

December 10, 2020


Focus funding on coronavirus
The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding 33 research projects on infection with SARS-CoV-2 with a total of 3.6 million euros for a maximum of one year. A team from the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation receives this new type of focus funding on COVID-19.
Christian Bode from the Clinic for Anaesthesiology and Operative Intensive Care Medicine and Christoph Wilhelm from the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology and the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 at the University of Bonn are now supported with the project "The role of ketogenesis in the immune response against SARS-CoV-2" as part of the focus funding. It is about whether and how the immune system remains fully functional against the novel corona virus even during a reduced food intake in COVID-19.
Find the german news here.


Metaflammation SFB being funded

November 27, 2020


The German Research Foundation is setting up a new Collaborative Research Center (SFB) at the University of Bonn. The SFB 1454 "Metaflammation and Cellular Programming" deals with the connection between a Western lifestyle and chronic inflammatory diseases - for example, how excessive calorie intake coupled with insufficient exercise can promote the development of cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases or a metabolic syndrome.
The spokesperson is Prof. Dr. Eicke Latz, who is also spokesperson for the ImmunoSensation Cluster of Excellence. The researchers use a holistic approach to investigate why lifestyle or environmental factors such as obesity, smoking or insufficient exercise influence the incorrect programming of immune cells and thus cause "metaflammation" - a chronic inflammation caused by the immune system.
The scientists are studying how cells interact in inflamed tissue and how molecular signaling pathways contribute to the development of diseases during metaflammation.
The SFB brings together the expertise of scientists from the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Philosophy. Researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn, the Max Planck Institute for Metabolic Research in Cologne and the "Braunschweig Integrated Center of Systems Biology" are also involved.
Most of the sub-projects of the new SFB are being carried out by scientists from the University Hospital Bonn and the Life and Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES).
"A unique selling point of our Collaborative Research Center is the system immunological approach with which we want to understand complex mechanisms that cause diseases," says Prof. Eicke Latz from the Institute for Innate Immunity at the University Hospital Bonn. On the one hand, these findings are intended to produce new therapeutic approaches and the development of drugs. On the other hand, the newly discovered mechanisms behind the development of metaflammation should provide the necessary knowledge to better prevent common diseases that can be traced back to an unhealthy lifestyle and environmental influences.
Media Contact:
Prof. Dr. Eicke Latz
Institute of Innate Immunity
Phone: +49 (0)228 287 51239 (Secretary)


Transdisciplinary success

November 27, 2020


Research across subject boundaries: Researchers from the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation have been awarded a prize by the University's Transdisciplinary Research Area "Life and Health" for two special projects in the life sciences. The steering committee of the research area rewards the two project teams with 50,000 euros each for their creative and innovative approaches. Up to three researchers work together on one project. They come from the disciplines of biology, medicine and mathematics.
"The winning projects reflect the strong potentials for innovation within our research area. Researchers from a variety of disciplines contribute their expertise to jointly investigate biomedical questions whose answers can have a lasting effect on society," emphasizes Prof. Waldemar Kolanus, one of the two speakers of the Transdisciplinary Research Area "Life and Health" and speaker of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.
About the winning projects:
Artificial intelligence decodes lymph nodes
Immune cells need to be in the right place in the tissue at the right time in order for them to work properly in the body. In lymph nodes, for example, which are highly complex organized units of the immune system, the correct localization of cells ensures that immune reactions are initiated, maintained and terminated appropriately. However, relatively little is known about the regulatory mechanisms that cause the cells to arrange themselves correctly within the tissue. To find out more about this, biologist Prof. Andreas Schlitzer, physician Dr. Thorsten Send from the ENT Clinic of the University Hospital of Bonn and mathematician Prof. Jan Hasenauer work together closely in their project. Their aim is to study the cellular organization in human cervical lymph nodes, both in a healthy state and during inflammation. To do this, they measure which genes in the cell are transcribed from the DNA into so-called messenger RNA at certain points in time, measure the cells using modern methods and make them visible by means of computer-assisted imaging techniques. As not all processes are experimentally accessible, the researchers additionally model the biological processes using artificial intelligence. In this way, they want to create a multimodal map of cervical lymph nodes with cellular resolution.
Fat in a Petri dish
In their joint project, the two biologists Prof. Dagmar Wachten and Prof. Elvira Mass want to identify the structure of white adipose tissue, the most common adipose tissue in the body. The tissue consists of different cell types, but little is known about how the individual cell types are organized three-dimensionally in the tissue, and how they interact with each other and thereby support the development and function of the white adipose tissue. In their project, the researchers focus on how macrophages, which are cells of the innate immune system, send signals to the neighboring cell types of white adipose tissue and communicate with them. The researchers aim to decipher this communication during the development of white adipose tissue using various molecular biological methods and to visualize it three-dimensionally with the help of modern imaging techniques. They use genetically modified mice and so-called organoids, which are small pieces of tissue produced in the laboratory. The approach is intended to serve as a basis for identifying the influence of macrophages on the biological system of white adipose tissue. This may contribute to the development of functional organoids from stem cells that resemble human white adipose tissue and thereby enable further investigation.


6 Cluster member among Highly Cited Researcher

November 24, 2020


With a total of 14 researchers, the University of Bonn is represented this year in the international ranking of "Highly Cited Researchers". Among them are 6 scientists from the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.
According to the creators of the ranking, the persons on this list of "Highly Cited Researchers" belong to the most influential one percent of their field worldwide. The benchmark is the frequency with which their scientific publications were cited by other researchers in the past decade (period from 2009 to 2019). The ranking is published annually by the "Web of Science Group" and contains around 6,200 scientists in 21 subject categories.
Following members of ImmunoSensation are named 'Highly Cited Researcher':
Monique M. B. Breteler
Michael T. Heneka
Eicke Latz
Mihai G. Netea
Joachim L. Schultze
Andreas Schlitzer

Find the english press release here.


Corona study published in Nature Communications

November 18, 2020


After the preliminary publication on the preprint server medRxiv in May 2020, the study by scientists of the University of Bonn about the first coronavirus outbreak in Germany in the community of Gangelt has been published in the renowned scientific journal Nature Communications.

The study was already pre-published in May 2020 to meet the demand of scientific journals to make findings about COVID-19 available to science and the public as early as possible.

Publication: Infection fatality rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a German community with a super-spreading event; Hendrik Streeck, Bianca Schulte, Beate M. Kümmerer, 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-Hübinger, Martin Exner, Ricarda Maria Schmithausen, Matthias Schmid and Gunther Hartmann; Nature Communications, DOI:

Article on Nature website (

The Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 provided no funding for the study.


University of Bonn and ImmunoSensation receive Henriette Herz-Price

November 12, 2020


Concept for attracting young international talent awarded
As one of eight universities in Germany, the University of Bonn was being awarded the Henriette Herz Prize by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The university receives 125,000 euros for its concept for attracting internationally highly qualified young researchers.
"For years, attracting top international talent has also been more and more important in the university environment", explains Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch, the rector of the University of Bonn. "In the competition for the best talent, it is therefore essential to make our outstanding location advantages visible and to set the threshold for a location change as low as possible. We are very happy about this great success, thanks to which we can now implement this pilot project. "
With a bundle of various measures, international talents will be introduced to the work at the University of Bonn and in particular in the ImmunoSensation Cluster of Excellence. Talented women are also to be addressed in a targeted manner.
With virtual 360 ° campus tours and interactive laboratory visits, researchers can also get to know the excellence location from abroad. A digital roadshow with subsequent career fairs is intended to promote exchange and make it easier to make a decision to work at the University of Bonn. "These digital formats can only ever be the first step," explains Tina Odenthal from the International Office. "It was therefore important for us to include travel grants so that the young talents and their families can come straight to Bonn for one to two weeks. We want to achieve an intensive exchange with the researchers and a removal of possible hurdles for a change. " The pilot project is of great importance for the ImmunoSensation Cluster of Excellence. "For us as a cluster of excellence, recruiting top international talent is a particular concern," emphasizes Dr. Catherine Drescher from ImmunoSensation. "With this recruitment concept, we aim at a targeted exchange with talents and a knowledge transfer that is enriching for all parties."
Find the german press release here.


Genetic disposition protects immune system from aging

November 10, 2020


A genetic disposition that plays a role in the development of the heart in the embryo also appears to play a key role in the human immune system. This is shown by a recent study led by the University of Bonn. When the gene is not active enough, the immune defense system undergoes characteristic changes, causing it to lose its effectiveness. Doctors speak of an aging immune system, as a similar effect can often be observed in older people. In the medium term, the results may contribute to reduce these age-related losses. The study is published in the journal Nature Immunology. 

The gene with the cryptic abbreviation CRELD1 has so far been a mystery to science. It was known to play an important role in the development of the heart in the embryo. However, CRELD1 remains active after birth: Studies show that it is regularly produced in practically all cells of the body. For what purpose, however, was previously completely unknown.

The Bonn researchers used a novel approach to answer this question. Nowadays, scientific studies with human participants often include so-called transcriptome analyses. By these means, one can determine which genes are active to what extent in the respective test subjects. Researchers are also increasingly making the data they obtain available to colleagues, who can then use it to work on completely different matters. "And this is exactly what we did in our study," says Dr. Anna Aschenbrenner from the LIMES Institute at the University of Bonn and member of the ImmunoSensation² Cluster of Excellence.
Find the english press release here.
Publication: Lorenzo Bonaguro, Maren Köhne, Lisa Schmidleithner, Jonas Schulte-Schrepping, Stefanie Warnat-Herresthal, Arik Horne, Paul Kern, Patrick Günther, Rob ter Horst, Martin Jaeger, Souad Rahmouni, Michel Georges, Christine S. Falk, Yang Li, Elvira Mass, Marc Beyer, Leo A. B. Joosten Mihai G. Netea, Thomas Ulas, Joachim L. Schultze and Anna C. Aschenbrenner: CRELD1 modulates homeostasis of the immune system in mice and humans. Nature Immunology;

Media contact:
Dr. Anna C. Aschenbrenner
LIMES-Institut der Universität Bonn
Tel.: +49 (0228) 73-62777 or +49 (0228) 4330-2690 


Honorary doctorate to Professor Jacques Miller

November 09, 2020


The University of Bonn Faculty of Medicine has awarded an honorary doctorate to renowned Australia-based immunologist Prof. Dr. Jacques Francis Albert Pierre Miller. The award ceremony was conducted online due to the corona pandemic, held as part of the Digital Cluster Science Days 2020 organized by the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.
The ceremony took place via simultaneous videoconferencing between the lecture hall of Biomedical Center I on the Venusberg Campus and Melbourne, Australia, where Professor Miller (89) is Professor Emeritus at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. One of Miller’s former doctoral students, Professor Robyn Slattery, presented the diploma following the ceremonial pronouncement of awarding of the honorary doctorate by Professor Bernd Weber as Dean representing the University of Bonn. Speeches in honor of the recipient were made by Leibniz Prize winner Professor Christian Kurts and by Professor Sammy Bedoui, Bonn University Ambassador in Melbourne, Australia.
The board of the ImmunoSensation Cluster of Excellence had suggested to confer the honorary degree in recognition of Professor Miller’s outstanding achievement in the field of immunology. Jaques Miller earned wide scientific attention in the 1960s for proving that the thymus is a critically important component of the immune system as the organ where T cells are formed. The existence of T cells, as well as their key role in immunological memory against bacteria, viruses and cancer had not been appreciated prior to this discovery.
Congratulations Jaques Miller for this honorary degree and the Cluster ImmunoSensation is happy to have such close ties with its partners the University of Melbourne in operating The Bonn and Melbourne Research and Graduate School (Bo&MeRanG) for the Immunosciences. 
Find the press release (english) here.
Media contact:Prof. Dr. Christian KurtsPhone: +49 (0) 228 287-11050Email:


Liver cells and western diet - regulating inflammation

November 03, 2020


A high fat Western-style diet leads to hepatic steatosis that can progress to liver cancer. Christoph Thiele (LIMES Institute) from the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation  and his colleagues used click chemistry-based metabolic tracing and microscopy, to study the interaction between Kupffer cells and hepatocytes ex vivo. The mechanism that leads to the development of steatosis upon nutritional overload is complex and only partially understood. Their study was recently published in the Journal of Cells and could show that inflammatory signals from liver cells upon western diet can lead to steatosis. The publication was shown on the cover of the journals edition in October.

Kupffer Cells Sense Free Fatty Acids and Regulate Hepatic Lipid Metabolism in High-Fat Diet and Inflammation. Diehl et al., Cells (2020) 9(10), 2258,


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:
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.
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!


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


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


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
Prof. Dr. Michael Hölzel
Institute of Experimental Oncology, Unversity Hospital Bonn
Phone: 0228/287-12170


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:
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.


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:


Newest Edition of our Newsletter is out

July 15, 2020


You can check our newest edition of our Newsletter out here:
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


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).


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.


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:
Find here the english press release.


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.


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:
You can find here the german press release.


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.


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:
Find here the english press release.


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.


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
Contact for the media:Dr. Andreas Archut University Communications University of Bonn Phone: +49 (0)228 73-7647 E-Mail:


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.


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.
Article April 8th Generalanzeiger
Podcast with Prof. Hendrik Streeck (BR)
Article April 9th FAZ
Article April 6th ZEIT Online


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".


Newsletter Edition 9 is out!

March 31, 2020
Newsletter Picture


You can check our newest edition of our Newsletter out here:
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


Study shows: Too much salt weakens the immune defense

March 25, 2020


Study by the University Hospital of Bonn shows: A diet rich in salt weakens the antibacterial immune defense
A high-salt diet is not only bad for one's blood pressure, but also for the immune system. This is the conclusion of a current study under the leadership of the University Hospital Bonn conducted by the Cluster member Prof. Christian Kurts.
Mice fed a high-salt diet were found to suffer from much more severe bacterial infections. Human volunteers who consumed an additional six grams of salt per day also showed pronounced immune deficiencies. This amount corresponds to the salt content of two fast food meals. The results are published in the journal "Science Translational Medicine". Five grams a day, no more: This is the maximum amount of salt that adults should consume according to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). It corresponds approximately to one level teaspoon. In reality, however, many Germans exceed this limit considerably: Figures from the Robert Koch Institute suggest that on average men consume ten, women more than eight grams a day.
Find more information here.
Publication: Katarzyna Jobin, Natascha E. Stumpf, Sebastian Schwab, Melanie Eichler, Patrick Neubert, Manfred Rauh, Marek Adamowski, Olena Babyak, Daniel Hinze, Sugirthan Sivalingam, Christina K. Weisheit, Katharina Hochheiser, Susanne Schmidt, Mirjam Meissner, Natalio Garbi, Zeinab Abdullah, Ulrich Wenzel, Michael Hölzel, Jonathan Jantsch and Christian Kurts: A high-salt diet compromises antibacterial neutrophil responses through hormonal perturbation; Science Translational Medicine; DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aay3850


Alzheimer's Study published in Cell Reports

March 19, 2020
Inflammatory proteins


Alzheimer's disease: Inflammation triggers fatal cycle
University of Bonn study proves disastrous contribution of an ancient immune mechanism
An immune reaction in the brain seems to play a major role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. In a way, it "adds fuel to the fire" and apparently causes an inflammation that, in a sense, keeps kindling itself. The study has now been published in the journal Cell Reports. Alzheimer's disease is characterized by clumps of the protein Aß (amyloid beta), which form large plaques in the brain. Aß resembles molecules on the surface of some bacteria. Over many millions of years, organisms have therefore developed defense mechanisms against such structures. These mechanisms are genetically determined and therefore belong to the so-called innate immune system. They usually result in certain scavenger cells absorbing and digesting the molecule.
In the brain, the microglia cells take over this role. In doing so, however, they trigger a devastating process that appears to be largely responsible for the development of dementia. On contact with Aß, certain molecule complexes, the inflammasomes, become active in the microglia cells. They then resemble a wheel with enzymes on the outside. These can activate immune messengers and thereby trigger an inflammation by directing additional immune cells to the site of action.
"Sometimes the microglia cells perish during this process," explains Prof. Dr. Michael Heneka, head of a research group at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and director of the Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Gerontopsychiatry at the University Hospital Bonn. "Then they release activated inflammasomes into their environment, the ASC specks." Prof. Michael Heneka is a member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.
Find the english press release here.
Publication: Lea L. Friker, Hannah Scheiblich, Inga V. Hochheiser, Rebecca Brinkschulte, Dietmar Riedel, Eicke Latz, Matthias Geyer and Michael T. Heneka: Amyloid Clustering around ASC Fibrils Boosts Its Toxicity in Microglia; Cell Reports; DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.02.025

Prof. Dr. Michael Heneka Director of the Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Gerontopsychiatry at the University Hospital BonnGerman Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)Tel. +49-(0)228-28713091E-mail:


Elvira Mass receives Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Price 2020

March 02, 2020


DFG and BMBF award Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizes 2020
This year, four scientists will receive the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, the most important award for young scientists in Germany. This was decided by a selection committee in Bonn set up by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The award ceremony, each endowed with 20,000 euros, will take place on May 5 in Berlin.
Congratulations to our cluster member Prof. Elvira Mass from the LIMES Institute for receiving this prestigious award.
Prof. Dr. Elvira Mass (33), Immunology, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Elvira Mass examines the development and function of macrophages, i.e. cells of the innate immune system. With her work, she has contributed groundbreaking insights into the molecular basis of the role of tissue macrophages in organogenesis - the formation of the organs during embryonic development - which she was able to publish in a high-ranking publication. The knowledge they have gained contributes to a better understanding of certain diseases, such as osteopetrosis, which leads to an accumulation of bone substance, or neurodegenerative diseases, which are caused by mutation-bearing microglial cells. Elvira Mass received her doctorate in Bonn, then did research in London and New York, until she returned to the LIMES Institute at the University of Bonn as a junior research group leader, where she was recently appointed W2 professor.
Find the german press release here.


Christian Kurts elected deputy senator of the Leopoldina

March 01, 2020


Christian Kurts has been elected deputy senator of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, section microbiology and immunology.
Congratulation to this success.


PhD Students Organize UN Visit

February 27, 2020


Our PhD Students representative Amir Hossein Kayvanjoo organized a visit to the UN on February 14th.
The visit was focused on the career and internship opportunities in the UN organization! It was great to see many PhD students were interested and more than 20 participants took part.
During the tour we were presented with the career options that one can have and also different tracks to enter into the UN. In addition we were also given a brief introduction into the structure of the UN. The visit ended with a walk in the last floor of the UN Campus tower. This was the highlight of our tour as everyone enjoyed not only the view of Bonn from the second tallest building in the city but also the participants were able to see through Cologne and the Cologne cathedral!
Hopefully more events organized by the great PhD representatives are to come.


Publication by Mass Group in Nature Neuroscience

February 11, 2020


Stroke: Macrophages migrate from the blood
Molecular switch in bone marrow stem cells helps research into inflammatory processes in the brain.
Macrophages are part of the innate immune system and essential for brain development and function. Using a novel method, scientists from Jena University Hospital, the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York (USA) succeeded in visualizing macrophages that were formed in the bone marrow. In studies on mice, this technology enabled the researchers to observe that shortly after a stroke, numerous macrophages that had migrated from the blood begin to attack dead and adjacent healthy brain tissue. The results have now been published in the journal "Nature Neuroscience". Prof. Elvira Mass - leading author of this publication - is a member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.
Find the press release here.

Publication: Yves Werner, Elvira Mass, Praveen Ashok Kumar, Thomas Ulas, Kristian Händler, Arik Horne, Kathrin Klee, Amelie Lupp, Dagmar Schütz, Friederike Saaber, Christoph Redecker, Joachim L. Schultze, Frederic Geissmann & Ralf Stumm: Cxcr4 distinguishes HSC-derived monocytes from microglia and reveals monocyte immune responses to experimental stroke, Nature Neuroscience, DOI: 10.1038/s41593-020-0585-y
Media contact:
Prof. Dr. Elvira Mass
Life & Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES)
Universität Bonn
Tel. +49-(0)228-7362848


ImmunoSep supported by Horizon2020

February 10, 2020


The EU-Research Projekt ImmunoSep starts and members of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation Mihai Netea and Joachim L. Schultze are part of the research consortium led by the Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, Netherlands.
Within the next 4 years more then 10 Million Euro are provided by the EU-wide Horizon2020 program and the University of Bonn will receive around 750.000 Euro.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to a bacterial, fungal or viral infection. Most frequently it affects adults over the age of 65, children younger than one year of age, people with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, cancer, and kidney disease as well as those with a weakened immune system. Unfortunately, sepsis is still a common occurrence with an estimated 50 million cases occurring worldwide each year. It is one of the most common causes of death for hospitalised patients in European countries with a high mortality rate of 30-40%. Even though the prescription of antibiotics and the establishment of Intensive Care Units (ICUs) have already greatly reduced the number of sepsis-related deaths, the introduction of an immunotherapy approach is intended to greatly improve the outcome of the disease for those affected.
This is where ImmunoSep comes into play. While past studies have promoted a ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatment approach, this multinational project focuses on the exploration of personalised immunotherapy. This takes into account that although overinflammation and immunoparalysis play a critical role in the physiological processes of sepsis, they manifest differently in individual patients. Therefore only a precision medicine-based approach for immunotherapy will be able to significantly improve the outcome of this severe clinical condition.
Find here the german press release.


Christian Kurts appointed honorary professor

February 07, 2020
Prof. Christian Kurts


Prof. Dr. Christian Kurts, Professor of Experimental Immunology at the University of Bonn, has been appointed honorary professor at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne. With this appointment, Australia's leading university acknowledges the achievements in establishing a scientific network between Melbourne and Bonn. Prof. Kurts is a recipient of the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Prize, director of the Institute of Experimental Immunology at the University Hospital Bonn and member of the cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.
"The appointment as honorary professor is a great honor for me," says Prof. Kurts. "I hope that the commitment between Bonn and Melbourne will lead to a sustainable, bilateral relationship in teaching and research beyond the already established programs". Further bilateral projects are already in preparation.
Find here the press release.


Gunther Hartmann appointed member of the Henry Kunkel Society

December 23, 2019


The Henry Kunkel Society (HKS) is a prestigious organization dedicated to fostering patient-based and patient-oriented scientific research, particularly in the field of immunology, as exemplified by the scientific life of Dr. Henry Kunkel at the Rockefeller University. Originally founded in 1990 and comprising of only 50 members at that time, most of whom were former trainees of Henry Kunkel, the Society has grown to include over 400 elected members, all dedicated to experimental medicine in the field of human immunology.
Cluster Spokesperson Prof. Gunther Hartmann is now an appointed member of the Henry Kunkel Society.


Artificial Intelligence Tracks down Leukemia

December 20, 2019


Artificial intelligence can detect one of the most common forms of blood cancer - acute myeloid leukemia (AML) - with high reliability. Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn have now shown this in a proof-of-concept study. Their approach is based on the analysis of the gene activity of cells found in the blood. Used in practice, this approach could support conventional diagnostics and possibly accelerate the beginning of therapy. The research results have been published in the journal “iScience”.
Cluster member and speaker of the Cluster of Excellence Prof. Joachim Schultze led the study in Bonn.
Find here the press release.
Publication: Scalable prediction of acute myeloid leukemia using high-dimensional machine learning and blood transcriptomics
Stefanie Warnat-Herresthal, Konstantinos Perrakis et al., iScience (2019),
DOI: 10.1016/j.isci.2019.100780


Macrophage Metabolism Publication in Immunity

December 18, 2019


Macrophages have two faces: In healthy tissue, they perform important tasks and support their environment. However during an infection, they stop this work and hunt down the pathogens instead. Upon coming into contact with bacteria they change their metabolism drastically within minutes. This is shown by a new study under the leadership of the University of Bonn, which has now been published in the journal "Immunity". In the medium term, the results may lead to new vaccination strategies, but also to new approaches for combating autoimmune diseases.
The Study was lead by Cluster Member and Speaker Prof. Eicke Latz.
Find here the press release.
Publication: Mario A. Lauterbach, Jasmin E. Hanke, Magdalini Serefidou, Matthew S. J. Mangan, Carl-Christian Kolbe, Timo Hess, Maximilian Rothe, Romina Kaiser, Florian Hoss, Jan Gehlen, Gudrun Engels, Maike Kreutzenbeck, Susanne V. Schmidt, Anette Christ, Axel Imhof, Karsten Hiller & Eicke Latz: Toll-like receptor signaling rewires macrophage metabolism and promotes histone acetylation via ATP-citrate lyase; Immunity; DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2019.11.009


Cluster member among highly cited researcher

December 12, 2019


Annually the 'Highly Cited Researchers' are being announced by the 'Web of Science Group'. 
At the University of Bonn 12 highly cited researcher are namend, among them are 6 members of the cluster of excellence ImmunoSensation.
According to the makers of the ranking, the people on this list of "Highly Cited Researchers" are among the most influential one percent of their subject. The measurement here is the frequency with which their scientific publications have been cited by other researchers in the past decade (period from 2008 to 2018). The ranking is published annually by the "Web of Science Group" and contains around 6,200 scientists in 21 subject categories.
Following members of ImmunoSensation are named 'Highly Cited Researcher':
Monique M. B. Breteler
Michael T. Heneka
Eicke Latz
Mihai G. Netea
Joachim L. Schultze
Andreas Schlitzer
Find the german press release here.


Cluster Kid's Box available

December 11, 2019


Dear Cluster members,
many parents know this situation: The nursery is unespectedly closed, grandma and grandpa are travelling or you have to work in your office during the afternoon or evening.
? Who takes care of the child while you have to take care of tasks at your office?
The solution: 

The Clusters Kid's Box in your office offers practical on-site support. 
It quickly turns into a "parent-child room" and is equipped with toys for babies and children up to primary school age. Of course, please talk to your team leader before bringing your child to work.
If you have any questions concerning the kids box, just have a look or if you want to book it, please contact or


Preliminary Results DFG Review Board

December 03, 2019


The preliminary results of the election for the DFG Review Board are online.
Three members of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation were voted into the DFG Review Board.
Here are the members of the DFG Review Board 2019 from ImmunoSensation:
Achim Hörauf (FK204-06 Parasitologie & Biologie der Erreger tropischer Infektionskrankheiten)
Irmgard Förster (FK 204-05 Immunologie)
Waldemar Kolanus (FK 201-03 Zellbiologie)
Here you can find the preliminary results online.


Nature Publication by Heneka and colleagues

November 21, 2019


New Insights into Disease Mechanisms
Inflammatory Processes Drive Progression of Alzheimer's and Other Brain Diseases.
Report in "Nature" Inflammation drives the progression of neurodegenerative brain diseases and plays a major role in the accumulation of tau proteins within neurons. An international research team led by Prof. Michael Heneka (DZNE), member of cluster of excellence ImmunoSensation, and the University of Bonn comes to this conclusion in the journal "Nature". The findings are based on the analyses of human brain tissue and further lab studies. In the particular case of Alzheimer's the results reveal a hitherto unknown connection between Abeta and tau pathology. Furthermore, the results indicate that inflammatory processes represent a potential target for future therapies. ies. In the particular case of Alzheimer's the results reveal a hitherto unknown connection between Abeta and tau pathology. Furthermore, the results indicate that inflammatory processes represent a potential target for future therapies.
Find here the press release.


Successful Cluster Science Days 2019

November 14, 2019


Thanks for all the participants who attended this years Cluster Science Days. More than 300 participants, 105 poster and lots of red wine during the scientific pub quiz made the Cluster Science Days 2019 memorable.
We hope you alle enjoyed the conference and discussed about the future of immunological research.
Here you can find more pictures.


Operation Method published in Lancet

November 08, 2019
operation method heart


Cluster Member Prof. Nickenig and an international team of physicians published a recent study about the minimal invasive treatment of tricuspid regurgitation in the Journal 'Lancet'.
Find more information about the press release in german here.
Publication Georg Nickenig, Marcel Weber, Philipp Lurz, Ralph Stephan von Bardeleben, Marta Sitges, Paul Sorajja, et al.: Transcatheter edge-to-edge repair for reduction of tricuspid regurgitation: 6-month outcomes of the TRILUMINATE single-arm study“, The Lancet, Internet:


New method identifies aggressive breast cancer

October 30, 2019


Aggressive forms of breast cancer often manipulate the immune response in their favor. This manipulation is revealed in humans by the same immunological "signature" as in mice. This is shown by a study carried out by scientists from the University of Bonn and memebers of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation together with Dutch colleagues. Their method makes it possible to obtain an indication of the prognosis of the disease using patients' tumor tissue. The results are published in the journal "Cell Reports".
Publication: Sander Tuit, Camilla Salvagno, Theodore S. Kapellos, Cheei-Sing Hau, Lea Seep, Marie Oestreich, Kathrin Klee, Karin E. de Visser, Thomas Ulas und Joachim L. Schultze: Transcriptional signature derived from murine tumor-associated macrophages correlates with poor outcome in breast cancer patients. Cell Reports; DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.09.067


Important visit from Melbourne

October 24, 2019


A high-profile delegation of the University of Melbourne visited the University of Bonn in order to discuss a closer cooperation in research and training of early-career researchers. The Australian university is one of three strategic partnerships the University of Bonn maintains. Close links already exist especially in the areas of Food and Nutrition Sciences and Agricultural Sciences.
The Australian delegation of five was led by Vice-Chancellor Prof. Duncan Maskell. The position of Vice-Chancellor is equivalent to the position of a Rector in the German higher education system. Prof. Dr. Andreas Zimmer, Vice Rector for Research and Innovation, and Prof. Dr. Klaus Sandmann, Vice Rector for University Development and Equal Opportunity provided a warm welcome to the honorable guest. Rector Prof Dr Dr hc Michael Hoch met the Vice-Chancellor the following day at the reception of the University of Melbourne at the Australian Embassy in Berlin.
The Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation and the University of Melbourne have been working together closely since 2016: Under the name ”Bonn & Melbourne Research and Graduate School‟, the two partners launched an International Research Training Group with by now over 30 jointly mentored doctorates. The exchange of doctoral students, young academics and researchers is promoted by the ”Bonn & Melbourne Academy for Excellence in ImmunoSciences/Infection‟ (BM-AXIS).
Find the press release here.


Call to vote for DFG Review Boards 2019

October 21, 2019


Dear Cluster members and associated scientists,


as we already mentioned in July: the elections for the members of the DFG review boards for 2019 are starting today!
The DFG review boards scientifically evaluate proposal to fund research projects in their respective subject areas.
We are proud to announce that the following ImmunoSensation members and associated scientists were chosen as candidates:

Prof. Achim Hörauf; Subject Area 204-06 (Parasitology and biology of tropical infectious disease pathogens)
Prof. Irmgard Förster; Subject Area 204-05 (Immunology)
Prof. Christian Kurts; Subject Area 205-16 (Nephrology)
Prof. Waldemar Kolanus; Subject Area 201-03 (Cell Biology)
Prof. Matthias Geyer; Subject Area 201-01 (Biochemistry)

Prof. Peter Brossart; Subject Area 205-14 (Hematology, Oncology) 

We hereby call you to vote and encourage you to elect your representatives for the DFG review boards! Voting is possible from today, October 21, 2 pm, until November 18, 2 pm.
Each person entitled to vote has 6 votes and can distribute up to 3 votes to one person.
Researchers who have successfully passed the oral doctoral examination before the first day of the election period, and Professors (including junior professors) are qualified for active eligibility to vote!

More information can be found here:


New Study published in Nature Methods

October 14, 2019
Picture of researchers


Without fat, nothing works in the body: These substances serve as energy suppliers and important building blocks - including for the envelopes of living cells. Numerous diseases are related to disorders in the fat metabolism, such as obesity or cancer. Prof. Christoph Thiele from the LIMES Institute at the University of Bonn and member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation and others are now demonstrating how the fat metabolism can be monitored down to the individual liver cell of a mouse with the greatest sensitivity. This opens up several possibilities, such as minimizing the side effects of new drugs on the fat metabolism. The scientists now present their study in the journal "Nature Methods".
You can find the english press release here.


Epilepsy: Function of "brake cells" disrupted

October 02, 2019


In some forms of epilepsy, the function of certain "brake cells" in the brain is presumed to be disrupted. This may be one of the reasons why the electrical malfunction is able to spread from the point of origin across large parts of the brain. A current study by the University of Bonn with members of the cluster of excellence ImmunoSensation, in which researchers from Lisbon were also involved, points in this direction. The results are published in the renowned "Journal of Neuroscience".
Publication: Leonie Pothmann, Christian Klos, Oliver Braganza, Sarah Schmidt, Oihane Horno, Raoul-Martin Memmesheimer and Heinz Beck: Altered dynamics of canonical feed-back inhibition predicts increased burst transmission in chronic epilepsy; The Journal Of Neuroscience;
Find the english press release here.


ERC Grant for Elvira Mass

September 09, 2019
Elvira Mass


Dr. Elvira Mass from the LIMES Institute and member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation of the University of Bonn receives a coveted Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). This will mean a subsidy of 1.5 million euros over the next five years. The scientist wants to investigate the influence of nanoplastics on the development of neurological diseases.
With Starting Grants, the European Research Council honors outstanding junior researchers. The funding from Brussels will amount to 1.5 million euros over the next five years. Dr. Elvira Mass wants to investigate an omnipresent but understudied environmental risk for our immune system: the pollution caused by small plastic particles. "These particles, which decompose over time into micro- and nanoplastics have been detected in a variety of ecosystems," says Dr. Elvira Mass. "They are speculated to enter and spread in the food web all the way to humans."
You can find the german press release here.
Dr. Elvira Mass
Leiterin der Forschungsgruppe 
„Entwicklungsbiologie des Angeborenen Immunsystems“
LIMES-Institut der Universität Bonn
Tel. 02 28 / 73 - 6 28 48


Bill and Melinda Gates Funding for Prof. Hörauf

August 14, 2019
Histologischer Schnitt Onchocerca volvulus


More than 21 million people in Africa are infected with the nematode Onchocerca volvulus, the cause of river blindness. Around one in ten of those affected goes blind. Parasitologists around Prof. Hörauf at the University Hospital Bonn are looking for new, more effective weapons against the insidious parasite. The evaluation of the success of treatment is important. They now want to develop a method in which artificial intelligence (AI) automatically evaluates tissue samples from patients under the microscope. The aim is to reduce the time required and to establish an objective standard for analysis. The project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Find the press release here.


Cluster Member Bradke publishes in Neuron

August 08, 2019
(Dorsal root ganglia) neuron under the microscope


Cluster member Prof. Bradke, who works at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and his group have identified a group of proteins that help to regenerate damaged nerve cells. Their findings are reported in the journal "Neuron".
It is commonly accepted that neurons of the central nervous system shut down their ability to grow when they no longer need it; this occurs normally after they have found their target cells and established synapses. However, recent findings show that old nerve cells have the potential to regrow and to repair damage similar to young neurons. The underlying mechanisms for this rejuvenation have now been uncovered in laboratory studies led by the team of Professor Frank Bradke at the DZNE's Bonn site together with scientists of the University of Bonn.
You can find the press release here.


Travel Grants for I, Scientist Conference

July 30, 2019


Dear Cluster members and associated scientists, 

We are pleased to announce that researchers have the chance to apply for a fellowship for the following conference in Berlin: 

I, Scientist 

When?  September 20 & 21, 2019

Where? Technische Universität Berlin

I, Scientist is a conference aimed at people in natural sciences, mathematics, engineering and computer science (life sciences: 28%). 

The conference 

  • Introduces careers that exist in academia and beyond
  • Addresses the gender-based marginalizations and barriers many people encounter in natural sciences
  • Provides a variety of networking opportunities 

Further information you can find here:

The fellowship covers registration fee, travel costs and accomodation.

For application, please send an email including the completely filled registration form (attached), CV and a letter of motivation  to until August 05, 2019

We are looking forward to your application!


Your CCO


Radio Interview with Cluster Member Prof. Andreas Zimmer

July 25, 2019
Brain, Cannabis


Our Cluster Member Prof. Andreas Zimmer from the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry gave an insight about using Cannabis in science.
You can find the radio spot here.


“We are a University of Excellence”

July 21, 2019
Rector Prof. Hoch celebrates the excellence decision.


We are happy and proud to be part of that excellent University. The University of Bonn is one of only eleven Universities of Excellence in Germany appointed today and one of two in North Rhine-Westphalia. With the six Clusters of Excellence acquired last September, the University of Bonn is the most successful university in the Germany-wide Excellence competition.
We look forward to continue our excellent research in this excellent environment.
Find here the press release.


New Cluster Times out

July 17, 2019


Our newest Cluster Time - Issue 8 is out.
In this edition of The Cluster Times we introduce the new members of the cluster and keep you updated with news from ImmunoSensation. Enjoy reading!
You can find our Newsletter here.


New Family Room at the BMZ

June 26, 2019


We are very happy to announce the opening of our family room at the BMZ.  The opening ceremony was attended by Mrs. Kolits, a representative of the family service PME and Mrs Banavas from the office of gender equality of the UKB. The more than 40 guests had the opportunity to ask questions, exchange their experiences and have a look in our family room.
For our Cluster scientists, the family room can be used to provide childcare by the family service of PME when the regular daycare is closed due to unforeseen reasons. If you organize your own childcare- you can use it after booking the room at notes
If you have questions concerning the pme family service or the family room, please contact


Congratulations to the recipients of the SFB/ Transregio grants:

May 23, 2019


University of Bonn researchers were successful in the securing SFB/Transregio grants.
The SFB/Transregio "Aortic Diseases", will be working on basic and clinical research on expanding the understanding of fundamental principles in the pathogenesis of aortic diseases. 
The SFB/Transregio "Cellular mechanisms of antibiotic action and production" intends to further investigate the biochemical production and action mechanisms of antibiotics.
More read the press release here


Europe is a top destination for many researchers, Nature

May 21, 2019


ImmunoSensation Scientist, Dr. Bernardo Franklin was feature in a Nature article titled "Europe is a top destination for many researchers". The article interviewed scientists from different parts of the world who are working in the EU. 
“Science is not a recognized profession in Brazil, where I come from,” says Bernardo Franklin, an immunologist at the University of Bonn in Germany. “In Germany, PhD students are given working contracts, with regulations that provide them with insurances, pension and other benefits, and protect them from exploitation and abusive supervisors.”
Read the full article by clicking this link.


Day of Immunology 2019

May 11, 2019 - May 11, 2019


On Saturday the 11 May 2019, ImmunoSensation Scientists took time to share interesting, new and current research with members of the public at Bonn Marktplatz to mark the Day of Immunology. The scientist covered the topics of lung and liver diseases. There were walk through organ model that were set up in the tent and people of all age groups learnt something new. A lung capacity machine was used to demonstrate how the lung capacity can vary and this complemented well the topic of lung diseases. At the end of the day, cluster scientists and members of the public had a nice ImmunoSensational day.


6th Venusberg Meeting on Neuroinflammation

May 09, 2019 - May 11, 2019


Neurodegeneration meets neuroinflammation: the mutual interactions between immune cells and neurons.
In this year's Venusberg Meeting on Neuroinflammation a special emphasis will be put on the interaction between neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory mechanisms.
Speakers from all areas of neuroinflammation will present the most recent findings and developments in order to stimulate vivid and challenging discussions. More information on the program, venue and registration can be found at the website of the DZNE
Date and Time:
9th May 2019 (9.00 a.m)  - 11 May 2019 (5.00 p.m)
DZNE Bonn,
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 27,
53127, Bonn


Immunology enthusiasts gather for the opening ceremony of Immun-Sinn exhibition

April 30, 2019


On the 29th of April 2019, Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Michael Hoch, Rector of the University of Bonn opened the exhibition Immun-Sinn  at the University Museum of the University of Bonn. Immun-Sinn is an exhibition prepared by ImmunoSensation scientists and looks into the different aspects of immunology, starting with the history of immunotherapy, Alzheimer’s disease, influence of western diet on the immune system, tropical diseases and technological advancements in the field of immunology. The opening ceremony was attended by guests from different institutions in Bonn and also included PhD and Masters students. The exhibition will run from the 2nd of May till the 30th of June. 


TV spot about Cluster Research by Prof. Eicke Latz

April 25, 2019


A TV spot about Cluster research conducted by the Institute of Innate Immunity (Prof. Eicke Latz and Dr. Anette Christ) can be found here:,burger-ernaehrung-100.html
It will provide you with information on how eating fast food will activate your immune system.


Opening of the ImmunSinn Exhibition

April 23, 2019


An exhibition showing milestones in the field of immunology at the University of Bonn’s Museum from the 2nd of May to the 30th of June 2019

The exhibition titled ImmunSinn, is aimed at bringing immunology closer to the people covering the topics of immunotherapy, Alzheimer’s disease, the influence of western diet on our health, parasitic diseases and technological advances in immunology. On display are photos, 3D models, parasitic worms and informative posters that will take you from the 1860s to the present day.

The exhibition looks into some milestones in the field of immunotherapy, comparing the late 19th, the early 20th and the 21st centuries. We feature the first doctor who tried to harness the power of the immune system to fight cancer by using bacterial infection. Unknown to most people, he was a professor of surgery at the University Hospital Bonn. In 1867, Professor of Surgery, Carl David Wilhelm Busch, in his quest to cure a patient with an inoperable tumor of the neck, knowingly and purposefully exposed her to bacterial infection. This was after the observation that an episode of bacterial skin infection called erysipelas caused tumors to shrink. His treatment was at first successful and he was able to reduce the tumor size, but unfortunately, after a short while it grew back and the patient later succumbed to cancer. We also feature 21st century Busch-like immunotherapy, but more refined, this time using nucleic acids that mimic viral infections to induce a specific immune response that fights cancers.

During the late 19th century some doctors used live bacteria as a way to shrink and treat tumors. At that point in time, the knowledge on why and how this worked was not known. By the early 1900s, the use of live bacteria was replaced with its products. Since then, the field of immunology has grown and more information on host – pathogen interactions are now available. This has enabled scientists to move from directly using live bacteria organisms, to the production of specific molecules that are recognized by immune cells in the same way as pathogens. 

In developing countries, the most common causes of death are infectious diseases, while the developed nations have more lifestyle associated disease. As a representative disease of the western lifestyle, an atherosclerosis model is displayed which compares a healthy versus a clogged artery. For the developing world a collection of parasitic diseases that are endemic to the tropics and subtropics are displayed.
Prof. Schultze: “The exhibition looks into the developments that have taken place in the field of immunology over the last 100 years. It also gives a peak into the future, from using microscopes, like the 100 year old one on display, to the latest technology of single cell genomics”.

The exhibition has been put together by a team of scientists from ImmunuSensation2, like Dr. Anette Christ and Prof. Joachim Schultze (photographed at the exhibition), researcher from the Institute for Medical Humanities and compiled by Dr. Patricia Korir with support and advice from the speakers of the Cluster.

For those who would like to know more on specific topics in the exhibition, there will be public lectures inside the museum on the below listed topics and dates at 6 PM:

23rd May, Dr. Anette Christ, The effects of western diet on our health, Institute of Innate Immunity, University Hospital Bonn
6th June, Prof. Dr. med. Joachim Schultze, Single cell genomics: from one cell to the patient, LIMES, University of Bonn
13th June, Prof. Dr. med. Michael Heneka, Alzheimer’s disease, Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Gerontopsychiatry at the University of Bonn University Hospital Bonn

Dr. Patricia Jebett Korir
ImmunoSensation Cluster of Excellence, University of Bonn
Press and Public Relations
Venusberg - Campus 1, 53127 Bonn,
+49 228 287-51283


PostDoc position available in Wilhelm Lab

April 15, 2019


An open PostDoc Position is available in the Wilhelm Lab in the Insitute of Clincal Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology.
We are seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow to conduct research on the fundamental aspects of nutritional regulation of the immune system. The Project aims to understand how different diets are able to shape the function of the immune system. In particular the work aims to identify how dietary-derived metabolites shape the biology of tissue resident immune cells such as innate lymphoid cells (ILC) in health and disease. The candidate will have opportunities to obtain additional external funding and develop an independent research program during postdoctoral training.
Find more information in the attached poster.


Open PhD Positions

April 10, 2019


To find outstanding PhD students for the IITB program and the BIGS Immunoscience and Infection, we invite all interested students in our Selection Symposium. This will take place in May 2019 for the final round applicants. The Selection Symposium will include interviews with a Selection Committee, oral or poster presentations of the applicants and interviews with the PIs in whose labs postitions are available.
Please check our Recruitment Section for further information on how to apply.
Start of the PhD positions is planned for July 1, 2019 or later.


Study for treatment of lymphatic filariosis in Science Translational Medicine published

March 15, 2019


Neglected tropical diseases such as Lymphatic filariosis are common in tropical and subtropical areas. Here mostly poor people are affected.
An international consortium with a contribution of scientists from the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation identified a new substance ABBV-4083 in the fight against adult worms, the cause of lymphatic filariosis.
Dr. Marc Hübner and Prof. Hörauf are working in the Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology at the University Hospital Bonn.

You can find the german press release here.
Publication: Mark J. Taylor, Thomas W. von Geldern, Louise Ford, Marc P. Hübner, Kennan Marsh, Kelly L. Johnston, Hanna T. Sjoberg, Sabine Specht, Nicolas Pionnier, Hayley E. Tyrer, Rachel H. Clare, Darren A. N. Cook, Emma Murphy, Andrew Steven, John Archer, Dominique Bloemker, Franziska Lenz, Marianne Koschel, Alexandra Ehrens, Haelly M. Metuge, Valerinne C. Chunda, Patrick W. Ndongmo Chounna, Abdel J. Njouendou, Fanny F. Fombad, Robert Carr, Howard E. Morton, Ghaith Aljayyoussi, Achim Hoerauf, Samuel Wanji, Dale J. Kempf, Joseph D. Turner, Stephen A. Ward: Preclinical development of an oral anti-Wolbachia macrolide drug for the treatment of lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis, Science Translational Medicine, DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aau2086


Apply for One-on-One Career Coaching

March 11, 2019


We are pleased to announce that female postdoctoral researchers and junior group leaders have the chance to apply for a fellowship for an One-on-One Career Coaching.

When: Starting in May

Where: Bonn (Humbroichweg 1A, 53227 Bonn) or via Skype


  • Reflecting your own position and competences
  • Finding your own career strategy
  • Discussing your funding profile
  • Get feedback on your CV
  • and much more

You can decide the number and duration of your sessions (totalling to 10 hours).

!Take the chance to define your own career path!

Please send a letter of motivation, a description of your scientific work (needed for the coaching)  together with the completed application form to

Application deadline: April 05, 2019


Open spots for DGfI Translational Immunology School 2019

March 04, 2019


Dear Cluster members and associated scientists,
We are pleased to announce that application for fellowships for the 8th DGfI Translational Immunology School 2019 is open! The fellowship covers the registration fee including courses, accommodation, full board and social program.
What? 8th DGfI Translational Immunology School 2019
When? April 11-13, 2019
Where? Potsdam
Further information you can find at
Application deadline: March 10, 2019
Applications will only be accepted via our eTraining system. To open your application, please send a short email to


Roger de Spoelberch Prize goes to Frank Bradke

January 31, 2019


Frank Bradke, a senior researcher at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and a professor at the University of Bonn, will be awarded the Roger de Spoelberch Prize, which is endowed with 750,000 euros. The Swiss Roger de Spoelberch Foundation thereby honors his studies on the growth and regeneration of neurons. Bradke’s research aims to lay the basis for novel therapies, especially for the treatment of spinal cord injuries. The award ceremony will be held in December 2019 in Geneva.


ImmunoSensation scientists unravel a long standing enigma in crystal-induced chronic inflammation

December 19, 2018 - December 19, 2018


A team formed by researchers from the Institute of Innate Immunity, the Institute of Experimental Immunology of the University of Bonn, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School have unraveled a long standing enigma in crystal-induced chronic inflammation. 
It has been known, since 1850, that eosinophil infiltration into tissues results in the accumulation of large extracellular crystals known as Charcot-Leyden crystals (CLCs). CLCs have now been extensively described in the lungs of asthmatics patients as well as in patients with allergic reactions, helminthic infections and in the nose of chronic rhinosinusitis patients. Research on this topic has been considerably slow, for example, it took another 120 years for the biochemical characterization of these crystals, formed by a protein Galectin-10, which is enriched in eosinophil granules. Since then, another gap in knowledge was that their function or activity remained unknown. Whether these crystals are merely a marker of eosinophil demise, or play any role in the disease progression. 
The new study published this week in the Journal of Immunology shows that Charcot-Leyden crystals induce a strong inflammatory response driven by interleukin-1 after the activation of the pattern recognition receptor NLRP3 and formation of inflammasomes. The study suggests that a product of eosinophil degranulation can sustain immune activity, which could have important implications for the development of chronic diseases such as allergic asthma, a chronic airway inflammatory disease that affects 8-12% of people in Europe.


Eva Bartok receives Universitätsgesellschaft Bonn (UGB) prize for outstanding doctoral thesis

December 05, 2018


 Dr. Eva Bartok from the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Pharmacology was awarded the Universitätsgesellschaft Bonn (UGB) Bonner Preis für Medizin (Bonner Prize for Medicine) for her outstanding doctoral thesis in the field of medicine.  The prize which is sponsored by Prof. Dr. Rolf Dederich and the UGB has been awarded annualy since 2012 and carries a cash reward of 5000 euros.


Alliance for Immunology between Bonn and Osaka

November 07, 2018


The University of Bonn and the University of Osaka, Japan have signed a five-year cooperation agreement. The agreement, which will feature academic and research collaboration between the Excellence Cluster, ImmunoSensation and University of Osaka’s Immunology Frontier Research Center (IFReC), Research Institute for Microbial Diseases (RIMD) and Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences (FBS), was signed on the 5th of November 2018 in Bonn.

Prof. Hoch lauded the cooperation as a new dawn for the two institutions and an opportunity to further understand the mechanism of the innate immunity. Addressing the scientists present at the occasion, the rector urged them to emulate Prof. Akira, who through his discovery and description of toll like receptor genes in mammals and their functions had influenced a generation of scientists and paved way for more research in the field.


You can blame it on the gene! Researchers discover new gene for hair loss

November 06, 2018


In infancy, fine hair tends to sprout sparsely. With increasing age, hair loss progresses. Ultimately, only a few hairs are left on the head and body. Hypotrichosis simplex is a rare form of hair loss (alopecia). The condition is limited to a few hundred families worldwide. So far, only a few genes are known that are causally related to the disease. Under the leadership of the Institute of Human Genetics at the University Hospital of Bonn, a team of researchers from Germany and Switzerland have now deciphered mutations in another gene that is responsible for hair loss.
The scientists examined the coding genes of three families that are not related to each other and are of different ancestry. A total of eight relatives showed the typical symptoms of hair loss. All those affected had mutations in the LSS gene. “This gene encodes lanosterol synthase - LSS for short,” said Prof. Dr. Regina C. Betz from the Institute of Human Genetics at the University Hospital of Bonn. “The enzyme plays a key role in cholesterol metabolism.” However, the cholesterol blood values of those affected are not changed. Betz: “There is an alternative metabolic pathway for cholesterol, which plays an important role in the hair follicle and is not related to blood cholesterol levels."


Six Excellence Clusters for the University of Bonn!!

September 27, 2018 - September 27, 2018


The much awaited Excellence Strategy funding decision by the DFG was received with cheers and applause! As the Rector of the University of Bonn, Prof. Michael Hoch, read the list of the 6 funded Excellence Clusters from the DFG website, the room was filled with joy and cheers!
ImmunoSensation² and 5 other Clusters were successful in their application. This was a significant moment, as the University of Bonn was the only University in Germany to receive funding for six Clusters of Excellence.  
We congratulate all ImmunoSensation scientists for their hard work and we look forward to achieving greater heights!!
We also congratulate: The Hausdorff Center for Mathematics, Beyond Slavery and Freedom, PhenoRob, ML4Q and ECONtribute!


Current Trends in Digitalization of Medicine

September 26, 2018


Change in technology has brought with it convenience in the medical sector, with just a click of a button, patients and doctors have access to a lot of information. 
As part of the 200 years jubilee celebrations of the University of Bonn, Immunosensation together with the Medical Faculty organized an open lecture for the public on this topic. Prof. Nicolas Wernert  Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, gave a public lecture on the actual trends in the digitalization of medicine. His talk broadly covered actual tread starting from intergration of multi-omics, 3D printing of organs and tumors, standard Health-Apps on mobile phones to minimal invasive surgery using robotics. The lecture was directly followed by a podium discussion with experts in the fields related to it. 
The topic of digitalization is a sensitive one and with it alot of ethical and legal implications, therefore, to efficiently discuss this topic, the members of the panel consisted of experts from the legal sector, ethics, medical and private sector. Members of the podium were : Prof. Dr. Nicolas Wernert - Dean Faculty of Medicine, University of Bonn, Prof. Dr. Dr. Mariacarla Gadebusch Bondio – Director, Institute of Medical History, University Hospital Bonn, Katrin Reuter – Founder trackle GmbH, Prof. Dr. Markus Nöthen – Director, Institute of Human Genetics, University of Bonn and Prof. Dr. iur. Dirk Böhmann - Legal advisor for medical and labor laws, German Association of University Professors and Lecturers. The event was moderated by Jan Niklas Hansen, Doctoral candidate at the Institute of Innate Immunity, University of Bonn.


Cluster Scientists Discover New Role of CCL17

September 12, 2018


ImmunoSensation Cluster scientists and associated members discover a new role for the allergy driver: It influences signal transmission in the brain.
The chemotactic protein CCL17 attracts immune cells to where they are currently needed. Doctors have long known: A high level of this substance in the body indicates an allergic reaction. A team of scientists led by the University of Bonn has now discovered a completely new function: CCL17 also influences signal transmission in the brain. There may even be a molecular link to autism. The results have now been published in the journal “GLIA”.
The article which they published in Glia is available online DOI: 10.1002/glia.23507


PRINTEGER, Newsletter Edition 2/2018

August 31, 2018


Integrity in research is more of a necessity than a luxury and reseachers should alway perform their work with this in mind. PRINTEGER was a EU funded Project which came to an end on the 31st Aug 2018 and their mission was to enhance research integrity. During their project, Upright which is an interactive educational tool on research intergrity was developed.
Upright aims at promoting research intergrity with more the question " What kind of researcher should I be?" rather than "what should I do?". It also provides information and oppourtunities for debate and reflection. Intergrity in research is not a one off committment, but rather a lifelong one.


ImmunoSensation and the Biomedicine Team Win the Excellence Science Slam!!

August 27, 2018


The two Excellence Clusters of the University of Bonn, ImmunoSensation and Hausdorff Center for Mathematics organized a joint Science- Slam that was held at the Arkadenhof of the University of Bonn. The slam also received support from the student iGEM-Team Bonn. 
The two teams went head to head, with each having 3 slammers from all over Germany that who presented on their respective disciplines. In the end, the public was charged with the task of determining the winner through casting of beads. And through a clear vote, measured  on measuring cylinders ImmunoSensation and its biomedicine team won. Roman Stilling who presented on microbiome was selected as the slammer of the night. 


Cluster Scientist Nicole Glodde Wins Fleur Hiege- Prize 2018

August 24, 2018


Dr. Nicole Glodde from the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Pharmacology, at the University Hospital Bonn has been selected for the Fleur Hiege-Gedächtnispreis 2018.

The 32-year-old postdoc in the Lab of Prof. Michael Hölzel, will receive the prize in recognition of her work in the field of cancer research that was published in Immunity, 2017. The publication entitled “Reactive neutrophil responses dependent on the receptor tyrosine kinase c-MET limit cancer immunotherapy”, demonstrated that neutrophils acquire immunosuppressive properties and inhibit the activity of killer immune cells, known as cytotoxic T cells, in the context of cancer immunotherapy. By elegantly performed experiments, Glodde and her colleagues discovered a way to counteract this mechanism and to increase the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy.
This is the second time that a cluster scientist has won this prestigious prize! in 2014, Tobias Bald received the same prize! Congratulations Nicole Glodde and the entire Prof. Hölzel lab!


Immunosciences and Infection Takes 1st Position in NRW, DFG Funding Period 2014-2016

July 26, 2018


The efforts of Cluster scientists is very well reflected with the increase in funding, as shown by the DFG funding atlas. The DFG funding atlas for the period 2014 -2016 places us in 1st position in NRW and 3rd in the whole of Germany. During the 2014-2016 funding period, we received a total of 19.7 million euros, which was 3.4 million more than in 2011-2013 period.
The Medical Faculty was standing strong among the Top 10 in Germany (9 out of 85) having raised a total of 60.4 million euros. Neurosciences also moved up to position 7, having received a total of 16.3 million.
Congratulations for all the hard work!
Find the full press release here.


forsch Uni-Bonn Features 3 Cluster Scientist in the Summer 2018 Edition

July 16, 2018


The forsch magazine is a publication of the University of Bonn featuring interesting and top ongoing research in various disciplines at the University. 
The 2018 summer edition featured articles from 3 cluster scientist:
Dr. Florian Schmidt on his Nanobodies research and their generation using Alpacas (pg. 22), Prof. Dr. Heinz Beck research on new Epilepsy medication (pg. 28) and Prof. Dr. Markus Nöthen research together with the International Psychiatric Genomics Consortium on genes connected to depression  (pg 32)
Online copies are available available both as soft and hardcopies,Link to forsch


10 Million Euros for Young Cancer Researchers

July 05, 2018


The Centre for Integrated Oncology (CIO) Köln/Bonn receives one of the five new " Mildred-Scheel-Nachwuchszentren" with which the German Cancer Aid (DKH) aims to keep cancer research in Germany fit for the future. CIO Köln/ Bonn will hence receive two million euros per year for five years, this money will be available to the young cancer scientists for their research over the next five years. The funding is intended to provide promising young researchers with the best possible working conditions and to improve the compatibility of family and career.

The CIO Köln/Bonn is the only location in North Rhine-Westphalia that qualified for DKH funding. 

Prof. Dr. Nicolas Wernert, Dean Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn, lauded the opportunities the award will bring to cancer research and ImmunoSensation: "This approval will sustainably strengthen oncology research at both locations, especially in Bonn, through the research contributions of the ImmunoSensation cluster of excellence”.


Guest scientists from India and Thailand visit ImmunoSensation

July 02, 2018


Each year in Lindau, Nobel Laureates meet with the next-generation of scientists, with the aim of fostering the exchange of knowledge between different generations and nationalities. The junior scientist comprise of undergraduates, postgraduates and postdocs. The annual meetings focus on three natural science disciplines, and alternatingly feature the field of physiology and medicine, physics or chemistry and once in five years a joint meeting of the disciplines. For many years now, the DFG has invited participants from China, Thailand and India to tour top research institutions in Germany on the so-called “Post-Lindau Tour”. This year’s meeting was dedicated to the field of physiology and medicine and thus on the list of top ranking research institutions in this field was the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Bonn.


Career opportunity for PhD and Postdocs in the newly funded SFB/Transregio 237

June 25, 2018


About the Transregio
The SFB/TR is an interdisciplinary research network between the University of Bonn, the TU Dresden and the LMU Munich with participation of the University Marburg, the TU Munich and the MPI for Biochemistry Munich.
About the Science
Projects within the SFB/TR237 cover the diverse pathways involved in Nucleic Acid Immunity that have fundamental implications for human health and disease.
About the Candidates
The ideal candidates will be highly motivated and team oriented, with a strong interest in immunology and a first class academic degree in a life science related discipline.
PhD candidates: should have a Master's degree or equivalent for PhD positions, a strong background in molecular biomedicine, molecular biology, biochemistry or cell biology. 
Postdoctoral candidates: should have an outstanding scientific track record including publications in peer reviewed journals.


Open House Day at the Villa Hammerschmidt

June 24, 2018 - June 24, 2018


As part of the events to celebrate its 200 years anniversary, the University of Bonn featured varies institutions and departments during the Open House at the Villa Hammerschmidt on Sunday, June 24, 2018. The event was visited by more than 14,000 people.
The Cluster Coordination office (CCO) and Cluster scientists from the Institute of Medical Microbiology Immunology and Parasitology (IMMIP) represented ImmunoSensation program during this event in the Tent "Global Health".
IMMIP Director Prof. Achim Hörauf and his team of scientists introduced the visitors into microscopy of successful worm treatment of filariasis patients, a group of neglected tropical diseases commonly known as elephantiasis and river blindness. The staff demonstrated how adult filarial worms are sterilized and killed by targeting endosymbiotic Wolbachia bacteria with the antibiotic doxycycline.
The Cluster Coordination Office had a long line of curious participants who wanted to play the role of immune cells and find out if through their sense of touch, they could identify the foreign object.
The immune-sensing game and microscopy were popular among all age groups.
The highlight of the our tent was a short visit by Germany's Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Prof. Hörauf introduced the Federal President into the current research of the Excellence Cluster and participating institutions. Watch the video of this memorable moment here. 


Cluster Publication in Journal of Neuroscience by Prof. Beck

June 01, 2018


A new publication by our Cluster member Prof. Heinz Beck shows, why the worldwide leading medication against epilepsy might not be suitable for a lot of patients.
The new findings published in the Journal of Neuroscience could lead to better and more effective therapies against epilepsy. This is of high importance since every third patient is not responding to the prescripted drugs these days.


Transregio Nucleic Acid Immunity funded by DFG

May 21, 2018


The new Transregio 'Nucleic Acid Immunity' from the Unversity Bonn, TU Dresden and LMU Munich is funded by the DFG for a first round of 4 years from July 1st on.
Prof. Gunther Hartmann is the speaker of this consortium of researcher who will investigate the molecular mechanisms of recognizing foreign nucleic acids by our immune system.
This is of special importance since the malfunction of this system leads to various diseases such as chronic viral infections, inflammation and autoimmune disorders.
11 research groups of the medical faculty from the University Bonn are participating in this Transregio.


Ringvorlesung talks

May 17, 2018 - June 12, 2018


As part of the celebration of the 200 years anniversary of the University of Bonn, Excellence Cluster ImmunoSensation organized public lectures. These talks were held in German and were presented by Cluster scientists in a way that the general public could follow and understand.
The lectures were impressively visited and we got a lot of positive feedbacks from the members of the public who would like to have more of such very informative presentations.
ImmunoSensation would like to sincerely thank Prof. Kathrin Paeschke, Prof. Eva Kiermaier, Dr. Elvira mass, Prof. Eicke Latz, Prof. Gunther Hartmann, Prof. Joachim Schultze and Prof. Michael Heneka for taking their time to give this talks.
Some of the talks are available as videos and can be watched by clicking on the Surnames:


Night of Science- Wissenschaftsnacht

May 17, 2018 - May 18, 2018


Every alternate year in Bonn, Bonner Wissenschaftsnacht (Night of Science) is held at the Münsterplatz-Bonn. We at the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation, joined other scientist from Bonn, Rhein-Sieg-Kreis and Kreis-Ahrweiler at the tent in Münsterplatz to contribute to the theme on Circulation. Using a torso from the Institute of Anatomy- University of Bonn and a chimpanzee skull from Museum König, cluster scientists explained the T-cell immune response invoked during HIV infection to members of the public. The chimpanzee skull was representative of the non-human primates that can be infected with a Lentivirus similar to HIV the SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus). The scientist used microscopes to show immune cells in different organs using tissue sections mounted on slides.
We sincerely thank; Cluster members and scientists for their support, Bonner Wissenschaftsnacht for the opportunity to participate, Institute of Anatomy-University of Bonn for the torso, Museum König for the chimpanzee skull, the volunteers from Prof. Latz's group- Institute for Innate Immunity, Prof. Kolanus- LIMES institute, for the tissue section and Institute of Medical Microbiology Immunology and Parasitology for the Microscopes. 


Lamas and Alpacas as a tool for immunological research

May 16, 2018


Proteins are highly important for lots of processes in our body. To gain more knowledge about their function, researchers would like to modify or completey remove them from our body.
Our Cluster researcher Dr. Florian Schmidt, group leader of an Emmy Noether-Research group at the Institute of Innate Immunity is further developing a method for designing protein-blockers with the help of Alpacas and Lamas.
You can find the german press release here.
Dr. Florian I. Schmidt
Emmy Noether-Group Leader
Institute of Innate Immunity
University of Bonn
Tel. 0228/28751124


New DFG Statement of the replicability of research results

May 08, 2018


The German Research Council announced its new statement for the replicability of research results in the field of medicine and biomedicine.
You can find the german press release from the DFG website here.
The statement can be found on our homepage - although it is only in german.


Kinderuni - Do cells have eyes? Can cells see?

May 07, 2018 - May 07, 2018


Prof. Dagmar Wachten from the Institute of Innate Immunity, University of Bonn, gave an intriguing lecture to young enthusiastic 8-13 year olds, who were participants in the Kinderuni program. Do cells have eyes? (’’Können Zellen gucken’’) was the topic of her lecture, which stimulated the minds of the young participants, resulting in questions and discussions. Photos can be found on this link.


Day of Immunology 2018

May 05, 2018


Scientists from the ImmunoSensation Cluster of Excellence took time to share interesting, new and current research with members of the public at Bonn Marktplatz to mark the Day of Immunology. On that fine sunny spring Saturday, residents from Bonn and the surrounding visited the ImmunoSensation tent and asked questions related to immunology of the presented disciplines. To spice the day up, 5 public talks were held in 3 different locations, and attendees were not shy to ask the presenters questions, which was a confirmation that the talks were a success.
At the end of the day, cluster scientists and members of the public had a nice ImmunoSensational day. We sincerly thank the Bundesstadt Bonn- Economic Development Office for letting us on the Marktplatz.


Cluster publication in Nature Genetics

April 30, 2018


Cluster member Prof. Markus Nöthen and colleagues published with an international consortium 30 new gene loci that are connected with depression.
The recent publication was released in Nature Genetics and integrated the data of 135.000 patients and 344.000 healthy controls.
Find the german press release here.
Publication: Genome-wide association analyses identify 44 risk variants and refine the genetic architecture of major depression, Nature Genetics, DOI: 10.1038/s41588-018-0090-3


Ringvorlesung: Herausforderungen der biomedizinischen Forschung

April 05, 2018


The Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation is proud to share with you, that we organize a lecture series about challengens in the biomedical research field.
We invite you to join us on different dates from april 17 until june 12 in the Main Building of the University Bonn, Lecture Hall 1.
It starts 6.30 pm and you can bring your non-english speaking friends since the lectures are always in german. Afterwards there is time to ask questions.


New member of the CCO Team

April 04, 2018


We are happy to announce that we have a new colleague in the Cluster Coordination Office.
Dr. Alexandra Krämer will be in charge for the IITB support within the CCO.
Do not hesitate to get in contact with Dr. Alexandra Krämer if you need advice regarding the IITB program.
You can contact her via or 0228 287 51182.
Welcome on board Alexandra.
Your CCO Team


New competence network 'West German Genome Center'

March 19, 2018


The 'West German Genome Center' (WGGC) is a new initiative of the University of Bonn, University of Cologne and the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf. 
This new competence network is being funded with 5.3 Million Euro for three years by the German Research Foundation. It is the first infrastructure facility for the Areas of Bioinformatics, Genomics and High Throughput Computing.
Find the german press release here.


Seminars by Next Generation Sequencing Core Facility

March 14, 2018


Dear Cluster member and Cluster scientist,

The Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Core Facility invites you to two technical seminars: 

Topic: Chromium Single Cell 3¹ v2 - Application and protocol overview 

Date and time: Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am 

Location: Life & Brain, seminar room 

Topic: Theory refresher and software overview - Cell Ranger - Loupe Cell Browser 

Date and time: Friday, March 23, 2018 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm 

Location: Life & Brain, seminar room 

The seminars will be held by the company 10X Genomics. No registration! 

For more information, please contact Dr. rer. nat. André Heimbach (, Head of NGS Core Facility.


Roofing ceremony for new Cluster building

March 09, 2018


The roofing ceremony for our new cluster building - BMZ II - took place this Wednesday.
The BMZ II will host lab and office space for basic research in the field of immunology and infectiology. Also translational and clinical research areas can be found on the 4500 square meter. If everything goes as planned, the building will be opened in the 2nd quarter of 2019.
You can read here the german press release.


IITB Students' Network Meeting

March 01, 2018


Most recent scientific highlights within the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation
Invited scientists of different career levels in a round table discussion about job
perspectives in science
Date & Time
Monday, March 12 2018, 2 pm (1pm until 5 pm)
Haus Venusberg
Haager Weg 28-30, 53127 Bonn
Find the program here.
To register, use our online registration tool:


We were a part of the Science Rallye Bonn

February 26, 2018


We took part in the Science Rallye of the University Bonn and teamed up with the LIMES Institut.
Together with the group of Prof. Günter Mayer ( we let the participants investigate in a case of murder - of course only a fictional one.
Have a look at the video here.
The next Science Rallye will take place February 9th, 2019 and we will for sure be a part again.


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.


Mentoring Program (in german) for PostDocs with open spots

August 10, 2017


Liebe Cluster-Postdoktorandinnen,

im Rahmen des neu startenden Mentoring- und Trainingsprogramms MeTra sind noch einige Plätze für Postdoktorandinnen (1.-3. Jahr) frei. (Die Plätze für Doktorandinnen sind bereits ausgebucht.)

Die Bewerbungsfrist läuft noch bis zum 15. August.
Die Teilnahmegebühren i.H.v. 200,- € wird den Teilnehmerinnen durch das Exzellenzcluster ImmunoSensation erstattet.

Wer interessiert ist, momentan aber in Urlaub, kann sich auch vorab gerne per email bei Dr. Martina Pottek ( melden, um das weitere Vorgehen zu vereinbaren.

Der erste Workshop (erfolgreiche Förderanträge schreiben) findet am 16./17. Oktober statt.
Wichtiger Hinweise: die Trainingsveranstaltungen werden in deutscher Sprache gehalten, daher sind ausreichende Sprachkenntnisse notwendig.
Fortgeschrittene Postdocs ab dem 3. Jahr, Habilitandinnen, Juniorprofessorinnen können sich noch bis Oktober bewerben.
Detaillierte Hintergrundinfos zum Programm und zu den Bewerbungsmodalitäten finden sich auf folgender Homepage:


Joint Symposium HCM and ImmunoSensation

August 08, 2017


We would like to announce the joint symposium from the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics & ImmunoSensation on August 28 & 29, 2017.

Title: Symposium of Biomathematics
Date: August 28 (Monday) & 29 (Tuesday), 2017
Time: 09:00 am - 01:15 pm
Location: Lipschitz-Saal 1.016, Endenicher Allee 60, 53115 Bonn

No registration needed & no registration fee.


Cluster member Prof. Nöthen received teaching award

July 06, 2017


Prof. Markus M. Nöthen, director of the Institute of Human Genetics, received a teaching award by the Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelms University Bonn for his outstanding commitment.
The teaching awards were handed over at the University Celebration in the Telekom Dome. According to the size and number of students, the faculties are allowed to nominate different instructors for the award. The medical faculty of the Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelms University handed over an award to Dr. Christof Völker, Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, next to Prof. Markus Nöthen.
Find the german press release here.


Video about our Day of Immunology 2017

July 04, 2017


Dear Cluster members and friends,
we are happy to share with you the video about our Day of Immunology 2017, April 29 on the Marktplatz in Bonn.
Have a look for yourself:
A big thank you to the Bundesstadt Bonn - Economic Development Office for letting us on the Marktplatz and Uni Bonn TV for the video.
Next year we will be back with our Day of Immunology celebration in Bonn.
Mark your calenders for May 5th, 2018 and celebrate with us the excellent science of Bonn.


Cluster Research paper in Gut published

June 21, 2017


Scientists of the University Hospitals in Bonn and Essen could show what drives one of the much-feared complications of gastrointestinal operations.
Scientists Prof. Christian Kurts from the Institute of Experimental Immunology Bonn, member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation, and Prof. Daniel Engel from the Department of Immunodynamics Essen published their most recent findings in the Journal Gut.
They showed that bacteria are recognized by specialized immune cells in the gut, which can lead to a paralysis of the intestines. This is called post-operative ileus.
Find more information about the publication here.


New Newsletter released

June 14, 2017


Shortly before holiday season we gathered all important information throughout the last 6 months. Now you can find all the things that happened in the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation in our newest edition of our Newsletter. Don't miss it and show your parents and loved ones in which exciting scientific area you are working in.
Enjoy reading it and we are happy to take suggestions for further topics that should be covered.
Find our newsletter edition 5 here and here.


Application open for a female PostDoc Scholarship until July 31

June 06, 2017


The University Bonn invites all female PostDocs to apply for the Annemarie Schimmel-Scholarship 2017.
It covers 2.300 Euro monthly for up to 12 months with the option of an extention of 6 more months. It is open for female PostDocs up to three years after they finished their PhD.
Find more information here:


Cluster member Prof. Hörauf elected chairman of DNTD Network

May 29, 2017


Cluster member Prof. Achim Hörauf, director of the Institute of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitoloy University Clinics Bonn, was elected chairman for the German Network to combat Neglected Tropical Diseases (DNTDs) May 18 in Berlin.
The German Network against neglected tropical diseases forms a national platform in Germany designed to heighten awareness of this group of diseases and raise the level of commitment in Germany to fighting them. The German network wishes to support the World Health Organization (WHO) in controlling, eliminating or even eradicating at least ten of the 18 neglected tropical diseases. 
Find here the german press release.


ImmunoSensation and HCM are looking for new Professors and PostDocs

May 16, 2017


The University of Bonn with its two Clusters of Excellence, the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics, and ImmunoSensation, intends to significantly strengthen the existing collaborations between these two clusters and to establish an internationally visible research group in the field of mathematical modeling in life and medical sciences. In this context, it invites applications for
three temporary Professorships (W2) for 5 years
three research positions (E13) for 3 years for Postdocs
find here more information how to apply.
Applcation deadline for the professorships are approaching.


Cannabis reverses ageing processes in the brain

May 09, 2017


Memory performance decreases with increasing age. Cannabis can reverse these ageing processes in the brain. This was shown in mice by scientists at the University of Bonn with their colleagues at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel). Old animals were able to regress to the state of two-month-old mice with a prolonged low-dose treatment with a cannabis active ingredient. This opens up new options, for instance, when it comes to treating dementia. The results are now presented in the journal Nature Medicine.
Prof. Andreas Zimmer and Prof. Joachim L. Schultze are both members of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.
Publication: A chronic low dose of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) restores cognitive function in old mice, Nature Medicine, DOI: 10.1038/nm.4311
Find the german press release here and the english press release here.


Day of Immunology 2017

May 08, 2017


The Day of Immunology was a huge success.
On Saturday, April 29, we celebrated this years International Day of Immunology with an exhibition of some of our research that's been conducted within the Cluster.
The focus of the exhibition was on widespread diseases such as Atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's or Malnutrition. Walk-in models of the brain, the mouth and an artery were not only playgrounds for kids but also informative and inspiring spots.
Thanks to all our researchers and the City of Bonn who contributed to this amazing event.
Find here our Info-Displays: Alzheimer's, Atherosclerosis, Tumor Vaccination, Influenza and Malnutrition.


Science Publication: Where do immune cells come from?

May 05, 2017


Congratulation to Cluster member Dr. Andreas Schlitzer, PD Dr. Marc Beyer and Prof. Dr. Joachim L. Schultze from the LIMES Institute Bonn. They recently published their newest findings about dendritic cell progenitors in Science.
Publication: Mapping the human DC lineage through the integration of high-dimensional techniques, Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.aag3009
Find the german press release here and the english press release here.


Cluster speaker Prof. Gunther Hartmann gives a public lecture

May 04, 2017


Cluster speaker and director of the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology at the University Hospital Bonn Prof. Gunther Hartmann gives a public lecture on May, 17 6pm.
The lecture will take place in the Old Town Hall Bonn (Althes Rathaus Bonn, Gobelinsaal) and the entrance is free.
The lecture is organized by the Adult Education Center of Bonn and is entitled:
Erbgut im Wettstreit mit Viren - wie unser Immunsystem die Gefahr meistet.


New Cluster Publication in Nature Immunology

May 03, 2017


Cluster member Prof. Joachim L. Schultze and his colleague Dr. Thomas Ulas, both from the LIMES Institute of the University of Bonn, published their finding in the highly ranked journal Nature Immunology.
They showed that babies are born with an immune system which has a reduced activity. That prevents the immune system to overreact after the babies are being born and come in contact with millions of pathogens and foreign substances.
The new findings can lead to the development for new therapies against a life-threatening sepsis which can occur in premature infants.
Publication: Thomas Ulas et al.: S100 alarmin-induced innate immune programming protects newborn infants from sepsis; Nature Immunology; DOI: 10.1038/ni.3745
Find the german press release here.


Girls' Day 2017

April 28, 2017


As last year we celebrated the Girls' Day in the Excellence Cluster ImmunoSensation by inviting 6 girls to one of our labs.
This year Dr. Annkristin Heine and her team showed them how to isolate DNA out of tomatoes.
You can find pictures of the day here.


New patent helps to boost immune system against cancer cells

April 27, 2017


Researchers at the ImmunoSensation cluster of excellence at the University of Bonn have managed to do what many scientists dream of: together with researchers from the USA, they have patented new molecules that allow the immune system to be directed against tumor cells. The license has already given the University of Bonn a first payment – and the scientists also gained a share. An exemplary success within the biomedical research landscape in Germany.
Cluster scientists Prof. Gunther Hartmann, Prof. Winfried Barchet and Dr. Thomas Zillinger were part of that ground-breaking research.
Please find the german press release here and the english press release here.


Young Scientists visit ImmunoSensation

March 29, 2017


Seven young scientists visited the ImmunoSensation Cluster of Excellence on March 31 in the context of the German juFORUM e.V.
Deutsches Jungforschernetzwerk - juFORUM e.V. is a network by and for young scientists and other people interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). It was established in 2000 by former participants of Jugend forscht, a German youth science competition.
They visited the central laboratory and the Institute for Experimental Immunology.
You can find more pictures on our picture site and an article about the success of the day here.


Cluster goes Charity 2017: Shoes for little hearts

March 23, 2017


With the help of our cluster members - Immuna and Immuno could deliver more than 7 big packages of shoes for Kinderherzen - Fördergemeinschaft Deutsche Kinderherzzentren e.V.!
Thank you all for your help.


New Publication by Cluster member Prof. Regina Betz

March 14, 2017


Cluster member Prof. Regina Betz from the Institute of Human Genetics published her recent findings in the Journal of Clinical Investigations.
Dowling-Degos disease is a hereditary pigmentation disorder that generally progresses harmlessly. However, some of those affected also develop severe skin inflammation. An international team of researchers under the leadership of the University of Bonn has now found a cause for this link. Their knowledge comes thanks to an animal that is known among aquarium owners for its characteristic pigmentation: the zebrafish.


ImmunoSensation participated in the University Science Rallye 2017

March 10, 2017


The Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation participated for the first time in the Science Rallye of the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University of Bonn.
Here young scientist of the age between 13 and 17 can participate in a rallye around the campus in Bonn Poppelsdorf. With interesting stops at the mathematics or the geology department attending pupils get to know the University and its departments.
The Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation displyed with the group of Prof. Kolanus from the LIMES Institute a parcour. Here you could learn what the immune systems consists off, what the immune cells are doing and how the immune system distinguishes between various pathogens. We had a lot of fun participating and looking forward to next years Science Rallye.


Kinderuni - Finding the missing piece: How to develop drugs?

March 06, 2017


The Kinderuni from the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn can lead to an official diploma, if the kids attend at least 10 lectures in one year.
Cluster member Prof. Matthias Geyer gave an introduction on 'How drugs are being developed?'. 
Again lots of children attended the lecture and challenged Matthias Geyer with lots of interesting questions afterwards.


TAKeOFF being funded by Federal Ministry of Education and Research

March 02, 2017


Cluster member Prof. Achim Hörauf and his lab are now funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Five german-african networks fighting infectious disases like malaria or dengue fiever were chosen. The network TAKeOFF is one of them.
Mainly in Africa and Asia, more than 200 million people are parasitised by filarial nematodes (roundworms), which cause the neglected tropical diseases lymphatic filariasis, loiasis and onchocerciasis. By establishing a Filarial Clinical Trial & Research Platform (F-CuRE), the TAKeOFF consortium aims to harmonise the procedure for clinical trials in filariasis. To improve treatment regimens for morbidity control of filarial and non-filarial lymphedema (podoconiosis), the partners will conduct multinational clinical trials in sub-Saharan Africa, thereby addressing patient needs as well as the science behind these diseases.
Find the german press release here.


Master student from Syria featured in german news

February 23, 2017


The Master student Mohammed Hajo working in the lab of Jasper van den Boorn in the Insitute of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology is featured in german news.
He is originally from Syria and came to germany in 2015. He conducts his master thesis in the field of immunotherapies for cancer and maybe wants to conduct a PhD afterwards.
Find the german article here.


New Cluster publication: How do T cells end up where they are needed?

February 20, 2017


A new cluster publication recently published in the European Journal of Immunology by cluster member Prof. Waldemar Kolanus from the LIMES (Life and Medical Sciences) Institue shows how T cells are directed to the places where they are needed the most.
Find the german press release here.


Killer cells and how they are recruited: new publication in Immunity

February 14, 2017


ImmunoSensation member Prof. Kastenmüller and his group recently published a paper in Immunity about how killer cells are recruited and which mechanism apply to build up this army.
Find the german press release here and the english press release here.