Restoration of immune defense in chronic liver disease
—Patients suffering from chronic liver disease don't respond to vaccination and are at high risk of viral infections. In these patients, virus-specific T-cells are dysfunctional and unable to eliminate viral pathogens. A research team led by ImmunoSensation² member Prof. Zeinab Abdullah at the University Hospital Bonn, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Oxford and the Technical University Munich, has now discovered the molecular mechanism underlying the suppression of systemic T-cell immunity.
—The success of cancer treatment depends not only on the type of tumor, but also on the surrounding tissue. Tumors influence it to their advantage, promoting the growth of blood vessels or fooling incoming immune cells. Developing methods to predict the nature of the resulting tumor microenvironment is the goal of researchers from the Clusters of Excellence ImmunoSensation² and the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics (HCM) led by Prof. Kevin Thurley at the University of Bonn. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the "InterpretTME" project with around 800,000 euros.
Wiring and movement of nerve cells interwoven, but controlled separately
—As nerve cells form, they wire the brain to enable communication with other nerve cells. One of these wires, the axon, becomes long; these wires are a basis for neuronal networks. At the same time, nerve cells migrate to a specific place in the brain, the cortex. Remarkably, these dynamic processes are separately controlled: The axon continues to grow to connect with its target cells even after the nerve cell has already found its final position.
—Viruses use the molecular repertoire of the host cell to replicate. The team led by ImmunoSensation² member Prof. Hiroki Kato has identified a compound that inhibits the body's own methyltransferase MTr1, thereby limiting the replication of influenza viruses. The compound proved effective in lung tissue preparations and mouse studies and showed synergistic effects with already approved influenza drugs. The study is now published in the journal Science.
—As part of the Bonn Open Science Community (OSC), ImmunoSensation² participates in the pan-european open schooling project MULTIPLIERS. Together with partners from the University of Bonn, local schools, museums, NGOs and industry, the OSC steps up to strengthen science education and scientific thinking. The Horizon 2020 project promotes open schooling, a new way to learn that makes science more meaningful and directly relevant to everyday life & realworld challenges. In December 2022 the project finally took the step into the classroom.
How nerve and vascular cells coordinate their growth
—Nerve cells need a lot of energy and oxygen. They receive both through the blood. This is why nerve tissue is usually crisscrossed by a large number of blood vessels. But what prevents neurons and vascular cells from getting in each other's way as they grow? Researchers at the Universities of Heidelberg and Bonn, together with international partners, have identified a mechanism that takes care of this. The results have now appeared in the journal Neuron.
Bacterial kidney infections in the focus of a new research group
—Infections of the kidney occur very frequently in the population and can have life-threatening consequences under certain circumstances. In order to better understand these bacterial infections at the molecular level, the German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding an interdisciplinary research group over the next four years.
—The Bonn Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation² once more is strongly represented in this year’s ranking of highly cited researchers. Prof. Eicke Latz, head of the Institute of Innate Immunity at the University Hospital Bonn, Prof. Andreas Schlitzer, head of the Quantitative Systems Biology group at LIMES Institute of Bonn University as well as Prof. Joachim Schultze, Director Systems Medicine at the DZNE, are among the year’s most influential researchers once more.
—In the current episode of "Exzellent Erklärt - Spitzenforschung für alle" (Explained excellently - cutting-edge research for everyone) ImmunoSensation² speaker Prof. Gunther Hartmann of the University Hospital Bonn and our member Prof. Elvira Mass of the LIMES Institute at Bonn University take a detailed look onto our immunsystem. The episode is available on all major podcast platforms.