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ImmunoSensation - the immune sensory system

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.


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.