Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

International research project gets high level of funding

02.09.2015

Funds of $1.35 million for the study of antibody formation

Antibodies are protein molecules that are produced by the body to fight pathogens. Their formation basically follows the principle of evolution. The best candidates are selected and optimised further in multiple rounds of competition.


Logo of the Human Frontier Science Program

© HFSP

Some aspects of antibody formation will be elucidated more closely by a team of researchers from the USA, England, Australia and Germany. This work will be coordinated by Prof Michael Meyer-Hermann, a systems biologist of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig, Germany.

The research project will be funded by US$1.35 million (approximately €1.2 million) from the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP).

In this collaboration, the scientists aim to better understand the information processing in the germinal centres of lymph nodes. "The so-called B-cells in these centres produce the antibodies that play an important role during infection processes, vaccination and highly targeted therapeutics," says Michael Meyer-Hermann, who directs the Systems Immunology department at the HZI.

He coordinates the research program titled “Cooperation strategy and information processing in and between germinal centre reactions” and will join Prof Michael Dustin of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, Dr Gabriel Victora of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Cambridge, USA, and Prof Carola Vinueasa of the Australian National University in Canberra in the effort to decipher the highly complex processes that go on during the production of these defence molecules.

All previous insights into the maturation of antibodies have been derived from experiments in mice. Human germinal centres cannot be studied directly and some of the cells that are involved in these processes cannot be cultured in the laboratory. For this reason, the scientists will study mice that harbour lymph nodes and immune cells of human origin. Working with these "humanised" mice, the scientists hope to gain the first detailed insights into the processes in the human germinal centre reaction.

Carola Vinuesa is an expert on the role of T-cells in germinal centres and Michael Dustin studies the exchange of information between B- and T-cells, whereas Gabriel Victora compares B-cells from different germinal centres. Meyer-Hermann and his coworkers are the link between these three levels of information processing. "Our partners perform the laboratory experiments and we contribute the mathematical models that allow the results to be analysed and combined into an overall picture," says Meyer-Hermann.

The official start of the project is on September 1st and the project is scheduled to take three years. There is something very special about the funding by the Human Frontier Science Program: Only teams from different continents are funded. This is aimed specifically at establishing international cooperation. “The HFSP is not interested in micromanagement of the projects but prefers to trust the consortium that was selected to receive their funds, a strongly motivating attitude,” says Meyer-Hermann.

The insights, which the researchers hope to gain, will be the basis for specific interventions into the immune response to infections. "To be able to support the body's defence against infections, we first need to understand the underlying processes that go on when the antibodies are made," says Meyer-Hermann. He and his colleagues aim to get closer to an understanding of these processes over the next three years.

The "Systems Immunology" department of the HZI investigates the mathematical modelling of immunological processes. The department is associated with the Braunschweig Integrated Centre for Systems Biology (BRICS), a new research centre for Systems Biology that has been established jointly by the HZI and the Technical University Braunschweig.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.helmholtz-hzi.de/en/news_events/news/view/article/complete/internatio... - This press release on helmholtz-hzi.de

Dr. Jan Grabowski | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Further information:
http://www.helmholtz-hzi.de

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Yuan Chang and Patrick Moore win prize for the discovery of two cancer viruses
14.03.2017 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht BMBF funding for diabetes research on pancreas chip
08.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>