Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Two million euros for infection research

17.12.2013
Viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens trigger changes to cell membranes in humans in the event of an infection.

What exactly happens there will be investigated by a new research group at the universities of Würzburg and Duisburg-Essen. They will receive around two million euros for their work.

Contacts between pathogens and human cell membranes play a major role in an infection: the viruses or bacteria dock to special receptor proteins there. In so doing, they trigger processes that enable them to penetrate the cell, among other things. But the immune system’s defensive reactions, such as the activation of T cells, are also controlled by these processes.

The receptors often sit in well-defined regions of the cell membrane, where particularly large numbers of sphingolipid molecules are gathered. Simply put, these molecules consist of a head and tail. “If pathogens dock there, an enzyme is activated that decapitates the sphingolipids, creating ceramides,” explains virology professor Sibylle Schneider-Schaulies from the University of Würzburg. This then results in further changes to the membrane.

Sights set on measles viruses and other pathogens

It is precisely these membrane changes that will receive the attention of a new research group approved by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in early December. “We intend to make the changes visible and to observe them,” says the Würzburg virologist: “If we can understand their importance to the disease process, it might be possible to produce new treatments.”

The research group will focus on the following pathogens: measles viruses, meningococci (pathogens that cause meningitis, among other diseases), mycobacteria (tuberculosis), and gonococci (gonorrhea).

Facts about the new research group

Sibylle Schneider-Schaulies is the spokesperson for the new group (“Sphingolipid Dynamics in Infection Control”). It has brought together research teams from the universities of Würzburg and Duisburg-Essen. The DFG will provide the project with around two million euros in funding over the next three years; much of this money will be used to finance doctoral positions.

Research teams involved

From the Institute of Molecular Biology at the University of Duisburg-Essen, the teams led by Heike Grassmé and Professor Erich Gulbins are involved, with the latter also acting as the deputy spokesperson for the research group.

Joining them from the University of Würzburg’s Institute of Virology and Immunobiology are Niklas Beyersdorf, Nora Müller, Jürgen Schneider-Schaulies, and Sibylle Schneider-Schaulies. Also involved are the Würzburg scientists Thomas Rudel (Microbiology/Biocenter), Markus Sauer (Biotechnology and Biophysics/Biocenter), Alexandra Schubert-Unkmeir (Hygiene and Microbiology), and Jürgen Seibel (Organic Chemistry).

Information about DFG research groups

In early December, the DFG set up four new research groups all at the same time (University of Würzburg, University of Bremen, Dresden University of Technology, and Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich). According to a statement by the DFG, research consortia should provide scientists with the opportunity to address current issues in their fields and to develop new methods for tackling them. All DFG research groups work across various locations and disciplines.

Contact

Prof. Dr. Sibylle Schneider-Schaulies, spokesperson for the DFG research group “Sphingolipid Dynamics in Infection Control”, Institute of Virology and Immunobiology, University of Würzburg, T +49 (0)931 31-81566, s-s-s@vim.uni-wuerzburg.de

Robert Emmerich | Uni Würzburg
Further information:
http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de

Further reports about: Infection Virology cell membrane immunobiology receptor protein two million

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>