Researchers at the University of Bonn use artificial intelligence 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 at the University of Bonn have now trained software that uses portrait photos to better diagnose such diseases. The improved version "GestaltMatcher" can now also detect diseases that are not yet known to it. It also manages to diagnose known diseases with very small numbers of patients. The study has now been published in the journal "Nature Genetics".

Prof. Dr. Maximilian Billmann

Prof. Dr. Maximilian Billmann has been appointed Professor of Pharmacogenomics at the Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn as of February 1, 2022.

Structure of Central Inflammation Switch clarified

Researchers at the Universities of Bonn and Regensburg have elucidated the structure of a key cellular inflammation switch. Their work shows the location of the giant protein called NLRP3 to which inhibitors can bind. This opens the way to new pharmaceuticals that could help against inflammatory diseases such as gout, type 2 diabetes or even Alzheimer's disease. The results have been published in the journal Nature.

Prof. Dr. Rudi Balling appointed as Senior Professor

Balling's research in the past has focused in particular on studying the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's. In Bonn, Balling will spend the next three years focusing on the questions of which mechanisms maintain homeostasis of the energetic and biological needs of immune, neuronal and other cell types in the wake of changing intrinsic or environmental conditions. In addition, he would like to investigate the consequences of dysregulation of anaplerotic responses for the pathogenesis of acute and chronic diseases, e.g. neurodegeneration, neuropsychiatric diseases, diabetes or cancer. The goal of his research will be to identify new approaches for preventive or therapeutic interventions. Among other things, he will do this by developing a computer-based "anaplerosis model" to help predict and identify anaplerosis-related drug targets.

Hostile Cell Takeover

Mitochondria are known to provide energy for our cells, but they also play an important role in the defense against pathogens. They can trigger immune responses and deprive pathogens of the nutrients they need to grow. A research team led by the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging in Cologne, Germany, has now shown that pathogens can turn off mitochondrial defense mechanisms by disabling a normal cellular response to stress. Scientists from the University of Bonn were also involved in the study, which was published in the journal Science.

Bonn Science Rally Digital Again

The next science rally for children and young people aged 13 and over will take place on Saturday, January 29, 2022. Registration for the format "Science rally around Poppelsdorf digital" is possible up to and including Wednesday, January 26, 2022. On the day of the rally, science-loving participants will be welcomed at 10:00 a.m. in the Zoom webinar. Eleven virtual stations will then be open until 2:00 pm.

Alzheimer's Research: Inflammation Markers conspicuous at an early stage

Long before the onset of dementia, there are signs of increased activity of the brain's immune system. Researchers at the DZNE and the University of Bonn have come to this conclusion based on a study of more than 1,000 older adults. Various proteins were recorded in the cerebrospinal fluid for this purpose: They served as so-called biomarkers that indicate inflammatory processes of the nervous system. As it turned out, some of these molecules are apparently part of an immune system damage limitation program - which could be useful for the development of new drugs. The study results have been published in the scientific journal "Neuron".

Prof. Dr. Shadi Albarqouni

Prof. Dr. Shadi Albarqouni has been appointed Professor of Computational Medical Imaging Research at the Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn as of January 1, 2022.

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