Rayk Behrendt receives ERC Consolidator Grant

The human genome harbors large segments that offer no obvious benefit and can potentially even cause disease. Nevertheless, these areas are copied and maintained every time a cell divides, which means a considerable effort and energy cost for the body. What is the evolutionary advantage of preserving these areas? This is the question that virologist and immunologist Prof. Rayk Behrendt from the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 at the University of Bonn is addressing. For his research, he now receives the prestigious Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council (ERC). The selected project of the Bonn professor will be funded with about 2 million euros.

Covid vaccination improves effectiveness of cancer treatment

Patients with nasopharyngeal cancer are often treated with drugs that activate their immune system against the tumor. Until now, it was feared that vaccination against Covid-19 could reduce the success of cancer treatment or cause severe side effects. A recent study by the Universities of Bonn and Shanxi in the People's Republic of China now gives the all-clear in this regard. According to the study, the cancer drugs actually worked better after vaccination with the Chinese vaccine SinoVac than in unvaccinated patients. The results are published as a "Letter to the editor" in the journal Annals of Oncology, but are already available online.

New Research Training Group at the University of Bonn

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is establishing a new Research Training Group (RTG) at the University of Bonn to further strengthen young scientists. The goal of the RTG " Tools and Drugs of the Future" is to modernize medicinal chemistry and train a new generation of medicinal chemists and researchers at the interface with interconnected disciplines. In addition, the projects are intended to contribute to the development of new drug substances. The funding amounts to almost 6.3 million euros over five years. Eleven new Research Training Groups will be funded throughout Germany from spring 2023.

Mutation in TLR7 increases risk of severe COVID-19

Rare gene mutations can significantly increase the risk of severe COVID-19 disease. An international research team with significant contribution of the University of Bonn compared the genetic material of 5,085 people with severe COVID-19 and more than 570,000 controls. The results showed that alterations in the gene TLR7, which is important for the immune defense in humans, lead to infections with a severe course. The findings have now been published in the journal PLOS GENETICS. 

Control hub for skin inflammation discovered

Inflammatory reactions in the skin can reduce damage from UV radiation or infections, but can also result in painful symptoms such as sunburn. A recent study at the University of Bonn and the University Hospital Bonn has now identified a molecular control which integrates these stress signals. The results have been published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Hemophilia: Training the immune system to be tolerant

Hemophilia A is the most common severe form of hemophilia. It affects almost exclusively males. The disease can usually be treated well, but not for all sufferers. A study at the University of Bonn has now elucidated an important mechanism that is crucial for making the therapy effective. The results could help better tailor treatment to patients. They have already been published online in a preliminary version; the final version will soon be published in the "Journal of Clinical Investigation."

Newly discovered process brings immune cells up to speed

Cancer cells use an unusual mechanism to migrate into new tissue and form metastases there. The same process probably also keeps some immune cells on their toes. This is the result of a recent study led by the University of Bonn. According to the study, certain structures, the centrioles, increase in number. This makes it easier for them to maintain their direction and thus migrate more quickly to the lymph nodes, where they activate other immune cells. The results have now been published in the Journal of Cell Biology.

The University of Bonn invites you to its International Days

The University of Bonn will be celebrating its International Days from October 19 to 31, which will be dedicated to its international partnerships and the varied activities and services it offers relating to internationality. From high-caliber speakers and roundtables featuring guests from around the world through to the state awards presentation ceremony and a range of artistic performances, there is bound to be something for anyone who might be interested. One of the real highlights will be the Japan Day on October 26.

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