A great success for FAU researchers: the German Research Foundation (DFG) has given the go-ahead for a new Collaborative Research Centre (CRC)/Transregio. TRR 130 ‘B Cells: Immunity and Autoimmunity’ will be launched on 01 October 2013 and will receive funding of 11 million euros from DFG over the next three years and nine months. FAU is the co-ordinating university for the CRC/Transregio (speaker: Prof. Dr. Lars Nitschke) and the project partners are the University of Freiburg, Charité Berlin, Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin, the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology Berlin and the University of Göttingen.
B cells are a vital part of the human immune system: when pathogens enter the body, B cells release antibodies which fight against infection. Over the coming years, researchers in the new CRC/Transregio ‘B cells: immunity and autoimmunity’ will investigate what causes B cells to produce antibodies and how antibodies are released. They aim to understand how immune responses are triggered, how B cells ‘remember’ pathogens they have previously attacked and how immune cells can release large quantities of antibodies for a long time.
The second focus of the scientific research is to understand what happens when B cells malfunction and antibodies start attacking their own organism. The consequences of such immune reactions include severe diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and multiple sclerosis. The results of the investigations will help researchers gain a better understanding of autoimmune diseases and develop new treatments.
Information for the press:
Prof. Dr. Lars Nitschke
Phone: +49 (0)9131 85 28453