Two new DFG research training groups for FAU

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A major success for researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU): The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved funding for two research training groups at the university. Researchers in the new research training groups will be investigating defence mechanisms against pathogens in body tissues and new radar imaging techniques.

Immune microtope: Microenvironmental, metabolic and microbial signalling for the regulation of immune cell-pathogen interaction

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Christian Bogdan

In this research training group, young researchers are investigating the extent to which the immune microtope, that is the microenvironment in the tissue, microenvironmental factors and metabolic products at the site of infection, controls both the antimicrobial immune defence and the evasion reactions and survival of non-viral infectious agents such as bacteria, parasites and fungi. Special attention is given to training scientists to carry out doctoral research aimed at identifying host or pathogen components that shape the immediate environment in the affected tissue. Both project areas, the tissue microenvironment including microenvironmental factors and the metabolism of immune cells and pathogens, are closely linked in terms of content.  The structured training programme in the RTG is designed to equip doctoral candidates with theoretical knowledge, specific methodological skills, and general research skills necessary to efficiently analyse the immune microtope. In future, the research training group could develop into a training platform for young researchers for national and international research institutions in the field of immunology of infectious diseases, molecular microbiology and immunophysics.

Cooperative aperture synthesis for radar tomography (KoRaTo)

Speaker Prof. Dr.-Ing Christian Waldschmidt (Universität Ulm) Co-speaker: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Vossiek (FAU)

Observation of the biosphere and cryosphere with radar technology is mostly done today using satellites, for example, to obtain accurate data for climate models. In the research training group KoRaTo, young researchers are investigating a completely new approach in which a network of cooperating radar sensors carried by mobile flying robots does the observation. Researchers will investigate how the radar sensors can generate an image together and how the enormously large amounts of data in the network can be handled and reduced. This novel cooperative aperture synthesis approach promises advanced quality in Earth observation for radar remote sensing in the geosciences. For example, structures hidden under ice layers or in the ground, as well as vegetation, can be recorded three-dimensionally at high resolution and changes can be continuously monitored. Both universities have strong research profiles in the field of high-frequency engineering and communications engineering and KoRaTo can draw on a wealth of experience in these areas. Close international networking is planned in KoRaTo, for example with research groups from Europe and the USA.