The Role of Microenvironmental and Metabolic Factors during Anti-infectious Immune Responses

Image: Uwe Niklas

New DFG Research Training Group

From January 2022 onwards, the German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding a new research training group (RTG) at FAU and the University Hospital Erlangen which will investigate the impact of micro-milieu factors on the antimicrobial defense and survival of infectious agents in tissues.

Why are many infections caused by bacteria, fungi or parasites successfully combated by the immune system, but not others? What role do the individual cells of the immune system play in interaction with the microenvironment in the tissue, the milieu factors as well as the metabolism of the infected cells and the pathogens? How does this “immunomicrotope” vary in different infectious diseases? Answers to these questions will be provided by 14 doctoral research projects in the new DFG funded RTG 2740 “Immunomicrotope – microenvironmental, metabolic and microbial signals regulating immune cell-pathogen interactions” over the next four and a half years. The RTG 2740 offers an interface between infection biology, immunology, bioinformatics and mathematics. The latest methods of high-resolution imaging, metabolomic analyses, bioinformatics and mathematical modeling will be used.

In the structured qualification program, the 14 doctoral candidates are trained in various thematically relevant seminars and practical courses and they are given the opportunity to spend time abroad in a renowned laboratory. A series of guest lectures with top international researchers, an annual closed meeting, and a biennial international symposium round off the training of the young scientists in the field of infection immunology and molecular microbiology for future positions in leading national and international research institutions. The RTG 2740 “Immunomicrotope” will initially be funded by the DFG for four and a half years with a total of 6.1 million euros and can be extended for another four and a half years if the assessment is positive. In addition to a total of 7 different institutions and chairs at the University Hospital Erlangen and the FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, the University Hospital Regensburg is also represented with a research project within the consortium. Spokesman of the consortium is Prof. Dr. Christian Bogdan, holder of the Chair for Microbiology and Infectious Disease Immunology at FAU and Director of the Institute for Clinical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene at the University Hospital Erlangen, who will coordinate the RTG 2740 together with Dr. Ilka Knippertz. Applications from interested candidates with a master’s degree are now being accepted.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Christian Bogdan
Sprecher GRK 2740

Dr. Ilka Knippertz
Wissenschaftliche Koordinatorin des GRK 274)