Immune Response in Infectious Diseases –

Regulation between Innate and Adaptive Immunity

[10.02.2023] RTG 1949 members provide the cover for the European Journal of Immunology

A joint project on CMV infections and their impact on the intestinal microbiota with members of the GRK 1949 was published in the European Journal of Immunology and crowned with the cover page of the issue. We are very happy about this success and congratulate the participants!

"Our cover image features an organoid generated from primary intestinal crypts infected with a GFP-expressing mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV). Among other clinical manifestations, human cytomegalovirus can cause colitis. The authors set out to elucidate how acute cytomegalovirus infection alters the gut, its microbiota composition and how this influences host immunity. The image is taken from Le-Trilling and Ebel et al., where the authors document that MCMV efficiently replicates in the mouse gut early during primary infection. In this context, MCMV enters intestinal epithelial cells causing cell death. Accordingly, MCMV causes a leakage of the epithelial barrier, transiently inducing colitis in immunocompetent hosts by altering the intestinal homeostasis."

[30.01.2023] Congratulations to our newest MD

Congratulations to Dr. Tabea Faßnacht on her successful doctoral examination (MD)! The former RTG student did her research on 'The impact of colonic Toll-like receptor 4 signaling on the development of colitis-associated colon-cancer' in the group of Astrid Westendorf and was supervised by her and Eva Pastille.

Our field of research

Rtg 1949 Titel Graphik

Infectious diseases are worldwide among the ten leading causes of mortality. Despite intensive research efforts, effective therapies or prophylactic vaccines are available only for a limited number of pathogens. A detailed understanding of the pathomechanisms of infectious diseases is most important for the development of future therapeutic interventions. Traditionally, the host response to pathogens is divided into the innate and the adaptive immune response.

To date, research with a specific focus on the interaction between innate and adaptive immunity is still underrepresented. The scientific goal of the proposed Research Training Group (RTG) is to fill this gap by bringing together highly qualified researchers working on different aspects of the immune response in various infectious diseases or in vaccine development against pathogens. The mutual scientific question is: How is the adaptive immune response against pathogens modulated by the innate immune response, and how does the adaptive immune response influence innate immunity? The training program will ensure long-term progress in this important research field in the Rhine-Ruhr Area and provide the PhD students with fundamental education in the science of infection and immunity.

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Research Training Group 1949
Immune Response in
Infectious Diseases -
Regulation between Innate
and Adaptive Immunity

Prof. Dr. Astrid Westendorf

Deputy: Prof. Dr. Jörg Timm
Deputy: Prof. Dr. Mirko Trilling

Coordination: Dr. Eva van Well

Phone: +49 201 723 35 88