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Home News & Events Articles 2022 CSSB involved in DFG approved Research Training Group at UKE

CSSB involved in DFG approved Research Training Group at UKE

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UKE receives six million euros in funding - Universität Hamburg, LIV, BNITM and CSSB also participating

The University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) is to receive a new Research Training Group to promote young scientists. The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved Research Training Group 2771 "Humans and Microbes" and will fund it with approximately six million euros over the next five years. In addition to the UKE, other Hamburg research institutions including CSSB are also involved; joint research is being conducted into bacterial, viral and parasitic infectious agents.

"Infectious diseases are responsible for around 20 percent of all deaths and, as the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic shows, can threaten public health and economic stability worldwide. Establishing a fundamental understanding of the interaction between host cells and pathogens, down to the molecular level, is critical for the discovery and development of new diagnostic, prevention and treatment strategies. With the DFG-approved research training group, we as UKE can advance infection research together with our Hamburg partners. We are very pleased about this," says Prof. Dr. Blanche Schwappach-Pignataro, Dean of the Medical Faculty and UKE Board Member.

The spokesperson for the new Research Training Group will be Prof. Dr. Martin Aepfelbacher, head of the Institute of Medical Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene. "We combine two specific goals with the new research training group: on the one hand, we want to discover new interactions between infectious agents and infected organisms on a basic science level, and on the other hand, we want to train doctoral students in cutting-edge technologies to study these interactions," says Prof. Aepfelbacher. Within the Faculty of Medicine, the new Research Training Group is part of the research focus Inflammation, Infection and Immunity (C3i).

Other Hamburg research institutions involved

In addition, other Hamburg faculties and research institutions are involved: From Universität Hamburg, these are the faculties of mathematics, computer science and natural sciences, plus the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM), the Leibniz Institute for Virology (LIV, formerly HPI) and the Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) on the Science City Bahrenfeld campus. Several CSSB group leaders are part of the Research Training Group including Jens Bosse, Tim Gilberger, Kay Grünewald and Charlotte Uetrecht as well as CSSB associate member Aymelt Itzen. "Collaboration with modern technology centers in the metropolitan region enables us, for example, to jointly study pathogen-associated intracellular transport in host cells with unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution," says Prof. Aepfelbacher. The Pasteur Institute in Paris is also involved.

Research Training Groups are university institutions for strengthening young scientists, which are funded by the DFG for a maximum of nine years. The focus is on the qualification of doctoral candidates within the framework of a thematically focused research program and a structured qualification concept. The aim is to intensively prepare doctoral students for the complex scientific job market, while at the same time supporting their early scientific independence. "In the long term, the new research training group at the UKE will provide young scientists with a modern portfolio for future molecular infection research in academia or industry," says Prof. Aepfelbacher.

Original News Story (in German):