Transregio SFB-TR 84 “Innate Immunity of the Lung: Mechanisms of Pathogen Attack and Host Defence in Pneumonia“

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Research Program

Pneumonia is truly a wide spread disease. Important new aspects are a rising medical threat due to steadily increasing rates of multi- and pan-drug resistant bacteria, the emergence of viruses with pandemic potential and the current demography. Thus, novel strategies against pneumonia are sorely needed. This unmet scientific and clinical need is directly addressed by the SFB-TR84 and our interdisciplinary consortium is committed to comprehensively decipher the central role of the innate immune system for the pathogenesis of pneumonia. We will exploit insights, derived from basic research as well as patient-derived observations for novel diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic strategies.

The central mission of the SFB-TR84 is the exact delineation of pathogen-host interactions and resulting infection and inflammation in a lung-specific context. The SFB-TR84 has established a tight-knit scientific network of highly recognized research teams and the high level of synergistic interaction between Gießen/Marburg and Berlin within the SFB-TR84 has been further strengthened by inclusion of 11 (previously 7) transregional projects (PIs from Gießen,Marburg and Berlin). This ambitious endeavor of the proposed 3rd funding period involves the use, development of new experimental human disease models, large animals and patients samples to increase the translational relevance of the projects.

The SFB-TR84 will continue to focus on three key areas of pneumonia research.

Area A entitled “Pathogen recognition in the lung and initiation of innate immune response” addresses amongst others the role of antimicrobial therapy for damage of the commensal flora and its retroaction on the innate immunity of the lung.

Area B entitled “Humoral and cell-based bronchoalveolar defence mechanisms” will address the role of local antimicrobial molecules and of resident or newly recruited pulmonary immune cells in host defense, tissue damage and resilience as well as repair.

Area C “Control of host response in the bronchoalveolar compartment and strategies for intervention” will delineate e.g. molecular mechanisms underlying the often-observed detrimental break-down of local infection,inflammation containment (barrier failure). Finally, targeted manipulations of the innate immune response will be evaluated for treatment and prevention (e.g. vaccination) of pneumonia.

Potent cutting-edge microscopic techniques employed were further advanced to the latest technological standard, opening new molecular imaging dimensions indispensable for nearly all projects in the next funding period.