LMU: LMU receives funding for four Collaborative Research Centres

In the latest round of grants by the German Research Foundation (DFG), LMU has obtained funding for four large research alliances in conjunction with its partner universities.

A new CRC/Transregio (TRR) called “Neutrophils: Origin, Fate & Function” is to be established. LMU jointly applied for this CRC with the Universities of Münster and Duisburg-Essen. The new CRC will be funded for an initial period of four years, starting from July 1, 2022. Within the new CRC/TRR, scientists will carry out research into specialized immune cells known as neutrophils. The most common white blood cells in human blood, neutrophils have in addition to their primary task of warding off harmful microorganisms a variety of other functions, which have been insufficiently researched before now. Scientists in the research alliance will investigate these under-explored functions and the versatility of these important immune cells. Among other things, they want to understand how the tasks and functions of the neutrophils are influenced in the context of physiological and pathophysiological processes. In a translational approach, the results of the project are to find their way into clinical application and potentially open up new therapy options.

Spokesperson of the alliance is Prof. Oliver Söhnlein from the University of Münster, while the LMU spokesperson and CRC/TRR vice-spokesperson is Prof. Barbara Walzog from LMU’s Biomedical Center Munich. Furthermore, the Technische Universität Dresden and the Leibniz Institute for Analytical Sciences in Dresden are involved in the CRC/TRR as associated institutions. Overall, the project will receive some 11.5 million euros in funding, with 2.2 million euros going to LMU.

Three successful Collaborative Research Centres at LMU have funding extended
In addition to the establishment of the new CRC/Transregio, the German Research Foundation (DFG) also approved the continuation of three Collaborative Research Centres located at LMU:

TRR 152 “Maintenance of Body Homeostasis by Transient Receptor Potential Channel Modules” has been extended for the second time. This CRC analyzes how our bodies maintain important parameters such as body temperature, blood pressure and blood sugar level within an optimal range despite changing environmental conditions. In the CRC, the researchers investigate the physiology and pathophysiology of so-called TRP ion channels, which play a key role in these processes. Spokesperson of the CRC is Prof. Thomas Gudermann, Chair and Head of the Walther Straub Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology. The project has been awarded 12 million euros in funding, with 6,6 million euros going to LMU.

CRC 1123 “Atherosclerosis: Mechanisms and Networks of Novel Therapeutic Targets” has also been extended for the second time. The goal of the scientists in this CRC is to investigate the molecular mechanisms in the genesis and progression of atherosclerosis and to improve the identification and validation of relevant therapeutic target candidates. Ultimately, the researchers hope to find target structures and therapeutic options that do not impair healthy immune defense or metabolic homeostasis. Spokesperson for the CRC is Prof. Christian Weber, Director of the Institute for Cardiovascular Prevention (IPEK) at University of Munich Hospital. Funding of 14.5 million euros has been awarded.

CRC 1309 “Chemical Biology of Epigenetic Modifications” has also received funding to continue its work. This CRC is concerned with small chemical modifications in biomolecules, which play a decisive role in the regulation of numerous life processes. Its goal is to elucidate the chemical language of these epigenetic modifications and better understand their genesis and function, thus also opening up new opportunities for the treatment of diseases. Spokesperson of the CRC is Prof. Thomas Carell, Chair of Organic Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at LMU. The CRC has been awarded 12.3 million euros in funding.