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Collaborative Research Center 854 –
molecular organization of cellular
communication in the immune system

Sonderforschungsbereich 854 Molekulare Organisation der zellulären Kommunikation im ImmunsystemThe German Research Foundation (DFG) agreed to the establish and fund the Collaborative Research Center 854 - molecular organization of cellular communication in the immune system at Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg (OvGU). In the funding period of 2010-2014, the SFB will receive a total of 9.3 million Euros in DFG funding for interdisciplinary research projects. The Chair University is OvGU with Chairman Professor Dr. Burkhart Schraven and further funding was accredited to the Free University Berlin. The project is in collaboration with the Helmholtz-Center for infectious disease research in Braunschweig and the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology in Magdeburg. 

The Collaborative Research Center, requested by OvGU and carried out by the medical faculty, is primarily tasked with research on molecular mechanisms that control the communication between the cells of the immune system. “Focus is on researching the signal transfer processes that occur in cellular communication in the immune system, which control the immune response both under normal circumstances and in disease situations” says Chairman Prof. Dr. Burkhart Schraven, director of the Institute for Molecular and Clinical Immunology. "The long term goal of the Collaborative Research Center is to find new ways to influence the response of the immune system using drugs. That’s why we study the processes involved in such ailments as inflammatory diseases of the kidney, stomach, blood vessels or the central nervous system in our hospital-oriented projects here at SFB 854. SFB 854 would like tread on new paths, such as the mathematical representation of the complex networks that control the immune response. We will conduct this complex work in OvGU Dynamic Systems Research Center, which is a central pillar of the SFB 854", says Prof. Schraven.

Another central theme of the SFB 854 is the application and development of new imaging methods by which the immune response can be observed "live" in the living organism. For this purpose, the DFG has approved an independent Z project for SFB 854.

A panel of experts also appreciated that SFB 854 combines the two main research areas of Magdeburg Faculty of Medicine: neuroscience and immunology (including “Molecular Medicine of Inflammation.”) To improve the collaboration between these two research areas of the Faculty of Medicine, a total of five "TWIN" projects were defined, in which neurobiologists and immunologists tackle immunological questions in a joint effort.

"The close ties created through the disciplines involved, not only between each other but also with external partners, have sent significant impulses from the SFB to further the development and increase national significance of the research landscape in Saxony-Anhalt”, Prof. Dr. Hermann-Josef Rothkötter, Dean the Medical Faculty of the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, is convinced.

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The predecessors of SFB 854, the so-called „Researchs Clusters 2“, were funded with about 600.000 Euros from CBBS. 



Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg

LIN Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology Magdeburg

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