09.03.2022 Marburger Scientist Dr. Christine Zimmer gets funded by the Behring-Röntgen Foundation

Foto: Reinhold Eckstein

Every year, the von Behring-Röntgen Foundation supports the research of excellent young scientists in the field of medicine at the Universities of Marburg and Gießen. This includes cooperation projects that are supported with a sum of up to €300,000 and individual projects that are supported with up to €200,000.

The funded scientists in 2022 also include Dr. Christina Zimmer. As part of sub-project (TP) 8, Dr. Zimmer is working on the characterization of antigen-specific T cells in patients with pemphigus vulgaris (PV). For her project entitled "Comprehensive characterization of T-cell dependent immune regulation in patients with pemphigus vulgaris" Dr. Zimmer €120,000. To date, PV patients have been treated with non-specific therapies, such as high-dose corticosteroids, which are inadequate in a large number of patients and can lead to severe side effects. This highlights the need for targeted therapies based on the involved immunological mechanisms.

The aim of this project is a detailed characterization of T cells. In order to achieve this, mononuclear cells from the blood and immune cells from the skin should be isolated and the distribution of different T cell subtypes, their phenotype and the cytokines produced by the different T cell types, especially autoreactive T cells -Populations (desomoglein 3 specific) are analyzed.

Furthermore, new molecular target structures are to be identified in this project, which can contribute to the formation and maintenance of the PV due to their functional properties. For this purpose, cells are to be isolated from the blood and from the affected skin of patients and analyzed with regard to their gene expression using single-cell (sc)RNA sequencing. The results are compared to the results from healthy controls to provide information about differential gene expression between patients and controls. Of particular interest are genes that induce T-cell interaction with B-cells and the production of autoantibodies, as well as genes that contribute to the regulation of T-cells and, in the context of other leukocytes, provide information about the loss of tolerance in PV.

For further Information see link to the Website of the foundation (German) and to the article in the Oberhessiche Presse (OP)

Behring-Röntgen Foundation Oberhessische Presse (OP)


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