Junior Research Groups Strengthen the CRC 841

20 September 2011
Since the summer of 2011 two new research groups headed by young scientists have been conducting research in the CRC 841. They focus on the role of interleukins and so-called death receptors in various forms of hepatitis. The CRC 841 provides attractive working conditions for qualified young scientists and thus promotes young researchers engaged in basic biomedical research over the long term.
The group led by Dr Hanno Ehlken studies primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a chronic liver disease. “We seek to better understand the role of the immune system in the pathogenesis of chronic hepatitis and liver cancer,” Hanno Ehlken said. “And we pay special attention to processes that are mediated by so-called death receptors.” Death receptors can acutely or chronically damage liver tissue cells, and it is also debated whether they have an influence on the development of liver cancer.
The main research interest of Dr Samuel Huber is the role of interleukin 22 in liver tissue damage and also subsequently in liver regeneration. This immune messenger molecule can have both a pathogenic and a protective effect in various diseases. Samuel Huber found the optimal research environment for this in Hamburg. “The integration into the CRC 841 is a tremendous opportunity for me,” he said. “The know-how of the various research groups enables us to investigate the exact models of liver injury and to perform the analyses of human liver tissue that are necessary for the studies we have planned.”
The Collaborative Research Centre 841 includes 21 research projects and a Graduate School, in which students of medicine and biology are introduced to scientific work at the highest international level. The current first funding period runs until the end of 2013. If successful, funding by the German Research Foundation (DFG) is possible for a total of twelve years.