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Research activities

The research topics within the BFS deal with

  infections caused by human and animal pathogens

─   inflammation and immunity

─   reproduction

  diseases of the cardiopulmonary system

─   nutrition


One of the main research topics within the BFS deals with infections caused by human and animal pathogens”. This research aims at providing a better understanding of the biology, evolution, and pathogenicity of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. The work focuses on multidrug-resistant bacteria, acute and chronic viral infections (hepatitis B, influenza and coronaviruses) as well as important (mainly tropical) diseases caused by parasites. In many cases, information derived from these strong basic research programs is translated into pre-clinical and clinical applications, particularly with respect to developing new anti-infectives and vaccines against viruses, bacteria, and parasites of medical and veterinary importance. Infection research groups in the BFS collaborate closely with (and are part of an extensive network of) other institutions of the Justus Liebig University in Giessen as well as national and international partners and have been successful with securing financial support from major funding organisations (EU, DFG, Helmholtz Centers and others).

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Research in the field of "inflammation and immunity" is mainly focused on cellular signaling networks involved in acute and chronic inflammation with a view to identify new targets for anti-inflammatory drugs. The projects are embedded into other major research netwoks in Giessen and Marburg and other partners and have been able to attract significant extramural funding.

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Another line of research deals with “reproduction”, focusing on regulation mechanisms involved in sperm cell development and maturation and mechanisms involved in the transfer of the genetic information to the female egg. Furthermore, there is an interest in identifying new biomarkers for the assessment of sperm quality and fertilization capacity. The project "male fertility" was established together with TransMIT GmbH and provides a diagnostic service for characterizing testicular tissue and sperm samples for assessing the risk of (or provide evidence for) male infertility.

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Research projects in the field ofcardiopulmonary diseases” performed in the BFS have a strong clinical and translational component. There is a special interest in identifying protein biomarkers suitable to predict disease progression and outcome and/or help identify the most efficient therapies for specific cardiopulmonary diseases. The use of advanced molecular analyses and the availability of patient samples (human lung tissue etc.) are of critical importance. In this context, the European idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) register (eurIPFreg) has been established. The register is expected to provide a better knowledge base for studying IPF and other pulmonary diseases. The eurIPFreg is complemented by a central biobank for blood and tissue samples that, in the long run, will help develop better diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for specific lung diseases. The clinical research groups collaborate closely with the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), the Excellence Cluster Cardio-Pulmonary System (ECCPS) and the University of Giessen and Marburg Lung Center (UGMLC).

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The research focus in the ares of "nutrition" is investing how dietary supplements can be used to influence mitochondrial function in prevention and therapy in such a way that pathological processes are delayed. The aging of the brain and associated diseases, for example Alzheimer´s disease, are the focus of research.


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