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30. Congress of the German Society for Parasitology at the JLU in Giessen.

12/2021 DRUID continues its fight against NTDs/PrDs

10/2021 Non-coding DNA of Schistosoma mansoni is no junk

Not useless: Scientists of the JLU discover the putative influence on non-(protein)coding DNA elements on the biology and evolution of the causatice agent of bilharzia (Schistosomiasis).                                                                                                    


ProLOEWE-News: LOEWE-Center DRUID fights against neglected (tropical) diseases: two professional YouTube videos explain why this is important:

Video 1

Video 2


January 30, 2021, is World NTD-day. This day flags the so-called neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). More than a billion people suffer from NTDs worldwide. Besides severe and in part fatal clinical symptoms, these diseases cause economic and social problems thus contributing to cycles of poverty. Further information:


Tail wind for Loewe center Druid: WHO agrees on Roadmap 2021–2030 for neglected tropical diseases


Working groups of the Gastroenterology Reserach group of the Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) headed by Prof. Dr. Elke Roeb and the Schistosoma working group within the Institute for Parasitology headed by Prof. Dr. Christoph G. Grevelding have detected how the parasite Schistosoma mansoni can activate oncogenic factors within the host liver. The results were publshed in „Hepatology“.
The scientists studied liver tissue following schistosome infection. They identified a factor, the multifunctional molecule IPSE released by schistosome eggs, which induces the activation of proto-oncogenes and negatively influences DNA repair mechanisms. IPSE activates hepatocellular factors such as the proto-oncogenes c-Jun and STAT3 that are important mediators of the progression of liver cancer.


See for details:

JLU press release

Gießener Anzeiger



A weakness for nasty flukes (1-3): The working group "Schistosomes" ate the Justus Liebig University Giessen

Introduction of the working group in: HESSEN-SCHAFFT-WISSEN / Erlebnis Hochschule (The state Hesse creates knowledge / adventure university)


Minister of Science, Hesse, Boris Rhein:
Scientists receive 66,5 Millionen Euro funded by the program LOEWE
Two new LOEWE-centers are supported in the context of the 10th support action. One of these is:

DRUID – Novel Drug Targets against Poverty-Related and Neglected Tropical Infectious Diseases” (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen)"

Project partners are: Justus-Liebig-University Gießen (heading, incl. the Institute for Parasitology), Philipps-University Marburg, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Langen and Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen, Gießen. The financial support is: 18.794.520 Euro for 2018 – 2021 (1. support period).

Aim of this initiative is to focus on poverty-related and neglected tropical dieseases such as Dengue-Fever, Chikungunya, Ebola und Zika virus infections, but also Leishmaniasis, Trypanosomiasis and Schistosomiasis. More than one Billion humans in 149 countries worldwide suffer from Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) causeds by virus, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. NTDs often lead to severe chronical infection and can be lethal. Thus, to fight the causing agents is a necessity urgently needed for medical and ethical reasons because such infectious dieseases contribute to cycles of poverty, which increase the risk of infection, and to life-threatening situations, social imbalance, disposition for violence, and migration. In DRUID medical universities within Hesse, the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute and the Technischen Hochschule Mittelhessen will work on questions concerning the identification und characterisation of potential target molecules to enable the development of pharmateutically active compounds (as a basis for drug development), vaccines, and diagnostics to fight poverty-related and neglected tropical dieseases.


JLU press release

Gießener Allgemeine


International team headed by scientists of the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen discovers potent substances with the potential to fight infectious diseases in the tropics such as malaria and schistosomiasis

Scientist in Giessen succeeded in searching for anti-parasitic agents to fight important infectious diseases in the tropics. The scientists discovered potent substances ...


JLU press release

Gießener Allgemeine

Krieg R, Jortzik E, Goetz A-A, Blandin S, Wittlin S, Elhabiri M, Rahbari M, Nuryyeva S, Voigt K, Dahse HM, Brakhage A, Beckmann S, Quack T, Grevelding CG, Pinkerton AB, Schönecker B, Burrows J, Davioud-Charvet E, Rahlfs S, Becker K (2017): Arylmethylamino steroids as antiparasitic agents. Nature Communications 2017 Feb 17;8:14478. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14478


One focus of the G7 summit in 2015 was the aim to combat poverty-associated diseases, especially the so called “Neglected Tropical Diseases” (NTDs1).

The ministers of science declared to support initiatives to fight NTDs and to develop drugs. The German science minister, Johanna Wanka (CDU), announced to promote this initiative with 50 mio €2.  

1Bender ME, Edwards S, von Philipsborn P, Steinbeis F, Keil T, Tinnemann P (2015) Using Coauthorship Networks to Map and Analyse Global Neglected Tropical Disease Research with an Affiliation to Germany. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 9(12):e0004182.

1Bender ME, Edwards S, von Philipsborn P, Steinbeis F, Keil T, Tinnemann P (2015) Using Coauthorship Networks to Map and Analyse Global Neglected Tropical Disease Research with an Affiliation to Germany. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 9(12):e0004182.



FUGI: A consortium funded by a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award to develop game-changing research tools for the study and manipulation of parasitic flatworm species responsible for the devastating diseases echinococcosis (hydatid disease) and schistosomiasis (bilharzia).

To the articles:

JLU press release

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Sanger FUGI (englisch)