The Life & Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES) is a center of excellence for both basic research and higher education in life sciences and biomedicine at the University of Bonn. It provides a framework for cutting-edge multidisciplinary research and offers young scientists early independence and responsibility.
Major research areas of the LIMES Institute include Chemical Biology & Medicinal Chemistry, Development & Genetics, Molecular Cell & Immune Biology and Membrane Biology & Lipid Biochemistry. The LIMES research groups co-operate in a number of interdisciplinary research initiatives funded by the German Research Foundation DFG (Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation, SFB TR83).
In the Programm Unit Molecular Immunology, our group investigates signal transduction processes which regulate cell adhesion and motility, or those which are the consequences of cell-cell interactions We study these functions in various immune cells, because a coordinated immune response requires a tight organization of
a) recruitment of defending cells into pathogen-invaded tissues,
b) activation of their effector functions towards intruder and eventually
c) the down-regulation of the response. The elucidation of these processes is most relevant for a better understanding of the molecular basis of vertebrate immunity. Moreover, such knowledge may in the future be applied in clinical situations where a modulation of immune functions is desirable, e.g. in autoimmunity, sepsis or organ transplantation. In the recent past we have been concentrating on two specific areas which are a) the control of lymphocyte adhesion and b) intracelluar signals which turn on cytokine gene expression. We are applying modern techniques of molecular genetics, immunology and cell biology to tackle important questions of our research area. Examples are the use of the two-hybrid system, protein biochemistry and various cell-based assay systems for the identification and functional characterization of genes. New areas being developed in the lab are live cell imaging for the visualization of signalling processes, as well as mouse transgenic and knock-out technologies in the investigation of gene function at the organismic level.
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Molecular Immunology & Cell Biology, University of Bonn