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COVIM – Determination and use of SARS-CoV-2 immunity.

So far, it is unknown whether and for how long an infection with SARS-CoV-2 generates a protective immunity. To investigate SARS-CoV-2 immunity, intensive studies are therefore ongoing at many sites in Germany. However, these results have not been systematically pooled and evaluated. Therefore, the Germany-wide collaborative project „COVIM – Determination and Utilization of SARS-CoV-2 Immunity“ was conceived under the direction of Prof. Dr. Florian Klein (Uniklinik Köln) and Prof. Dr. Leif Erik Sander (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin). The project combines the expertise and data of many scientists from different disciplines, such as Immunology, Virology, Clinical Infectiology, Pneumology and Microbiology from all over Germany.

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RECAST – Understanding the increased Resilience of Children compared to Adults in SARS-CoV-2 Infection

In RECAST we will investigate whether the resilience of children compared to adults in SARS-CoV-2 infection is due to an age-specific immune response pattern. Our analyses involve multi-omics approaches using single cell RNA sequencing, mass cytometry on whole blood, high-throughput serum proteomics, serum- and saliva-based serology to reveal age-, respective disease-course specific classifiers of cellular composition and activation as well as mRNA and protein expression. We successfully applied these technologies in a collaborative approach within the PA-COVID-19 clinical trial and identified distinct response patterns between COVID-19 patients showing a mild versus critical disease course. Within RECAST this approach will be uniquely complemented with an ex-vivo analysis of nasopharyngeal epithelial cell responses playing a major role in mucosal barrier function. In addition to the infrastructure for data- and sample acquisition from hospitalized adults as part of the PA-COVID-19 study platform, RECAST benefits from vast network of participating pediatric outpatient practices and nursery schools providing access to a large number of children. RECAST will provide in depth understanding of protective immune responses in children and mildly symptomatic adults with COVID-19. We aim to identify new diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets of COVID-19. In addition, the RECAST study will generate data on age-specific resilience factors, which may aide evidence-based decision making on social distancing and lockdown measures for childcare facilities and schools.

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IRTG 2290 – Crossing Boundaries: Molecular Interactions in Malaria

The Berlin-Canberra alliance addresses fundamental issues in malaria through an International Research Training Program (IRTG 2290). Molecular insights into Plasmodium infections can generate novel evidence-based strategies to develop curative and prophylactic drugs, and immunization strategies that elicit lasting protection against the disease.

The program covers four research areas:

  1. Nutrient Uptake and Metabolism
  2. Parasite Genetics and Adaptations
  3. Immune Responses
  4. Host Genetics and Drug Discovery
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SFB-TR 84 “Innate Immunity of the Lung: Mechanisms of Pathogen Attack and Host Defence in Pneumonia“

Pneumonia is truly a wide spread disease. Important new aspects are a rising medical threat due to steadily increasing rates of multi- and pan-drug resistant bacteria, the emergence of viruses with pandemic potential and the current demography. Thus, novel strategies against pneumonia are sorely needed. This unmet scientific and clinical need is directly addressed by the SFB-TR84 and our interdisciplinary consortium is committed to comprehensively decipher the central role of the innate immune system for the pathogenesis of pneumonia. We will exploit insights, derived from basic research as well as patient-derived observations for novel diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic strategies.

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Clinical Study Center at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

We are involved in several studies at the CSC about SARS-CoV-2.