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IRTG 2290: Crossing Boundaries — Molecular Interaction in Malaria

Homepage: www.allianceberlincanberra.org
Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Period: 2017 - 2022
Project partner: Kai Matuschewski (HU, spokesperson), Edda Klipp (HU), Christian Schmitz-Linneweber (HU), Simone Reber (IRI Life Sciences), Benedikt Beckmann (IRI Life Sciences), Nishith Gupta (HU), Alyssa Ingmundsson (HU), Leif-Erik Sander (Charité), Frank Mockenhaupt (Charité), Frank Seeber (RKI) and 8 PIs at the Australian National University (ANU)

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.

IRTG 2403: Dissecting and Reengineering the Regulatory Genome

Homepage: www.regulatory-genome
Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Period: 2019 - 2023
Project partner: Uwe Ohler (HU/MDC, spokesperson), Kerstin Kaufmann (HU), Ana Pombo (HU/MDC), Nikolaus Rajewsky (MDC), Robert Zinzen (MDC), Martin Vingron (MPIMG), Edda Schulz (MPIMG), Andreas Mayer (MPIMG), Stefan Mundlos (Charité), Martin Kircher (BIH) and 11 PIs at Duke University.

In an alliance between Berlin institutions and Duke University, the DFG-funded international training research group aims to teach the next generation of researchers in quantitative understanding of genome function and gene regulation in the context of biological systems.

Combining experimental and computational approaches, the IRTG provides opportunities for doctoral students to work in three complementary areas: (1) high-throughput genomic and editing, (2) computational biology and machine learning, and (3) developmental systems biology.

Doctoral researchers obtain a significant amount of their training at the partner institution, thereby benefitting from the synergy and the expertise at both sites. They are co-advised by computational and biological experts from both sides of the Atlantic throughout their training.

RTG 2424: Computational Methods in Oncolocy — Towards Personalized Medicine in Cancer Research

Homepage: www.comp-cancer.de
Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Period: 2019 - 2023
Project partner: Nils Blüthgen (IRI Life Sciences, Spokesperson), Hans-Peter Herzel (Charité), Christine Sers (Charité), Frederick Klauschen (Charité), Clemens Schmitt (Charité), Claudia Baldus (Charité), Ulf Leser (HU), Leonie Ringrose (IRI Life Sciences), Roland Schwarz (MDC), Martin Vingron (MPIMG)

As part of this research programme, a new generation of researchers will be developing computer-based tools for use in cancer research. Until a few years ago, the analysis of tumor samples was based on visible tissue characteristics. Today, state-of-the-art high-throughput technologies enable scientists to obtain the detailed molecular profile of a specific cancer. These technologies produce vast volumes of data. Collating and interpreting these complex data sets represents a major challenge — one which requires innovative, computer-based technologies and mathematical models.

Under the auspices of the new Research Training Group, a large number of doctoral students will receive support from interdisciplinary teams made up of experts from computer science, data modelling, research and genetics.

As part of their doctoral projects, they will be involved in the research and development of new computer-based technologies which are to address important questions from the field of cancer research.

Modelling Enzymes 100 years after Michaelis-Menten

HU-PU Profile Partnership

Funding: Humboldt Universität zu Berlin / Princeton University
Period: 2019 - 2021
Project partner: Nils Blüthgen (IRI Life Sciences), Stanislav Shvartzman (PU)

Mathematical models played a key role in the development of Biochemistry, starting from Michaelis and Menten, who established a mathematical language for describing the rates of single enzymatic reactions.

Our project is designed to continue this great tradition, focusing on enzyme networks. We will combine biochemistry and systems biology to develop computational models of a network that is critically involved in cell-cell communication. The enzymatic reactions comprising this network are commonly deregulated in human diseases, making it an important drug target.

The project will study this network at multiple levels of complexity, from single reactions to cells and tissues, building on the highly complementary expertise of our team members.