• Joint Research Project to Examine Regulatory T Cell Dysfunction in Autoimmunity and Inflammaging

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Joint Research Project to Examine Regulatory T Cell Dysfunction in Autoimmunity and Inflammaging

Mar 25 2022

A German independent research institute, BioMed X, announces today the start of its new research project ‘Regulatory T Cell Dysfunction in Autoimmunity and Inflammaging’ (TDA) in collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. The main objective of the research group TDA is to understand the molecular mechanisms governing immune senescence and metabolic dysfunction in regulatory T cells and other T cell subsets that are shared in autoimmunity and aging.

Group Leader of team TDA, Dr Gorjana Rackov, explained: “Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are crucial for maintaining self-tolerance and preventing autoimmune disease. During aging, cellular senescence of Tregs and their dysfunctional state may contribute to age-related diseases fuelled by chronic inflammation in the elderly - also called ‘inflammaging’.

Our goal is to improve patient outcomes by delivering new targets and novel therapeutic approaches for autoimmune disease treatment and for balancing immune responses in the elderly”, added Rackov, who holds a PhD in molecular biology. Before joining the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, Rackov worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB) in Madrid, which forms part of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

The start of team TDA underlines the ongoing successful collaboration of the partners since the inception of the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, Germany, in 2013. With four research projects already successfully completed, team TDA will join the three ongoing research groups sponsored by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany: two in oncology (RNA Splicing in Cancer, Synthetic Lethality in DNA Repair) and one in immunology (Intestinal Epithelial Barrier in Autoimmune Diseases).

Christian Tidona, Founder and Managing Director of the BioMed X Institute: “The next big frontier in immunology research is understanding human disease biology in the context of human tissue microenvironment and at the level of single cells. This new project allows us to further deepen our expertise in immunology research and to lay the groundwork for new therapeutic concepts for the treatment of chronic inflammation in autoimmune patients and the elderly.”

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