DFG Research Unit FOR 2879

From immune cells to stroke recovery

FOR2879 Kickoff Symposium, Essen, December 12 / 13th 2019

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Stroke is the primary cause of long-term disability and the third leading cause of death in industrialized countries. In Germany, the annual incidence of stroke is above 250,000. The lifetime risk of experiencing a stroke ranges from 8% to 10% and continues to rise due to demographic changes. Current treatments for stroke are limited, and preclinical experimental findings often fail in clinical trials. Hence, new avenues of basic research with high translation potential are desperately needed in order to develop effective therapeutic strategies. The neuroinflammatory response after ischemic brain injury has been well established as a key pathomechanisms in stroke. While neuroinflammatory mechanisms have been described in great detail for the acute phase after ischemic brain injury, mechanisms of brain-immune interaction during the chronic recovery phase as well as consequences of immunomodulatory interventions for post-stroke recovery are barely understood. Therefore, this research unit will focus on studying the role of immunity in repair mechanisms and long-term recovery following stroke. The projects put forward by this consortium are designed to i) address how immune cells—particularly microglia and T cells—influence the recovery process following stroke; ii) clarify the role of neuroinflammation in stroke patients; and iii) identify novel markers of post-stroke neuroinflammation. Ultimately, this research consortium will address key questions regarding the rationale design of future immunomodulatory trials in stroke patients, thereby further consolidating Germany’s position as a leader in stroke-immunology research and establishing new standards for experimental, multicenter stroke research. These goals will be achieved using cutting-edge technologies and new treatment paradigms in order to understand and modulate the immune responses that occur following experimental stroke. Our ambitious goals will be realized by the close collaboration of internationally recognized experts from the fields of basic immunology, neuroimmunology, vascular biology and neuroscience with experimental and clinical stroke research within this research group. Preclinical experiments will be highly standardized. Key findings will be validated in multicenter preclinical RCTs in the second funding phase, and experiments will be supported by in-depth immune phenotyping of stroke patients.

Stroke is the primary cause of long-term disability and the third leading cause of death in industrialized countries. In Germany, the annual incidence of stroke is above 250,000. The lifetime risk of experiencing a stroke ranges from 8% to 10% and continues to rise due to demographic changes. Current treatments for stroke are limited, and preclinical experimental findings often fail in clinical trials. Hence, new avenues of basic research with high translation potential are desperately needed in order to develop effective therapeutic strategies. The neuroinflammatory response after ischemic brain injury has been well established as a key pathomechanisms in stroke. 

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While neuroinflammatory mechanisms have been described in great detail for the acute phase after ischemic brain injury, mechanisms of brain-immune interaction during the chronic recovery phase as well as consequences of immunomodulatory interventions for post-stroke recovery are barely understood. Therefore, this research unit will focus on studying the role of immunity in repair mechanisms and long-term recovery following stroke.
The projects put forward by this consortium are designed to i) address how immune cells—particularly microglia and T cells—influence the recovery process following stroke; ii) clarify the role of neuroinflammation in stroke patients; and iii) identify novel markers of post-stroke neuroinflammation. Ultimately, this research consortium will address key questions regarding the rationale design of future immunomodulatory trials in stroke patients, thereby further consolidating Germany’s position as a leader in stroke-immunology research and establishing new standards for experimental, multicenter stroke research. These goals will be achieved using cutting-edge technologies and new treatment paradigms in order to understand and modulate the immune responses that occur following experimental stroke. Our ambitious goals will be realized by the close collaboration of internationally recognized experts from the fields of basic immunology, neuroimmunology, vascular biology and neuroscience with experimental and clinical stroke research within this research group. Preclinical experiments will be highly standardized. Key findings will be validated in multicenter preclinical RCTs in the second funding phase, and experiments will be supported by in-depth immune phenotyping of stroke patients.

The overarching goal of this research consortium is to understand brain-immune interactions underlying the mechanistic principles of stroke recovery. Our focus is on microglia and T cells as the main constituents of the post-stroke chronic inflammation in this process.

Members of this consortium have been selected based on scientific excellence and complementary expertise for this multi-disciplinary Research Unit.

FOR2879 Kickoff Symposium, Essen, December 12/13th 2019

We will start our collaborative work in „ImmunoStroke“ by official kickoff meeting in December. Besides PIs, also the (newly recruited) project scientists as well as our external scientific advisory board will join this 2-day meeting. We are looking forward to...

Stroke-Immunology Conference, April 1-3 2020

The aim of this new meeting series is to provide a platform for uniting experts in the stroke-immunology field with leading scientists from related research areas, including immunology, neuroscience, and advanced research tools. This shall facilitate close...