Medical imaging has an unavoidable side effect: MRI machines generate heat. Thoralf Niendorf has now been awarded an ERC Advanced grant to turn this feature into a tool to study the role of temperature in animal bodies. A second ERC Advanced Grant goes to Thomas Jentsch, who will explore the functions of ion channels in health and disease.
The European Research Council (ERC) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week. Some 14 researchers at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine have benefited so far from its funding – in some cases more than once.
Cells have to pack their genetic material into the tiny nucleus. This creates spatial interactions between genes and their switches, which can affect human health and disease. A new technique ‘maps’ this three-dimensional geography of the genome.
Francesca Spagnoli’s team reprogrammed cells from the liver of mice to become precursor cells of the pancreas by altering a single gene. The results could help diabetics in the future.
Some diseases are untreatable because we lack a model system to fully understand symptoms or test possible drugs. This is the case of mitochondrial disease, a rare condition caused by defects in the “cellular powerhouse.” MDC scientists developed the first human stem-cell based system to find drugs to fight mitochondrial disease.
The Berlin-Nord Study Centre has now recruited half of the 10,000 volunteers for Germany’s largest ever cohort study, the NAKO Health Study. It serves the improvement of prevention, early detection and treatment of widespread diseases.
Slightest touch can evoke pain in patients suffering from nerve injuries. Researchers of the MDC now have suppressed this type of neuropathic pain in mice by applying a chemical substance to the skin. The method could work in humans.
Dr. Matthias Leisegang is the recipient of this year’s Curt Meyer Memorial Prize for his research work into analysing cancer mutations as a target in adoptive T-cell therapy. His work will allow the development of a patient-specific immunotherapy that fights cancer in a targeted way.
Dr. Roland F. Schwarz of the MDC conducts research on tumors using bioinformatics. He has just been awarded the Prize of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), donated by the Monika Kutzner Foundation for the Advancement of Cancer Research, for his outstanding work.
Klaus Rajewsky, one of the world’s most influential scientists in the fields of genetics and immunology and a researcher at the MDC, turns 80 on November 12, 2016.