BioMed X Institute and Merck begin second immunology project

Published: 15-Mar-2022

Team TDA will join the three ongoing research groups sponsored by Merck, which follow four completed projects

Independent research institute BioMed X has announced the start of a research project ‘Regulatory T Cell Dysfunction in Autoimmunity and Inflammaging’ (TDA) in collaboration with Merck KGaA. The project’s main objective is to develop understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing immune senescence and metabolic dysfunction in regulatory T cells and other T cell subsets that are shared in autoimmunity and ageing.

Group leader of team TDA, Dr Gorjana Rackov, said: “Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are crucial for maintaining self-tolerance and preventing autoimmune disease. During ageing, 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”.

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).

This project marks the continuation of an ongoing collaboration between the partners, since the inception of the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, Germany, in 2013. Team TDA will join the three ongoing research groups sponsored by Merck, which follow four completed projects.

Christian Tidona, founder and MD 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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