Fighting common diseases together: Clinically oriented research on diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases at the 2nd joint DZG symposium in Dresden
Diabetes, cancer, dementia: as different as these diseases may appear at first glance, there are often cross-connections in their development that are relevant for the development of therapeutic approaches and examination methods. Identifying such cross-cutting issues and creating a forum for overarching research strategies is the aim of the joint Dresden DZG symposium, which took place on 21 January 2020.
In addition to getting to know each other personally and the scientific exchange via the research infrastructures available in Dresden, this year for the first time two smaller DZG-spanning projects were financially supported.
After the opening of the symposium by Angela Rösen-Wolff, dean of research of the medical faculty Carl Gustav Carus of the TU Dresden, and the speakers of the three Dresden DZG Michele Solimena (DZD-PLID), Gerd Kempermann (DZNE) and Mechthild Krause (DKTK), Martin Hrabe de Angelis, member of the board of the DZD, spoke about the national efforts in the field of digital medicine.
Afterwards, scientists from the various centres presented their overarching research projects. Tiago Alves from the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine gave an insight into the use of mass spectrometric analysis methods for the quantification of metabolic currents, and showed that his findings contribute to a better understanding of various cell functions. Miranka Wirth and Theresa Köbe (DZNE), spoke about the resistance of the brain, especially vascular risk factors, and how they have a significant influence on brain health. Malte von Bonin (DKTK) spoke about the use of chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T cells). They solve a central problem of cancer therapy, namely the fight against tumours that are invisible to the immune system.
The guest lecture by Florian Jug, research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics and the Center for Systems Biology Dresden, generated visible interest and palpable enthusiasm among the audience with his remarks on image processing in the age of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The crowning glory was the ceremonial announcement of the two project sponsorships that the Dresden centres made available for the first time. The winners, each endowed with 10,000 euros, were Theresa Suckert and Antje Dietrich from OncoRay Dresden together with Annette Rünker and Alexander Garthe from the DZNE Dresden. The four scientists received funding for their project "Exploration of pathological mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration".
The second funded project entitled "Oxidative stress markers as non-invasive tool to predict therapy response" will be worked on in the coming months by Nicole Bechmann (DZD), Claudia Peitzsch and Doreen William (DKTK) and Tiago Alves (PLID).