Leibniz ScienceCampus InterACt continues successful research

Thursday, 30. March 2023

The Leibniz Science Campus "Integrative Analysis of pathogen-induced compartments", InterACt for short, will be funded for another four years. This was decided by the Senate of the Leibniz Association on March 21. To investigate the role of compartments in infectious diseases, InterACt in Hamburg links the Leibniz Institute of Virology with the Universität Hamburg, the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, the Research Center Borstel, the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine and the Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) as well as the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

InterACt studies the interaction of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and parasites with the affected host. The focus is on the reaction spaces or compartments that pathogens use to replicate and protect themselves from host defenses. These compartments can only be analyzed and understood in-situ.

The Leibniz ScienceCampus InterACt was established to analyze these processes using state-of-the-art imaging techniques and to integrate and merge the resulting data sets with data from complementary methods. After a successful first funding phase that led to the establishment of new junior research groups and strategic appointments, as well as many high-profile publications, the second funding phase is now focused on building on this to achieve a comprehensive picture of pathogen compartments. InterACt's focus remains on integrative approaches.

Prof. Dr. Kay Grünewald, head of the Department of Structural Cell Biology of Viruses and spokesperson of the Leibniz Science Campus InterACt says: "We are very pleased about the extension of the project. The continuation gives us the opportunity to now follow up the strategic set-up phase with a phase of more networked project funding to gain new insights into the function of pathogen-induced cellular compartments. We are confident that our results will contribute to the development of innovative therapeutic approaches in the long term."

Dr. Ronja Markworth, the new coordinator of the Leibniz ScienceCampus, is enthusiastic about the platform the project offers. "InterACt enables us to pool the expertise from the fields of infection, structural and systems biology of Hamburg's research institutions and combine it with state-of-the-art imaging techniques and bioinformatics methods. This allows us to innovatively address this scientifically and clinically highly relevant topic," says Markworth.

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Scientific Contacts

Prof. Kay Grünewald,
Sprecher des Campus
Tel.: 040/8998-87700

Dr. Ronja Markworth,
Koordinatorin des Campus
Tel.: 040/8998-87676

The Leibniz ScienceCampus InterACt

InterACt - one of 25 Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampi (as of 2020) - is a strategic initiative. As an interdisciplinary infection research network on the topic of 'Integrative Analysis of pathogen-induced Compartments', the ScienceCampus links existing research groups in the fields of infection research and structural biology in the Hamburg Metropolitan region even more closely. InterACt creates new structures and expertise for the integrative analysis of complex data sets in the long term. This research-driven network of Universität Hamburg and the Leibniz Institutes as well as other non-university research organisations, including EMBL and European XFEL, will provide a strong nucleus for further initiatives in the field of infection research in the medium term. The newly created research groups will play a major role in this.

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