Rees, Germany
Rees, Germany

The Helmholtz Zentrum München is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres and is responsible for studying environmental health issues. Founded in 1964, it is a joint project of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and Bavaria's Finance Ministry. The Helmholtz Zentrum München's focus is to investigate chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, lung diseases, illnesses of the immune system or mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases.The head office of the center is located in Neuherberg to the north of Munich. Helmholtz Zentrum München has 1700 staff members. Helmholtz Zentrum München belongs to the Helmholtz Association, a German research organization with 16 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers. Wikipedia.


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Patent
PLS Design GmbH, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich and Helmholtz Center Munich | Date: 2015-09-14

The invention relates to a pharmaceutical composition for the modulation of T cell and B cell responses made of one or more preparations and comprising a therapeutically effective dose of at least one inhibitor of TNFR1-mediated functions and of at least one antigen or allergen.


Patent
Helmholtz Center Munich | Date: 2016-10-25

The invention relates to a method for in vitro maturation of at least one immate dendritic cell, comprising stimulating said immature dendritic cell with TNF, IL-1, IFN, a TLR7/8 agonist and prostaglandin E2(PG). Furthermore, the invention elates to a composition comprising these factors as well as to mature dendritic cells produced by a method of the invention.


Patent
The Broad Institute Inc., University of Swansea and Helmholtz Center Munich | Date: 2015-04-27

A computer-implemented method for the label-free classification of cells using image cytometry is provided. In some exemplary embodiments of the computer implemented method, the classification is the classification of the cells, such as individual cells, into a phase of the cell cycle or by cell type. A user computing device receives as an input one or more images of a cell obtained from a image cytometer. The user computing device extracts features form the one or more images, such as brightfield and/or darkfield images. The user computing device classifies the cell in the one or more images based on the extracted features using a cell classifier. The user computing device then outputs the class label of the cell, as defined by the classifier.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.20M | Year: 2017

FOIE GRAS provides innovative training for 13 early stage researchers (ESRs) to answer two critical and unanswered questions: a) Is hepatic bioenergetic remodelling involved in NAFLD pathogenesis, and target for stratification or therapeutic/lifestyle interventions? and b) Is the disruption of the gut-liver axis involved in NAFLD progression? In Western Societies, there has been a recent surge of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Its progression to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a leading risk factor for development of Type 2 diabetes, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. FOIE GRAS is first in supporting a cohesive and synergistic intersection of complementary and interdisciplinary training skills from academic and non-academic partners. FOIE GRAS combines strong scientific expertise with integrated and complementary training in translational research, clinical practice, technology commercialization, and public outreach, the combination of which in targeting NAFLD is lacking in the EU. Industrial partners CETICS, Mediagnost and Seahorse Biosciences provide experience on technology commercialization alongside scientific contributions while the affiliated patient organization will contribute with important training in societal awareness topics. ESRs training will utilize network-wide workshops and secondments to foster translation of basic research to clinical applications and SME creation. This diverse yet integrated skill set enhances the employment prospects of the trained researchers in both academic and non-academic sectors. Researchers will be endowed with excellent basic scientific knowledge and timely technology transfer know-how for developing novel therapeutic approaches for reversing the burden of NAFLD, thereby advancing both health and economic well-being of European citizens and approaching NAFLD research in the EU from its counterparts in the US and Asia.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-04-2016 | Award Amount: 9.99M | Year: 2017

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) causes ~20% of all deaths in Europe. SCA is lethal within minutes if left untreated and survival rates are presently only 5-20%. Therefore, there is a large medical need to improve SCA prevention and treatment. Designing effective individualized prevention and treatment strategies requires knowledge on genetic and environmental risk factors. So far, these efforts have been hampered by the lack of sufficiently large study cohorts of SCA patients with detailed information. Obtaining SCA patient samples is challenging as the condition happens suddenly and unexpectedly. In this project, leading European scientific teams which have created large relevant population cohorts, mostly dedicated to SCA research, join forces to fully exploit available data towards improving SCA management. This will be done by: - Building an unique and growing database of >100.000 (DNA) samples including >20.000 SCA patient samples, by combining existing European databases and infrastructures. - Identifying risk factors (inherited, acquired, environmental) and first-response treatment strategies that may explain the differences in SCA occurrence and survival between European countries - Collaborating with professional networks, such as the European Heart Rhythm Association, and European Resuscitation Council, to translate the outcomes into changes in clinical practice and influencing European health policies on SCA management.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-29-2016 | Award Amount: 4.00M | Year: 2017

More than 450.000 people are diagnosed with esophageal cancer (EC) each-year worldwide and approximately 400.000 die from the disease. Esophageal cancer is the eighth most commonly diagnosed cancer, but it is the sixth leading cause of cancer-related death, with incidence rates steeply rising. Risk factors, including gastroesophageal reflux disease and Barretts esophagus, may diagnostically implicate more than 300 million people worldwide. Nevertheless, the disease is detected late due to limitations in current diagnostic procedures leading to adverse prognosis and high treatment costs. ESOTRAC will change the landscape of esophageal diagnosis, over existing methods, based on cross-sectional optoacoustic and optical coherence endoscopy. The dual-modality system delivers a set of early-cancer imaging features necessary for improving early diagnosis, saving lives and leading to 3-5 Billion annual savings for the healthcare system. OCT provides micron scale subsurface morphological information based on photon scattering and optoacoustics provides deeper penetration and complementary pathophysiological features based on photon absorption. ESOTRAC develops novel photonic components (light sources, optical/optoacoustic scopes) and innovates novel medical system designs. Then, it performs pilot studies to investigate the functionality of the new endoscope and deliver a novel imaging-feature portfolio offering improved and earlier diagnosis. A central ESOTRAC ambition is that the new endoscope will become the new EC diagnostic standard by enabling quantitative and label-free three-dimensional endoscopy of early cancer with tremendous potential to impact esophageal care. ESOTRAC leverages European investment and know-how and strengthens the prospects of economic growth by leading the market position in endoscopic imaging.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRADEV-03-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 4.97M | Year: 2017

The INFRAFRONTIER RI integrates European Mouse Clinics and the European Mouse Mutant Archive with the common goal to ensure access to mouse models for basic research of human health and disease, and to translate this knowledge into therapeutic approaches for the benefit of the European society. The expanded INFRAFRONTIER2020 network, coordinated by the INFRAFRONTIER GmbH, includes 3 SMEs and is strategically responding to the INFRADEV3 call with aligned objectives to advance the long-term sustainability which are 1) development of business models and a stable legal framework; 2) raise awareness of the INFRAFRONTIER RI; 3) provide bespoke services aligned with user demands; 4) promote best practices in mouse phenogenomics; 5) enhance robustness of the INFRAFRONTIER IT infrastructure and use of the EMMA strain resource; and 6) improve business processes. Towards achieving these objectives key INFRAFRONTIER2020 project deliverables are: INFRAFRONTIER Business Plan2.0, and business models for all services Stable legal framework built on the INFRAFRONTIER legal entity INFRAFRONTIER annual stakeholder conferences Customised mouse model and secondary phenotyping pilot services INFRAFRONTIER advanced training schools in mouse phenogenomics Reengineered EMMA Database2.0 system Annotated mouse models of human diseases Quality management system for the legal entity INFRAFRONTIER2020 will 1) enhance the sustainable operation of the INFRAFRONTIER RI; 2) continue to structure the ERA, 3) foster innovation, and 4) address major societal challenges in human health by customised service pilots supporting research into common and rare diseases. A sustainable INFRAFRONTIER RI will ensure the quality of deposited mice and support the reproducibility of biological results. Outreach efforts will raise awareness of resources and services and facilitate sustainable engagement with industry and global consortia such as the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium


Exposure of ion bombarded solids to Cs gives rise to a very strong enhancement of the yields of negatively charged secondary ions and, concurrently, to a lowering of positive ion yields. The phenomena have been explored in a large number of experimental and theoretical studies but attempts to clarify the mechanism of ion formation were not as successful as assumed. This review examines the state of the art in Cs controlled secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) in great detail, with due consideration of low-energy alkali-ion scattering. In very basic studies on alkali induced secondary ion yield changes, sub-monolayer quantities of Cs or Li were deposited on the sample surface, followed by low-fluence ion bombardment, to avoid significant damage. If SIMS is applied to characterise the composition of solid materials, the simplest approach to achieving sample erosion as well as high negative-ion yields is bombardment with primary ions of Cs. Two other methods of sample loading with Cs provide more flexibility, (i) exposure to a collimated beam of Cs vapour and concurrent bombardment with high-energy non-Cs ions and (ii) the mixed-beam approach involving quasi-simultaneous bombardment with Cs and Xe ions. Both concepts have the advantage that undesirable sample overload with Cs can be avoided. High Cs concentrations reduce the formation probability of target specific molecular ions and lower the yields of all types of positive secondary ions, including Cs+, M+, X+, MCs + and XCs+ (M and X denoting matrix and impurity elements). Quantitative SIMS analysis using MCs+ and XCs+ ions appears feasible, provided the Cs coverage is kept below about 5%. The semi-classical model of resonant charge transfer, also known as the tunnelling model, has long been considered a solid framework for the interpretation of Cs and Li based SIMS data. The model predicts ionisation probabilities for cases in which, at shallow distances from the surface, the affinity (ionisation) level of the departing atom is shifted below (above) the Fermi level. Ion yields should be controlled by the work function (WF) of the sample, Φ, and the normal velocity of the ejected ions. To explore the predicted velocity dependence, the performance characteristics of the employed SIMS instrument need to be known. The Cs induced negative-ion yield enhancement observed with pure metal and alloy targets often exceeded five orders of magnitude, with enhancement factors essentially independent of the emission energy. This absence of a velocity dependence is at variance with the predictions of the tunnelling model. Previous theoretical attempts to model the Φ-dependence and the apparent velocity effect for the overrated case of O-emission from Li and Cs exposed oxidised metal surfaces must be considered a meander. The experimental data, recorded with a quadrupole based instrument of inadequate extraction geometry, may alternatively be rationalised in terms of alkali induced changes in the energy spectrum of sputtered atoms. Another important finding is that secondary ion yield changes do not correlate with the absolute magnitude of the (macroscopic) WF but often with WF changes, ΔΦ. The frequently used method of determining ΔΦ in situ from the shift of the leading edge of secondary ion energy spectra rests on the assumption, taken for granted or not even appreciated, that Cs induced yield changes are independent of the ion's emission velocity. Hence the approach is only applicable if the tunnelling model is not valid. The local character of alkali induced WF changes, which might provide a route to an understanding of previously unexplained phenomena, has been explored using photoemission of adsorbed inert gases, scanning tunneling microscopy and low-energy ion scattering spectrometry. At room temperature, the Cs coverage is limited to one layer of adatoms. Close similarities are identified between WF changes generated by Cs vapour deposition and by bombardment with Cs ions. This finding implies that sub-monolayer quantities of Cs adatoms grow at the surface of Cs bombarded samples. The process has been studied in-situ by medium-energy ion scattering spectrometry. The stationary Cs coverage, NCs, is controlled by the efficiency of active transport of implanted atoms to the surface, the bulk retention properties of the sample and the cross section for sputtering of adatoms. Unearthing immobile implanted Cs atoms by sputter erosion usually provides only a minor contribution to the stationary coverage. Cs adatoms are mobile; the time required for final adatom rearrangement may be on the order of minutes at room temperature. Exposure of Cs bombarded samples to oxygen gives rise to oxidation of the substrate as well as to the formation of oxide layers of complex composition. Intercalation should be taken into account as a possible route of alkali transport into analysed samples. An important aspect ignored in prior work is that the alkali coverage required to produce a certain WF change is five to seven times higher if Li is deposited instead of Cs. Studies involving the use of Li thus provide no advantage compared to Cs. Furthermore, migration of the tiny Li atoms into the sample and metallisation effects aggrevate data interpretation. Literature data for ΔΦ (NCs), measured using Cs vapour deposition, can be converted to calibration curves, N Cs (ΔΦ), for calculating the coverage established in implantation studies, a method referred to as ΔΦ→NCs conversion. This concept may be carried even further, as shown convincingly for silicon, the material examined most frequently in basic SIMS studies: Si - ion fractions, P(Si-), derived from yields measured under vastly different conditions of Cs supply, exhibit essentially the same ΔΦ dependence. Inverting the data one can produce calibration functions for ΔΦ versus P(Si-), denoted P(Si -)→ΔΦ, or, more generally, P(M-) →ΔΦ conversion. On this basis, transient yields measured during Cs implantation can be evaluated as a function of Cs coverage. The summarised results imply that secondary ions are commonly not formed by charge transfer between an escaping atom and the electronic system of the sample but are already emitted as ions. The probability of ion formation appears to be controlled by the local ionic character of the alkali-target atom bonds, i.e., by the difference in electronegativity between the involved elements as well as by the electron affinity and the ionisation potential of the departing atom. This idea is supported by the finding that Si- yields exhibit the same very strong dependence on Cs coverage as Si+ and O- yields on the oxygen fraction in oxygen loaded Si. Most challenging to theoreticians is the finding that the ionisation probability is independent of the emission velocity of sputtered ions. This phenomenon cannot be rationalised along established routes of thinking. Different concepts need to be explored. An old, somewhat exotic idea takes account of the heavy perturbation created for a very short period of time at the site of ion emission (dynamic randomisation). Molecular dynamics simulations are desirable to clarify the issue. Ultimately it may be possible to describe all phenomena of enhanced or suppressed secondary ion formation, produced either by surface loading with alkali atoms or by enforced surface oxidation, on the basis of a single universal model. There is plenty of room for exciting new studies. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Ntziachristos V.,Helmholtz Center Munich
Nature Methods | Year: 2010

Optical microscopy has been a fundamental tool of biological discovery for more than three centuries, but its in vivo tissue imaging ability has been restricted by light scattering to superficial investigations, even when confocal or multiphoton methods are used. Recent advances in optical and optoacoustic (photoacoustic) imaging now allow imaging at depths and resolutions unprecedented for optical methods. These abilities are increasingly important to understand the dynamic interactions of cellular processes at different systems levels, a major challenge of postgenome biology. This Review discusses promising photonic methods that have the ability to visualize cellular and subcellular components in tissues across different penetration scales. The methods are classified into microscopic, mesoscopic and macroscopic approaches, according to the tissue depth at which they operate. Key characteristics associated with different imaging implementations are described and the potential of these technologies in biological applications is discussed. © 2010 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Lickert H.,Helmholtz Center Munich
Cell Metabolism | Year: 2013

Millions of diabetic patients are waiting for better treatment options, ideally by replenishing the lost or dysfunctional insulin-producing β cell mass. Yi et al. (2013) now identify Betatrophin, a hormone that specifically increases β cell proliferation with promising therapeutic potential. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

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