Koln, Germany
Koln, Germany

The University of Cologne is the sixth oldest university in Central Europe and, with 38,000 students and 4,000 postgraduates, one of the largest universities in Germany. It is furthermore the German founding member of the Global Alliance in Management Education . Since 2012 the university was awarded in the German Universities Excellence Initiative for its overall concept. Wikipedia.

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Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRAIA-01-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 10.51M | Year: 2017

RadioNet is a consortium of 28 institutions in Europe, Republic of Korea and South Africa, integrating at European level world-class infrastructures for research in radio astronomy. These include radio telescopes, telescope arrays, data archives and the globally operating European Network for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (EVN). RadioNet is de facto widely regarded to represent the interests of radio astronomy in Europe. A comprehensive, innovative and ambitious suite of actions is proposed that fosters a sustainable research environment. Building on national investments and commitments to operate these facilities, this specific EC program leverages the capabilities on a European scale. The proposed actions include: - Merit-based trans-national access to the RadioNet facilities for European and for the first time also for third country users; and integrated and professional user support that fosters continued widening of the community of users. - Innovative R&D, substantially enhancing the RadioNet facilities and taking leaps forward towards harmonization, efficiency and quality of exploitation at lower overall cost; development and delivery of prototypes of specialized hardware, ready for production in SME industries. - Comprehensive networking measures for training, scientific exchange, industry cooperation, dissemination of scientific and technical results; and policy development to ensure long-term sustainability of excellence for European radio astronomy. RadioNet is relevant now, it enables cutting-edge science, top-level R&D and excellent training for its European facilities; with the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA) and the ESFRI-listed Square Kilometre Array (SKA) defined as global radio telescopes, RadioNet assures that European radio astronomy maintains its leading role into the era of these next-generation facilities by involving scientists and engineers in the scientific use and innovation of the outstanding European facilities.

Pasparakis M.,University of Cologne | Vandenabeele P.,Ghent University
Nature | Year: 2015

Regulated cell death has essential functions in development and in adult tissue homeostasis. Necroptosis is a newly discovered pathway of regulated necrosis that requires the proteins RIPK3 and MLKL and is induced by death receptors, interferons, toll-like receptors, intracellular RNA and DNA sensors, and probably other mediators. RIPK1 has important kinase-dependent and scaffolding functions that inhibit or trigger necroptosis and apoptosis. Mouse-model studies have revealed important functions for necroptosis in inflammation and suggested that it could be implicated in the pathogenesis of many human inflammatory diseases. We discuss the mechanisms regulating necroptosis and its potential role in inflammation and disease.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.61M | Year: 2017

A well-functioning locomotor system is essential for human well-being. This is an important consideration in our aging population with the increased associated costs of ensuring high quality of life. Many people suffer from diseases of the locomotor system, such as bone defects or osteoarthritis, for which current treatments are insufficient. To develop new treatments, CarBon includes 6 academic partners, 3 companies and 3 charitable foundations, working together to train 14 young scientists. We will combine knowledge from the fields of tissue engineering, cartilage and bone developmental biology and pathobiology using skills from the disciplines of cell biology, computational modelling, biotechnology (bioreactors, biomaterials) and drug discovery. In a multifactorial approach the network of young scientists will identify the biological and physical factors that determine the fate of cartilage. Understanding and controlling the dual character of cartilage is pivotal: insufficient transition impairs bone healing, and undesired transition to bone leads to osteoarthritis. State of the art in vitro, in silico and in vivo models will be uniquely combined to elucidate how this transition is orchestrated and how it can be modulated. The main objectives of CarBon are: - To establish a network of 14 highly skilled early stage researchers (ESRs) equipped with essential knowledge, scientific expertise, transferable skills and societal awareness as a foundation for their future careers. ESRs will be trained in cutting edge technology, communication, intellectual property and valorisation. - To understand cartilage to bone transition, to identify targets to develop novel functionalised biomaterials and to discover therapeutic drugs that either prevent or stimulate cartilage to bone transitions. This will lead to new treatment options for large bone defects and osteoarthritis.

The management of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is undergoing profound changes. Several new drugs have been approved for CLL treatment (fludarabine, bendamustine, and the monoclonal antibodies alemtuzumab, rituximab, and ofatumumab) and many more drugs are in advanced clinical development to be approved for this disease. In addition, the extreme heterogeneity of the clinical course and our improved ability to foresee the prognosis of this leukemia by the use of clinical, biological, and genetic parameters now allow us to characterize patients with a very mild onset and course, an intermediate prognosis, or a very aggressive course with high-risk leukemia. Therefore, it becomes increasingly challenging to select the right treatment strategy for each condition. This article summarizes the currently available diagnostic and therapeutic tools and gives an integrated recommendation of how to manage CLL in 2013. Moreover, I propose a strategy how we might integrate the novel agents for CLL therapy into sequential treatment approaches in the near future.

Baker M.J.,University of Cologne
Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology | Year: 2011

A decline in mitochondrial activity has been associated with aging and is a hallmark of many neurological diseases. Surveillance mechanisms acting at the molecular, organellar, and cellular level monitor mitochondrial integrity and ensure the maintenance of mitochondrial proteostasis. Here we will review the central role of mitochondrial chaperones and proteases, the cytosolic ubiquitin-proteasome system, and the mitochondrial unfolded response in this interconnected quality control network, highlighting the dual function of some proteases in protein quality control within the organelle and for the regulation of mitochondrial fusion and mitophagy.

Pasparakis M.,University of Cologne
Immunological Reviews | Year: 2012

Since its discovery, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) has been recognized as a critical regulator of immune responses. While early studies focused on studying the role of NF-κB in the development and function of immune cells, more recently the function of the inhibitor of NF-κB kinase (IKK)/NF-κB pathway in non-immune cells has gained increased attention. Studies in genetic mouse models were instrumental in dissecting the cell-specific functions of NF-κB and provided experimental evidence that NF-κB signaling in epithelial cells is important for the maintenance of immune homeostasis in barrier tissues such as the skin and the intestine. Increased activation of IKK/NF-κB triggered cytokine expression by the epithelial cells, resulting in exacerbated tissue inflammatory responses. NF-κB inhibition in keratinocytes triggered severe tumor necrosis factor-dependent skin inflammation and epidermal hyperplasia, while inhibition of IKK/NF-κB signaling in intestinal epithelial cells disturbed the intestinal barrier and triggered severe chronic colon inflammation. Therefore, epithelial NF-κB signaling performs critical 'peace keeping' functions in barrier tissues at the interface with the environment by regulating cell survival, barrier integrity, and the immunological and anti-microbial responses of epithelial cells. Improved understanding of epithelial NF-κB functions may hold the key for elucidating the etiology and pathophysiology of chronic inflammatory diseases in epithelial tissues. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

The cell-surface glycoprotein CD44 is expressed in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), but its functional role in this disease is poorly characterized. We therefore investigated the contribution of CD44 to CLL in a murine disease model, the Eμ-TCL1 transgenic mouse, and in CLL patients. Surface CD44 increased during murine CLL development. CD44 expression in human CLL was induced by stimulation with interleukin 4/soluble CD40 ligand and by stroma cell contact. Engagement of CD44 by its natural ligands, hyaluronic acid or chondroitin sulfate, protected CLL cells from apoptosis, while anti-CD44 small interfering RNAs impaired tumor cell viability. Deletion of CD44 during TCL1-driven murine leukemogenesis reduced the tumor burden in peripheral blood and spleen and led to a prolonged overall survival. The leukemic cells from these CD44 knockout animals revealed lower levels of antiapoptotic MCL1, a higher propensity to apoptosis, and a diminished B-cell receptor kinase response. The inhibitory anti-CD44 antibodies IM7 and A3D8 impaired the viability of CLL cells in suspension cultures, in stroma contact models, and in vivo via MCL1 reduction and by effector caspase activation. Taken together, CD44 expression in CLL is mediated by the tumor microenvironment. As a coreceptor, CD44 promotes leukemogenesis by regulating stimuli of MCL1 expression. Moreover, CD44 can be addressed therapeutically in CLL by specific antibodies.

De Visser J.A.G.M.,Wageningen University | Krug J.,University of Cologne
Nature Reviews Genetics | Year: 2014

The genotype-fitness map (that is, the fitness landscape) is a key determinant of evolution, yet it has mostly been used as a superficial metaphor because we know little about its structure. This is now changing, as real fitness landscapes are being analysed by constructing genotypes with all possible combinations of small sets of mutations observed in phylogenies or in evolution experiments. In turn, these first glimpses of empirical fitness landscapes inspire theoretical analyses of the predictability of evolution. Here, we review these recent empirical and theoretical developments, identify methodological issues and organizing principles, and discuss possibilities to develop more realistic fitness landscape models. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Giernoth R.,University of Cologne
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2010

In recent years, ionic liquids have attracted the attention of many chemists as a result of their unique properties as solvents for chemical transformations. The focus of this Minireview is on applications of socalled "task-specific" ionic liquids, whereby the role of the ionic liquid goes beyond that of a solvent. Such ionic liquids find application in a wide range of areas, including catalysis, synthesis, gas absorption, and analysis. © 2010 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA,.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-COFUND-DP | Phase: MSCA-COFUND-2015-DP | Award Amount: 4.71M | Year: 2017

artes EUmanities offers a doctoral programme (DP) with a mandatory mobility phase, as part of the established artes Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne (AGSHC). Designed around the needs of each individual Early Stage Researcher (ESR) in the Humanities, it will provide places for up to 10 ESRs every year for 3 years. EUmanities relies on a structured but flexible bottom-up approach, providing an interdisciplinary DP for the entire Humanities that supports ESRs to design their own individual research and career development. Thanks to a wide-spread network of regional, European and global networks of excellent research, academic and intersectoral partner organisations, they will learn to work discerningly and decisively, think and engage beyond disciplinary, national and sectoral boundaries. artes EUmanities will be implemented in accordance with the targets of the Horizon 2020 objectives regarding excellent research, stable working conditions and the implementation of the triple i dimension through: 1) two international mobility options (a global outgoing phase of 18 months artes global, or an inner-European outgoing phase of at least 12 months - artes EU); 2) extensive guidance by an interdisciplinary and international team of 3 supervisors and within multidisciplinary Graduate Classes; 3) support for a prompt transition into subsequent career stages thanks to the career development programme and a close cooperation with various intersectoral partners. artes EUmanities will guarantee a sustainable impact on the whole institutional structure of the ASGHC, transforming it into an excellent European graduate school with a strong international outreach and a distinctive interdisciplinary approach. It will offer Europe a leading model for innovative DPs and research training that will empower ESRs in the Humanities to become aware of their own potential in mediating sensitive and complex issues to make them accessible to different addressees.

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