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© Onno Seyler/UKE

One Million Euro For Hamburg's Kidney Researchers

The goal: to develop advanced therapies for inflammatory kidney disease

The German Research Foundation (DFG) will support a research group at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) with funds of around one million euro over the next four years. The young scientists study inflammatory processes in the kidney in order to create new therapies.

Innate Lymphoid Cells In Focus

“The focus of our research is a recently discovered cell population, the so-called ‘Innate lymphoid cell’ that plays an important role in the immune response of, inter alia, the lung and the intestines”, explains project leader Dr. Jan-Eric Turner of the Medical Clinic III of the UKE. The role these cells play in renal disease has barely been known before. “Our goal is to better understand the function of these cells in inflammatory renal diseases and thus to contribute to the long term development of new therapeutic strategies for patients with inflammatory kidney diseases.” The German Research Foundation will promote the project of UKE researchers as part of its Emmy-Noether program for young researchers in the next four years with 1.06 million euros. Afterwards, a further one-year funding of 230,000 euro is possible.

Immune Cells Damage Kidney Tissue

Inflammatory renal diseases are a common cause of chronic renal failure. 10 to 20 per cent of dialysis cases are due to such autoimmune diseases. A overactivation of the immune system damages the kidney tissue. According to the current state of research, the balance between proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory mechanisms is disturbed in such diseases. This results in the migration of activated inflammatory cells in the kidney tissue. Through the production of tissue-damaging agents and messengers and the inflammatory response they finally cause the destruction of renal tissue.

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