Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s Excellence Initiative

Five joint research projects in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern have received a grant from the state’s Research Excellence Programme. The University of Greifswald is involved in all of the projects. An independent expert jury chose the research projects from the applications received. The goal of the Research Excellence Programme is to strengthen cutting edge research in the state. The grant is being funded by the European Social Fund for Germany (ESF) in the current funding period of 2014 to 2020.

A total of 25 million euros of funding are available for the calls for proposals for the Research Excellence Programme. Five million euros of those funds are intended for energy research. One joint research project can receive up to five million euros of ESF funds.


Elucidating Pathomechanisms of Bacterial Viral Coinfections with New Biomedical Models

Project Coordinated by the University of Greifswald

 

Excerpt from the jury’s vote:

“The scientific approach deals with coinfections of viral and bacterial infections. These combined infections which are relevant to humans, also occur in pigs and are thus also relevant for veterinary care.  Therefore, the mechanisms of coinfections are going to be examined on pigs first. As the pig’s genome matches 80% of the human genome, strong transferability can be expected for coinfections in humans. The Jury considers this approach to be promising.”

Contact at the University of Greifswald
Prof. Dr. Sven Hammerschmidt
Interfaculty Institute for Genetics and Functional Genomics
University of Greifswald
Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahnstraße 15a, 17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 86-4161
Fax: +49 3834 86-4172
RTG 1870 Bacterial Respiratory Infections

The project is being carried out in cooperation with the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut - Federal Research Institute for Animal Health.

Short Description of the Project

Short Description of the Project

Elucidating Pathomechanisms of Bacterial Viral Coinfections with New Biomedical Models

Viral infections in the nasopharynx pave the way for subsequent bacterial infections, which can lead to severe courses of illness. In particular, coinfections of the so-called flu viruses - Influenza A viruses - with bacteria, which cause severe pneumonia, are connected to high annual mortality rates.  KoInfekt plans to examine the coinfections of Influenza A viruses with the most important bacterial pathogens of secondary infections, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus suis, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes.  The goal is to elucidate the host-pathogen interactions, the course of illness and the host immune response in order to produce new strategies for fighting and preventing illness. These coinfections do not only occur in humans, but also in pigs. As there is an 80% match of the pig’s genome with the human’s genome, pigs are to be established as  humanlike biomedical infection models for the coinfection of Influenza A Viruses with bacteria.  KoInfekt’s results should establish improved prognoses for the course of illness of coinfections, as well as molecular biomarkers, and it is expected that the results will be translatable for use in clinical treatment. 


Protein Misfolding, ER-Stress and Protein Degradation - Development of a Systematic Pipeline for Individualised Therapy in Hereditary Disorders of the Pancreas and Liver (PePPP)

Project Coordinated by University Medicine Greifswald

 

Excerpt from the jury’s vote:

“The chosen approach of synthesising chaperones is seen as innovative. The Jury also perceives the chosen strategy of first examining illnesses with marginal patient relevance (small number of illnesses) and superior groundwork (Johanson-Blizzard Syndrome, Wilson’s Disease) to later apply the results to more complex illnesses, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and to thus continue the research work, to be promising. 

Contact at University Medicine Greifswald
Prof. Dr. med. Markus M. Lerch
Director of the Clinic for Internal Medicine A
Ferdinand-Sauerbruch-Straße, 17475 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 86-7230
Fax: +49 3834 86-7234
lerch(at)uni-greifswald(dot)de
www.pancreas.de

The project is coordinated by University Medicine Greifswald with partners from the University of Greifswald, the Albrecht Kossel Institute and the Institute of Chemistry at the University of Rostock, and the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis in Rostock.

Short Description of the Project

Short Description of the Project

Projektgruppe Lerch

Protein Misfolding, ER-Stress and Protein Degradation - Development of a Systematic Pipeline for Individualised Therapy in Hereditary Disorders of the Pancreas and Liver (PePPP) 

In the last few years it has been discovered that “Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress” is an important development mechanism for various diseases. This leads to a significant interference in the processing of proteins in body cells and this results in an accumulation of misfolded proteins. These then have to be degraded in order to avoid cell damage due to permanently stored proteins. The mechanism has already been identified in several hereditary storage diseases, in liver disorders and types of inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). It leads to inflammation, the destruction of tissue and to chronic organ damage. The clinical scientists from Greifswald and Rostock who are involved in the project, are experts for storage diseases and pancreas disorders and have now received a grant of 5 million euros from EU funds, as part of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s Research Excellence Programme. During this period, they will not only examine the basic mechanisms of hereditary liver and pancreas disorders in further depth, but will also work simultaneously with partners carrying out fundamental research to develop new therapeutic substances, which either inhibit ER-Stress or repair the cell’s defective degradation of false proteins. 

The project is being coordinated by University Medicine Greifswald with partners from the University of Greifswald, the Albrecht Kossel Institute and the Institute of Chemistry at the University of Rostock, and the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis in Rostock.


Understanding Turnover and Exchange of Matter in Wetlands to Foster Better Land Management, Climate Adaptation and Protection of Water Bodies (WETSCAPES)

Project Coordinated by the University of Rostock with the Participation of the University of Greifswald.

 

Excerpt from the jury’s vote:

“The participating project partners have been able to demonstrate their expert knowledge in an impressive manner: In Germany, agriculture on peatlands causes approximately 3 billion euros worth of damage to the climate annually; roughly 38 % of the total emissions of greenhouse gases from the agricultural sector come from peatlands. It is yet to be explained why various methane emissions occur above rewetted peatlands. (...) The consultants are convinced that the consortium will be able to successfully tackle the questions and tasks set out in the project.”

Contact at the University of Rostock
Prof. Dr. Nicole Wrage-Mönnig
Chair of Grassland and Fodder Sciences
Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 6, 18059 Rostock
Tel.: + 49 381 498-3140
nicole.wrage-moennig(at)uni-rostock(dot)de

Further partners are the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Neustrelitz and the Greifswald Mire Centre.

Short Description of the Project

Short Description of the Project

Die Projektgruppe wetscapes

WETSCAPES - Understanding Turnover and Exchange of Matter in Wetlands to Foster Better Land Management, Climate Adaptation and Protection of Water Bodies

The project proposal which was submitted by the working groups Joosten, Wilmking, Kreyling and Urich, together with colleagues from Rostock, has been endorsed for funding as part of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s Excellence Initiative. WETSCAPES’ aim is to establish a scientific basis for a sustainable, preserving cultivation of degraded and subsequently rewetted locations. Special emphasis will be applied to the creation of peat in percolation mires, coastal flood mires and alder carrs in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The third partner is the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Neustrelitz. Knowledge transfer will be managed by the Greifswald Mire Centre.
The DLR will take on the upscaling of the research results and develop remotely sensed proxies for the environmental effects of drainage and rewetting.  The joint field research locations of the Universities of Greifswald and Rostock are partly in the DLR’s DEMMIN test site.
WETSCAPES results will flow into projects that are being carried out in parallel in Greifswald and Rostock, such as the joint project “German Peatland Protection Dialogue” (Deutscher Moorschutzdialog) (BMUB, 2015-2018) and the creation of a state strategy “Paludiculture Mecklenburg-Vorpommern” (2016).  The Greifswald Mire Centre functions as a communication platform between science, practice and politics. It feeds the results into social and political processes and communicates the wishes of the potential users in the project consortium.


Card-ii-Omics Cardiovascular Implant Infection Proteomics: Prevention, Diagnostics and Therapy of Implant Infections (Card-ii-Omics)

Project Coordinated by University Medicine Rostock with Participation of University Medicine Greifswald

 

Excerpt from the jury’s vote:

“The project specifically joins existing competences of both of the state’s universities/university hospitals. The University of Rostock will bring in its strength in the field of biomedical technology and Greifswald will add its existing competence in proteomics research. Both are respective key fields of research at their universities and can refer to excellent groundwork.  This proposed project will be the first time that these two existing scientific clusters have worked together.

Contact at University Medicine Rostock
Prof. Emil C. Reisinger
Centre for Internal Medicine
Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases and Section of Nephrology
Ernst-Heydemann-Str. 6, 18057 Rostock 
Tel.: +381 494 7511
emil.reisinger(at)med.uni-rostock(dot)de

Contact at University Medicine Greifswald
Prof. Barbara M. Bröker
Department of Immunology
Ferdinand-Sauerbruch-Straße, 17475 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 86-5595
Fax: +49 3834 86-5490
broeker(at)uni-greifswald(dot)de

Short Description of the Project

Short Description of the Project

Cardiovascular Implant Development - Infections - Proteomics: Prevention, Diagnostics and Therapy of Implant Infections - Card-ii-Omics

According to an estimate from the WHO, infections which threaten health will see an increase in the 21st Century. This is caused partly by the worldwide crisis caused by resistance to antibiotics, as well as the demographic developments, which lead to more and more older people needing to be provided with implants to ensure a high quality of life.

The aim of Card-ii-Omics is to avoid infections of artificial heart valves by applying a new anti-infectious coating. The difficult diagnosis and therapy of these life-threatening infections should also be improved. In order to achieve considerable improvements in this important health issue, both of the state’s universities Rostock and Greifswald are combining their strengths. In Card-ii-Omics, academics and scientists from the areas of biomedical technology, cardiology, infection medicine, microbiology, immunology, as well as proteomics and functional genomics will work together.

The interdisciplinary training of young scientists and academics in medicine, natural and technological sciences ensure the sustainability of the project.


Network Stability with Wind and Bioenergy, Storage and Loads (Netz-Stabil)

Focal Point Energy Being Coordinated by the University of Rostock with Participation of the University of Greifswald

 

Excerpt from the jury’s vote:

“The project draft examines how different types of systems such as wind power plants, biogas plants, storage possibilities and interruptible demands can contribute to network stability. (...) The consultants are particularly pleased to see the participation of the Chair of Systematic Theology and Religious Philosophy in the project. That means that the foundations for the further development of network stability go further than simply an engineering point of view.

Contact at the University of Rostock
Prof. Hans-Günter Eckel
Power Electronics and Electrical Drives
Institute for Electrical Power Engineering
Albert-Einstein-Str. 2, 18059 Rostock
Tel.: +49 3814 98 7110
hans-guenter.eckel(at)uni-rostock(dot)de

Contact at the University of Greifswald
Prof. Dr. Michael Rodi
Chair of Public Law, Finance Law, Environmental and Energy Law
Domstraße 20a, 17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 86-2100
lsrodi(at)uni-greifswald(dot)de

Short Description of the Project

Short Description of the Project

Network Stability with Wind and Bioenergy, Storage and Loads (Netz-Stabil)

The University of Greifswald is involved in a central work package concerning energy in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s Research Excellence Programme. The successful proposal “Netz-Stabil” will investigate important questions for the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, as a state of renewable energies, which deal with how a stable and secure provision of energy can still be attained without the use of fossil fuels and therefore mainly based on a fluctuating production of energy (wind and solar power). Under the coordination of the University of Rostock, the project will look at which types of energy plants, such as wind parks and biogas plants, storage possibilities and concepts for technology control, can contribute to stabilising the networks and how these facilities can be optimised by further innovations. The University of Greifswald’s objective, being coordinated by the Chair of Public Law, Financial Law, Environmental and Energy Law and the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility as an affiliated institute, will be to analyse the possible technological solutions from a legal and economic point of view. “This groundwork should help to develop suggestions for adjustments to the legal and political framework on both national and state levels,” says Prof. Dr. Michael Rodi.