Funding obtained by the ‘Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung’ (BMBF): Two projects of an interdisciplinary research consortium “MESINFLAME” are performed at the Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology “Integrative preclinical strategies for targeting the local mesenchyme as a regulator of tissue specificity in inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders (IMDs)" – this is the title of the interdisciplinary research consortium MESINFLAME, which is funded by the BMBF with a grant of 4 Mio. €.
Coordinated by Prof. Thomas Pap of the Institute for Experimental Musculoskeletal Medicine at the University of Münster, an interdisciplinary team of scientists from different clinical disciplines (rheumatology, neurology, dentistry, microbiology), basic research (immunology, anatomy, cartilage and bone biology) and a start-up company is investigating the role of connective tissue (mesenchyme) in the pathogenesis of inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders (IMDs). Furthermore, innovative diagnostic and therapeutic strategies will be evaluated.
Member of the Steering Committee is Prof. Gabriela Riemekasten , Director of the Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology of the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein in Lübeck. She is Co-Supervisor in Project 6_2015 and _2018 of the RTG 1743. Together with Prof. Tanja Lange (UzL) and Prof. Xinhua Yu (Research Center Borstel) as well as colleagues from Heidelberg and the start-up company LysatPharma GmbH in Jena, she is investigating the role of extracellular vesicles and autoantibodies as mediators of tissue and organ damage in autoimmune diseases.
Another project from Lübeck is led by Prof. Peter Lamprecht (Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, UzL) in cooperation with Prof. Udo Schumacher (Institute of Anatomy and Experimental Morphology, UKE Hamburg) to investigate the potential of mesenchymal stem cells as therapeutic option to treat the autoimmune disease Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA, PR3-ANCA-associated vasculitis).
MESINFLAME, Project 5 and 6, copyright UKSH Lübeck
During the three-year funding period, the scientists from Lübeck want to decipher the role of the local connective tissue in the manifestation and chronification of IMDs. For that purpose, a budget of 770.000 € and three additional staff positions are available. In particular, the autoimmune diseases 'systemic sclerosis' and 'ANCA-associated vasculitides', which represent the key competences of the Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Rheumatology, will be investigated by integrative studies of patient samples and by applying in vitro and in vivo models in order to develop new, effective treatment methods.