New Collaborative Research Centre 1454

Funding for research of the connection between modern lifestyles and common diseases

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Prof. Dr. Eicke Latz, Speaker and Prof. Irmgard Förster, Vice-Speaker of the new Collaborative Research Centre 1454

The German Research Foundation is setting up a new Collaborative Research Center (SFB) at the University of Bonn. The CRC 1454 "Metaflammation and Cellular Programming" deals with the connection between a Western lifestyle and chronic inflammatory diseases - for example, how excessive calorie intake combined with insufficient exercise can promote the development of cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases or a metabolic syndrome. The speaker of the new SFB is Prof. Eicke  Latz, the vice-speaker is Prof. Irmgard Förster.

Using a holistic approach, the researchers are investigating why lifestyle or environmental factors such as obesity, smoking or too little exercise influence the incorrect programming of immune cells and thus cause “metaflammation” - a chronic inflammation triggered by the immune system . The scientists are studying how cells interact in inflamed tissue and how molecular signaling pathways contribute to the development of diseases during metaflammation.

Collaboration between different disciplines

The new scientific network is part of the transdisciplinary research area “Life and Health”. This is one of six research areas at the University of Bonn, in which scientists from different faculties and disciplines come together to work together on future-relevant research topics. The SFB combines the expertise of scientists from the Medical Faculty, the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and the Faculty of Philosophy. Researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn, the Max Planck Institute for Metabolic Research in Cologne and the “Braunschweig Integrated Center of Systems Biology” are also involved. Most of the sub-projects of the new SFB are being carried out by scientists from the University Hospital Bonn and the Life and Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES).

In order to model the experimental data and analyze it bioinformatically, members of the transdisciplinary research area "Mathematics, Modeling and Simulation of Complex Systems" at the University of Bonn are involved. The researchers want to investigate the newly discovered mechanisms both in patients and in the large-scale “Rhineland Study” by the DZNE, which focuses on the factors of healthy aging.

More prevention and new therapies

"We want to understand complex mechanisms that cause diseases", says Prof. Dr. Eicke Latz from the Institute for Innate Immunity at the University Hospital Bonn and co-spokesman for the University's Cluster of Excellence Immunosensation2. This means that the researchers want to establish causal relationships between various triggers of chronic inflammation and the programming of immune cells and at the same time consider the influence on the entire organism.

On the one hand, these findings are intended to produce new therapeutic approaches and the development of drugs. On the other hand, the newly discovered mechanisms behind the development of metaflammation should provide the necessary knowledge to better prevent common diseases that can be traced back to an unhealthy lifestyle and environmental influences. Members of the transdisciplinary research area “Institutions, Individuals and Societies” are also involved here. The findings will also help to better understand why various widespread diseases cause severe disease courses of COVID-19.


Prof. Dr. Eicke Latz
Institut für Angeborene Immunität
Tel.: +49 (0)228 287 51239 (Sekretariat)