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Alexander Weber reveives „Momentum“ funding by the Volkswagen Foundation

CMFI Principal Investigator Alexander Weber receives 799,000 euros for scientific advancement of his professorship

24.05.2023 CMFI News

The Volkswagen Foundation's "Momentum" funding for first-time professors goes to the University of Tübingen three times this year: Professor of Modern German Literature Sigrid G. Köhler from the German Seminar, Professor of Autonomous Machine Vision Andreas Geiger from the Department of Computer Science, and Professor Alexander Weber from the Interfaculty Institute for Cell Biology will receive the funding to better adapt their professorships to the needs of their research. The Momentum funding covers a period of four years and a funding amount of up to 800,000 euros. A further grant of two years is possible. Throughout Germany, the Volkswagen Foundation has approved only 13 applications this year.

 

 

Das menschliche Immunsystem besser verstehen

Alexander Weber is professor for innate immunity, the rapid first recognition and response arm of the human immune system. His focus is particularly on so-called pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), cellular sensors that recognize microbial or other potential threats and trigger immune responses. As a first step, PRRs in immune processes are important immune system switches in health and disease.

 "Knowledge about these receptors is very valuable to better understand or even treat disease," says Alexander Weber. "Unfortunately, much of what we know about PRRs has been obtained using relatively artificial cancer cell cultures or in mouse experiments, so it is often difficult to transfer findings to healthy people or patients." With his VW Momentum project, he hopes to achieve greater transferability of research findings to the human immune system. He will receive 799,000 euros.

Titled "InnatelyHuman - Omics bioinformatics and gene editing of human immune system progenitor cells," the researcher aims to implement and use the latest experimental and bioinformatics methods to study PRRs in more detail in the environment of different primary immune cells and in large data sets. Overall, the project aims to gain completely new insights into the function of PRRs in their natural environment under both infectious and sterile conditions. These could be the starting point for new diagnostic or therapeutic approaches focusing on PRRs and innate immunity.

 

 

 

Die Momentum-Förderung

Die Volkswagen-Stiftung richtet sich mit der Momentum-Förderlinie an Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler aller Fachgebiete in den ersten drei bis fünf Jahren nach Antritt ihrer ersten Lebenszeitprofessur. Mit der hochdotierten Förderung sollen im Wissenschaftsbetrieb Freiräume für neues Denken in Forschung und Lehre im Universitätsalltag eröffnet werden. Der Fokus liegt darauf, die Vielfalt der Forschung und die Kreativität von Forscherpersönlichkeiten in deutschen Universitäten sowie die strategische Weiterentwicklung der entsprechenden Organisationseinheit zu stärken. Gefördert werden Konzepte zur strategischen und inhaltlichen Weiterentwicklung der Professur. Die Bezeichnung „Momentum“ wählte die Volkswagen-Stiftung mit der Wortbedeutung des entscheidenden Augenblicks und für den englischen Begriff der physikalischen Größe für den Impuls.

(Quelle: Janna Eberhardt/Hochschulkommunikation)

Scientific Contact

Prof. Dr. Alexander Weber
University of Tübingen
Interfaculty Institute for Cell Biology
Phone: +49 7071 29-87623
alexander.weber@uni-tuebingen.de 

Press Contact

Leon Kokkoliadis
Public Relations Management

Tel: +49 7071 29-74707
E-Mail: leon.kokkoliadis@uni-tuebingen.de

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