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New impulses for innate immunity research: NCII 2023 brings together researchers from around the world

25.05.2023 CMFI News

The international conference "Novel Concepts in Innate Immunity" (NCII) will take place for the fifth time at the University of Tübingen from 31.05. - 02.06.23. For the NCII 2023, 200 participants from all over the world (including Germany, USA, Brazil, China) are expected in Tübingen for professional exchange. The conference will focus on the topic of innate immunity. Innate immunity is ready for use at birth, rather non-specific and the first effective part of our immune system. It persists throughout our lives and is supplemented by subsequent specific or acquired immune defenses.

In the tradition of Tübingen research on immune defense

The NCII conference series began in 2015 to honor the 30th anniversary of the discovery of the gene "Toll" by Tübingen professor and Nobel laureate Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard. In the course of her studies on the development of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, she discovered the Toll gene as well as other genes, which she named after culinary Swabian specialties such as "Spätzle" (noodles) or "Weckle" (bun).

In the mid-1990s, "Toll" was identified as an important component of the immune defense of Drosophila: After activation by the protein "Spätzle," "Toll" activates other genes that are essential for the fruit fly's immune defenses, e.g. against pathogenic molds. Although many basic properties of the acquired immune defense of humans were already known in the mid-1990s, it was an important finding that there are so-called Toll-like receptors (TLRs) in humans as part of the innate immune system that register the initial invasion of microorganisms.

TLRs are of enormous importance in infections, as they are involved in the initial immune response in almost all immune reactions. They are also involved in many other processes controlled by the immune system, such as inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases or cancer. It is also interesting to note that the mode of action of a wide variety of vaccines significantly involves the activation of the innate immune defense via these receptors. Only this "switching on" of the immune defense via TLRs creates the prerequisite for a good acquired immune response, which is then reflected in antibody production and cell responses.


The NCII 2023 as a catalyst for research on innate immunity.

Since the first NCII, other Nobel Laureates such as Jules Hoffmann (NCII 2015) and Bruce Beutler (NCII 2019) have participated in the Tübingen conferences. In 2023, the keynote lecture will be delivered by Yasmin Belkaid, a renowned immunologist. The program will be complemented by technical presentations by other excellent researchers. Young scientists will actively participate in the conference through short lectures and roundtable discussions. The conference is supported by the Tübingen Clusters of Excellence, "Controlling Microbes to Fight Infections" (CMFI) and "Image-guided and Functionally Instructed Tumor Therapies" (iFIT).

The program 2023 will continue to address key trends in innate immunity research, e.g. its function in the recognition of infectious agents, inflammation, metabolic processes, cancer and the interplay between the host and its microbiome.

In addition to the immunology lab of NCII organizer Prof. Alexander Weber, PhD, a number of scientists in Tübingen are conducting research on the recognition and regulation processes of innate immunity. The focus in Tübingen is on infectious diseases, inflammation and cancer. This shows that the research topic "innate immunity" is present in Tübingen, strongly researched and will continue to be important in the future. The NCII 2023 can contribute to providing exciting new impulses for this interesting field of research at the Tübingen site.

Scientific Contact

Prof. Alex Weber, PhD
W3/Full Professor of Innate Immunity
University of Tübingen
Interfaculty Institute for Cell Biology, Department of Immunology

Auf der Morgenstelle 15
72076 Tübingen, Germany
Tel: +49-7071-2987623 (office), Fax: +49-7071-294759
Mobil: +49-173-2157220

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Leon Kokkoliadis
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