News, Events and Results
Nobel Prize for Immunologists
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018 was awarded to immunologists James Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation. James P. Allison studied a known protein (CTLA-4) that functions as a brake on the immune system. He realized the potential of releasing the brake and thereby unleashing our immune cells to attack tumours. He then developed this concept into a brand new approach for treating patients. In parallel, Tasuku Honjo discovered a protein on immune cells (PD-1) and, after careful exploration of its function, eventually revealed that it also operates as a brake, but with a different mechanism of action. Therapies based on his discovery proved to be strikingly effective in the fight against cancer. This prize is a prime example how curiosity-driven basic research (including animal experiments) can result in novel therapies. Allison: "I didn't set out to study cancer, but to better understand the biology of T cells, these incredible cells that travel our bodies and work to protect us." (APnews)
Press release. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2018. Tue. 9 Oct 2018. https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2018/press-release/
ECI poster price for ENLIGHT-TEN student
Congratulations to our PhD student Marisa Stebegg who won a poster prize at the ECI 2018 a major immunology conference. Her poster showed the potential link between age-related changes in the gut microbiome and changes in the germinal centre response of Peyer's patches. Marisa is based at the Babraham Institute in the UK and did her secondment at Qiagen, Denmark.
Successful ENLIGHT-TEN Symposium: Fantastic talks and more than 200 registrants.
As an MSCA project our students not only receive a sound scientific training but a big focus is on transferrable skills to increase employability. In addition to the complementary skills courses our PhD students receive they also organised a scientific symposium to practice their skills. They needed to demonstrate that they can actually apply the transferrable skills learned so far: Time management to ensure deadlines were kept, communication and marketing skills when interacting with speakers and designing the marketing campaign. However, all these transferrable skills might not have led to such a successful event, without the skills acquired during their PhD projects scientific training: namely a thorough understanding of the interface of big data and immunology. The selection of the speakers was spot on, not only did they manage to convince speaker that address different aspect of the continuum of big data and immunology (e.g. a wet lab biologists utilising big data (Jannie Borst, Riitta Lahesma) a bioinformatician and applied mathematician addressing key challenges in immunology (Yvan Saeys, Haralampos Hatzikirou) as well as an M.D. combining immunology and big data from the aspect of clinical practice (Petter Brodin). Last but not least they also managed to recruit Shimon Sakagutchi, who discovered the regulatory T cells and described their role in the immune system and in his current work also exploits big data. In addition to the scientific talks our students also decided to include a career guidance session to harvest the experience of the speakers and get advice on career aspects, as career planning is one crucial aspect for all PhD students.
Interaction with general public: 450 visitors at art exhibition
The arts exhibition "Arts Enlightening Immunology" from 30 August until 5 September in Amsterdam not only attracted more than 450 visitors but also stimulated interesting discussions. The artists Marta de Menezes, Herwig Turk and Andrew Carnie transformed immunological concepts into art works and stimulated lively discussions during the opening event. For his work "Gatekeeper", Andrew Carnie pictured the human lymphatic system using a medium with the human pathogen Serratia Marcescens or antigens such as pollen as "paint". His installation "search light" is an analogy to Tcells constantly patrolling our body to detect pathogens. Herwig Turk's video and sound installation "delicious risk" highlights how terminology of warfare and aggressive conflict is often used to describe immunological processes. He re-contextualised seemingly hostile events to instances of attraction and sensual interaction. Marta de Menezes' piece ANTI-Marta: self/non-self was inspired by Eurotransplant founder Van Rood's early work as she exchanged a skin transplant with her partner and in addition an autologous graft as control. The inevitable rejection of the transplants contrasts with the lifelong recognition of one another by the emergence of antibodies. With a corresponding video installation the visitor experiences the surgical procedure for themselves. The art exhibition was truly inspiring and a great way to share immunological concepts with the general public and as a kick-start of fruitful discussions.
Micro-grants for the 2019 MCAA General Assembly
The General Assembly of the Marie Curie Alumni Association will take place in Vienna 25 & 26 February 2019. The call for applications for a micro-grant to attend the next MCAA General Assembly is now open. Submission deadline is 2 November 2018. Link to grant site
Arts exhibition: Arts Enlightening Immunology
ENLIGHT-TEN proudly announces the exhibition "Arts Enlightening Immunology" which will open on 30 August in Amsterdam. Three internationally renowned artists visited the ENLIGHT-TEN labs for immunology inspired artworks. Join for the opening on 30 August 20:00 when the artists Marta de Menezes, Herwig Turk and Andrew Carnie present their work. The exhibition will be accessible daily from 31 August until 5 September at the Waag - technology and society in Amsterdam.
ENLIGHT-TEN PI featured women leader in UK healthcare
ENLIGHT-TEN PI Sarah Teichmann is featured as one of 30 women leaders in UK healthcare. see
ENLIGHT-TEN will be presented at today's HZI visitors' day. Our visitors will find out 3 things ENLIGH-TEN has in common with football. Curious what this is? We will let you know on Twitter shortly.
ENLIGHT-TEN Summer school on Translational Medicine was a big success
For the ENLIGHT-TEN Summer School on Translational Research and Medicine Development our 12 ESRs were joined by 18 external participants for an exciting week at the BAYER headquarter in Berlin in April. The participants enjoyed both the scientific workshops as well as the career related activities. After the course all 30 participants stated that they will recommend the course to their peers.
Click here for a more detailed report
ENLIGHT-TENed by big data: advancing T cell Immunology
Register now for the ECI satellite symposium organised by the PhD students of ENLIGHT-TEN. We will explore how emerging -omics and bioinformatics technologies are shaping cutting edge T cell immunology. A unique opportunity to exchange ideas and network with like-minded peers. The perfect event to kick-off ECI2018!
Bridging the academia and industry gap in drug development
The webinar offered by MCAA on 23 March at 13:00 CET will introduce you to key aspects in the collaboration of industry and academia. Info and registration
Open ENLIGHT-TEN PhD position at iMM in Lisbon
We are looking for a candidate with a strong immunology background for a project that aims to identify unique characteristics of T cell function related to different types of environments and tissues. You will work in the lab of Marc Veldhoen at the iMM in Lisbon and will be part of the ENLIGHT-TEN project which provides cross-disciplinary training in T cell immunology and big data analysis. Learn more
Funding for networking activities in the field of T cell immunology
ENLIGHT-TEN members together with other key opinion leaders have received funding to establish an EFIS-Immunology Letters (IL) study group entitled T_CELL_CONNECT_EUROPE. This award will allow for yearly meetings to connect basic and clinical researchers in the field of T cell immunology to foster the development of interdisciplinary and collaborative translational approaches.
Supervisor of the year
ENLIGHT-TEN coordinator Jochen Hühn has been awarded "Supervisor of the Year". Once a year the PhD students at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research vote the "Supervisor of the year". Congratulations to Jochen Hühn for winning this title for the third time after 2009 and 2014.
Science Immunology article on human cTfr cells as indicators of humoral activity
ENLIGHT-TEN PIs Luis Graca, Ana Sousa, Michelle Linterman and colleagues published an interesting paper on human cTfr cells as indicators of humoral activity in Science Immunology" Have a look.
Attractive ESR position as ENLIGHT-TEN PhD student available
Attractive ESR position as ENLIGHT-TEN PhD student available.
For details see https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/231722
ENLIGHT-TEN ESR Marisa co-author of cell report article
Our ESR Marisa Stebegg contributed to a cell report article. Brucklacher-Waldert et al. show how environmental conditions resulting in cellular stress, such as low metabolite levels, specifically enhance Th17 cell differentiation. Under inflammatory conditions, this stress can substitute for TGF-b signaling resulting in de novo Th17 cell differentiation.
FameLab talk of our ESR Luis Almeida
Watch the FameLab talk of our ESR Luis Almeida on the immune system and autoimmune diseases. Have a look.
Science Immunology article by ENLIGHT-TEN PI Lucy Walker
Great article by ENLIGHT-TEN PI Lucy Walker in Science Immunology "PD-1 and CTLA-4: Two checkpoints, one pathway?" Have a look.
Youtube video explaining ChIP-Seq
Our ESR Thomas Faux explains the basics of ChIP sequencing, a biochemical/bioinformatic technique to understand interactions between proteins and DNA on an epigenetic level.
➙ General Public
Application for ENLIGHT-TEN summer school on bioinformatics welcome
Application is open for the ENLIGHT-TEN summer school "Data resources and bioinformatics tool for immunologists" which is run in collaboration with EMBL-EBI 12 - 16 June. The course will cover bioinformatics resources available to immunologists as well as analysis pipelines for next generation sequencing experiments, like e.g. ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq. Application is open for all wet-lab immunologist wishing to learn more about bioinformatics tools and resources to improve their research.
ESR position as ENLIGHT-TEN PhD student filled
The position for ESR4 at the Medical University Vienna has been filled. We are pleased to welcome Narendra Dhele to our consortium.
Attractive ESR position as ENLIGHT-TEN PhD student available
Attractive ESR position as ENLIGHT-TEN PhD student available.
For details see https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/170628
2nd ENLIGHT-TEN newsletter published
2nd ENLIGHT-TEN newsletter no. 2 is published. It can be viewed under menue item ➙ General Public.
Review article by ENLIGHT-TEN ESR
ENLIGHT-TEN ESR Luís Almeida published a review on Metabolic pathways in T cell activation and lineage differentiation.
1st ENLIGHT-TEN summer school
Students meet in Turku to learn more about the immune system
From 6th - 9th of June the ENLIGHT-TEN ESRs (Early Stage Researchers) and external participants meet in Turku to learn more about the immune system. In addition to lectures, the summer school includes a communication workshop, presentations by the ESRs and a debate on a controversial topic. If you are an ENLIGHT-TEN partner you can access the programme and logistics information at our internal website.
Press release, October 2015
Immunologists for the 21st century
Big data analysis for immunologists - Kickoff meeting of the ENLIGHT-TEN programme
The new Marie Curie training network for immunologists called ENLIGHT-TEN (European Network Linking Informatics and Genomics of Helper T cells) commenced on October 9 with a kickoff meeting of 20 experts from seven European countries. The aim of the network is to develop an interdisciplinary training for young researchers in T cell immunology and big data analysis. The ENLIGHT-TEN programme is coordinated by the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig.
The immune system of our body is characterised by highly complex and extremely dynamic processes which are controlled, to a large extent, by the so-called T helper cells acting as the "conductors of the immune system". They play a central role in many disease processes, such as autoimmunity, chronic infections or tumours, and are therefore expedient targets for new therapies. However, the development of such novel therapeutic concepts requires a comprehensive and detailed understanding of the molecular processes that control the development and mode of action of T helper cells.
This knowledge can be obtained only through the application of modern -omics technologies that currently allow scientists to investigate the building blocks of life and vital processes at molecular detail. This type of investigation generates huge amounts of data, though, e.g. in the scope of sequence or proteome analyses. Special expertise in the area of bio-informatics is required to be able to analyse this vast quantity of data – the so-called big data.
"We need to train a new generation of scientists who feel equally at home in the very different worlds of molecular medicine and bioinformatics analysis of high throughput data", says Prof Jochen Hühn, who is the head of the Experimental Immunology department at the HZI and the coordinator of the ENLIGHT-TEN network. "We will use this interdisciplinary training programme to train young immunologists to not only generate large data resources, but to also independently analyse the data in detail. This will enable them to test their working hypotheses through big data analyses and to elucidate the development and function of T helper cells at molecular detail."
The ENLIGHT-TEN network offers 13 Marie-Skłodowska-Curie doctoral scholarships to highly motivated junior researchers. A total of 16 partners from eight European countries contribute to the project by integrating the young scientists into their research groups. The immunologists therefore from the very beginning establish networks and learn to find their way in various countries and surroundings, in universities and in industry.
For further information about the network and the partners in the consortium, please visit the website www.enlight-ten.eu.