Home Forschung Forschungsprojekte und Netzwerke Projekte gefördert durch die Leibniz Gemeinschaft

Projects funded by the Leibniz Association

Leibniz institutes join forces in Leibniz Research Alliances and Research networks to work on topics of high scientific and societal relevance across the boarders of disciplines. The DRFZ is a partner in several of these networks. Since 2019, it coordinates the Leibniz Network for Immune-mediated Diseases.

In addition, the Leibniz Association funds research projects that can be competitively applied for by Leibniz institutes. Several of these Leibniz Competition projects are running at the DRFZ.

Since 2016, the DRFZ is coordinating the Leibniz ScienceCampus Chronic Inflammation, an interdisciplinary  network with several departments of the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max Plack Institute for Infection Biology.

Leibniz Research Networks

Leibniz Research Network "Immune-Mediated Diseases"

Founded in 2017 as an initiative of the DRFZ and the ScienceCampus, the Leibniz Network “Immune-mediated Diseases” aims to investigate the social, economic and biomedical challenges of immune-mediated diseases. 16 institutes, initially in sections C (life sciences), D (mathematics, natural sciences, engineering) and E (environmental science), have joined forces to achieve synergies in the research and therapeutic translation of immune-mediated diseases. The network acts as a communicative exchange forum of the Leibniz partner institutes in order to foster science and further develop technical and methodological competencies on the topic.

After successfully organizing two International Symposia in 2018 and 2019, the planned PostDoc workshop, which should take place 2020 on site in Berlin had to be postponed due to the corona pandemic and will take place in 2021 as a virtual meeting.

Contact at the DRFZ

Andreas Radbruch, Elke Luger


Leibniz Research Network "Mathematical Modelling and Simulation (MMS)"

Socially relevant topics such as climate change, energy and health issues challenge the international research community to develop interdisciplinary and integrated approaches combining natural, life and social sciences. High information and data volumes as well as the growing importance of simulation and optimization of technological and social processes create the need for adequate and up-to-date methods for analysis and information generation. As a connecting element, modern methods of mathematical modelling and simulation (short: MMS) have proven to be a fundamental resource. For instance, they enable reliable extraction of information from large data sets, avoidance of expensive experiments, the prediction of experiments, the analysis of stochastic events and the shortening of development cycles. The main objective of this network of 32 Leibniz Institutes of all sections is to systematically use this potential for synergies. To make the most sustainable and effective use of hard- and software resources, questions of the most suitable, fastest and most error-resistant methods are discussed.

contact at the DRFZ

Kevin Thurley



Leibniz research network "Green Nutrition - Healthy Society"

Leibniz Research Alliances

Research Alliance „Bioactive Compounds and Biotechnology“

Biologically active substances are the basis of most drugs. The aim of this research alliance with currently 17 institutes is to track down biological active substances, to investigate their effects and finally to use them therapeutically.
The focus is on

  • Collection of organisms and biological materials as potential sources for new active substances
  • Isolation, analysis and chemical modification of active substances
  • Research into potential applications for biological agents:
    – for example as antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs or with other therapeutic effects
    – Application in health products, nutrition and agriculture

Contact at the DRFZ

Mir-Farzin Mashreghi


Research Alliance "Healthy Aging" (until 2020)

Leibniz Competition

Transfer project "Selective depletion of plasma cells secreting pathogenic autoantibodies in chronic autoimmune diseases – a potentially curative therapeutic approach (PCdepCAD)"

Contact at the DRFZ
Falk Hiepe

Collaborative Excellence "Identification and modulation of new immune targets in juvenile idiopathic arthritis"

In this joint project, we are currently investigating the cellular hallmarks of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), the most common rheumatic disease in children. For unknown reasons, JIA spontaneously resolves in some patients, whereas in others joint inflammation persists and recurs.  A better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, the identification of predictive markers of disease recurrence and the follow-up of these patient cohorts by the DRFZ Epidemiology units, will be crucial to ameliorate patient diagnosis and treatment.

Since 2020

Contact at the DRFZ

Chiara Romagnani, Tilmann Kallinich and Mir-Farzin Mashreghi

Collaborative Excellence "Chronic Quiescence - maintenance of hematopoiesis and immunological memory in health and latent infection, and its disruption in chronic inflammation"

The project aims to investigate the molecular mechanism underlying the quiescence of
hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and memory lymphocytes in bone marrow niches. Quiescence of these cells is fundamental for hematological and immunological memory, which maintains chronic inflammatory diseases during their dormant
An international and interdisciplinary network of experts in stromal cell biology, haematology, and molecular cell biology, in particular RNA biology, will
complement the expertise of the Leibniz institutes DRFZ and Forschungszentrum Borstel. The consortium combines experimental in vivo and ex vivo approaches
to define the signals inducing, maintaining or terminating quiescence, the integration of signalling pathways in the hematopoietic and immune cells, and
the targets of signalling, which confer long-lasting quiescence.

Since 2019

Contact at the DRFZ

Friz Melchers

Collaborative Excellence "Epigenetic regulation of ImmuneAging: Heterochromatic DNA methylation as a regulator of T cell senescence"

The functional decline of the immune system with aging (ImmuneAging) is a major burden for elderly individuals leading to multiple age-associated diseases including chronic inflammation. T lymphocytes contribute to ImmuneAging by acquiring a senescent phenotype, which seems to result from cumulative proliferation stress over the life-time of a human being.
We recently discovered a progressive,
heterochromatin-restricted loss of DNA methylation, which correlated to the proliferation history of the cells. We now hypothesize that this ‚proliferation-induced heterochromatic de-methylation‘ (PIHD) is functionally involved in the senescence process in T cells.
In this collaborative project, we want:

  • to define the molecular mechanism
    and the cellular consequences of PIHD,
  • to compare the extent of PIHD in T cells
    during healthy conditions and during disease,
  • to identify substances able to
    prevent or revert PIHD and hence, T cell

Contact at the DRFZ

Julia Polansky

Leibniz Junior Research Group "Prediction of T cell communication and differentiation dynamics by quantitative mathematical modeling"

Since 2017, the Leibniz Association is funding the lab of Kevin Thurley.

Thurley lab

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