Kiel genome sequencing center transitions to second round of funding

The DFG is providing further funding for the Competence Centre for Genomic Analysis Kiel (CCGA Kiel) at Kiel University until 2023.

 

 

Molecular risk factors for severe progression of COVID-19 have been determined here, important correlations in chronic inflammatory diseases identified, genomes of important model organisms decoded and new cancer mutations detected. The Competence Centre for Genomic Analysis Kiel (CCGA Kiel) at Kiel University (CAU) and the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH), Campus Kiel, ranks as one of the largest academic sequencing locations nationwide in Germany, and provides important infrastructure particularly for the Cluster of Excellence "Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation" (PMI) and the priority research area "Kiel Life Science" (KLS) at the CAU. The scientific focus areas lie in decoding of the molecular causes of chronic inflammatory diseases, investigation of the complex relationships of living organisms with their colonizing bacteria in microbiome research, and genetic investigation of archaeological finds. The CCGA Kiel was established in March 2018 as one of the four centers nationwide in Germany for high-throughput sequencing in the Next Generation Sequencing Competence Network (NGS-CN), with funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) for an initial period of three years. The DFG has now decided to extend the funding of the Competence Network until 2023.

"One of the four NGS Competence Centers is located at Kiel University. This underscores the outstanding expertise at our university in high-throughput sequencing. The scientific structures that were put in place in the predecessor to the current Cluster of Excellence PMI were also very important for the founding and the success of the CCGA Kiel. The renewed funding secures the future-oriented, excellent research in the Kiel Competence Network, particularly in the area of life sciences and medicine," emphasized CAU President, Professor Simone Fulda. 

"The renewed funding by the DFG is an important step on the path to making this important infrastructure permanent. This is highly significant, particularly for the Cluster of Excellence’s work. Many members use these structures, while at the same time contributing to the success of the CCGA Kiel," said Professor Philip Rosenstiel, spokesperson of the CCGA Kiel, member of the Cluster of Excellence PMI and director of the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology (IKMB) at the CAU and the UKSH.

(DNA) Sequencing means molecular biological analysis to decode the genetic information of organisms, which determines the exact sequence of the DNA building blocks. Since the DNA of an organism contains the entire blueprint for the organism and its functions, sequencing is the key to solving countless biomedical questions. For example, it can be used to help identify genes which cause or promote certain diseases. The first techniques were developed at the end of the 1970s. The procedures used today are orders of magnitude more powerful than even a few years ago, and are known collectively as "Next Generation Sequencing" (NGS). With the ever-more powerful technology, a completely hidden world has become accessible in recent years. Today, using this technology, the entire genetic code of a person, i.e. their genome, or even the functional status of tens of thousands of individual cells, can be fully decoded within a few hours. In comparison: just a few years ago, the sequencing of the human genome still took several weeks.

The Next Generation Sequencing Competence Network (NGS-CN) is an initiative funded by the DFG, which consists of four NGS Competence Centers in Germany. These include the West German Genome Center (WGGC), a collaboration led by the University of Cologne that also involves the Universities of Bonn and Düsseldorf, the NGS Competence Center Tübingen (NCCT) at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, the Dresden-Concept Genome Center (DcGC) at the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), and the Competence Centre for Genomic Analysis Kiel (CCGA Kiel) at Kiel University. The centers also act as service providers for external researchers, who can carry out their own sequencing projects here which form part of the DFG-funded initiative. The centers themselves are already involved in the project planning, and provide an initial bioinformatic analysis of the data obtained.

"In recent years, in our own projects and together with partners, this technology has enabled us to contribute to outstanding discoveries," said the co-spokesperson of the CCGA Kiel, Professor Andre Franke, who is also director of the IKMB. "Also in the current coronavirus pandemic, the infrastructure has proven to be highly effective. For example, using the sequencing technology we were able to identify certain cell types in the blood which provide an early indication of a severe progression of COVID-19," added Franke. 

In addition to researchers from the CAU, scientists from six further institutions are represented in the CCGA Kiel: the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, the Research Center Borstel (FZB), the University of Lübeck, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön (MPI EB), the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, and Saarland University. Together, using their combined expertise, they advise on new research projects and assist with analyzing the huge volumes of data.

Scientific contacts:

Prof. Dr. Philip Rosenstiel
Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology (IKMB)
Kiel University (CAU), University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH)
+49 431 500-15111
p.rosenstiel@mucosa.de

Prof. Dr. Andre Franke
Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology (IKMB)
Kiel University (CAU), University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH)
 +49 431 500-15110
 a.franke@ikmb.uni-kiel.de

women working at a sequencer
© S. Franzenburg, Kiel University

Using high-throughput sequencing, large volumes of genetic data can be analyzed rapidly at the Competence Centre for Genomic Analysis Kiel (CCGA Kiel) at Kiel University. Thus, for example, the genetic information of an organism can be determined within a few hours.

Sequencer
© SoulPicture|Kiel, IKMB Uni Kiel

The Competence Centre for Genomic Analysis Kiel (CCGA Kiel) at Kiel University has the latest generation of high-performance sequencing equipment.

Philip Rosenstiel
© Tebke Böschen, PMI

Prof. Dr. Philip Rosenstiel, steering committee member of the Cluster of Excellence “Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation” (PMI) and Director of the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, CAU, UKSH.

Portrait photo
© SoulPicture, Kiel University

Prof. Dr. Andre Franke, Steering Committee Member of the Cluster of Excellence PMI and Director of the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, CAU, UKSH.

Further links:

www.ccga.uni-kiel.de

 

Frederike Buhse
Public Relations, Excellence Cluster PMI
fbuhse@uv.uni-kiel.de
+49 431/880 4682
 

 

Kiel University
Press, Digital and Science Communication
presse@uv.uni-kiel.de
+49 431/880-2104
Website

 

About the Cluster of Excellence PMI

The Cluster of Excellence "Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation" (PMI) is being funded from 2019 to 2025 through the German Excellence Strategy (ExStra). It succeeds the "Inflammation at Interfaces” Cluster, which was already funded in two periods of the Excellence Initiative (2007-2018). Around 300 members from eight institutions at four locations are involved: Kiel (Kiel University, University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH), Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN)), Lübeck (University of Lübeck, University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH)), Plön (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology) and Borstel (Research Center Borstel - Leibniz Lung Center).

The goal is to translate interdisciplinary research findings on chronic inflammatory diseases of barrier organs to healthcare more intensively, as well as to fulfil previously unsatisfied needs of the patients. Three points are important in the context of successful treatment, and are therefore at the heart of PMI research: the early detection of chronic inflammatory diseases, the prediction of disease progression and complications, and the prediction of individual responses to treatment.

Press office

Frederike Buhse
Public Relations, Excellence Cluster PMI

Cluster of Excellence "Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation"
Scientific Office
Head: Dr. habil. Susanne Holstein Postal
Christian-Albrechts-Platz 4, 24118 Kiel, Germany
Contact: Sonja Petermann
 +49 (0)431 880-4850, fax: +49 (0)431 880-4894
spetermann@uv.uni-kiel.de
Twitter: PMI @medinflame