RTF VIII: Theoretical Models of Inflammation

Coordinators: H. Busch (UzL), C. Kaleta (CAU), A. Traulsen (MPI)

The aim of RTF VIII is the use of computer models to elucidate which molecular processes are involved in the pathology and treatment response in inflammatory diseases. To this end, RTF VIII employs Systems Medicine approaches that build upon high-throughput multi-scale data sets covering the microbiome, genetics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. These data sets are integrated to build comprehensive computer models of relevant tissues that can pinpoint molecular processes involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases, monitor disease progression and inform treatment decisions.
 

What does this research area’s work build on?

Currently, there is both a lack of methods that are able to integrate diverse high-throughput experimental data sets and only little systemic knowledge of the involvement of different organ systems in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases. Moreover, due to its immense complexity, the role of the microbiome as a potential driver or mere bystander in the pathology of inflammatory diseases is only poorly understood.

 

What are the main research objectives?

The aim of RTF VIII is the reconstruction of multi-scale models that combine metabolic and immunological processes involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases. We will use these models to gain a better understanding of the molecular cross-talk involved in inflammation both within the immune system as well as between the microbiome and its host. This will allow us to disentangle the complex web of interactions between the immune system, the microbiome and the host to pinpoint key molecular processes involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases. This knowledge will allow us to develop markers that enable us to monitor the course of inflammatory diseases, also during treatment, and make more informed treatment decisions.

 

What makes this research area special?

RTF VIII will develop a unique modeling platform that combines metabolic and immunological models of host and microbiota that, for the first time, can derive mechanistic hypotheses on the involvement of the microbiome in the pathology of inflammatory diseases. Moreover, this modeling platform will integrate diverse experimental data sets covering different aspects of inflammation (transcriptome, genome, proteome, metabolome) into a coherent model, thereby facilitating the identification of the processes involved beyond these scales.

 

What does the research area contribute to precision medicine in chronic inflammation?

The approaches developed in RTF VIII will include patient-specific data, thereby facilitating the reconstruction of patient-specific models. These models will therefore enable the identification of patient-specific molecular processes that are deregulated in inflammation and a patient-specific monitoring of treatment response.

Cooperation with other research areas in the cluster
  • RTF I: Analysis of disease-associated shifts in microbial community metabolisms
  • RTF I, RTF V, RTF VI: Determination of disease-associated genetic loci through integrative models for genomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic data
  • TI-1: Development of integrated computer models of microbiome and host in inflammatory diseases for the identification of potential microbiome intervention targets
  •  RTF II: Experimental characterization of identified key microbial species
  • RTF IV, TI-2, TI-4, CD-5: Models for the identification of functional pathways from high-throughput data obtained from patients, animal models or immune cells will be iteratively experimentally validated and improved.
Members

Dr. Nadia Andreani

Associated member

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
Institute of Experimental Medicine
AG Prof. Baines

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Petra Bacher

Full member

UKSH Campus Kiel
Department of Immunology

Prof. Dr. John Baines

Full member

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
Institute of Experimental Medicine
Evolutionary Genomics

Prof. Dr. med. Marcus Both

Full member

UKSH Campus Kiel
Department of Radiology and Neuroradiology
Diagnostic Radiology

Prof. Dr. Hauke Busch

Full member

UKSH Campus Lübeck
Lübeck Institute for Experimental Dermatology
System Biology of Inflammatory Diseases

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Astrid Dempfle

Full member

UKSH Campus Kiel
Institute of Medical Informatics and Statistics

Prof. Dr. Marc Ehlers

Full member

UKSH Campus Lübeck
Institute of Medical Nutrition Science
Immunology and Glycoanalytics

Dr. Eva Ellinghaus

Full member

Kiel University
Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology
Centre for Molecular Biosciences

Prof. Dr. David Ellinghaus

Full member

Kiel University
Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology
Centre for Molecular Biosciences

Prof. Dr. Jeanette Erdmann

Full member

University of Lübeck
Institute for Cardiogenetics

Dr. Yask Gupta

Associated member

UKSH Campus Lübeck
Lübeck Institute for Experimental Dermatology
AG Prof. Ludwig

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Robert Häsler

Full member

UKSH Campus Kiel
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology

Dr. Marc Höppner

Full member

Kiel University
Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology
Genetics & Bioinformatics

Prof. Dr. Sabrina Jabs

Full member

Kiel University
Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology

Dr. Samer Kadib Alban

Associated member

UKSH Campus Kiel
Institute of Experimental Medicine
AG Prof. Kaleta

Prof. Dr. Christoph Kaleta

Full member

UKSH Campus Kiel
Institute of Experimental Medicine
c/o Transfusion Medicine

Prof. Dr. Jörg Köhl

Full member

University of Lübeck
Institute for Systemic Inflammation Research

Prof. Dr. Inke König

Full member

University of Lübeck
Institute for Medical Biometrics and Statistics

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Michael Krawczak

Full member

UKSH Campus Kiel
Institute of Medical Informatics and Statistics

Prof. Dr. med. Wolfgang Lieb

Full member

Kiel University
Institute of Epidemiology

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Prestin

Full member

University of Lübeck
Institute for Mathematics

Prof. Dr. Gabriela Riemekasten

Full member

UKSH Campus Lübeck
Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology

PD Dr. Dominik Schwudke

Full member

Research Center Borstel - Leibniz Lung Center
Bioanalytical Chemistry
Priority Research Area Infections

Dr. Michael Stolpe

Full member

Kiel Institute for the World Economy
The Global Health Economy

Prof. Dr. Silke Szymczak

Full member

University of Lübeck
Institute for Medical Biometrics and Statistics

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Thalheim

Full member

Kiel University
Department of Computer Science
Information System Engineering

Prof. Dr. Arne Traulsen

Full member

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
Evolutionary Theory

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Silvio Waschina

Associated member

Kiel University
Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science
Nutriinformatics

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Westermann

Full member

University of Lübeck
Institute for Anatomy

Dr. Inken Wohlers

Associated member

University of Lübeck
Lübeck Institute for Experimental Dermatology
AG Prof. Busch