LMU immunologist Veit Hornung awarded third ERC Advanced Grant in his career worth €2.5 million
The European Research Council (ERC) is funding a new research project by Hornung on the defence mechanisms of the innate immune system.
© Gil Lefauconnier
Prof. Dr. Veit Hornung, Chair of Immunobiochemistry, Gene Center and Department of Biochemistry, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
“Overall, the work will not only provide a comprehensive insight into these inflammasome signalling pathways, but also reveal fundamental principles of inflammasome biology. These insights could then be the basis for developing new, innovative therapeutic strategies.”
Prof. Veit Hornung
Chair of Immunobiochemistry, Gene Center and Department of Biochemistry, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
The innate immune system is the body’s first line of defence against pathogens and foreign substances. Veit Hornung is investigating how this immune defence system distinguishes “friend” from “foe”, i.e. recognises intruders without attacking the body’s own structures. With his research, he contributes to the development of therapies against inflammatory diseases. For his new project ENGINES (Molecular and functional characterization of EmergiNG INflammasomES), the holder of the Chair of Immunobiochemistry at the LMU Gene Center has now been awarded a prestigious Advanced Grant by the European Research Council (ERC). The award comes with funding of a maximum of €2.5 million (€3.5 million in exceptional cases). It is aimed at established scientists whose highly innovative research goes significantly beyond the current state of research and opens up new research areas.
In Hornung’s ERC project, the focus is on so-called inflammasome sensors, which in the case of infections and cell stress trigger inflammatory responses that can even lead to cell death. In order to understand how these systems operate at the molecular level, the immunologist and his team want to comprehensively characterise two of these key sensors. They will use a combination of diverse methods and assess their relevance for the antiviral immune defence by screening numerous pathogens in vivo. “Overall, the work will not only provide a comprehensive insight into these inflammasome signalling pathways, but also reveal fundamental principles of inflammasome biology,” says Hornung. “These insights could then be the basis for developing new, innovative therapeutic strategies.”
Veit Hornung studied medicine at LMU, led a junior research group in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at LMU Hospital and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, USA. In 2008, Hornung was appointed Professor of Clinical Biochemistry at the University Hospital in Bonn, after which he was Director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine there before moving to LMU in 2015. The ERC Advanced Grant is the third ERC grant Hornung has received in his career.
Prof. Dr. Veit Hornung
Gene Center and Department of Biochemistry,