Two doctoral researchers of the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology (IKMB) of Kiel University received prices for their posters at the 7. International Cluster Symposium “Inflammation Medicine – From Bench to Bedside” of the Excellence Cluster EXS2167 “Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation (PMI)” held in Hamburg, February 17-18th, 2020.
Finn Hinrichsen received the first price for his poster “Microbial regulation of epithelial hexokinase 2 links mitochondrial metabolism and cell death in colitis” endowed with 500 €. Finn currently performs his medical doctoral thesis in the “Functional Host-Microbiome Research” group of Dr. Felix Sommer .The project is team effort involving also the former RTG1743 MD doctoral researcher Jacob Hamm and the Master student Lena Schröder along with colleagues from Lübeck and Kiel.
The project focusses on interactions between the microbiome and host epithelial hexokinase 2 and the implications for intestinal inflammation. We identified microbial metabolites that modulate hexokinase 2 and thereby colitis in mice, which we now aim to develop into a therapeutic approach for intestinal inflammation in humans.
Gabriela Rios Martini received the second price for her poster “Characterization of microbe-specific T cell response in Inflammatory Bowel Disease” endowed with 400 €. Gabriela currently performs her doctoral thesis in the “Intestinal Immune Regulation” group of Prof. Dr. Petra Bacher .
About the project: Dysregulated T cell reactions against intestinal antigens are considered to be a causal or driving factor for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). In this project we investigate how tolerance against intestinal microbes is maintained in healthy humans and how it is disrupted in IBD patients. To do so, we use a highly sensitive technology, antigen-reactive T cell enrichment (ARTE), allowing the in-depth characterization of human antigen-reactive T helper cell responses against microbial antigens directly ex vivo in human blood or tissue.
Our data provide basic knowledge on the T cell-mediated contribution to intestinal inflammation. Understanding the quantitative and qualitative contribution of individual microbes to the local environment and the subsequent modulation of the T cell response in IBD patients will provide important answers on the pathogenesis of IBD and holds potential for the development of improved diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.