RESEARCH PROJECTS

Our research projects are a compli(e)ment to the eye.
We investigate the molecular role of the complement system, part of the innate immune response, in eye diseases.

Short%20logo%20bunt_edited.jpg

SCIFIMED

An EU wide project to investigate the Factor H related protein family

Diana Pauly - project coordinator

Veronika Ehinger - project management

Pratiti Banerjee - scientist

Millions of people in the European Union suffer from diseases associated with dysregulation of the complement system. This can be bacterial infections like invasive meningococcal disease, chronic inflammation of the kidney or, as in 15 million elderly european residents, age-related macular degeneration resulting in impaired vision.

SciFiMed will investigate the pathophysiology of the FH-protein family, to enable the development of personalized, radically new on-time diagnostics, which allow improved patient stratification for prospective cohort studies to understand complement-associated diseases.

SciFiMed work packages are divided between 8 european academic and industrial partners.

In our lab in Marburg, we manage and coordinate the project and focus on investigating structural and functional interaction partners of the Factor H related protein family using phage-display library and mass spectrometry.

For detailed information see www.scifimed.eu.

Untitled_edited_edited.jpg

COMPLEMENT IN RETINAL PIGMENT EPITHELIUM CELLS

Juliane Schikora

Approximately 200 million people worldwide suffer from age-related macular degeneration which can lead to severe visual impairment and blindness.
The retinal pigment epithelium forms the outer retinal-blood-barrier which is often disturbed in AMD patients. Epithelial cells lose their polarity and cell-cell adhesion and gain migratory properties. Our goal is to identify the role of the complement system cell homeostasis switch using the immortalized human cell line ARPE-19.

20200925_C57BL6J_retina_NMO_3DIV1N_1zu1000_DAPI_40x_Cy3_GFAP_488_humanIgG_2_crop_sclae_edited.jpg

THE ROLE OF COMPLEMENT IN RETINAL DEGENERATION IN NMOSD

Hannah Wolf

Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder is an autoimmune disease caused by anti-Aquaporin4 IgG. Common knowledge suggests primary disease activity along the optic nerve and spinal cord. Recent evidence however indicates retinal degeneration in NMOSD patients without occurence of optic neuritis. Our goal is to identify the role of local complement in AQP4-IgG derived retinal degeneration using a retinal explant cultivation system and to investigate a potential primary retinopathy in NMOSD.