The Viennese JakStat Consortium has emerged as one of the leading research groups worldwide in the study of signal transmission by the Janus kinases (JAKs) and signal transducers and activators of transcription (STATs). For more than a decade the Consortium has made substantial contributions to our understanding of the functions of JAKs and STATs in homeostasis and disease.
This progress has been fuelled largely by the generation and analysis of advanced transgenic mouse models for a number of human disorders, such as haematopoietic malignancies as well as infectious, inflammatory and metabolic diseases. Today the JAK-STAT pathway is recognised as one of the twelve core pathways in the initiation and progression of cancer and a central communication node for the immune system.

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Seven internationally competitive research teams in Vienna join forces to deploy next-generation sequencing and proteome technologies based on strong bioinformatics competence. We share the vision of advancing the knowledge of chromatin architectures that govern (patho)-physiological processes. JAK-STAT serves as a paradigm to identify hierarchies, key players and co-factors shaping the chromatin landscapes of immune cells and haematopoiesis-derived cancer cells. We consider these as examples of cells with altered transcriptional profiles that are either a prerequisite for, or a consequence of disease.

Our mission is to discover how the JAK-STAT pathway drives the complex reorganization of the genome when cells undergo pathophysiological changes. We pursue our assumption that JAK-STAT signals contribute to extensive transcriptome changes underlying cell growth and immunity on the one hand, and runaway activation or mutation causing cancer and derailed immune responses on the other. . Fundamental understanding of these processes requires definition of the ‘monarchs’ at the top of the hierarchy of chromatin remodelling and their relationship to JAK-STAT. Understanding the dynamics and reconfiguration of chromatin will allow us to compare human diseases with models in genetically engineered mice, in which we can test new therapeutic concepts.

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