Vaccine boosts innate immunity in people with dormant immune cells

Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is one of the world’s oldest and most widely used vaccines. It was developed in the early 20th century to provide protection from tuberculosis. Surprisingly, this vaccine protects not only against tuberculosis but also reduces the risk for various other infections, through a mechanism called trained immunity. A new study led by SFB member Christoph Bock and Mihai Netea found that epigenetic cell states predict whether or not an individual profits from the “wake-up call” to the innate immune system that is provided by the BCG vaccine. This discovery contributes to the development of future therapeutics that induce protective trained immunity.

Published in Immunity

Simone J C F M Moorlag, Lukas Folkman, Rob Ter Horst, Thomas Krausgruber, Daniele Barreca, Linda C Schuster, Victoria Fife, Vasiliki Matzaraki, Wenchao Li, Stephan Reichl, Vera P Mourits, Valerie A C M Koeken, L Charlotte J de Bree, Helga Dijkstra, Heidi Lemmers, Bram van Cranenbroek, Esther van Rijssen, Hans J P M Koenen, Irma Joosten, Cheng-Jian Xu, Yang Li, Leo A B Joosten, Reinout van Crevel, Mihai G Netea, Christoph Bock

Multi-omics analysis of innate and adaptive responses to BCG vaccination reveals epigenetic cell states that predict trained immunity

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2023.12.005

CeMM team leading the data analysis: Christoph Bock, Rob ter Horst, Thomas Krausgruber, Lukas Folkmann (from left to right; ©CeMM)

DOC scholarships from the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) for young scientists at the Vetmeduni Vienna.

Myint Aung (group Heidi Neubauer) and Jonatan Kendler (group Richard Moriggl) were each awarded one of the coveted DOC scholarships of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW, https://stipendien.oeaw.ac.at/en/fellowships/doc). The scholarships are awarded to outstanding young scientists in a highly competitive selection process.

Myint will use preclinical mouse modelst o investigate the oncogenic STAT5B-driven disease mechanisms and druggabilities in γδ T cell lymphoma.

Jonatan aims to unravel the interplay of CDK6 and STAT5B in NPM/ALK-driven haematopoietic malignancies to define therapeutic vulanerabilities. Both scholarships will start in 2024.

The SFB members congratulate!

6th International Conference on Cytokines in Cancer

The conference will be held at the Wyndham Loutraki Poseidon Conference Center, Loutraki, Ancient Corinth, Greece on June 01-06, 2024 Organizing committee: Serge Y Fuchs, Mathias Müller, Belinda Parker, Leonidas Platanias and Hui Zheng. The Conference is under the sponsorship of Aegean Conferences, a non-profit educational organization promoting science through focused scientific conferences (https://www.aegeanconferences.org). View […]

Sylvia Knapp receives Prize of the City of Vienna

On 16 May 2023 Sylvia Knapp, Professor of Infection Biology at the Medical University of Vienna and PI of SFB F61, was awarded the Prize of the City of Vienna in the category Medical Sciences. The awards for outstanding achievements in culture and science were presented by the City Councillor for Culture and Science, Veronica Kaup-Hasler, in a festive ceremony in the ballroom of Vienna City Hall.

For further information see:

https://www.meduniwien.ac.at/web/en/about-us/news/2023/news-in-may-2023/sylvia-knapp-erhaelt-preis-der-stadt-wien/

https://presse.wien.gv.at/2022/12/09/preise-der-stadt-wien-2022-fuer-herausragende-leistungen-in-kultur-und-wissenschaft

5th International Conference on Cytokines in Cancer

The conference will be held at the Grecotel Kos Imperial, Kos, Greece on May 14-19, 2023. Organizing committee: Eleanor Fish, Belinda Parker, Serge Y Fuchs, Mathias Müller and Leonidas Platanias. The Conference is under the sponsorship of Aegean Conferences, a non-profit educational organization promoting science through focused scientific conferences (https://www.aegeanconferences.org). View program: https://www.aegeanconferences.org/src/App//sessions/163

The SFB members Anna Orlova and Richard Moriggl are co-founders of the pharmaceutical start-up RIANA Therapeutics spun out of Vetmeduni Vienna in February 2023. RIANA Therapeutics focuses on developing novel anti-cancer treatments with hope to improve life of cancer patients.

For further information see https://www.vetmeduni.ac.at/en/universitaet/infoservice/presseinformationen/presseinformationen-2023/riana-viennese-start-up-develops-novel-precise-anti-cancer-drugs

Foto credit Thomas Suchanek/Vetmeduni Vienna

The SFB Jak-Stat subproject leader Veronika Sexl took the lead of the University of Innsbruck (https://www.uibk.ac.at/en/) in March 2023. Veronika was appointed head of the rectorate in an international selection process for a period of four years. The SFB members congratulate Veronika to this highly responsible and prestigious position. We will miss Veronika’s scientific excellence and spirit in our team and wish her a successful and fruitful time in Innsbruck.

Richard Moriggl – a long-term member of the SFB – will take over the leadership of the subproject ‘Partners in Crime: STAT3 and CDK6 Control Transformation in Hematopoietic Cells’. We highly appreciate the commitment of Richard and look forward to exciting interactions.

Foto credit Michael Bernkopf/Vetmeduni Vienna

Interferons (IFNs) activate cell-intrinsic defence mechanisms to fight infections. The innate immune response to infections overlaps and cooperates with cellular stress signalling governed by the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38. Laura Boccuni in the group of Thomas Decker unravelled the molecular mechanism how macrophages merge the IFN JAK-STAT and the stress p38 MAPK pathways to enhance the beneficial but also the detrimental effects of the innate and inflammatory responses. With the exception of one, all SFB groups contributed to this SFB-financed publication.

Published in Science Signaling

Laura Boccuni, Elke Podgorschek, Moritz Schmiedeberg, Ekaterini Platanitis, Peter Traxler, Philipp Fischer, Alessia Schirripa, Philipp Novoszel, Angel R. Nebreda, J. Simon C. Arthur, Nikolaus Fortelny, Matthias Farlik, Veronika Sexl, Christoph Bock, Maria Sibilia, Pavel Kovarik, Mathias Müller, Thomas Decker

Stress signaling boosts interferon-induced gene transcription in macrophages
https://doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.abq5389

See also for RELATED FOCUS: Rewiring the logic board of IFN signaling, by John D. MacMicking John D. MacMicking
https://doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.adf0778