News & Events

FOR2953 Glycoscience Teaching Workshop 2021

The Glycoscience Teaching Workshop of the DFG Research Unit FOR2953 took place at the Hannover Medical School on September 28-29, 2021. Aiming at training our PhD students and postdocs in glycoscience, the workshop provided insight into protein glycosylation, glycosphingolipid biology and glycoanalytics. Stimulating lectures by six leading glycoexperts, along with discussions and a Meet the Speakers Dinner set the frame for intensive training and networking.

Many thanks to our excellent keynote speakers Katrine Schjoldager (Denmark), Christian Thiel (Germany), Giovanni D’Angelo (Switzerland), Manfred Wuhrer (Netherlands), Mario Schubert (Austria) and Hans Bakker (Germany).

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FOR2953 Annual Meeting 2021

The Annual Meeting 2021 of the DFG Research Unit FOR2953 was held in Hannover on September 27-28. After so many virtual events, we were thrilled that all project teams could meet in-person. Each team provided oral and poster presentations to give an overview on their projects and to discuss recent results. We enjoyed not only excellent presentations, but also what we had missed over the last 16 month: The vivid and inspiring scientific exchanges during coffee breaks and poster sessions. Thanks to all FOR2953 members for making this event a success.

Click here for more impressions from the meeting. 

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FOR 2953 virtual kick-off meeting

The kick-off meeting of FOR 2953 was held on March 10th, 2020 as a virtual symposium. Nearly 30 involved researchers from all four member institutions gathered in a video conference to introduce their projects and future plans for collaboration.

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Dr. Markus Abeln receives "Sir-Hans-Krebs-Award"

The Sir Hans Krebs Prize, donated by the Society of Friends of MHH e.V. in the amount of 10,000 euros, is intended to honor an outstanding work in basic medical research published in a scientific journal. This year the award goes to Dr. rer. nat. Markus Abeln, MHH Institute for Clinical Biochemistry, for his work "Sialic acid is a critical fetal defense against maternal complement attack", published in ´The Journal of Clinical Investigation`, January 2019. To get a deeper insight into the relevance of sialic acid for embryonic developmet, Dr. Markus Abeln created a genetically modified mouse in which sialic acid is completely absent from the cell surface. Animals with this defect were not born, but died early in pregnancy. The analysis showed growth retardation and signs of an immune response against the embryo. A certain part of the mother's immune system, the so-called complement system, attacks the sialic acid-negative embryos. The developing placenta was particularly affected by the complement reaction. The findings obtained from the mouse model can also help explain a pregnancy complication that occurs in humans, pre-eclampsia. Therefore Dr. Abeln now investigates whether an incorrect presentation of sialic acid on the surface of the placenta is detectable in preeclampsia.

(Image rights: Hannover Medical School, photographer: Karin Kaiser)

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Prof. Dr. Rita Gerady-Schahn and colleagues receive "Hugo-Junkers-Preis 2019"

FOR 2953 PI Prof. Dr. Rita Gerardy-Schahn and her colleagues Prof. Dr. Alexander Dityatev and Dr. Hristo Varbanov from German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Magdeburg, were awarded the "Hugo Junkers Prizes for Research and Innovation from Saxony-Anhalt 2019" in the category "Most innovative basic research projects". In the ceremony held at the “Hugo-Junkers” technology museum in Dessau-Roßlau, twelve award winners in four categories received the awards worth a total of 80,000 euros from Minister Prof. Dr. Armin Willingmann. The group received the award for their innovation entitled "Treatment of dementia and mental disorders with natural glycans (PolySia)". Diseases like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and dementia entail memory loss due to a disruption of the synapses that transmit information in the brain. If people are ill, the receptors of these nerve cells are activated too strongly and in the long term neurons die. The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases e. V. (DZNE) has discovered an endogenous inhibitor - the Glycan PolySia. It can help heal memory damage, but is unsuitable as a therapeutic. The DZNE  identified certain length-optimized glycans which, when administered, enter the brain, inhibit the receptors in mice and can restore memory.


(Image rights: IMG Sachsen-Anhalt, photographer: Joachim Blobel)

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Offical FOR review held in Hannover

The official review for the upcoming FOR 2953 was held in Hannover on June 17th - 18th of 2019. The two-day event was opened by Prof. Dr. Michael Manns, president of Hannover Medical School, and encompassed presentations and poster sessions introducing the nine proposed projects to the reviewers appointed by the German Research Foundation DFG.

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