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FOR2953 gathers for 2024 Annual Meeting

FOR2953 held its 2024 annual meeting at the TWINCORE in Hannover on March 11 and 12 with 40 attendees altogether, among them several new members. Updates on all ten projects were given in the form of 30-minute presentations, and junior researchers presented their results during a poster session on  monday evening, which was accompanied by a networking dinner. 

First FOR2953 Symposium held

FOR2953's first International Symposium "Sialoglycans in Development and Immunity" was held 

from October 09 – 11, 2023 at Sheraton Pelikan Hotel Hannover, Germany. We were delighted to  host 100 participants from 10 countries worldwide! 


FOR2953 Kick-off Meeting - 2nd Funding Period

FOR2953 ‘SIALIC ACID AS REGULATOR IN DEVELOPMENT AND IMMUNITY’ celebrates the funding approval by the DFG for 2022 – 2025

After a very successful evaluation meeting in July 2022, our FOR2953 was granted another 3 years of funding, which we kicked off with a networking meeting in Hannover.

Click here to read the press release on the official website of Hannover Medical School. 


FOR2953 – DFG Evaluation Meeting (Period 2019 – 2022)

From July 5 - 6, 2023, FOR2953 ‘SIALIC ACID AS REGULATOR IN DEVELOPMENT AND IMMUNITY’ welcomed an international review board and DFG representatives for on-site evaluation of our first funding period at "Forum Niedersachsen" in Hannover. 


31st Joint Glycobiology Meeting 2021

The annual Joint Glycobiology Meeting (JGM) is an initiative of the Dutch, French, Belgian and German study groups for Glycobiology. This year's meeting, co-organized by FOR2953 speaker PD Dr. Martina Mühlenhoff, was held in an online format and included a number of FOR2953 members as speakers: 

  • Dr. Malena Albers (P7) from Hannover Medical School gave a presentation entitled "Mutations in the acetyl-coenzyme A transporter gene SLC33A1 impair sialic acid O-acetylation"

  • German Cuevas Rios (P4) from University of Bonn talked about "Role of reduced sialic acid levels on retinal inflammation in mice"

  • Larissa Schröter (P7) from Hannover Medical School presented her research on "Cellular approaches to dissect the role of sialyltransferases in the formation of 9-O-acetylated sialoglycans"

  • Tawfik Abou Assale (P4) University of Bonn presented his findings in a talk entitled "Sialyllactose treatment ameliorates aminoglycoside-induced hearing loss in mice"

Headset und Tastatur

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)


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)


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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