Biomarkers for Infectious Diseases
The Research Group Biomarkers for Infectious Diseases aims to identify more accurate diagnostic, prognostic and predictive host biomarkers for infectious diseases and the vaccine response. The clinical aims of the group are to help select the most effective, individualized treatment as early as possible, aiming to streamline the use of anti-infectives (improve anti-infective stewardship) and to improve clinical outcome.
This group is located at the TWINCORE in Hannover.
In addition, the researchers try to identify individuals that are at high risk of a non-response to a given vaccination and would therefore benefit from alternative vaccination strategies, for example higher doses, more frequent applications, adjuvanted vaccines or next-generation vaccines.
We put particular emphasis on supporting the mission of the Centre for Individualised Infection Medicine (CiiM) and to maximize collaborations with MHH clinicians and the CRC Core Facility and Biobank. Through these collaborations, we have access to biosamples such as peripheral blood cells, plasma, or cerebrospinal fluid from patients and the respective healthy controls and disease controls (disease with similar symptoms but different etiology). Our approach to biomarker discovery is based on unbiased (“hypothesis free”) profiling of biosamples, in particular using mass spectrometry and RNA sequencing. We also investigate potential roles in pathogenesis of the most promising biomarkers, as they or the associated metabolic pathways may constitute –in addition to the pathogens- therapeutic targets for adjuvant therapies. Molecules whose concentrations are decreased in patients could potentially even be used as therapeutics (e.g., the research project below on influenza vaccination).