Experimental Infection Research
Precisely how these mechanisms function remains unclear, however. Similarly unclear is how different pathogens prevent the release of interferon, or its effect, thus enabling us to fall ill nevertheless. And how does the central nervous system protect itself against virus infections? These questions are a key focus of the work of Prof Dr Ulrich Kalinke at his Institute for Experimental Infection Research.
Despite many unanswered questions remaining, interferons have been used as medicines for many years: to date, interferon alpha, in combination with Ribavirin®, is the sole effective therapy to combat chronic hepatitis C virus infections. Interferon beta plays a key role in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Furthermore, interferons are also used to treat various tumour illnesses. The reasons why interferons have a positive influence on such a variety of illnesses is also the focus of Ulrich Kalinke's research.
In order to be able to answer these comprehensive questions, the researchers at TWINCORE are co-operating with partners from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and Hannover Medical School on numerous twinning projects.