Immune tolerance in the immunosuppressive phase in sepsis
Germany (bvmd) - Ruprecht-Karls-Universitaet, Heidelberg
Infectious Diseases
Department of Infectious Diseases, Medical Microbiology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 324, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Prof. Dr. med. Klaus Heeg
Dr. Dagmar Hildebrand
English, German
8 weeks
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Sepsis is a life-threatening infection with organ failure. In sepsis a complex interplay of the pathogen and the host pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory processes takes place and determines the fate of the individual. Until recently, most research on sepsis was focused on blocking the initial cytokine-mediated phase of the disorder that can be responsible for early deaths due to overwhelming innate immune reaction and is latterly accused to cause late organ failure through a perpetual inflammation. However, improvement in therapy led to a high survival rate of the initial hyperinflammatory phase. The patients then enter the immunosuppressive phase in which deaths are due to the primary infection that cannot be resolved or secondary infections often with opportunistic pathogens.
What is the aim of the project?
The aim of the project is to identify parameters that characterize the immunosuppressive phase. We will infect human blood-derived monocytes with bacteria, frequently found in sepsis patients and analyze the cells and supernatant for a set of factors known to impair the immune response. Furtheron we will work with samples from sepsis patients.
What techniques and methods are used?
The used techniques are Isolation of monocytes from human blood by antibody-coupled magnetic beads and automax technology; in vitro infection model; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS); quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction
What is the role of the student?
- The student will mainly observe
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student should be highly interested and motivated and willing to work as team. He/she should do practical work in the lab, read literature, analyze and evaluate data. The student should further participate in our lab meetings and seminars (both once a week). The student will learn how to work as a scientist, gain knowledge about Immune Tolerance, Sepsis and more. Isolation of monocytes from human blood, PCR (polymerase chain reaction), FACS (fluorescence-activated cell sorting) could be part of the practical work of the student.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Literature will be provided. Seminars are held once a week.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a scientific report
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
motivation and team spirit
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
- Students in biomedical fields
- Dental medicine students (IADS members)
- Biomarkers for Sepsis: What Is and What Might Be? Biron BM; Ayala A; Lomas-Neira JL. Biomark Insights. 2015 Sep 15;10(Suppl 4) 7-17. doi 10.4137 BMI.S29519. eCollection 2015. Review.