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From L to R: Georg Stary, Anna Redl, Thomas Krausgruber and Christoph Bock (© Laura Alvarez / CeMM).

Single-cell sequencing on granulomas opens new therapeutic approaches for sarcoidosis

Granulomas are an accumulation of immune cells in the tissue, often the result of an overactive immune response. Granulomas contribute to several inflammatory systemic diseases such as sarcoidosis, berylliosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. For the first time, scientists at CeMM, the Medical University of Vienna and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases have thoroughly characterized granulomas in the skin in immense detail. The results provide numerous insights into the composition, structure and signaling pathways of granulomas, providing clues for new therapeutic approaches. The study was published in the journal Immu…

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 A methylated DNA molecule. DNA methylation is a key component of epigenetics and controls which genes of a cell can be activated. © Christoph Bock, CeMM

From octopus to elephant: a molecular zoo of epigenetics

Christoph Bock’s team at the CeMM established a catalog of DNA methylation across 580 animal species. These data enabled a detailed dissection of the evolution of epigenetic regulation and the epigenome. The new study, published in Nature Communications, shows that the characteristic DNA methylation signatures of animal genomes are evolutionarily very old, having emerged long before the first mammals. Surprisingly, DNA methylation in starfish and sharks follows a very similar “code” as in orangutans or humans. This epigenetic code may even help protect against cancer – as indicated by DNA methylation patterns in birds, which rarely develop…

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Season Greetings 2022

2022 has been a special year for all of us, and we would like to thank our CeMM members and collaborators for their effort and dedication to research.

After 15 years of pioneering work, we wanted to see our achievements, our constant development, our innovations in medicine also in our corporate identity. We unveiled a new corporate design and claim that reflects our CeMM principles and goals to improve healthcare. Because Science is our medicine!

Discover the CeMM Research Report 2021, which has been created as a Research Forte box. Behind every medical treatment and any pharmaceutical pill, no matter how small and simple-looking, there is…

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Giulio Superti-Furga (© Klaus Pichler), Kaan Boztug, Michael Dworzak (Harald Eisenberger)

Tackling high-risk leukemia: Austrian Science Fund FWF promotes precision oncology at St. Anna CCRI

The innovative "ExTrAct AML" project, funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, goes beyond established frontiers to investigate acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in children and adolescents. Individual patient profiles should provide early information on the causes of disease progression or treatment resistance – and how to take countermeasures in time. In contrast to previous approaches, these profiles not only include comprehensive (epi)genetic signatures of the leukemia cells, but also their dysfunctional signaling pathways and sensitivity to more than 100 drugs – determined by a new and particularly precise method, that examines the effect of…

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Sara Bernardo (©Dominik Kirchhofer), Joanna I. Loizou and Anna Schrempf (Klaus Pichler, Laura Alvarez/CeMM).

Blocking DNA production in cancer therapy by targeting POLΘ

In a recent study, researchers from Joanna Loizou’s group from CeMM and the Medical University of Vienna investigated the POLΘ enzyme and the role it plays in DNA repair. Inhibiting POLΘ represents a new approach for developing specific therapies, in particular for patients with BRCA1 mutations. The study, published in Cell Reports, shows for the first time that POLΘ fills the gaps in single-stranded DNA that excessively occur in a BRCA1-deficient genetic background, thus demonstrating its important role in keeping BRCA1 deficient cells alive.

A key gene that is faulty leading to breast and ovarian cancer is BRCA1 (BReast CAncer Gene 1),…

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SAB Meeting 2022 (© Piero Chiussi / CeMM)

CeMM Scientific Advisory Board Meeting 2022

On strategic and scientific questions, CeMM of the Austrian Academy of Sciences is advised by a board of international top-scientists. 

On November 13-16, 2022, the CeMM Scientific Advisory Board Meeting took place in Waidhofen an der Ybbs (Austria). We thank our Scientific Advisory Board members Carl-Henrik Heldin, Ewan Birney, Aaron Ciechanover, Richard Flavell, Janet Kelso, Hidde Ploegh and Derek Tan for their precious time, fruitful discussions and valuable feedback. And we highly appreciate that Academy President Heinz Faßmann had a debriefing via video call and also listened to the feedback and recommendations. 

The SAB Meeting…

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ÖAW President Heinz Faßmann with CeMM Administrative Director Anita Ender and CeMM Scientific Director Giulio Superti-Furga (©Bubu Dujmic / CeMM).

ÖAW President Heinz Faßmann visits CeMM

We had the honor to welcome Prof. Heinz Faßmann, President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences at CeMM! This is his first visit since he became ÖAW President in July this year, and it was a good meeting to present the institute, our research efforts and the innovation carried out by our scientists.

President Faßmann was welcomed by CeMM Scientific Director Giulio Superti-Furga and Administrative Director Anita Ender, who guided him through the building. He met our Faculty members in the CeMM Brain Lounge, where innovative ideas at CeMM are born, and during a house tour, PhD student, Postdoc and Technical Assistant representatives introduced…

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First author Alexander Hanzl and last author Georg Winter (© Laura Alvarez / CeMM).

Preventing resistance in cancer therapy

The latest developmental drugs, particularly for the use in oncology, rely on the targeted degradation of harmful pathogenic proteins. In a recent study, researchers at CeMM, the Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the University of Dundee (UK) identify potential resistance mechanisms and provide insights on how to overcome them.

Traditional targeted cancer therapies mainly rely on drugs that bind pathogenic proteins and inhibit their function. The latest development of drugs has brought forward chemical molecules known as degraders, which force the targeted degradation of disease relevant…

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RESOLUTE group photo at the Consortium Meeting on October 20 and 21, 2022.

3rd REsolution and 7th RESOLUTE Consortia Meetings

From October 19 and 20-21, 2022, the consortia meetings of REsolution and RESOLUTE took place in Berlin. The event, hosted by Bayer, gathered 60 international participants. The REsolution and RESOLUTE consortia are public-private research partnerships supported by the Innovative Health Initiative (IHI), the European Union and EFPIA, coordinated by CeMM and Pfizer, and with partners from academia and the pharmaceutical industry. The RESOLUTE project aims at intensifying worldwide research on solute carrier (SLC) transporters and to establish them as a novel target class for medical research, while the REsolution project aims at understanding…

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First author Nadine Bayer and last author Georg Stary (© Anna Yuwen / CeMM).

Skin microbiome identified as factor in stem cell transplants

Organ damage occurs in up to 70 percent of patients in the first few months following stem cell transplant. The precise reasons for this potentially life-threatening reaction have long been the subject of scientific research. Researchers led by CeMM Adjunct Principal Investigator Georg Stary from the Department of Dermatology at MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital  in collaboration with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases have recently identified bacterial proliferation on the skin as a factor associated with the occurrence of the complication. The findings recently published in the medical journal…

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