Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne

CMMC Annual Retreat 2021 goes digital

We were delighted that many members of the CMMC, the Medical Faculty as well as the Science Faculty and associated institutions have attended this year's CMMC Annual Retreat 2021. We were pleased that our newly developed concept of the program was met with great approval. One important feature of this success was the involvement of CMMC Junior Project Leaders for developing the program. In total, more than 260 participants attended the CMMC Annual Retreat 2021 participating in either all or selected program parts offered over the course of the 3-day CMMC Annual Retreat 2021.

Feb. 02, 2021: At the CMMC Poster Session 35 scientits introduced their poster with a 2 min. flash talk and an interactive exchange with more than 110 participants in the 35 breakout rooms. Congratulations to the three Poster Prize Winners: Joy Armistead – Poster 02 (Member of Matthias Hammerschmidt´s RG, Institute for Zoology / Dev. Biology);  Anixa Muiños Bühl – Poster 26 (Member of Brunhilde Wirth's RG, Institute of Human Genetics) and  Antonios Papadakis – Poster 27 (Member of Andreas Beyer´s RG, CECAD Research Center). The CMMC Poster Session was organized and hosted by Junior Reseaerch Group Leaders.

Feb. 03, 2021: On the 2nd day, the about 100 participants were able to get an overview of the CMMC by means of the CMMC Report and in the following 12 short presentations an insight into CMMC projects. In total 39 projects are funded and due to time limitations not all projects can be invited for short presentations. With the help of a rotation principle, a change is ensured in each case. The CMMC Lecture introduced only recently was an additional special highlight.

Feb. 04,2021: On the third day, the participants were invited to three workshops organized and hosted by Junior Research Group Leaders. Each workshops covered an important and up to date subjects in such a way that technical-methodological  and structural aspects were intensively discussed to further promote the biomedical research at the University of Cologne. More than 70 particpants took part in each workshop. The outcome of the workshops will be summarized in action papers.

Finally, we would like to thank all participants and in particular all poster presenters and the Poster Orga- and Evaluation Team, the CMMC members of the short talks and the chairs of the sessions, Professor Anja Schneider - speaker of the CMMC Lecture 2021, the members of the digital roundtable discussion groups and the organizers of the workshops.

With best regards

Thomas Benzing
Chair of the CMMC and the Members of the CMMC Executive Board

Program - Annual Retreat 2021

9.30 - 10.45 a.m.

Meeting of the CMMC Executive Board (digital-format)

(for members of the EC Board only)

Seminar Room

Scientific Program - CMMC Annual Retreat 2021

11.00 - 11.20 a.m.

Welcome address and CMMC Progress Report
Thomas Benzing - Chair of the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne

Research Area A - Mechanisms of tumor development: intrinsic and extrinsic control of cell proliferation and tissue invasion

Chairs: Michal-Ruth Schweiger | M Hammerschmidt

11.20 - 11.40 a.m.

B 08  - The role of antigen-presenting cell subtypes in anti-Leishmania immunity
Esther von Stebut-Borschitz | Nir Yogev
Clinic & Polyclinic of Dermatology and Venerology

11.40 a.m - 12.00 p.m.

A 03 - The role of MAP2K7 inactivation in malignant transformation of neuroblastoma
Matthias Fischer
Department of Experimental Pediatric Oncology

12.00 - 12.20 p.m

A 04 - Understanding the impact of the lymphoid microenvironment in B cell malignancies by single-cell analysis
Michael Hallek | Phuong-Hien Nguyen | Rocio Rebollido-Rios
Clinic I of Internal Medicine

12.20 - 12.40 p.m.

A 06 - Elucidation of ferroptosis-inducing therapy (FIT) for the treatment of pancreatic cancer
Silvia von Karstedt
Department for Translational Genomics

12.40 - 1.40 p.m.

Lunch Break with
Breakout Rooms for Discussions

Research Area B - Principles of immunity, inflammation and infection

Chairs: Sabine Eming | Claus Cursiefen

1.40 - 2.00 p.m.

B 02 - Mechanism of the “Abscopal Effect” upon Radiation Therapy (RT)
Grit Herter-Sprie1 | Jan Herter2 | Roland Ullrich1
1Clinic I of Internal Medicine - 2Dept. of Radiation Therapy, Radiooncology and Cyberknife

2.00 - 2.20 p.m.

B 05 - Microglia modulation as target for diabetic retinopathy
Thomas Langmann
Clinic of General Ophthalmology

2.20 - 2.40 p.m.

A 02 - Role of MFN2 in CMT2A neurodegeneration and in NAFLD liver disease
Mafalda Escobar-Henriques1 | Margarete Odenthal2 
1Institute for Genetics - 2Institute for Pathology

2.40 - 3.00 p.m.

B 06 - Correlating biofilm structure with antibiotic tolerance
Berenike Maier1 | Paul Higgins2
1Inst. for Biological Physics - 2Inst. for Med. Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene

3.00 - 3.20 p.m.

Coffee Break with
Breakout Rooms for Discussions

Research Area C - Molecular mechanisms and metabolic control of tissue degeneration and regeneration

Chairs: Carien Niessen | Jens Brüning

3.20 - 3.40 p.m.

C 01 - Netrin-1 as a new target to treat chronic lung disease: Identification of agonists and antagonists by artificial intelligence
Miguel A Alejandre Alcazar1 | Manuel Koch2
1Clinic & Polyclinic for Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine - 2Inst. for Oral and Musculoskeletal Biology

3.40 - 4.00 p.m.

C 07 - Molecular mechanism of X-linked intellectual disability caused by mutations in the UPF3B gene
Niels Gehring
Institute for Genetics

4.00 - 4.20 p.m.

C 10 - Regulation of feeding in health and pathology by glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor-expressing cells in the lateral hypothalamus and the lateral septum
Tatiana Korotkova
Institute of Vegetative Physiology

4.20 - 4.40 p.m.

C 13 - Mapping hereditary spastic paraplegia: towards common pathogenic and novel rescue pathways
Elena Rugarli
Institute for Genetics / CECAD Research Center

4.40 - 5.00 p.m.

Coffee Break with
Breakout Rooms for Discussions

5.00 - 6.00 p.m.   

CMMC Lecture

Laudatio - Guenter Schwarz
Extracellular vesicles in neurodegenerative diseases
Anja Schneider
Clinic for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Geriatric Psychiatry | Univ. Hospital Bonn & German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) - Bonn

CMMC Workshop Sessions

  • organized by the CMMC Junior Research Group Leaders
  • digital roundtable discussions with the organizers and roundtable participants
  • interactive digital live chat participation for all CMMC members and scientists of the Life Science Campus at the University of Cologne
8.30 - 11.00 a.m.

Workshop 1 
Integrative data handling for improved human health research
Katarzyna Bozek1and Philipp Antczak2
1CMMC-Lab. of Data Science of Bioimages and 2CMMC-Lab. of Computational Biology of Aging

University Hospital Cologne is a large and diverse hub for biomedical research. Integrative analysis of the vast amounts of data generated on the campus can provide means for improved personalized medicine, offer the potential to extract novel understanding of biology, improve patient stratification and welfare. The goal of this workshop is to devise an integrated analytical system encompassing the diverse clinical and experimental data flows. Inherent to our discussion will be the removal of boundaries throughout the organization to inspire new integrative research projects and comprehensive (re)use of the rich biomedical datasets generated on the campus.

Participants of the roundtable discussions - digital format:
Thomas Benzing - Reinhard Büttner - Katrin Bohl - Konstantina Charmpi - Alexander Dilthey - Florian Erger - Roman-Ulrich Müller - Astrid Schauss and the organizers

For further information: please visit Workshop 1

11.00 - 1.30 p.m.

Workhop 2
Assembly, regulation and dynamics of multi-subunit complexes in cellular signaling

Alessandro Annibaldi1  -  Débora B Trentini Schmidt2  -  Simon Pöpsel3
1CMMC-Lab. of Cell Death, Inflammation and Immunity  - 2CMMC-Lab. Protein Quality Control and Stress Response - 3CMMC-Lab. of Structure and Biochemistry of Epigenetic Regulators

Proteins exert their function as part of larger, multi-subunit assemblies. The analysis of such assemblies is of crucial importance to understand their function at a larger scale, although often challenging due to the limitations of individual approaches.

We will discuss the strengths and limitations of our experimental approaches, and how collaborative efforts could help us drawing a more detailed picture of our favorite biological systems. We will particularly focus on i) Cryo-EM, ii) Cross-linking mass spectrometry and iii) Single Cell Imaging to study the dynamics & molecular details of multi-subunit protein complexes.

Participants of the roundtable discussions - digital format:
Kay Hofmann - Ron Jachimowicz - Hamid Kashkar - Natalia Kononenko - Ana Garcia Saez - Guenter Schwarz - Gerhard Sengle - Henning Walczak and the organizers

For further information: please visit Workshop 2

2.00 - 4.30 p.m.

Workhop 3
Targeted treatment of patients through single-cell multi-OMICs Profiling

Robert Hänsel-Hertsch1and Philipp Antczak2
1CMMC-Lab. of Genome Biology and 2 CMMC-Lab. of Computational Biology of Aging

Human wellbeing is governed by the individual's (epi)genetic background, their molecular complexity & their interaction with the environment both internal and external. Improving personalized medicine requires not only identifying the molecular causes but also conceptualizing these. Here we explore how cellular composition reflects on disease predisposition, state and outcome; how multi-OMICs profiling may help in conceptualizing human disease; and how we can make use of frameworks in translational clinical applications. We aim to highlight the use of single-cell Seq and integration to improve diagnosis and treatment.

Participants of the roundtable discussions - digital format:
Andreas Beyer - Eric Hahnen - Axel Hilmer - Julie George - Ron Jachimowicz - Roman-Ulrich Müller - Andreas Scheel - Michal-Ruth Schweiger - Armin Tresch - Julian Puppe - Holger Winkels and the organizers

For further information: please visit Workshop 3

4.30 - 5.30 p.m.

Digital General CMMC Assembly

Reports from the workshops 1-3 presented by the organizers

Announcement of the poster prize winners, final discussion and leave-taking
Thomas Benzing - Chair of the CMMC

Program - Annual Retreat 2021

Congratulations - the Poster Prize Winners

Short Talks

Feb. 03 2021
Short Talks - Overview of presenting Principal Investigators

CMMC Lecture

Feb. 03, 2021 at 5.00 p.m.
Prof. Dr. Anja Schneider (DZNE, Bonn)
Extracellular Vesicles in Neurodegeneration and Diseases

Overview of the Workshops

Feb. 04, 2021
8.30 - 11.00 a.m. - WP 1  Integrative data handling for improved human health research
Katarzyna Bozek and Philipp Antczak

11.00 - 1.30 p.m. - WP 2 Assembly, regulation and dynamics of multi-subunit complexes in cellular signaling
Alessandro Annibaldi, Débora B Trentini Schmidt and Simon Pöpsel

2.00 - 4.30 p.m. - WP 3 Targeted treatment of patients through single-cell multi-OMICs profiling
Robert Hänsel-Hertsch and Philipp Antczak