Ulrike Protzer is a Professor for Virology at TUM and spokesperson for the Bavarian alliance "FOR-COVID".
Ulrike Protzer is a Professor for Virology at TUM and spokesperson for the Bavarian alliance "FOR-COVID".
Image: Kurt Bauer / TUM
  • Covid-19, Research news
  • Reading time: 3 MIN

Bavarian research alliance "FOR-COVID" investigates possible therapies and vaccinationsUnited against COVID

Contain and treat the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 as quickly as possible – the Bavarian research alliance "FOR-COVID" will contribute to this with scientific findings relating to the virus and the COVID-19 disease. The alliance will be receiving 800,000 euros in funding from the Bavarian Ministry of Science. The spokesperson is Virologist Ulrike Protzer from the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

The Bavarian Ministry of Science established the Bavarian research alliance FOR-COVID as a response to the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The State of Bavaria is providing approximately 800,000 euros in funding for the current year and next year. In addition to the TUM, the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität (FAU) Erlangen-Nuremberg, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), the Universität Regensburg, the Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg (JMU), and the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology in Munich will also be participating in this endeavor. The research alliance aims to contribute to facilitating the management of the current pandemic through interdisciplinary cooperation throughout Bavaria.

"We are extremely glad to now be able to consolidate the expertise of leading scientists in Bavaria in order to research how we can overcome the COVID-19 crisis, thereby also learning how we can prepare ourselves better for future challenges," said the spokesperson for the alliance Prof. Ulrike Protzer,virologist at TUM and Helmholtz Zentrum München.

Improving antiviral therapy options and vaccinations

In nine projects, scientists in the alliance from all over Bavaria will be researching options for preventing and preparing for epidemics, for preventing infection, for active and passive immunization through vaccination, improving antiviral therapy options, as well as a better understanding of the origins and development of the disease. In particular, in their three projects, the scientists at TUM will be researching how therapy options and vaccines can be developed and improved:
 

  • Vaccine based on nanoparticles
    Prof. Protzer heads a project that aims to design and evaluate a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. The goal is for the vaccine to promote an antibody response that binds virus particles and immediately renders them harmless. The latter is not the case with all vaccine candidates proposed so far – a situation which ultimately may even lead to a worsening of the infection. The project aims to rapidly generate a neutralizing antibody response by presenting the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein on the surface of nanoparticles. At the same time, a T-cell response is also to be enabled. This approach is to be compared and possibly combined with other vaccine candidates to achieve an immunity as is it observed in patients who have fully recovered from an infection.
     
  • How does the immune system inhibit the virus?
    Andreas Pichlmair, Professor for Viral Immunopathology at TUM, heads a project that investigates the biology of the virus. He utilizes –omics technologies to understand which cellular control loops of the innate immune system are important for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2. The goal is to find out which cellular mechanisms inhibit the virus – and how these findings can be utilized for therapeutic purposes.
     
  • Antiviral substances against COVID
    Dieter Langosch, Professor of Polymer Chemistry, and Roman Wölfel from TUM, together with partners from other universities, are heading research aimed at identifying antiviral substances that inhibit SARS-CoV-2 from entering human cells. The project is examining a group of antiviral agents that have been largely ignored in research on SARS-CoV-2.

More information:

The Bavarian research alliance also collaborates with research groups in Saxony in a Bavarian-Saxonian research network on SARS-CoV-2.

Corporate Communications Center

Article at tum.de

 President Thomas F. Hofmann discussed the planned university reform with Science Minister Bernd Sibler, moderated by student Silja Wöhrle.

“We’re working hard on the future”

In the first-ever online edition of its annual celebration, the TUM community looked back on the year to date. Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 has been one of the most challenging years in its...

Deciphering the gene structure of the corona virus is an exciting task. (Image: Pete Linforth/ Pixabay)

On the trail of the genetic code

Viruses are infectious organic structures that spread by transmission and can only multiply within a suitable host cell. To understand how new viruses are created, it is necessary to determine the position of the individual...

Mikael Simons is professor for Molecular Neurobiology at TUM.

How the virus enters the cell

The protein neuropilin-1 facilitates SARS CoV-2 cell entry. A research team including Prof. Mikael Simons of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) recently published these findings in the journal "Science". Because...

Scientists of the TUM are conducting laboratory and computer research on the classification and therapy of Covid-19.

Fighting corona with machine learning

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is starting five new research projects that focus on the coronavirus and the search for new active ingredients. For example, the use of algorithms could ensure a more precise...

The new research project "COVID Kids Bavaria" will investigate the situation of children during the pandemic.

Effects of Covid-19 on children

The new research project "COVID Kids Bavaria" will investigate the situation of children during the pandemic. The six university clinics in Bavaria, including the TUM Klinikum rechts der Isar, will evaluate, among other...

Conventional chest x-ray

New x-ray method for Corona diagnosis ready for patient testing

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed an innovative x-ray method for lung diagnostics, which they now plan to test in one of its first applications for diagnosis of the respiratory ailment...