VISTRIE (Helmholtz Virtual Institutes)


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Full title: Viral Strategies of Immune Evasion

Grantor: Helmholtz Association: Helmholtz Virtual Institutes

Grant number: VH-VI-424-4

Grantor's website:

Project website:

Duration: 2011-2016

Coordinator: Luka Cicin-Sain, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany

No. of participants: 5

Partners: - Martin Messerle, Universität Hannover, Germany

- Ulrich Kalinke, Twincore, Germany

- Hartmut Hengel, Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf, Germany

- Stipan Jonjic, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rijeka

Total funding (Sub-contract): EUR 400.000


  Brief description:

This virtual institute will focus on the interaction of the immune system and the viral infectious agents. The novelty of this concept is to utilize immune evasive genes as tools to understand the immune system. This idea comes from the understanding that viruses have coevolved with their hosts over millions of years, and that the most efficient immune mechanisms exerted the strongest selection pressure on viruses. This means that viruses, in order to survive, had to develop genes that counter the most efficient immune mechanisms. In turn, this means that focusing on viral immune evasion strategies would allow this group to harness millions of years of directed evolution and use it to focus on the most relevant immune mechanisms and to discover novel immune mechanisms with high antiviral potential.