LMU successful with Collaborative Research Centre funding applications

25 Nov 2022

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding two new transregional CRC/TRR in the fields of mathematical physics and plant genetics.

  • LMU researchers are making significant contributions in two other transregional alliances
  • A further successful CRC/TRR has received a funding extension

In the latest round of grant approvals by the German Research Foundation (DFG), LMU has successfully obtained funding for five large research alliances in conjunction with partner universities. Two new CRC/Transregio will be established under the leadership of LMU – one for the mathematical analysis of many-body quantum systems and the other for research into interactions between plants and microorganisms.

Moreover, LMU researchers play a substantial role in two further large-scale transregional research alliances, both relating to immunological subjects. And the fifth successful CRC project with LMU involvement in this round, also on an immunological topic, has had its funding extended.

The projects are to be funded initially for four years, starting from next year.

The mathematics of quantum systems

In the new CRC/TRR 352, scientists are researching the mathematical foundations and laws of many-body quantum systems. Titled “ Mathematics of many-body quantum systems and their collective phenomena,” the CRC focuses on the mathematical analysis of models from the physics of condensed matter. In condensed matter physics, the collective behavior of interacting constituents such as particles and spins leads to a wide variety of macroscopically observable phenomena, which also have technological relevance.

The spokesperson of the alliance is Prof. Christian Hainzl from the Department of Mathematics at LMU. Other partners in the CRC/TRR include the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the University of Tübingen, while the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (Klosterneuburg) is an external member and the Universities of Copenhagen and Zurich are associated members.

Interactions between plants and microorganisms

Agricultural yields and thus food security are vitally dependent on plant health. Plants interact with a wide variety of microorganisms, which can be useful or harmful to them. Symbiotic communities can improve the supply of nutrients and protect against pests. Pathogenic microorganisms, by contrast, can devastate crop harvests and even cause total yield losses. CRC/TRR 356 “Genetic diversity shaping biotic interactions of plants (PlantMicrobe)” is investigating molecular mechanisms that influence useful and harmful plant-microbe interactions.

The spokesperson of the alliance is Prof. Martin Parniske, Chair of Genetics at the LMU Biocenter. In addition, the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the University of Tübingen are involved in the TRR as applicants, along with individual research groups from Helmholtz Munich, the Max Planck Institutes for Biology (Tübingen) and of Molecular Plant Physiology (Potsdam-Golm), and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry in Halle.

Two large-scale immunological projects

LMU scientists are also playing a substantial role in two other transregional CRC/Transregio alliances:

Collaborative Research Centre / Transregio (CRC/TRR) 355 “Heterogeneity and functional specialization of regulatory T cells in different micromilieus” is getting underway under the leadership of University Medical Center Mainz. The speaker role of the new CRC/TRR is held by the University of Mainz, while the Munich universities TUM and LMU are also involved. Co-spokesperson of the alliance on behalf of LMU is Prof. Carolin Daniel from the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at University of Munich Hospital.

The new CRC/Transregio 359 “Perinatal development of immune cell topology (PILOT)” wants to get to the bottom of the mechanisms that are crucial for the perinatal differentiation of immune cells and the cellular environment. The speaker role of the CRC is held by the University of Freiburg, while LMU plays a substantial role in the research alliance. Prof. Markus Sperandio from the Institute for Cardiovascular Physiology and Pathophysiology at LMU’s Biomedical Center is co-spokesperson.

Extended funding

Mechanisms for the detection and elimination of “foreign” genetic material are the focus of CRC/Transregio 237 “Nucleic acid immunity.” The CRC/Transregio has been funded by the German Research Foundation since 2018 and is now entering a second funding phase. Prof. Veit Hornung from LMU’s Gene Center Munich is the spokesperson. Other partners include Technische Universität Dresden and the University of Bonn.

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