At the Institute of Veterinary Biochemistry, basic research with clinical relevance for veterinary medicine is carried out using innovative analytical methods (qPCR, NGS, 2D-PAGE, ELISA, cell culture).
Together with national and international partners, we work on various projects funded by DFG (German Research Foundation), DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), German Research Platform for Zoonoses, BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) and EU Commission.
Our research projects are centred upon following topics:
Host-pathogen interactions / Functional analysis of cellular non-coding RNAs.
Often bacterial pathogens are able to modulate the cellular host response to their benefit. Autophagy and apoptosis of host cells are among the most important processes that are affected. In this context, we are investigating in particular pathogen-induced dysregulation of non-coding RNAs (e. g. microRNAs and lncRNAs) that influence intracellular persistence and replication of pathogens.
Biology of reproduction / Inflammation of the cows’ uterus
Based on expression analysis, performance of the oviduct in farm animals (cattle, pig) is evaluated. Furthermore, we concentrate our research on uterine health in cattle (endometritis) as well as proteome analysis of the equine uterus. In this context, we provide a service unit for high-resolution 2D-PAGE fluorescence scanning (Typhoon).
In vivo like cell culture systems / alternatives to animal experiments
Diverse primary as well as permanent cell models are developed serving as alternatives for animal experiments (e.g. organoid cell cultures from colon of pigs and cattle in collaboration with colleagues at Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute in Jena). For the study of signalling pathways, we use these models, which essentially represent the organism compared with conventionally used cell lines. Examples of application are adaptation processes of the gastrointestinal tract as well as risk assessment of genetically modified feed and pathogen interaction.
In vitro diagnostic systems and bioassays
We develop and apply new diagnostic biomarkers in chronic animal diseases (inflammation, arthritis, cancer and pulmonary diseases in small animals and horses). In order to accelerate the detection of various diseases in horses, dogs and cats, we determine various biochemical parameters from body fluids for their diagnostic relevance.
Feed-mediated reactions of the gastrointestinal tract
The influence of probiotics, trace elements, GMOs, pathogens and toxins on intestinal cell viability, proliferation and expression in farm animals and in rodents (90d feeding regime) are the main focus of this research topic. In this context, we analyze cell culture models and tissue extracts after exposure to noxae.
Molecular biological analysis of cellular regulatory pathways
Cross-species characterization of microRNAs, lncRNAs and mRNAs and molecular interactions with proteins are the basics for identification of cellular reaction cascades and intracellular regulatory networks. Accordingly, generated molecular data provide the basis for in silico prediction of relevant metabolic pathways. Nucleic acid-based methods are being applied for the identification and therapy of e. g. tumor diseases or infections in animals.
Risk assessment of GM food and feed
In this subarea, we develop and validate alternative in vitro test methods (RRR principle) for the safety assessment of genetically modified food and feed as well as toxicologically relevant substances in the intestinal system.
Vitality and health of honey bees / General bee keeping
The important farm animal honeybee is investigated using specially adapted molecular and cell biological techniques. A particular focus is placed on multiple environmental stress factors (drugs, pesticides, pathogens) that can affect the vitality of individuals as well as entire populations.