The research theme of GRK 1673 “Functional Molecular Infection Epidemiology” aims toward the integration of expertise in the field of Infection Biology in Berlin, and Bioinformatics in Hyderabad, to create the needed functional link between host-pathogen genomics, and the variation of host response to vital pathogens. Thus genetic variations may be linked to a unique function crucial for disease susceptibility, severity and progression.
The GRK 1673 team comprises of senior faculty members from different areas of infection biology who come together to study various important infections that pose a threat to public health. Diseases like tuberculosis are not only a severe health problem in India but are a resurging global threat due to the development of new drug-resistant strains. Infections with other mycobacteria are increasing worldwide and are now considered as emerging diseases. Moreover, pneumonia caused by S. pneumoniae and other pathogens is a leading cause of mortality and death in both Europe and India. The same applies to other bacterial and parasitic infections.
There is a great need therefore, for a cooperative and multi-disciplinary approach in order to better understand the adaptation of particular pathogens. The specific geographical location of different pathogens have to be considered as well as their interaction with the host such as pathogenic strategies to evade the innate immune system. This will help to identify and design novel molecular intervention strategies. The pathogens of interest herein include bacterial pathogens causing important diseases like tuberculosis, lymphadenopathy, pneumonia, gastric disease, urinary tract infection, newborn meningitis and other extraintestinal infections, and parasitic pathogens that cause malaria and filariasis. In this manner, a broad range of clinically relevant organisms have been included in the scientific program of GRK 1673.
The International Research Training Group GRK1673 or BRIDGE was a joint effort of the Freie Universität Berlin, under the umbrella of the Dahlem Research School (DRS), together with the University of Hyderabad, India.
Bridge provided young researchers from Germany and India a unique international studying and research experience.
The following institutions are part of the BRIDGE network:
- Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
- Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
- Max-Planck Institute of Infection Biology, Berlin
- Robert-Koch-Institute, Berlin
- Institute of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad
- National Institute of Animal Biotechnology
- Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad
- Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad
- LEPRA – Blue Peter Research Centre (BPRC), Hyderabad
- Mahavir Hospital, Hyderabad