The human immune system ...
...is responsible for holding off viruses and fighting cancer cells. It is the most complex system within the human body (along with the nervous system).
Surviving due to immune medicine
Interventions in the immune system can protect from diseases (e.g. vaccination), ease terminal illnesses (e.g. rheumatism) or increase efficiency in therapies (e.g. transplantations or chemo therapy). For example, cure rates for lymph gland cancer have improved drastically through antibody therapies and survival rates after organic transplant have increased.
Future in medicine: Interventional Immunology
Medical research shows: the human immune system is involved in far more diseases than ever known. Thus it has to be taken into consideration in far more therapies. One of the biggest challenges in modern medicine is to effectively intervene with the immune system without causing too many side effects. Which intervention is needed specifically, depends on:
- a need to reduce the immune system´s activity (if the system overreacts, e.g. rheumatism, diabetes, allergies)
- a need to stimulate the immune system
- a need to suppress the immune system after transplantations in order to prevent it form rejecting transplanted organs or stem cells.
The RCI merges all research areas related to developing and applying new therapies with the goal of creating new diagnostic methods, technologies and drugs:
- Scientists are working on the challenging task of how to suppress the human immune system after organic or stem cell transplantations and yet allowing it to fight viruses and cancer cells.
- Scientific research groups are analyzing how rheumatism and inflammatory bowel disease can be treated through selective intervention of the immune system with the goal of potentially finding a cure.
- The RCI also focuses on the question of how the immune system can be utilized to fight cancer cells in an effort to decrease the intensity of chemo therapy and radiation.
- Two new departments and work Groups has been established in order to extend professional competence.
Researchers of the RCI introduce young doctors to newest scientific findings in the field of immunotherapy, thus specifically supporting young academics.
- Regensburg holds great scientific and medical expertise in the field of Interventional Immunology
- Experts in Regensburg are leading in the field of organic and stem cell transplantation.
- Modern high-tech infracture (e.g. JCC) enables local experts to manufacture cell products for individual immunotherapy.
- Close collaboration of the RCI with the University Hospital, Companies and University Hospitals of Erlangen-Nuernberg and Wuerzburg allow synergetic effects in modern therapies for the good of patients.
- Patients profit from new and improved therapies developed on site.
- The RCI creates efficient structures in order to focus on seminal areas of medicine which is reasonable and necessary in times of short resources.
- As an extra-faculty research institute, the RCI will enhance the medical and scientific advantages of Regensburg, improve perspectives for junior scientists and external experts and offer long-term financial and planning reliability.
- Application-oriented research in the RCI provides for multiplier effects for biotech and pharma industries in the region.
- For many diseases, there is still no cure but patients can be treated through intervention in the immune system.
- Combination of theory and practice for the good of patients is a unique feature of the RCI.
- Doctors and scientists in Regensburg are leading in the global competition for new immunotherapies.
- Forschungsallianz Immunmedizin (Erlangen-Nürnberg, Regensburg, Würzburg)
- Bavarian Immunotherapy Network (BayImmuNet)
- International scientific institutions in Ann Arbor, Stanford, Harvard, Wien, London, Oxford, Newcastle, Nantes, Mailand and Lund
- The RCI cooperates with multiple companis in the field of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
The Free State of Bavaria
- The Free State of Bavaria supports the RCI strategically on its way to becoming an extra-faculty research institute as well as financially since 2011.