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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 25 | 27. Mai 2009
Priority Programme 1468 "Osteoimmunology (IMMUNOBONE)"

The Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has announced the initiation of a new Priority Programme (Schwerpunktprogramm, SPP) entitled IMMUNOBONE. This programme is intended to address the emerging field of Osteoimmunology. The programme will run for a period of six years and the main aim is to investigate the shared mechanisms and interactions between the immune system and bone.

The goal of IMMUNOBONE is to provide a framework for obtaining new insights in the molecular, cellular and systemic interactions between effector cells and molecules of the immune system and the skeletal system. IMMUNOBONE is intended to build up an interdisciplinary network that will (i) investigate the communication and mutual interaction between the immune system and bone on the basic, translational and clinical science levels, (ii) develop strategies and tools that target and regulate common pathways and signals in order to develop rational treatments and (iii) enhance the overall knowledge in this emerging fields by facilitating development of a tight and long-standing interdisciplinary cooperation between research groups interested in the field.

Applicants are strongly encouraged that research projects submitted for the Schwerpunktprogramm IMMUNOBONE contain clearly defined and relevant research questions addressing the link between the immune system and bone.

The programme intends to include projects covering the following topics:

  • The regulation of bone and cartilage destruction by immunological processes.
  • The immunoregulation of bone- or cartilage regeneration and repair.
  • The bone marrow as niche for cells of the adaptive immune system.
  • Clinical consequences of the interaction between immune and skeletal system including preclinical translational approaches.

The programme will not support projects that:

  • Focus on osteological topics without a clear connection to the immune systems (e.g. bone or cartilage development, hormonal regulation of bone metabolism, metabolic bone disorders, matrix biology of bone).
  • Focus on immunological studies without a clear connection towards the skeletal system.
  • Constitute clinical studies evaluating the application, safety and efficacy of anti-osteoporotic drugs.
  • Contain epidemiological studies on the incidence and prevalence of osteoporosis and associate diseases.
  • Study malignant diseases of bones or the hematopoietic system.
  • Build upon model systems of limited relevance (e.g. single cell lines).
  • Concentrate on investigating the relevance and use of biomarkers or are mainly based on or are limited to descriptive array analysis (genomics, proteomics etc.).

Proposals for an initial three-year funding period should be submitted on paper in triplicate, including appendices (one original, two copies), and on CD-ROM. The CD-ROM should include the proposal and all appendices (publications, etc.), preferably as PDF (or RTF) files. Proposals must be written in English, and the title and project summary should also be provided in German.

Please submit proposals, marked with the keyword "SPP IMMUNOBONE" and addressed to the attention of Dr. Katharina Hein, to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Kennedyallee 40, 53175 Bonn, by 30 September 2009. The review will be held during a proposal colloquium scheduled to take place in Bonn in February 2010.

Weiterführende Informationen

For scientific enquiries please contact the programme coordinator,

  • Professor Dr. Georg Schett,
    Medizinische Klinik 3 -
    Rheumatologie und Immunologie,
    Krankenhausstraße 12,
    91054 Erlangen,
    Tel. +49 9131 8539131,

For administrative enquiries please contact

  • Dr. Katharina Hein,
    Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG),
    Lebenswissenschaften 1,
    53170 Bonn,
    Tel. +49 228 885-2565,
  • Susanne Wagner,
    Tel. +49 228 885-2522,