Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 93 | 6. Dezember 2022

Priority Programme “Exit Strategies of Intracellular Pathogens” (SPP 2225)

In March 2019 the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme “Exit Strategies of Intracellular Pathogens” (SPP 2225). The programme is designed to run for six years. The present call invites proposals for the second three-year funding period.

The SPP 2225 explores the spectrum of strategies that are employed by intracellularly living bacterial, parasitic and fungal pathogens to exit the enveloping host cell. Host cell exit follows an actively orchestrated programme that has evolved during host-pathogen co-evolution and relies on the dynamic interplay between host and microbial factors. At least three distinct pathways of host cell exit have convergently evolved among the diverse groups of intracellular pathogens, (1) the initiation of programmed cell death, (2) the active lytic destruction of the host cell, and (3) the membrane-dependent exit without host cell lysis. It is the goal of the SPP 2225 to dissect the molecular mechanisms that trigger, regulate and synchronise pathogen exit, and to unveil the link between exit strategy and pathogenesis.

The SPP 2225 focuses on bacterial, parasitic and fungal pathogens with relevance for human health. Projects to be considered for funding shall address at least one of the following aspects:

  • the sequential steps of pathogen-specific host cell exit pathways,
  • the link between exit pathway and host cell specificity,
  • the signalling pathways triggering and mediating host cell exit,
  • the key molecular mediators, regulators and effectors of host cell exit.

Technical tools to address these questions shall include combinations of high-end imaging techniques, global analysis methodologies based on transcriptomics, proteomics and lipidomics, and state-of-the-art methods in genetics and interactomics.

The following topics cannot be considered for funding within the framework of the programme:

  • studies using viral or solely veterinary-relevant infection models,
  • studies solely based on descriptive approaches without mechanistic insight.

The call is open to current and potential new members of the SPP 2225.

Proposals must be written in English and submitted to the DFG by 26 April 2023. Please note that proposals can only be submitted via elan, the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system.

Applicants must be registered in elan prior to submitting a proposal to the DFG. If you have not yet registered, please note that you must do so by 19 April 2023 to submit a proposal under this call; registration requests received after this time cannot be considered. You will normally receive confirmation of your registration by the next working day. Note that you will be asked to select the appropriate Priority Programme call during both the registration and the proposal process.

If you would like to submit a proposal for a new project within the existing Priority Programme, please go to Proposal Submission – New Project – Priority Programmes and select “SPP 2225” from the current list of calls. Previous applicants can submit a proposal for the renewal of an existing project under Proposal Submission – Proposal Overview/Renewal Proposal.

In preparing your proposal, please review the programme guidelines (form 50.05, section B) and follow the proposal preparation instructions (form 54.01). These forms can either be downloaded from our website or accessed through the elan portal.

The proposals will be evaluated during a review colloquium scheduled for 29–30 August 2023 in Aachen. All project principle investigators will be invited to present their proposals in short talks and discuss them with the international review panel.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the programme coordinator (Professor Dr. Gabriele Pradel, see below for contact details) prior to submission to ascertain if their proposal fits the scientific scope of the programme.

Further Information

More information on the Priority Programme is available under:

The Priority Programme SPP 2225 coordination office can be contacted at:

The elan system can be accessed at:

DFG forms 50.05 and 54.01 can be downloaded at:

For scientific enquiries please contact the Priority Programme coordinator:

  • Professor Dr. Gabriele Pradel
    Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen
    Institut für Biologie II
    Abteilung für Zelluläre und Angewandte Infektionsbiologie
    Worringerweg 1
    52074 Aachen
    phone +49 241 80-20848

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:

Programme contact:

Administrative contact: