At the end of May, the German Research Foundation (DFG) approved the establishment of a Transregio Collaborative Research Center (TR-SFB) on the subject „Biology of xenogenic cells and organ transplants: from the laboratory to the clinic“. The application was submitted jointly by the leading German organ transplant centres. In a total of 18 sub-projects, scientists of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich, the Technical University Munich, the Hannover Medical University, the Technical University Dresden, the Robert Koch-Institute, the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute, and the Institute of Farm Animal Genetics (ING) of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut in Mariensee will attempt to develop xenotransplantation of organs and tissues from pigs all the way through clinical application. The ING plays an important role in this project, as it is responsible for the production and characterization of new multi-transgenic pigs. The head of the institute, Prof. Heiner Niemann, acts as deputy speaker of the TR-SFB and will lead the projects carried out in Mariensee. Initially, financial support has been granted for 4 years with an option to two further 4-year-periods.
The above TR-SFB is the result of a fruitful 8-year-cooperation between the workgroups from Munich and Hannover/Mariensee in the DFG-supported research group „Xenotransplantation“. For the new large project, groups from the Technical University Dresden have joined the consortium. Dresden’s main contribution to the research work will be its expertise in islet cell transplantation. Speaker of this research consortium is the renowned heart surgeon Prof. Bruno Reichart from the LMU Munich.