A Happy Day for Our Institute- Lydia Sorokin is Awarded an ERC Advanced Grant!

With the announcement on April 26th of the success of the ERC Advanced Grant for Lydia Sorokin the Institute of Physiological Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry now has two ERC awardees! Seraphine Wegener is also recipient of an ERC Starting Grant. Lydia Sorokin’s ERC Advanced Grant, ‘Breaking into the Brain – Basement membranes and the perivascular niche’ (B3M), aims to recreate the cellular and extracellular matrix (ECM) constituents of cerebral blood vessels in a 3D in vitro setting, mimicking both the biochemical and mechanical aspects of the brain environment. Development of such a cerebral vessel biomimetic will permit dissection of molecular processes required both for maintenance of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and for its penetration by immune cells and could establish a model for screening of drug transport into the brain. In addition, in vivo studies employing new (split-cre) transgenic mouse strains permits targeting of cell-ECM interactions within the perivascular niche and analysis of the consequences on neuroinflammation. Only through this combined biomimetic/ synthetic and in vivo approach can B3M achieve the overall aim of understanding the function of the subendothelial perivascular niche in neuroinflammation and its contribution to how leukocytes ‘break into the brain’.