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CIBSS InteGREATor Award 2024

A warm round of applause to this year's InteGREATor awardees!

Every second year, CIBSS honors outstanding publications of affiliated and associated early career researchers with its InteGREATor award. At our 2024 retreat, we collectively recognized the achievements of the 2024 awardees: Their outstanding examples of CIBSS’s integrative biological signalling research and their unwavering efforts contribute significantly to our overarching mission to understand and communicate in the Language of Life.
The four early career researchers have published their findings in highly note-worthy first-authored publications:

Rubí M.-H. Velasco Cárdenas

“Harnessing CD3 diversity to optimize CAR T cells”, published 2023 in Nature Immunology, DOI: 10.1038/s41590-023-01658-z.

This paper delves into how T cells work, focusing on identifying the optimal signalling chain for T cell activation in the context of immunotherapy. The authors systematically engineer new CARs containing CD3δ, CD3ε or CD3γ cytoplasmic tails, which outperform the conventional ζ CAR T cells against tumors in vivo. This work not only advances our understanding of immunotherapy but also promises to improve CAR T cell therapies by bolstering metabolic fitness and resilience against exhaustion, holding potential for future treatments. This work epitomizes CIBSS's commitment to transformative research that shapes the future of immunotherapy.

>> Further infos on Rubí M.-H. Velasco Cárdenas

Sukanya Guhathakurta

“COX17 acetylation via MOF–KANSL complex promotes mitochondrial integrity and function”, in Nature Metabolism, 2023, DOI: 10.1038/s42255-023-00904-w.

The paper explores how the MOF–KANSL complex serves as a bridge between the nucleus and mitochondria. Using advanced methodologies, they reveal the significance of specific mitochondrial protein acetylation by this complex for sustained mitochondrial function. These findings expand our understanding of mitochondrial protein acetylation and illustrate that it is vital for cellular protection. Importantly, this study underscores the non-nuclear roles of epigenetic complexes and challenges conventional views on epigenetic factors. This work offers potential therapeutic avenues for developmental disorders by elucidating molecular pathways connecting metabolism and gene expression.

>> Further infos on Sukanya Guhathakurta

Dr. Katrin Schüle

“Eomes restricts Brachyury functions at the onset of mouse gastrulation”, in Developmental Cell, 2023, DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2023.07.023.

This paper investigates how transcription factors of early developmental signalling pathways regulate early embryonic lineage specification in mammalian development. The authors found that the closely related transcription factors Brachyury and Eomes specify different mesodermal cell types in the early mouse embryo through different patterns of chromatin binding and target gene programs. They also uncover regulatory interactions between Eomes and Brachyury which ensure proper gastrulation sequence, as well as signalling-independent chromatin-binding and chromatin-opening behavior of these two transcription factors.

>> Further infos on Dr. Katrin Schüle

Dr. Julian Staniek

“Non-apoptotic FAS signaling controls mTOR activation and extrafollicular maturation in human B cells”, in Science Immunology, 2024, DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.adj5948.

The paper uncovers a new role of the FAS receptor in regulating B cell activation beyond apoptosis. It investigates disruptions in B cell differentiation in patients with genetic FAS mutations, particularly in Autoimmune Lymphoproliferative Syndrome with FAS mutations (ALPS-FAS) patients. The work reveals how FAS signalling guides B cell fate decisions by controlling mTOR activity, offering potential therapeutic avenues for ALPS-FAS patients and other autoimmune diseases. The study highlights the importance of understanding defective signalling pathways in impairing cellular function and differentiation, with implications for developing new therapeutic approaches.

>> Further infos on Dr. Julian Staniek
The InteGREAtor award is one of CIBSS’s measures to support and recognize excellent biological signalling research at earlier scientific career stages >>> find out more on our Early Career Support.