Prof. Burkhard Becher was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant for his research projects. He receives 2,5 million Euro over a period of five years from the European Research Council for better prediction of the disease course of Multiple Sclerosis.
Recognizing patterns in twins with multiple sclerosis
In multiple sclerosis (MS), the immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord and causes severe damage. Diagnosing MS is difficult, and it is currently not possible to assess and predict how the disease will progress in individual patients and which treatment option will be most efficient.
The team of Prof. Burkhard Becher investigates how MS develops and progresses by analyzing the immune system in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid. For this purpose, patient samples, including those from identical twins with MS, are screened for their protein components down to the level of individual cells and then reassembling the cellular composition “pixel by pixel” as in a digital photo. The resulting “images” of sick and healthy twins are then compared and used to predict how the disease will develop and to make therapeutic decisions.
Research project “High-Dimensional single cell mapping of inflammatory disease signatures in monozygotic twins” (IMPACT), Institute of Experimental Immunology, University of Zurich