GRK1957 PIs won new CRC Grant LocoTact

Transregional Collaborative Research Center to Dissect the Local Action of Thyroid Hormone

On the 27th of May 2020 the German Research Council DFG has decided to grant more than 10 million € funding for the next 4 years to establish the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) “LocoTact” to the Universities of Essen and Lübeck as well as the Charité Berlin.

“LocoTact” aims to investigate the local action of thyroid hormone in brain, heart and liver. The focus is on understanding how these three organ systems can regulate the local thyroid hormone action independent of the hormone’s serum concentrations. In the future, a better knowledge on these processes might provide novel therapeutic approaches for the common diseases stroke, myocardial infarction, and fatty liver disease.

„It is well known that thyroid hormones can have beneficial effects in brain, heart and liver in these common disorders – however, for therapeutic benefits the local actions in the affected tissues need to be triggered separately from the systemic thyroid hormone effects, which could cause severe side-effects. And this is precisely the aim of LocoTact: we want to understand how thyroid hormone action is selectively regulated in a defined tissue to later harness the power of the hormone only in this cell type” explains the Prof. Dr. Jens Mittag, coordinator of the CRC at the University of Lübeck and one of the two directors of the newly founded Institute for Endocrinology and Diabetes.

„I am very happy about this huge success. It is great that the University of Lübeck was able to obtain funding for this CRC together with Essen and Berlin” says Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gillessen-Kaesbach, president of the University of Lübeck. “My joy is accompanied by heart-felt congratulations to Professor Mittag and all participating researchers.”

The CRC projects in Lübeck are led by Prof. Henrik Oster (Institute of Neurobiology), Dr. Anna Göbel and Prof. Thomas Münte (Klinik für Neurologie), Dr. Helge-Müller-Fielitz and Prof. Markus Schwaninger (Institute for Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology und Toxicology), as well as Dr. Henriette Kirchner (Klinik für Innere Medizin I). All researchers work together in the Center of Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM), the new flagship research building of the University of Lübeck. Official spokesperson of the CRC296 is Prof. Dr. Dagmar Führer-Sakel of the University of Duisburg-Essen.