Understanding the so-called cGAS-STING pathway and the associated signal chains that the body's own immune system uses to recognize viral or bacterial DNA, for example in the cytoplasm of the cell, and to initiate appropriate defense reactions is an important research focus of the scientists at the LMU Immunologist Professor Veit Hornung. Although Hornung's research concentrates primarily on basic functions, knowledge of the complex signal cascade that takes place in the immune response is also of interest to the field of cancer research, where it could provide possible starting points for a therapy. Numerous papers published in high-ranking international research publications document the scientific work of Hornung and his colleagues in this area.
The immunologist has now received the William B. Coley Award from the New York-based Cancer Research Institute (CRI) for his work on the cGAS-STING signaling pathway. The award addresses precisely this type of research - namely groundbreaking discoveries in the field of basic and tumor immunology, which above all improve the understanding of the effect of the immune system on cancer.
"The award is a great honor for me and my colleagues," says Veit Hornung happily, referring to the great worldwide reputation of the CRI. She particularly appreciates the basic research that is being carried out at the LMU gene center.
The Cancer Research Institute in New York was founded in 1953. Its goal is to promote the discovery and development of powerful immunotherapies for all cancers to save lives. In total, the CRI has funded research by immunologists and tumor immunologists worldwide with around 445 million US dollars.
The William B. Coley Award was presented by the CRI in 1975 in honor of surgeon and oncologist Dr. William B. Coley (1862 - 1936), who is considered the father of cancer immunotherapy and whose daughter Helen Coley Nauts founded the CRI.