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ERC Starting Grant awarded to Christian Behrends

13 October 2011. The ERC approved funding for his proposal on xenophagy and bacterial avoidance (XABA). Briefly, microbial pathogens that successfully parasitize eukaryotic cells have evolved to evade autophagic microbial defenses (xenophagy) and subvert the host autophagic responses for their own survival and/or growth. Central to xenophagy is cargo recognition and dynamic rearrangements of membrane-bound compartments to sequester and deliver pathogen load for lysosomal degradation. Microbial adaptation strategies identified to date have targeted both of these crucial and intertwining functions. However, the precise molecular mechanisms underpinning pathogen avoidance of host-cell autophagy and immune responses as well as their potential roles in microbial pathogenesis are only rudimentarily understood.  The XABA project is funded with 1.600.000 Euro for five years starting January 2012.


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