Postdoctoral Research Assistant
since March 2014
eMail: Norman.Nausch (at) med.uni-duesseldorf.de
Address: University Childrens Hospital
Moorenstr. 5, 40225 Duesseldorf
Bldg.: 13.41. Room: 03.77
The immune response against infectious diseases is orchestrated by a complex system of different cell types and signal molecules. This system must be tightly balanced to tackle infectious diseases, but at the same time avoiding an uncontrolled immune response which would cause damage. The human immune systems reacts to each type of infection differently and immune responses are even more complex if multiple infections occur at the same time. Much of our basic knowledge as well as fundamental findings how the immune system fights against infectious diseases has been obtained from experimental mouse models. However understanding immune responses in human is often much more difficult. Human immune responses are affected, among others, by genetic variation, environmental factors, age and history of previous infections.Therefore it is often challenging to translate findings from mouse models to human. Therefore I am focusing on the immunoepidemiology of different infectious diseases in human populations with a special focus on immune responses in children and during adolescence. At the same time I am trying to address basic immunological questions.
In particular I am interested in two different types of infectious diseases which initiate two different types of immune response:
1. Helminthiases are usually neglected tropical diseases caused by parasitic worms (helminths). Helminths are mainly endemic in tropical and subtropical regions with high prevalences in SubSaharan Africa. These diseases can be caused by varity of parasitic worms including Schistosomes (a trematode) or Mansonella perstans worms (a filarial nematode) causing Schistosomasis (Bilharzia) and Mansonelliosis. Clinical symptoms of both diseases are often less obvious, but over time considerably effect the health and development of children and during adolescence. The immune response of infected people is skewed to a so called Th2 responses, but also able to downregulate the host immune response in different ways. These modulation helps to protect parasites from elimination, but also reduces the development of a serve pathology. At the same time this regulation and polarisation of the the host immune response is likely to have an effect on other concomitant infectious diseases.
2. Mycobacterial diseases causing, among others, tuberculosis (TB) and Buruli ulcer disease (BUD). Mycobacterial diseases are are prevalent in most parts of the world, but are a major health problem in African countries, where in particular children are affected. In addition it has been shown that coinfections of Mycobacteria and Helminth parasites can occur. Since infection with mycobacteria causes a different type of immune response it has been suggested that a infection with helminth parasites can influence the outcome of infections with Mycobacteria.
The focus of my current research is to analyse the influence of immune polarisation caused by Mansonella perstans on mycobacterial diseases (BUD and TB). In addition, I am interested in immunoepidemiological pattern of these diseases how diagnosis can be improved.
The effects of Mansonella perstans infections on concomitant mycobacterial infections
Funding: DFG German Research Foundation: German-African Collaborations in Infectiology (2014-2017)
2008 - 2014: Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of Edinburgh, Institute of Immunology and Infection Research, Parasite Immunoepidemiology Group? Edinburgh, UK
* Immunoepidemiologyof Schistosomiasis: From Mouse Models to Natural Human Infections
* Health Benefits of repeated antihelminthic treatment in pediatric schistosomiasis
* Safety of preventive chemotherapy in special groups
2003 - 2008: PhD Thesis
German Cancer Research Center, Research Group Innate Immunity? Heidelberg, Germany
Project: * NKG2D ligands in antitumor immunity
2002 - 2003: Diploma Thesis
Research Institute for the Biology of Farm Animals (FBN), Research Group Gene expression? Dummerstorf Rostock, Germany
Project: * Tissue-specific expression of Cyp19 gene in transgenic mice
Publication list on PUBMED