Investigating Root Causes Of Cancer, Viral Infections And Metabolic DiseasesSource: Quadro Engineering Corp.
Each day a group of multidisciplinary scientists in Dortmund, Germany, gathers to investigate the root causes of life-threatening illnesses. The Max Planck Institute hopes their studies lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of cancer, AIDS, viral infections and metabolic diseases.
What distinguishes the Max Planck Institute from others is its spirit of departmental collaboration. It would be extremely challenging to master all of the Institute’s specialized, progressive research techniques. So scientists tap each other’s expertise in protein crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, reaction kinetics, electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, electrophysiology, and video imaging to forward their individual projects. They also use more conventional molecular biology, cell culture and preparative chemistry methods.
One group, under the leadership of Dr. Kirill Alexandrov, is working to find ways to stop progressive retinal degradation, also known as choroideremia. This rare, genetic disease causes the progressive loss of peripheral then central vision throughout the individual’s life. The vision loss is attributed to the degeneration of several layers of cells that form a network of blood vessels known as the choroids. These vessels provide oxygen and nutrients to the retinal pigment epithelium, retina and photoreceptor cells. All are vital to being able to see.