Schering Stiftung

Prize winner 

Heike Catherina Mertens und Dr. Edda Schulz

Heike Catherina Mertens und Dr. Edda Schulz

Edda Schulz

Avrion Mitchison Prize 2010

Heike Catherina Mertens und Dr. Edda Schulz

Edda Schulz

Avrion Mitchison Prize 2010

Dr. Edda Schulz studied Biochemistry at Eberhard-Karls-University, Tübingen. From 2005 to 2009, she completed her dissertation on „experimental and mathematical analysis of regulatory networks in T-helpertype I (Th1) lymphocytes” under the supervision of Prof. Thomas Höfer, Humboldt-University, Berlin, and Prof. Andreas Radbruch, German Rheumatism Research Center, Berlin. In 2008, she worked as a post-graduate researcher at HarvardMedicalSchool, Boston, USA. Since 2010, she has been a postdoc in the research group „Mammalian Developmental Epigenetics” at Institut Curie, Paris, France.

Dr. Edda Schulz will receive the Avrion Mitchison Prize 2010 of the GermanRheumatismResearchCenter in Berlin. At the award ceremony on November 30, she will give a talk on “Sequential polarization and imprinting of type 1 T helper lymphocytes by interferon-g and interleukin-12“.

Schulz about her research:
T-helpertype I (Th1) lymphocytes play a central role in the mammalian adaptive immune response against intracellular pathogens. When activated inappropriately, however, they contribute to autoimmune diseases. Although transcription factors and cytokine signals controlling Th1 differentiation have been studied extensively, the exact contribution of each factor remained unclear. It had been known for long that the Th1 master transcription factor T-bet can be induced by the cytokine interferon-g (IFN-g) in an autocrine manner. However, it had remained puzzling, why IFN-g cannot induce Th1 differentiation, which requires another cytokine, interleukin-12 (IL-12). To understand how the various players function together as a regulatory network, a systems biology approach was chosen.

Through close interplay of quantitative experiments and mathematical modelling, the gene-regulatory network governing differentiation of Th1 cells was reconstructed. The Th1 network was found to successively adopt two different states, each controlling a distinct phase of the differentiation process. During an early effect or phase cells fulfill Th1 functions but remain uncommitted, while the following differentiation phase is required for lineage stabilization. The antigenic signal acts as a switch between the two network states since it is required for effect or functions (IFN-g production), but inhibits response to the differentiation signal IL-12. The Th1 master transcription factor T-bet can mediate lineage commitment only during the late differentiation phase. It could be shown that IL-12 drives T-bet differentiation during this differentiation time window, which explains the unique role of IL-12 in Th1 differentiation. Therefore, this network analysis of the dynamic interactions between known key regulators solved a long-standing question regarding the different roles of IFN-g and IL-12 during the Th1 differentiation process.

Read more

Side events 

Award Ceremony

November 30, 2009, 5–7:30 p.m.
Avrion-Mitchison-Prize for Rheumatology 2010 and Albrecht-Hasinger-Lecture 2010

Foyer des Deutschen Rheuma-Forschungszentrums Berlin
Campus Charité Mitte | Charitéplatz 1 | 10117 Berlin

Albrecht-Hasinger-Lecture 2010 

Lecture — November 30, 2010

On November 30th, 2010 at 6.10 p.m. the Albrecht Hasinger Lecture is hold by Prof. Tak (University Amsterdam) on „Rheumatoid arthritis: from pathogenesis towards prevention of immune-mediated inflammatory disease“.

Learn more


Curriculum Vitae

You might also be interested in

December 04, 2018

Quirin Sebastian Hammer

Avrion Mitchison Prize 2018

December 05, 2017

Rafael Leite Dantas

Avrion Mitchison Prize 2017

December 06, 2016

Corinna Wehmeyer

Avrion Mitchison Prize 2016

December 01, 2015

Caroline von Spee-Mayer and Christian Neumann

Avrion Mitchison Prize 2015

December 02, 2014

Christine Schauer

Avrion Mitchison Prize 2014

December 03, 2013

Dirk Baumjohann

Avrion Mitchison Prize 2013


Contact & social networks

Schering Stiftung

Unter den Linden 32-34
10117 Berlin

Telefon: +49.30.20 62 29 62

Opening hours
Project space

Thursday to Monday: 1 pm - 7 pm
Saturday to Sunday: 11 am - 7 pm
free entrance

Follow us!

Follow us on our social media channels to find out the latest developments!

facebook Youtube Instagram