The idea to found the study group Complement System was born at the beginning of 2018 at the Institute for Systemic Inflammation Research (University of Lübeck). Subsequently, a concept paper was prepared with the cooperation of many colleagues from the complement field. After the DGfI board approved the establishment of the study group on the basis of this concept paper, the group was officially founded at the annual meeting of DGfI in Munich (2019). The 31 founding members present elected Christian Karsten (Lübeck) and Christoph Schmidt (Ulm) as spokesperson and deputy spokesperson of the Complement System study, respectively.
Our main objective is to further expand the existing connections and cooperations between individual complement researchers and to establish new cooperations. A medium-term goal is to network and strengthen complement research in Germany, which is already at a high international level, in order to create national and international research alliances that are visible beyond national borders and can assume an international leadership role in the long term. In particular, the junior researchers active in the study group are to be involved in this process. In addition, the study would also like to offer all interested scientists from other disciplines a simple and low-threshold way to discuss the topics in the complement research field.
The efforts for the systematic networking of complement scientists within a DGfI study group start at a time when the first complement therapeutics are successfully used in hospitals, such as the C5 antibody Eculizumab, or have successfully completed phase II studies, such as the C5a receptor antagonist Avacopan (CCX168). A large number of other therapeutics are currently being tested for their efficacy in various clinical studies (Ricklin et al. Nat Rev Nephrol. 2018). Therefore, further research into the cell regulatory mechanisms and functions of the complement system now seems highly relevant and logical. With the establishment of the complement system study, optimal framework conditions have now been created in order to promote translational clinical research in the field of complement in particular, with the aim of also assuming a leading international position in this field in the future.
We are looking forward to the diverse interactions with all complement stakeholders. If you are interested or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.