Excellence for the BIH, six times over

For the fourth time, internationally recognized scientists are coming to the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) to collaborate on innovative research projects with host researchers. The visits will be funded by the Private Excellence Initiative Johanna Quandt, which with a total of €40 million at its disposal is one of the largest private supporters of individual scientists in Germany. The six Visiting Professors will spend multiple months in Berlin at several times during the program period, but will also continue to conduct research at their home university in order to facilitate new collaborations between the BIH and the best research institutions in the world.

The foundation’s benefactor Johanna Quandt has wanted to make big things happen at the BIH since as early as 2013: “I want to contribute to our offering the best conditions to the best minds. Students, physicians, and top scientists from abroad are to have the opportunity to engage in outstanding and internationally visible health research at the BIH. This will not only push forward biomedical research in Germany, but also enhance Berlin’s position as a science location.”

The scientists hosting the BIH Visiting Professors are researchers at either Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin or the Max Delbrück Center (MDC), the two institutions that comprise the BIH translational research commons. After evaluation of the submitted applications, a jury selected the following scientists and their innovative projects:

• Dr. Giulio Cossu, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at the University of Manchester (United Kingdom). Host: Professor Simone Spuler (Charité and the MDC). Project: Laying the groundwork for developing novel therapeutics from muscle stem cells
• Dr. Ray Dolan, Professor of Neuropsychiatry at University College London (United Kingdom). Host: Professor Andreas Heinz, Director of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (Charité). Project: Joint collection and evaluation of data on patients with mental disorders such as alcoholism
• Dr. Udo Hoffmann, Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School (United States). Hosts: Professor Bernd Hamm and Professor Marc Dewey, Department of Radiology (Charité). Project: Conducting preparatory work for establishing an international research partnership that facilitates the sharing of imaging data
• Dr. Richard Koche, Director of Computational Epigenetics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York (United States). Hosts: Professor Angelika Eggert and Dr. Anton Henssen, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Oncology and Hematology (Charité). Project: Developing a large-scale research project on DNA circulation in childhood cancers
• Professor Konrad Reinhart, sepsis researcher and intensive care physician at Jena University Hospital (Germany). Hosts: Professor Claudia Spies and Dr. Gunnar Lachmann, Department of Anesthesiology (Charité). Project: Setting up a WHO collaborating center at Charité
• Dr. Falk Müller-Riemenschneider, Professor of Public Health at the National University of Singapore (Singapore). Host: BIH Professor Roland Eils, Founding Director of the BIH Digital Health Center. Project: Personalized prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases with the help of new digital technologies

“We would like to thank Stiftung Charité and are looking forward to the scientific collaboration with the BIH Visiting Professors,” says Professor Axel Radlach Pries, interim Chairman of the BIH Executive Board and Dean of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. “The joint projects previously funded under the program were always very successful and culminated in outstanding publications. We are excited to welcome the new guests and look forward to the new impetus they will provide to translational research at the BIH.”

Previously funded BIH Visiting Professors:

Background information on the Private Excellence Initiative Johanna Quandt:


Dr. Stefanie Seltmann
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