Over the next few years, the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin will play a crucial role in the development of two new research centres: the Einstein Centre for Regenerative Therapies, which will be coordinated by the Charité, and the Einstein Centre for Digital Future, which will be supported by the Charité and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). Both centres are interdisciplinary, cross institutional and are dedicated to promoting early career researchers. Several chairs – mainly junior professorships - will be established jointly with the BIH in the field of Digital Health.
Cutting-edge research and increasingly complex research issues require cooperation in order to succeed. Numerous institutions in Berlin will collaborate even closer and combine their competencies, both in the field of digital health and the field of regenerative therapies. Prof. Dr. Axel Radlach Pries, Dean of the Charité, expresses his thanks to all those involved for their tremendous commitment during the preparation of the proposals and the defence procedure. "Both centres create new structures that facilitate networking and interdisciplinary research in Berlin. This is necessary to make new scientific discoveries and to bring the best brains to Berlin," says Prof. Pries. "The centres are also of great importance in the national as well as international competition for excellence."
Einstein Centre for Regenerative Therapies
The Einstein Centre for Regenerative Therapies builds on the existing expertise in regenerative medicine. It focuses on clinical problems that to date remain unsolved and integrates the newly appointed experts from basic sciences and clinical fields in order to extend Berlin's pool of ideas in biomedical research. During the first two years, a number of so called 'Einstein Kick-Boxes' will be awarded in order to provide early career researchers with the opportunity to develop their own research ideas and to prepare new research proposals with the support of the existing expertise of experienced scientists. In a competitive procedure, the best research proposals will then be selected for full funding. The participating scientists aim to improve the care of patients whose own healing processes are compromised. This includes, amongst others, humans with immune deficiency, diabetics or elderly patients with disorders or diseases of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular or immune systems, for which no satisfactory treatment options are currently available. To begin with, the researchers want to understand the possible causes of the altered healing mechanisms in order to then specifically develop targeted therapies. With this Einstein Centre for Regenerative Therapies, basic stem cell research in particular will be strengthened. The planned centre is a joint initiative of the Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT) and the Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies (BSRT) at the Charité and is led by the BSRT.
Einstein Centre for Digital Future
The new Centre will both bring together and promote talented and gifted young scientists. Emphasis will be placed on these innovation areas: Digital Industries and Digital Services; Digital Society and Digital Humanities; and Digital Health. "Digitalization has brought about enormous developments in medical research and healthcare. The Einstein Centre allows the advancement of these areas with the help of experts from various disciplines, thereby further strengthening Berlin's status and attractiveness as a global leader in research and development," emphasizes Prof. Dr. Karl Einhäupl, Chief Executive Officer of the Charité. A total of 50 new professorships are planned, several of which are to be established at the Charité and include three joint professorships in cooperation with the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). All these professorships are interdisciplinary and are expressly intended to pursue research at the interface with other disciplines. Besides junior professorships with a term of 6 years, tenured W2/W3 professorships and a visiting professorship will be created.
"Digitalization of medicine in Berlin will be an enormous leap forward with the Einstein Centre for Digital Future," comments Prof. Erwin Böttinger, Chief Executive Officer of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and the designated spokesperson for the field Digital Health of the Einstein Centre Digital Future. "The foundation of the Centre fits perfectly with our Digital Medicine research platform with which we are developing an integrated data infrastructure for health and research related data," says Böttinger. Central areas of operations include, amongst others, data protection rights, digital solutions for patient interaction and participation and mobile and healthcare applications. This will allow the development of unprecedented integrative methods and Big Data approaches on an international level.
As part of a public-private partnership that is unique in Germany, the establishment of the Einstein Centre for Digital Future will create a cross-institutional and interdisciplinary research environment for digitalization. All of Berlin's universities, the Charité and numerous non-university research institutions and higher education institutions are involved in the Centre. The Technische Universität Berlin (TU) acts as overall lead and spokesperson.
Einstein Centres are an innovative funding model for the sustainable support of Berlin's universities and the Charité in their competition for third party funding. Founded by the State of Berlin in 2009, the Einstein Foundation promotes science and research that meets the highest international standards in order to establish Berlin as an attractive, sustainable location for research and development.
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