View in your browser
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
No 6/2020 | July/August Issue

Dear Readers,

No, it´s never boring at the BIH, even not during the summer holidays: On 20 July, we celebrated the topping-out ceremony for the new ATIZ building in the presence of the Federal Minister of Research Anja Karliczek and the Governing Mayor and Senator for Science Michael Müller, unfortunately in a limited number due to Corona. Nevertheless, it was a nice event that we captured in pictures and a small film for everyone who couldn't attend.

The beginning of August was even more exciting: The BIH supervisory board unanimously elected Professor Christopher Baum as the new CEO of the BIH! Christopher Baum is currently Vice President Medicine at the University of Lübeck and a member of the board of the Schleswig-Holstein University Hospital, the second largest university hospital in Germany after Charité. Welcome to Berlin!

And beyond that, there is a lot of news to report, so our August newsletter is well filled with exciting news. We wish you good entertainment!

Your BIH Newsletter Team

Corona/COVID-19: Activities of the BIH

Corona Update

The Dangerous Dual Role Of The Immune System in COVID-19

BIH Chair Professor Roland Eils and his team around Dr. Christian Conrad together with scientists from Charité and their colleagues from Leipzig and Heidelberg have now discovered that the immune system has a decisive influence on the progression of COVID-19. Using single-cell analysis, they discovered that epithelial cells affected by the virus issue a “distress call” to the immune system. However, migrating immune cells occasionally overshoot the mark and sometimes cause greater damage than the virus itself. The researchers published their results in Nature Biotechnology.

Read the press release
Read the publication
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter

Digital Clinician Scientist Develops Covid-19 Early Warning System

After the CovApp, developed by Dr. Alexander Thieme (Department of Radiooncology and Radiation Therapy), fellow of the BIH Charité Digital Clinician Scientist Program has already been enhanced with a data donation function, the physician and computer scientist is now developing a Covid-19 early warning system on the basis of contact and symptom data, which can forecast new infections and new outbreaks one week ahead. 

Read more (only in German) 

News from the BIH

Christopher Baum

Christopher Baum Chosen to Head the BIH

On 5 August 2020, the Supervisory Board of the BIH, chaired by BMBF State Secretary Christian Luft, unanimously appointed Professor Christopher Baum as Chief Executive Officer of the BIH. The distinguished scientific manager and recognized expert in translation, molecular medicine and gene therapy will take office in Berlin on 1 October 2020. Baum is currently Vice President for Medicine at the Universität zu Lübeck as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH). He succeeds Professor Axel R. Pries, who for the past two years has served as interim Chief Executive Officer of the BIH and who will now be able to devote himself full-time to his role as Dean of Charité.

Read more
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
BIH Slogan Turning Research into Health

New Mission Brochure of the BIH

The mission of the BIH is translation: We want to transfer findings from biomedical research into new approaches for personalized prediction, prevention, diagnostics and therapy. At the same time, we develop new research ideas from clinical observations. For this endeavor, we need suitable structures, efficient service units and, above all, people who care about translation and who are also qualified to do so. Overall, this results in an ecosystem in which translation can succeed. We have listed the individual components that are required for this in our mission brochure, which is ready for you to take home hot off the press, but can also be viewed online here.
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
Michael Potente

Michael Potente To Strengthen Vascular Research at BIH, Charité and MDC

With the appointment of BIH Professor Michael Potente, the BIH, Charité and the MDC are strengthening their joint focus area “Translational Vascular Biomedicine.” Potente, a trained cardiologist, is particularly interested in the innermost cell layer that lines our blood vessels, the endothelium. He has visited Berlin regularly since 2017 as a BIH Visiting Professor, funded by Stiftung Charité.

Read the press release
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
Lina Badimon

Senate Appoints Lina Badimon to the BIH Supervisory Board

Professor Lina Badimon, Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center in Barcelona,  is the newly elected Chair of the BIH Scientific Advisory Board and in this role has a seat on the BIH Supervisory Board since June 2020. Her expertise is especially relevant for the BIH’s new focus area of vascular biomedicine, which aims to advance research on the malfunctions of the vascular system.

Read more
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter

Undercover-Agent HIV-1

In a new study, scientists with Professor Christine Goffinet from the BIH and Charité have now shown that the AIDS virus HIV-1 employs a sophisticated propagation strategy that causes the infection to go largely unnoticed in infected cells – at least in T cells, which are part of the body’s immune system. The scientists have published their findings in the PNAS journal.

Read the press release
Read the publication

Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
Logo nfdi4Health

Joint Science Conference Approves Funding for NFDI4Health

A multidisciplinary team of scientists has received the green light to establish a national research data infrastructure for personal health data called NFDI4Health. The Joint Science Conference (GWK) made the funding decision on June 26 in Bonn. The project is financed jointly by the German federal and state governments. The BIH and Charité, represented by Profesor Sylvia Thun and Professor Fabian Prasser, are also directly involved in the initiative as partner institutions.

Read more 
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
Georg Duda

Georg Duda Elected to the DFG Senate

Professor Georg Duda is one of nine new members of the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). The director of the Julius Wolff Institute for Biomechanics and Musculoskeletal Regeneration and deputy spokesperson of the BIH Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT) thus occupies the place of clinical-theoretical medicine in the central scientific committee of the largest research funding organization and central self-governing body of science in Germany. The DFG Senate has a total of 39 members. The new members of the DFG Senate were elected on 1 July 2020 during the General Assembly at the DFG's Annual Meeting.

Read more (only in German)
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
Marcus Mall

Marcus Mall Receives Adalbert-Czerny-Prize and ERS Award

Professor Marcus Mall, BIH Professor and Director of Charité’s Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, Immunology and Critical Medicine, has received several awards for his work in the field of pulmonary medicine. In July, he received the Adalbert Czerny Prize worth 10,000 euros, by the German Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (DGKJ) for a clinical study on a new therapy for the basic defect in pulmonary fibrosis in which a combination of three active substances proved to be highly effective. At a congress of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) at the beginning of August, he was also honoured with the ERS Excellence Award and an associated research grant of 7,500 euros. Congratulations!
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
Dominik Seelow

Most Cited Publication

The publication „MutationTaster2“ by Dominik Seelow, BIH Professor for Bioinformatics and Translational Genetics, has by far the highest Relative Citation Ratio (RCR) of all Charité publications in the last ten years and thus has an enormous scientific impact. The Relative Citation Ratio (RCR) indicates how often a publication is cited per year compared to other publications in the respective research area. An RCR value of 2 means that the article is twice as influential as the average.In their publication in Nature Methods, the researchers working with Seelow present the self-developed software “MutationTaster2” – a further development of the “MutationTaster” program, which can be used to assess whether changes in the DNA sequence of a gene could cause a disease. The RCR value of this work is an incredible 65! Congrats! 

Read the publication
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
Logo BIH

Election of the New Steering Committees of the BIH Translation Hubs

From June 2 – 14, 2020, the members of the four BIH Translation Hubs (formerly named Research Platforms) Digital Medicine, Multi Omics, Organoids and Cell Engineering, and Clinical Translation elected new Steering Committees in an online voting process. The seven members of the new Hub Steering Committees have a term of two years. 

To the list of the new Hub Steering Committees

News from the BIH QUEST Center


The BIH QUEST Center Welcomes the First SPOKES Fellows

The BIH QUEST Center welcomes the first SPOKES Wellcome Trust Funded Translational Partnership Fellows. These researchers will spend the next year working on  different initiatives to improve the quality of science. Projects range from educational initiatives to design of new tools and advancement of stakeholder engagement.

More about the Fellows
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter

The ARRIVE Guidelines 2.0

In July, the revision of the ARRIVE Guidelines for reporting animal research, ARRIVE 2.0, have been published with the participation of the BIH QUEST Center. The ARRIVE guidelines (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments) were originally developed in 2010 to improve the reporting of animal research. With the version ARRIVE 2.0 the guidelines have been updated and information reorganised to facilitate their use in practice.

Read more
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter

The Hong Kong Principles for Assessing Research Integrity

The Hong Kong Principles (HKPs) have been developed as part of the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity with the participation of the BIH QUEST Center. The principles have a specific focus on the need to drive research improvement through ensuring that researchers are explicitly recognized and rewarded for behaviors that strengthen research integrity. If implemented, the HKPs could play a critical role in evidence-based assessments of researchers and put research rigor at the heart of assessment, as well as open up research to the wider benefit of society.

Read more
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
Logo BIH QUEST and Logo BUA

Assessment of LOM Models in the Berlin University Alliance

On 1 July 2020, the BIH QUEST Center launched a project funded by the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) to examine the status quo of various models of performance-based allocation of funds (LOM) in the institutions of the BUA. Under the project title “Responsible Indicators” a mapping of LOM models is developed which can serve as a basis to depict possible steering successes and unintended secondary effects.

Read more
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
Logo BIH QUEST and Logo BMBF

Start of the BMBF Funded Research Project RE-PLACE

On 1 August 2020, a new research project, named RE-PLACE, started at the BIH QUEST Center. RE-PLACE is supported by BMBF within the scope of its funding line "Quality developments in science II (Meso-level)". In cooperation with Professor Philipp Pohlenz at Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, RE-PLACE investigates the implementation of electronic laboratory notebook Labfolder by evaluating its worth and merit as novel instrument of quality assurance in biomedical research. 

Read more (only in German)
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter

New Teammember at CAMARADES Berlin

Last October the BIH QUEST Center has become a CAMARADES National Coordinating Center. Alexandra Bannach-Brown, PhD, joins CAMARADES Berlin, on the “3Rs supportive technology platform” project funded by Charité’s 3R Center, assessing the quality of animal research, providing educational resources, and bespoke methodological support for preclinical systematic review projects. Discuss your new systematic review with the CAMARADES team here.

News from the BIA Academy

Logo BIH Academy

Recruitment of New Clinician Scientists Completed

In a two-stage selection process, the new Clinician Scientist Fellows were chosen in mid-June 2020 from a large number of applications. In total, eight candidates qualified for the BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Program (CSP) and eleven candidates for the BIH Charité Junior Clinician Scientist Program (JCSP). In addition, ten candidates were accepted into the Digital Clinician Scientist Program (DCSP) and three candidates into the Junior Digital Clinician Scientist Program (JDCSP). The new cohorts started funding on 1 August 2020. Welcome aboard all new Clinician Scientists! 

More about the funding programs of the BIH Academy
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter

Evaluation of the BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Program

Together with the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), the BIH Academy is conducting an evaluation of the BIH Charité (Junior) Clinician Scientist Program. In a first step, guideline-based interviews were conducted with all relevant reference groups. At the beginning of July 2020, program participants and alumni were invited to the online survey. In order to determine possible effects of the structured program, a control group will also be surveyed. The overall goal of the program evaluation is to optimize Clinician Scientist programs in Germany. We will keep you up to date on the results of the program evaluation. 

Read more

News from BIH Innovations

Logo BIH Innovations

BIH Digital Health Accelerator Supports Second Spin-off

Together with data scientists and programmers, dentists at Charité developed the software dentalXrai Pro, which allows dental practitioners to perform AI-based analysis of X-ray images. The Digital Health Accelerator of the BIH assisted and financed the project from prototype and product development all the way to the spin-off of the start-up dentalXrai GmbH.

Read the press release
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter

Digital Health Accelerator Makes Charité Innovative

As the largest university hospital in Europe, Charité is known above all for its medical services. With the BIH, however, it is also a motor of digital innovation and had thus recently made it into the ranking of Germany's most innovative companies. The magazine Capital and the data analysis house Statista filtered out 442 innovation drivers from almost 1.800 candidates. In its series of articles on the ranking, Capital reported on the BIH Digital Health Accelerator, which was launched in 2017 and has already helped many projects to finance, coach, network and, in some cases, even spin off. An interesting article, which you can read here (only in German).
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
Logo BIH-SPARK and BIH Innovations

New Booklet of the SPARK-BIH Program

SPARK-BIH is delighted to present the new SPARK-BIH booklet with detailed information about its programs and their SPARKees with their translational projects. SPARK-BIH is part of BIH Innovations and belongs to the global network of SPARK programs

Find the SPARK-BIH booklet here
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
Craig Garner

Founding Director of SPARK Berlin Publishes in Nature Biotechnology

Are you concentrating on your academic career or are you already thinking outside the box? The publication "Translating academic careers into healthcare professionals" in Nature Biotechnology takes up this topic and provides interesting insights. Craig C. Garner, Founding Director of SPARK Berlin, is one of the authors. 

Read the publication
Portraits Maria Margarete Karsten and Felix Schmidt

New Faces Portraits of Stiftung Charité

In its new FACES portraits Stiftung Charité presents BIH Clinical Fellow Dr. Maria Margarete Karsten and BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Dr. Felix Schmidt. 

Dr. Maria Margarete Karsten is Managing Senior Physician at the Breast Center of the Charité. Parallel to her clinical work, she’s funded by Stiftung Charité as a BIH Clinical Fellow. In the joint discussion, Karsten reports about patient-assessed quality criteria, so-called “Patient Reported Outcomes” (PROs). 

Felix Schmidt is a neurologist and specialist in multiple sclerosis. As a Clinician Scientist in the BIH Academy, he’s granted “protected time” to enable him to focus on his research project in addition to his work in patient care. He is testing a completely new method of diagnosing multiple sclerosis in a faster and simpler way – with an ultrasound scan of the eye. 

Read the FACES portrait with Maria Margarete Karsten
Read the FACES portrait with Felix Schmidt 



Due to the current situation regarding Sars-CoV-2/COVID-19 almost all BIH events will be implemented by using online tools, as noted in the event calendar

If you would like to receive a regular overview of upcoming BIH Events, please register here. Many thanks.

Event Review

Florian Gantner

An Industry Perspective - BIH Lecture with Florian Gantner

In the BIH Lecture on 31 July, Florian Gantner (Boehringer Ingelheim) presented his experiences in the cooperation between science and industry and spoke about general obstacles in the field of translational medicine. He reported on successful examples in drug development and how translational research can be implemented in compliance with data protection regulations. The recording of the lecture can be found here.

Open Calls

Logo BIH QUEST and Logo Wellcome Trust

SPOKES Wellcome Trust Funded Think Tank (SWTFTT)

Starting September 2020, early career researchers are encouraged to apply for the SPOKES Wellcome Trust Funded Think Tank (SWTFTT). This group will design a project to improve the quality of science in the BIH Research Community, and collectively receive 20,000 euros to carry it out. To learn more about this unique opportunity, please read here or contact

New Faces at the BIH

Team Management

Stefanie Wahl

Stefanie Wahl joined the BIH as a Personal Advisor to the Chairman of the Executive Board. Previously, she worked as a Research Assistant in Berlin and Hanover on topics related to health and crisis communication.
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter


Dr. Vera Martos Riaño

Dr. Vera Martos Riaño has been supporting the SPARK-BIH Validation Fund Program as Project Manager since June 2020. Prior to that she worked as Technology Transfer Manager at the MDC. Her scientific background includes the fields of molecular biology and medicinal chemistry, additionally she studied science marketing at the TU Berlin.
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter

Esma Ziat

Since July 2020, Esma Ziat supports as a Project Manager the SPARK-BIH team within BIH Innovations. Most recently, she worked as an Investment Analyst for venture capital with a focus on the life sciences sector.
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter

Team BIH QUEST Center

Simon Krupka

Simon Krupka is a Research Assistant at the BIH QUEST Center within the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) funded project "Responsible Indicators". His work comprises systematic reviews and analysis of quantitative data using multivariate methods. He studied psychology at the FU Berlin. Previously, he worked at the IGES Institute in Berlin in the area of health care research.

Recommend the BIH Newsletter
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)
Corporation under public law
Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts
Anna-Louisa-Karsch-Str. 2
10178 Berlin,Germany
Tel.: +49 30 450 543 049
Fax: +49 30 450 7543999

Please note: This is an automatically generated and sent e-mail.
Please do not reply directly to this e-mail, but send your answers,
questions etc. to

Unsubscribe Newsletter

Follow us on Twitter @berlinnovation
Subscribe to Event Overview

Visit us at


Follow us on Twitter @berlinnovation


Check out our YouTube Channel „Berlin Institute of Health“