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Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
NO 2/2020 | MArch Issue

Dear Readers,

Last Saturday was 29 February, and because it is so rare, it has been chosen as Rare Disease Day. Fittingly, we were able to announce some nice news: The CORD consortium (the Collaboration on Rare Diseases), led by Dr. Josef Schepers from the BIH Core Unit for eHealth and Interoperability, will receive six million euros over two years from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the BMBF. Twenty university hospitals and other partner institutions have joined forces across Germany under CORD to improve patient care and research in the field of rare diseases. Its aim is to facilitate the privacy-compliant sharing of information on rare diseases that arises from diagnosis, treatment and research throughout Germany in order to improve the situation for patients and boost research efforts. The consortium will also use the structures that have already been created as part of the Medical Informatics Initiative. With a total of four million people affected by a rare disease, this is an important goal and a great success! Congratulations!

Best wishes,
The BIH Newsletter Team


News from the BIH


BIH QUEST Center Publishes First Review of Its Activities

For the past three years the BIH QUEST Center has focused its work around one central question: How good is biomedical research? QUEST is an acronym that stands for Quality, Ethics, Open Science and Translation. The center was established in the wake of reports that found that fewer than half of all published results across biomedicine are reproducible and the translation of findings from basic biomedical research to clinical research is rarely successful or seldom leads to new therapies. Now the BIH QUEST Center is publishing the first review of its activities, that inter alia gives causes of this problem.

Link to publication
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Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
Logo BIH QUEST_Logo Wellcome Trust

SPOKES - A New Program of the Translational Partnership

The BIH QUEST Center is proud to announce SPOKES, a sub-project of the new Charité/BIH Wellcome Trust Translational Partnership. SPOKES is designed to support mid-career researchers (senior postdocs or junior group leaders) in removing barriers to high-quality research in their day-to-day lives.

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Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
Logo BIH QUEST Center_Logo BMBF

BIH QUEST Center Supports BMBF Funded Project DECIDE

In this BMBF funded project, the BIH QUEST Center will monitor, counsel, and evaluate the scientific process and outcomes of preclinical research projects over the course of four years. The guiding question is what preclinical evidence is decisive towards the goal to engage in a clinical trial. For this project, the BIH QUEST Center welcomes two new team members, Dr. Lorena Martinez Gamboa and Dr. Natascha Drude.

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Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
selection colloquium BIH MD Research Student Stipends

BIH Medical Research Student Stipends 2020-1

On 13 February 2020, the „Nachwuchskommission“ of the Charité invited pre-selected candidates for a BIH Medical Research Student Stipends to a selection colloquium. Ten of the 17 applications were approved. Start of funding is 1 April 2020 and the maximum funding period is twelve months. The BIH Biomedical Innovation Academy (BIA) announces the BIH MD PhD scholarships annually. If you are interested, please have a look at the BIA website.

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Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter

Female Career @BIH

The Female Career@BIH program 2020 offers various workshops, professional development trainings and coaching for early- and mid-career women scientists, including topics such as voice and body coaching, dealing with power and setting boundaries.

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BIH Paper of the Month

Paper of the Month_Anton G. Henssen

A catalogue of circular DNA in neuroblastoma

In December 2019, Anton G. Henssen received the Paper of the Month Award. He heads a junior research group at the Department of Pediatrics at the Charité and does research in the Clinician Scientist Program of the BIH.

To the Paper
Paper of the Month_Daniel_Strech

At Least One Third of All Animal Experiments Remain Unpublished

Daniel Strech received the Paper of the Month November 2019 Award. He is Head of the AG "Translational Bioethics" at the BIH QUEST Center and Deputy Director of the BIH QUEST Center.

To the Paper


event - people listening to a speaker
In our newsletter we regularly present reviews of events.

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

Event Review

Research Momentum Workshop Visitors

How to Keep the Momentum Going for RESTORE?

Continuation of the efforts by RESTORE, the large-scale research initiative aiming to make Advanced Therapies an affordable and accessible reality for all, was the theme for the RESTORE Momentum Workshop that took place on 17 February 2020. Over 100 people, comprising patient advocates, clinicians, researchers and industry participated in the event.

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Call for Applications

Hands over Laptop
Logo BIH Acadamy_Charité

Apply for the BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Program by 3 April

The BIH Biomedical Innovation Academy (BIA) and the Charité have published the calls for proposals for the BIH Charité (Junior) Clinician Scientist Program and for the (Junior) Digital Clinician Scientist Program. The program is a recognized, modern career path in academic medicine, which offers research-based clinicians a structured specialist training with defined space for clinical and basic research. The deadline for both programs is 3 April 2020.

Read the calls
Logo BIH Innovations

Call for Applications for BIH Digital Health Accelerator 2020 is Open Now!

What would you do with up to 1 Million € funding, time off, a dedicated coworking space, expert mentors, for your innovative idea on how to improve patients’ health through digital technology? Bring your idea from bench to bedside! How? Apply until 20 March 2020 to the BIH Digital Health Accelerator Program to get dedicated support to translate your innovative idea into a digital health solution for patients!

Read the call
Logo BIH QUEST_Logo_Wellcome Trust

SPOKES Wellcome Trust Funded Translational Partnership Fellowships (SWTFTPF)

Five selected SPOKES Wellcome Trust Funded Translational Partnership Fellows will receive up to 25 000 Euros over 18 months to undertake projects that add value to their own research ‘micro-environment’ (i.e. research group, department, or clinic). Value will be defined as improving the quality, reproducibility, generalizability or the validity of the fellows’ own research. Fellows will be mid-career researchers (senior postdocs or junior group leaders), selection will be based on the excellence of project proposals (topic/impact/sustainability/overall value). 

Read the call
Logo SPARK BIH _ Logo BIH Innovations

SAVE THE DATE: SPARK-BIH Validation Fund - Call for Translational Project Proposals Starts in May

Scientists and clinicians of all career levels from BIH, Charité and MDC are invited to submit their translational project proposals to the SPARK-BIH validation fund between 4 May 2020 and 18 June 2020. The funding aims at supporting translational projects in the areas of pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic development from all medical fields. In addition to funding all chosen projects participate in the SPARK-BIH mentoring program which offers regular meetings, workshops on translational topics as well as an expert network to support the projects. All applications will be submitted via the BIH online application portal. Further information will be posted soon here and the BIH website.

New Faces at the BIH

Team Innovations

Lisa Kielholz

Since February 2020, Lisa Kielholz has been the personal assistant to Thomas Gazlig, the Director of BIH Innovations. After completing her Master’s Degree in Biochemistry at the MLU Halle-Wittenberg, she worked as a Research Assistant in Molecular Medicine. Afterwards she started a commercial career and joined the Charité in 2018 where, since summer 2019, she has gained first experiences in research management in the business division of research.
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter

Team Administration

Melanie Senftleben

Melanie Senftleben started working as an Administrative Assistant at the BIH in February 2020 and also supports the Welcome Desk. She brings experience from the gastronomic and administrative area and started a distance learning course in nutritional science.
Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter

Team BIH Academy

Dr. Katharina Walentin

Since February 2020, Katharina Walentin joined the BIH Biomedical Innovation Academy headed by Prof. Dr. Dragun. As Program Manager she is responsible in particular for the coordination and development of the Digital Clinician Scientist Program.

BIH QUEST Visiting Fellows

Simine Vazire und Gustav Nilsonne

Simine Vazire                                                                 Gustav Nilsonne

Berlin Institute of Health Newsletter
Simine Vazire is Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Davis, where she is investigating how self-awareness and self-knowledge influence personality and behavior. As a Visiting Fellow at the BIH QUEST Center, Simine Vazire will work with Tom Hardwicke and Sophia Crüwell on METRIC Berlin projects that focus on measuring and improving the credibility of research, assessing and enhancing journal policies, and facilitating more robust peer review practices. 

Gustav Nilsonne is a PhD student at Lund University in the field of human neuroscience. In the field of metascience, he conducts empirical research on transparency, reproducibility and distortion. At the Karolinska Institute he teaches a PhD course in open and reproducible research. At the Swedish National Data Service (SND) he promotes data exchange measures. He cooperates with the BIH QUEST Center in existing and new projects on open data and other meta-science areas. 

BIH in the Press

Stack of Newspapers

nature, 25 February 2020: In praise of replication studies and null results        Scientists offered €1,000 to publish null results