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BIH at Charité Newsletter
NO 2/2021 | March Issue

Dear Readers,

Great events are casting their shadows ahead: On 24 March, after three years of construction, the Käthe-Beutler-Haus at the site Berlin-Buch will be opened. In the immediate vicinity of the MDC, this second large BIH research building (besides the ATIZ building) will now be inaugurated. Here, BIH and MDC will unite their research on Vascular Biomedicine under one roof and further expand translational research with additional groups. At the opening ceremony, Federal Minister of Education and Research, Anja Karliczek, and the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, will give welcoming speeches. The building is named after a medical pioneer who studied medicine as a young woman in the 1920s and worked as a pediatrician in science and medicine before emigrating to the USA as a Jew. Her son Frederick Beutler, also a scientist, and her grandson Bruce Beutler, Nobel Prize winner in medicine, will remember their mother and grandmother on the occasion of the opening of the Käthe-Beutler-Haus. Scientists who will move into the Käthe-Beutler-Haus with their laboratories will present their work during the opening. As the event will be broadcast online, you are all cordially invited to attend. More information about the event and the registration link can be found here.

With kind regards,
Your BIH Board of Directors
Christopher Baum and Andrea Runow

 

News From the BIH

BIH at Charité Newsletter

Different Diseases – Common Metabolic Pathways

Many older, but also increasingly younger, people suffer from several diseases at the same time. Scientists at the BIH at Charité around Claudia Langenberg, BIH Professor for Computational Medicin, together with colleagues from Munich and the United Kingdom, have now identified common risk factors that predispose to multiple even seemingly unrelated diseases. They achieved this by evaluating data from more than 11,000 study participants, from whom both disease progressions and extensive blood values were available. The results argue for a comprehensive approach to disease prevention. The scientists have now published their findings in the journal Nature Medicine.

Read the press release
Read the publication
BIH at Charité Newsletter
Logo Cord_Mi

Digital Foundations for Rare Disease Research

Twenty university hospitals and other partner institutions have joined forces across Germany under the CORD-MI (Collaboration on Rare Diseases) project to improve patient care and research in the field of rare diseases. CORD-MI is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and leverages the infrastructure of the BMBF’s Medical Informatics Initiative (MII). In the first year of funding, the partners have already achieved key milestones in improving the healthcare situation for rare disease patients and in strengthening rare disease research. The project is led by the BIH.

Read the press release
Further information about CORD-MI
BIH at Charité Newsletter
BIH at Charité Newsletter

Kircher Lab Further Develops Assessment Tool CADD

Alternative splicing is a special feature of the transcription of DNA into mRNA. Several different mRNA molecules can be formed from one and the same DNA sequence by the assembling differently individual gene segments, and several different proteins can also be translated from these. Errors in this process cause various diseases, such as certain forms of ß-thalassemia, a hereditary disease of the red blood pigment, hemoglobin. Dr. Martin Kircher, head of the BIH Junior Research Group "Computational Genome Biology", and his team have now further developed the CADD (Combined Annotation Dependent Depletion) assessment tool for small genomic variants (SNVs and InDels), which is frequently used worldwide, in such a way that changes affecting the splicing process can be detected more easily. They have published their results in the journal Genome Medicine.

Read the publication
Learn more about CADD
stack of science magazines

Updated Affiliation Guidelines

In the process of integrating the BIH into Charité, the affiliation guidelines have now been updated. They govern the way affiliation with Charité and the BIH is to be indicated in publications and elsewhere. They apply to all scientific and other personnel, doctoral candidates and students, as well as to all scientists temporarily employed on or affiliated with research projects at the BIH. The guideline is effective immediately.

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BIH at Charité Newsletter

BIH Virtual Background for Microsoft Teams

We have a new BIH virtual background (see the image above) that you can upload to Microsoft Teams and show during your session to indicate your affiliation with the BIH.

Internal employees can find the virtual background in the folder "Vorlagen" in the "Geschäftsstellenordner (GS) on the BIH server. You can also contact newsletter-bih@bihealth.de with the subject "BIH Virtual Background" and we will send you the background.
 

News From the BIH Biomedical Innovation Academy (BIA)

Porträt Philipp Mergenthaler + Logo Einstein Foundation

Philipp Mergenthaler to Become Einstein Junior Fellow

Neurologist and clinical neuroscientist Philipp Mergenthaler, alumnus of the BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Program, is supported as an Einstein Junior Fellow. He is investigating the relationship between two fundamental biological processes: glucose metabolism and programmed cell death, known as apoptosis. In his project at Charité, Mergenthaler is investigating this interrelationship in so-called mitochondriopathies, diseases caused by damage in mitochondria. Furthermore, his research will focus on bioenergetic defects and dysfunctional mitochondria as disease mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. Mergenthaler works at the Department of Neurology with Experimental Neurology and at the Center for Stroke Research Berlin (CSB) of Charité.

Read the press release of the Einstein Foundation Berlin (only in German)
 

News From the BIH QUEST Center

Logo BIH QUEST Center

Mental Health for Early Career Researchers

In February, BIH QUEST and grassroots partners hosted a virtual brainstorming event on mental health for early career researchers during the pandemic. Fifty participants from the Berlin research community joined for the event. The team will share results based on participant discussions soon.

Read more
 

News From BIH Innovations

f.l.t.r.: Alexander Meyer, Kay Brosien, Oliver Höppner

Early Warning System for Intensive Care Units

Life-threatening situations occur time and again in an intensive care unit. To make sure that doctors can intervene in time, a team at the German Heart Center Berlin (DHZB) has developed AI-based software that regularly evaluates all monitoring data and alerts staff before a critical situation is reached. With the establishment of x-cardiac GmbH, these AI-based monitoring systems have now become market-ready medical products. The BIH at Charité supported the project with various programs. Meyer initially received funding during the development and testing phase as a fellow of the BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Program. The Validation Fund / Spark-BIH program and BIH’s Digital Health Accelerator program subsequently helped him move the project from a purely scientific context to application and commercialization, and also find a CEO for his future start-up. 

Read the press release
 

BIH Paper of the Month

BIH at Charité Newsletter

In July 2020 Dr. Julian Braun and Professor Andreas Thiel recieved the BIH Paper of the Month award. The team of the BIH Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT) and of Charité found out that some healthy individuals possess immune cells capable of recognizing the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. The reason for this might be found in prior infections with ‘common cold’ coronaviruses. The work was published in Nature.

Read the publication
Read the press release
 

Events

Event
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 calender

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

Event Review

Katrien de Bock

Vascular Networking Lecture with Katrien de Bock

On 24 February 2021, the new Lecture Series "Vascular Networking" of the BIH & MDC Center for Vascular Biomedicine started. Katrien de Bock, Associate Professor at the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich, gave an exciting insight into endothelial cell metabolism and cellular interplay (crosstalk) in muscle tissue. Her laboratory focuses its research on investigatinghow endothelial cells rewire their metabolism during angiogenesis and how endothelial cells metabolically communicate with other cell types in their microenvironment to maintain or establish organ homeostasis.

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BIH at Charité Newsletter
BIH at Charité Newsletter

Innovator Café: A New Format of the Spark Europe Webinar Series

The SPARK Europe Webinar Series now features in addition to the regular educational lectures, talks and panel sessions a format dedicated to the Dos and Don’ts of Entrepreneurship. This series is called the “Innovator Café”, where experienced entrepreneurs and young CEOs come together to share their success stories and failures. The Innovator Café kicked off on 3 March with Charité Professor Craig Garner, founder of 3 Biotech companies and initiator of the SPARK program in Berlin.

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BIH at Charité Newsletter
BIH at Charité Newsletter

Translation Hub Organoids and Cell Engineering - Project Update

The online event ”Hub Organoids and Cell Engineering - Project Update” features projects funded by this Translation Hub and is intended to give the community an overview about past and ongoing projects and research activities. The last event on 4 March 2021 featured talks by Professor Johannes Schulte, Dr. Annette Künkele and Prof. Simone Spuler about their projects funded by the Hub and was intended to give the community an overview about past and ongoing projects as well as research activities.
Johannes Schulte is Specialised Physician at the Department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology at Charité. Annette Künkele is Paediatrician at the same department. Simone Spuler conducts research on hereditary muscle diseases at the ECRC, the "Experimental and Clinical Research Center" of Charité and MDC. She is also the spokesperson of the BIH Translation Hub Organoids and Cell Engineering.

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Open Calls

BIH at Charité Newsletter
BIH at Charité Newsletter

QUEST Grant for Patient & Stakeholder Engagement

Early active involvement of patients and other stakeholders can increase the relevance of research. The BIH QUEST Center funds the active involvement of patients already in the planning phase of a study. All scientists at BIH and Charité are eligible to apply. The deadline for submission is 30 April 2021.

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New Faces at the BIH

Team Human Resources

Birsel Altorlak

Birsel Altorlak has been employed as a Human Resources (HR) Administrator since mid-February 2021. She supports the team with the time management system as well as with HR support and general HR topics. Birsel Altorlak studied business administration with a focus on HR and organization as well as financing and investment at the Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Technik Berlin (HTW). After her studies, she was employed as a HR administrator in various companies. Most recently, she worked for a social company and deepened her knowledge in the field of time management.
Birsel Altorlak
BIH at Charité Newsletter

Juliane Holzhauer

Juliane Holzhauer is supporting the Human Resources (HR) team at the BIH since March 2021 as a HR Administrator for third pillar funded personnel. After completing her master's degree in Nonprofit Management and Public Governance at the Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin (HWR), she worked as a HR Controller at Siemens AG as well as at two startup companies in the care and e-health sector. At the BIH she supports the team in recruiting, operative HR management and HR controlling.
BIH at Charité Newsletter
 
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