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BIH at Charité Newsletter
No 5/2021 | June Issue

Dear Readers,

The Clinician Scientist Program started 10 years ago with eight young doctors who were funded: They got “protected time” for research, despite the stressful clinical routine even then. The experiment was a success: Today the BIH Charité Clinician Scientist program is not only the largest of its kind in Germany, with currently 140 active fellows and 150 alumni, but has also been ennobled as a “best practice model” by the DFG. Accordingly, the tenth anniversary was celebrated - at a symposium with many former and active participants. Unfortunately, the long-time director of the Biomedical Innovation Academy Duska Dragun could not attend: she passed away much too early last December, and so the symposium was also a memorial event at which many companions remembered their mentor, colleague and friend. 

We wish you a nice and relaxing summer time, the next issue of the newsletter will not appear again until August due to the holidays. 

Christopher Baum and Andrea Runow


News From the BIH

New Muscles for the Bladder

Every year in Germany, around seven boys are born with an incompletely formed urethra and urethral sphincter. These children often remain incontinent. ECRC researchers want to find out whether a stem cell transplant could help them. The trial has been awarded approximately 4.3 million euros in funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and  with one million euros from the BIH through its SPARK-BIH program on the way from the laboratory to the clinic.

Read the press release
BIH at Charité Newsletter
Stefanie Großwendt holding her BSIO Award and flowers

Single-Cell Researcher Stefanie Grosswendt Receives BSIO Award

Dr. Stefanie Grosswendt is a BIH junior group leader in the joint Focus Area Single Cell Approaches for Personalized Medicine of the BIH, the MDC and Charité. She is working on new methods for analyzing how single cells interact during embryonic development. Her research can be applied to neuroblastoma, a cancer of early childhood in which individual cells become abnormal during the developmental stage. The scientist has now been recognized with the Female Independence Award of the Berlin School of Integrative Oncology (BSIO).

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News From the BIH Biomedical Innovation Academy (BIA)

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Offers From the English Leadership Academy

In the Berlin Leadership Academy (BLA) of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA), Freie Universität Berlin (FU), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), Technische Universität Berlin (TU) and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin work together to strengthen leadership development in the network of excellence. The BLA offers executives four newly developed programs, each with its own focus. For the Flagship Program of Charité, "Effective and efficient decision making - lead confidently in challenging situations", you can apply now. At Charité, the BLA is located at the Biomedical Innovation Academy (BIA). The project is managed by Dr. Nathalie Huber, one of the interim Heads of the BIH Biomedical Innovation Academy (BIA), coordinator is Dr. Mareike Behmann.

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News From the BIH QUEST Center


Learn by Doing: Meta Research

In this participant-guided “Learn by Doing” course graduate students learn meta-research (science of science) skills by working together to design, conduct & publish a meta-research study. All participants will be listed as authors on a meta-research paper, which will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication at the conclusion of the course. You can apply for this course by 23 June 2021.

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News From Charité BIH Innovation

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Training Course on Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship

SPARK Europe again offers the training course on Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship for students and postdocs from European SPARK associated institutions. The course takes place online from 4–15 October 2021 and provides an understanding of how translational projects are developed and companies are created, established, and funded. The goal of the course is to develop the students creative, innovative and entrepreneurial skills.

Read more / How to apply

Event Review

Portrait of Masayo Takahashi

Current Status and Future Vision of Retinal Cell Therapy

On 28 May 2021, the BIH Lecture Series "Frontiers in Translational Medicine - Scientific and Structural Challenges" took place for the second time in cooperation with the German Stem Cell Network (GSCN). This time the lecture came directly from Japan by the speaker and pioneer of iPS Therapy Masayo Takahashi (MD, PhD). In her talk, Takahashi discussed the current status and fascinating development potential of retinal cell therapy and was available for a "Meet the Speaker" afterwards.

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BIH at Charité Newsletter
Team and Attendees of the BIH Demo Day 2021

Digital Health Innovations at the BIH Demo Day 2021

On 19 May 2021, the BIH Digital Health Accelerator (DHA) Demo Day took place for the fourth time. Ten teams from Charité including BIH presented live to more than 650 participants via video fascinating innovative digital health solutions that they have developed over the past six months in the first phase of the DHA program. Selected teams will now be invited to the second phase of the DHA program to focus on developing market-ready or application-ready digital health products and preparing for transfer to the healthcare market or medical application.

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Duska Dragun holding a speech at the CSP Retreat 2020

Memorial Symposium in Honor of Professor Duška Dragun

On 28–29 May 2021, the International Memorial Symposium was held in honor of Professor Duška Dragun and on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Program. The symposium offered a comprehensive insight into the BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Program founded ten years ago by Duška Dragun. Personal reviews of fellows and alumni once again highlighted the special influence of Professor Dragun. In addition, there were scientific sessions, which were designed in the proven format of tandems of program Fellows and invited high-level speakers.

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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.

Open Calls

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BIH Booster 2021 Call

The aim of the BIH Booster 2021 call is to provide support to allow your project to reach the next Technology Readiness (TRL) level. The main funding for your project already exists, you have nearly reached the project goal i.e the next TRL level, but one vital piece of experimental evidence/advice/assessment is missing towards starting clinical trials. This call aims to bridge the gap and provide fast funding to provide the missing final piece of evidence. Applications must be written in English and received by 23:59 h on 21 June 2021.

Read more
BIH at Charité Newsletter
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Career Development Awards

The Career Development Awards is a new funding scheme under the banner of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA), created specifically for the postdoctoral researchers of its member institutions. They are given the opportunity to work on a scientific project of their own choice during a research semester and thereby further develop their independent research profile. The application deadline for the current call (winter semester 2021/22) is 8 July 2021.

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BIH at Charité Newsletter

Global Health: Call of the OX|BUA Centre for Advanced Studies

Linked to the Berlin University Alliance‘s (BUA) second Grand Challenge Initiative on „Global Health“, the OX|BUA Centre for Advanced Studies (OX|BUA CAS), part of the strategic partnership between the University of Oxford and the BUA, now invites applications for its initiative in the area of Global Health. Cooperation groups can each apply for a maximum funding amount of 333k Euros for a period of 24 months. The deadline for applications is 15 July 2021.

Read the call of the OX|BUA CAS
BIH at Charité Newsletter

Calls for Junior Research Groups

In June 2021, the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) is publishing calls for proposals for junior research groups for the first time. They enable them to gain initial leadership experience in the scientific field and develop their research profile over a period of four to five years. Junior research groups will initially be announced in the areas of Research Quality and Open Science as well as Diversity and Gender Studies. Applications for the first calls are open until 1 August 2021.

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Neue Faces at the BIH

Business Division Science Management

PD Dr. Mareen Matz

Mareen Matz joined the Science Management Team as Scientific Coordinator in mid April 2021. She supports the Translation-Hub Multi-Omics, the focus area Single Cell Approaches for Personalized Medicine and the Berlin Center for Translational Vascular Biomedicine.
Portät Mareen Matz
BIH at Charité Newsletter


Dr. Laura Mählmann

Since the end of this year's May Laura Mählmann supports the BIH Spark Team as Project Manager of the I4H projects. She holds a PhD in health sciences with a focus on personalized medicine and microbiome. Further, she is a freelance consultant for user-centred innovation methods, design thinking coach, scrum master and systemic consultant.

Portrait of Laura Mählmann
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