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BIH at Charité Newsletter
No 8/2021 |Ocotober  Issue

Dear Readers,

Rudolf Virchow would have turned 200 years old on Wednesday. As part of Virchow´s birthday party, the BIH, the Max Delbrück Center and Charité announced the start of the Berlin Cell Hospital. At this new facility we want to team up with additional partners to shape the future of cell biology. Leading the way in the development of the Berlin Cell Hospital are Professor Nikolaus Rajewski from the MDC and Professor Angelika Eggert from the Charité. It’s about state-of-the-art single-cell methods, cellular immune therapies, regenerative therapies, cell-based organoids, and customized cells for gene therapy. Virchow 2.0 is the slogan under which the work of the great Berlin molecular pathologist and founder of modern cell medicine will be carried into the future. 

This year’s science Nobel prizes might have been awarded exclusively to men, but this should not obscure the fact that women past and present have accomplished and are accomplishing great things in science. With the exhibition “Berlin – Capital of Women Scientists” in the Rotes Rathaus, the BIH and the Berlin Senate Chancellery are paying tribute to 20 female researchers who lived and worked in Berlin or still do: From the social physician Theda Borde to the first female student in Berlin, Agnes von Zahn-Harnack, their various life paths are detailed in colorful panels, which should inspire young women to pursue science careers.

We hope you enjoy reading these and many other news out of the BIH.

Your BIH Board of Directors
Christopher Baum and Michael Frieser


News From the BIH

Filling the gap: connecting genes to diseases through proteins

Connecting Genes to Diseases Through Proteins

Hundreds of connections between different human diseases have been uncovered through their shared origin in our genome by an international research team led by scientists at the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH) and the University of Cambridge, challenging the categorisation of diseases by organ, symptoms, or clinical speciality. A new study published in Science today generated data on thousands of proteins circulating in our blood and combined this with genetic data to produce a map showing how genetic differences that affect these proteins link together seemingly diverse as well as related diseases.

Read the original publication

Read the press release

Fabian Theis

Fabian Theis Is Awarded the Hamburg Science Prize 2021

Fabian Theis, Director of the Institute of Computational Biology at Helmholtz Zentrum München and member of the BIH Scientific Advisory BOard, has been awarded the Hamburg Science Prize 2021. The Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg is honouring the Professor of Mathematics at the Technical University of Munich as a pioneer in the field of Artificial Intelligence in biomedical applications, above all in the area of single-cell biology. The prize of 100,000 euros is endowed by the Hamburgische Stiftung für Wissenschaften, Entwicklung und Kultur Helmut und Hannelore Greve. The prize will be awarded on 12 November 2021 in the Hamburg Rathaus under the auspices of the First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.


Portrait Sylvia Thun

Sylvia Thun is Setting Standards for Medical Data

Professor Sylvia Thun is a physician, engineer, and expert in IT healthcare standards. The Director of the Core Unit eHealth and Interoperability at the BIH has now been awarded a lifetime W3 Professorship in Digital Medicine and Interoperability. Her aim is to better connect data from healthcare and research. Thun has been working on IT standards for barrier-free data exchange for more than 20 years. She advises policymakers and healthcare institutions through her work on numerous committees. She took up her professorship at the BIH on 1 October 2021.

Read the press release
BIH at Charité Newsletter

Dieter Beule Receives Professorship in Translational Bioinformatics

Dr. Dieter Beule has been appointed to a lifetime W2 Professorship in Translational Bioinformatics at the BIH. His aim is to make complex molecular data from technologies and techniques like genome sequencing, single-cell analysis and proteome quantification usable for clinical practice. The bioinformatician has already been heading the Core Unit Bioinformatics, a joint research initiative of the BIH, the MDC and Charité, since 2015. Dieter Beule took up his professorship on 15 August 2021.

Read the press release

News From the BIH Biomedical Innovation Academy (BIA)

New calls for applications: BIH Medical Student Research Stipends

The BIH Medical Student Research Stipends Call 2022 will be open from October 21st to December 9, 2021. This BIH Biomedical Innovation Academy (BIA) funding instrument is aimed at students of medicine and dentistry who are enthusiastic about research and are enrolled at Charité-Universitätsmedizin. The overall aim of the funding is to advance translational research and to bring basic and medical research closer together.

Read more

BIH at Charité Newsletter

Start of the Charité Flagshipprogram for the Berlin Leadership Academy

On October 1, 2021, the first workshop of the Charité flagshipprogram for the Berlin Leadership Academy took place within the framework of BUA (Berlin University Alliance). The BIA has designed and implemented the new leadership program entitled " Effective and efficient decision making - lead confidently in challenging situations". Until December 2021, twelve professors from all four BUA partners will exchange ideas on various aspects of decision-making.

Read more


News From the BIH QUEST Center

Logos BIH QUEST + CEOsys

COVID-19 Toolbox

Researchers at the BIH QUEST Center and Charité have curated freely available tools such as data sharing platforms, protocol guidelines or trial trackers for pandemic research based on recommendations of COVID-19 experts in Germany. The toolbox is part of the project "The COVID-19 Evidence Ecosystem" (CEOsys)

Read more

BIH Paper of the Month

Different diseases – common metabolic pathways

Different Diseases – Common Metabolic Pathways

The Paper of the Month March 21 was awarded to Maik Pietzner and Claudia Langenberg from the AG Computational Medicine at BIH for their publication about the connection between metabolites in blood and different diseases. They discovered that diseases hav common causes – and therefore might be able to treat or even prevent together.  

Read the press release
BIH at Charité Newsletter

What can Hackathons do About the COVID-19 Pandemic?

We conducted an interview with Dr. Katharina Braune and Dr. Akira Sebastian Poncette about the Paper of the Month for February 2021, which is now available on our website. In their paper, which we reported on in more detail in our last issue, the authors describe the new "online Health Hackathon" format.

Read the interview

Event Review

Graphic Recording of the Event

Kick-off Event by BIH Design & Co-Create

On 28. September 21 the kick-off of BIH Design & Co-Create took place with a lecture evening on “Need-Based Innovation & Participatory Health”. On this evening, the medical translation was thought through from the end and discussed how patients and their needs can provide impetus and drivers for the development of new (digital) diagnostics and therapies. BIH Design & Co-Create is an offer from BIH Digital Labs, which supports all Charité and BIH employees and enables them to further develop their ideas for digital health solutions.

Read more
Ulrich Keilholz and Philipp Mertins

BIH Multi-Omics Lecture With Ulrich Keilholz and Philipp Mertins

On 16 September 2021, the lecture series of the Translational Hub Multi-Omics was continued. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Keilholz, Director of the Charité Comprehensive Cancer Center, spoke on the clinical application of mass spectrometry in precision medicine and on the BMBF-funded collaborative project "Multimodal Clinical Mass Spectrometry to Target Treatment Resistance (MSTARS)". Dr. Philipp Mertins, group leader and head of the Proteomics Core Facility at BIH and MDC, showed new developments for mass spectrometry-based proteomics from his MSTARS research group and reported on applications in the field of hematological cancers and head and neck cancer.

Read more

BIH at Charité Newsletter

BIH Lecture on Clinical Trial Data Sharing Policies

Prof. Florian Naudet (Rennes 1 University) reported on policies, practices, and problems related to the sharing and reuse of clinical trial data. 

Watch the recording of the lecture here
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

Poster for Call

Digital Health Accelerator Call 2021

The Call for Applications of the BIH Digital Health Accelerator Program 2022 is open. The target group is all employees of Charité and BIH. The development of digital health solutions is supported by funding, expert mentoring, and free access to the BIH Digital Labs co-working space. The application deadline is Monday, 1 November 2021, at 12 noon CET. 

Read more

New Faces at the BIH

Staff Office Communication

Katharina Kalhoff

Katharina Kalhoff has been supporting the BIH communications team as online and social media editor for science communication since the beginning of October 2021. She studied journalism at the Technical University of Dortmund and spent a semester abroad in Paris; she also brings experience from her previous studies of dentistry in Münster and a public health programme at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. After her journalistic traineeship at Funke Mediengruppe, she worked for WDR, dpa Paris and the pan-European TV station euronews in Lyon. Most recently, she worked as a science journalist for life sciences and health research at Projektträger Jülich.
Portrait Katharina Kalhoff

Team Campus Development, Space Allocation and Onboarding

Detlev Oswald

Starting from October 2021, Detlef Oswald supports the Team Campus Development, Space Allocation and Onboarding division as Location Manager ATIZ. He completed training as a chemical-technical assistant (CTA) at Lette-Verein in Berlin. Previously, Detlef Oswald worked for many years in preclinical and clinical research and development.
Portrait Detlev Oswald

Project team Open Data and Research Data Management

Jan Taubitz

Dr. Jan Taubitz works at the BIH QUEST Center in the BUA-financed project "Open Science Dashboards". He is a historian, information scientist, and librarian, and will work on integrating FAIR criteria into the Charité Metrics Dashboard and develop, analyze, and visualize relevant open science indicators for other research communities. Dr. Jan Taubitz works at the BIH QUEST Center in the BUA-financed project "Open Science Dashboards" on integrating FAIR criteria into the Charité Metrics Dashboard.

Portrait Jan Taubitz
BIH at Charité Newsletter

Coordinator at the BIH Biomedical Innovation Academy (BIA)

Aurélie Philippe

Since the beginning of September 2021, Dr. Aurélie Philippe supports the BIH Biomedical Innovation Academy (BIA) as a coordinator. Dr. Philippe studied human genetics in Paris. After her PhD on the topic "Nephrotic Syndrome" she came to Berlin to join the research group of Prof. Duska Dragun. There she took over the administrative laboratory management and did research on mechanisms and effects of autoantibodies to G-protein coupled receptors in autoimmune diseases. At the BIA, she will be mainly in charge of establishing programs for PhD students and Medical Scientists.   

Portrait Aurélie Philippe
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