Setting up the IRI for the Life Sciences on Campus Nord
In this unique environment, HU is working with the Charité and MDC to set up the Integrative Research Institute (IRI) for the Life Sciences. The new addition will help to develop Campus Nord into a highly competitive science park at the heart of Berlin. The IRI will use synergies in terms of content and methodologies to facilitate integrative approaches ranging from the molecular to the systems-biological level and from biological fundamentals to clinical research. It is defined by the following areas of research focus and associated collaborations:
- Systems biology and theoretical biology - represented by the Centre for Biophyiscs and Bioinformatics at HU, the Institute for Theoretical Biology (HU/Charité) and the BIMSB,
- The neurosciences - represented by the BCCN, the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence and the HU Graduate School of Mind and Brain, which works at the intersection of this field with the humanities
- Infection biology and immunology - represented by the HU Center of Infection Biology and Immunity.
Taking the current areas of focus of biomedical research as its starting point, the IRI for the Life Sciences will strengthen the links between experimental and theoretical measures on the one hand and areas of clinical application on the other. This concerns the transitions to:
- Diseases of the nervous system, with the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence and the Center for Stroke Research Berlin
- Cancer research, with the project of a Berlin School of Integrative Oncology (BSIO)
- Regenerative medicine, represented by the Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies, and the Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies.
Collaborative work within the IRI will be facilitated through IRI and Bridging Professorships between participating research fields, through joint research projects, through shared use of pioneering technology and infrastructure in areas like deep sequencing, and through inter-institutional Junior Research Groups. The goal of the collaboration is to tap into new research fields within the life sciences at an international level. Examples of these fields are the molecular bases of senescence, the molecular bases of circadian rhythms, and cell- or DNA-based biological computer models. Another important task for the IRI will be to strengthen the collaboration of the life sciences at HU with the other natural sciences located on Campus Adlershof, with the IRIS Adlershof and with the planned College for Life Sciences of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin - Institute for Advanced Study. For the projects already receiving funding, as well as for those that have been proposed in the first and second funding lines of the Excellence Initiative, the IRI will provide a place for establishing networks and will offer supporting services.