The Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) is a public non-profit biomedical research institution focusing on
translational research and precision medicine. Together with its founding institutions Charité –
Universitätsmedizin Berlin, one of Europe’s largest academic health systems, and Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC), a global leader in molecular biology and genetics research, BIH aims to provide excellent research solutions and innovation enabling value-based, personalized healthcare. Launched as a joint initiative in 2013 and established as a “Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts” (public corporation) in 2015, BIH is responsible for a scientific staff counting more than 340 persons (including scientists, PhD-students and scientific support personnel) distributed over BIH, Charité and MDC. Together, they form the Translational Research Commons that are expected to significantly grow with the ongoing implementation of the BIH Strategy 2026. By 2026, the institute is committed to integrate hundreds of staff across four Berlin campuses
with an annual estimated budget of more than €100 million. The funding is provided by the German Federal Government and the State of Berlin, while additional financial support is ensured from the Private Excellence Initiative of Johanna Quandt in the amount of 40 million Euros by 2022. The Scientific Advisory Board consists of 14 highly acclaimed scientists and experts, including the Nobel Laureates Prof. Elizabeth Blackburn and Prof. Thomas C. Südhof. BIH is dedicated to improving the prediction in progressive diseases and developing advanced therapies for unmet medical needs to ultimately improve patients’ health and quality of life. To achieve these goals, it will prioritize two key areas:
- Improvement of outcome prediction in progressive diseases for personalized medicine based on systems medicine research (mirroring BIH’s research program “Personalized medicine for progressive diseases”)
- Development and use of advanced therapies for the personalized treatment of progressive diseases in cases of unmet medical needs (mirroring BIH’s research program “Advanced therapies for progressive diseases”).
Four shared research platforms support these two core programs of BIH: Digital medicine, clinical-translational sciences, multiscale genomics and humanized model systems and cell engineering. Each of these research platforms is designed to develop innovative technologies, methods and research structures to support the two core programs. Maximizing the impact, two innovation drivers focused on technology transfer, transformation of biomedical research and training run through all of these structures to remove translational barriers, raise the quality of research and foster a spirit of entrepreneurial research: The joint BIH/Charité Technology Transfer Unit “Berlin Health Innovations” and the “Center for Transforming Biomedical Research (QUEST-Center) with the BIH Biomedical Innovation Academy”.
To serve all requirements of translational and systems medicine research and to ensure a cutting-edge research infrastructure for scientists, BIH is establishing various core facilities based on the expertise at MDC and Charité. The core facilities and respective operating units complement the existing structures by covering the areas IT, High Performance Computing, Bioinformatics, Biobank, Metabolomics, Proteomics, Genomics, Chemical Biology and Stem Cells. To continuously develop and network translational medical system research activities at MDC and Charité, BIH has established a Clinical Research Unit (CRU) at all sites of the four Charité campuses. At these sites, research and treatment take place under one roof: Participating researchers and clinicians have access to treatment stations, examination rooms and research labs, as well as to their own administration and documentation. This enables complementary expertise to be integrated into a common translational research area. Roland Eils was recruited to BIH as founding director of the new Center for Digital Health. This centre will develop a joint data commons for the research commons of the involved Berlin institutions. His own research focuses on bio-medical informatics, microscopic imaging and systems medicine. Main areas of work have been the integrated analytics of high-throughput omics data with clinical, patient related phenotypic data. He has been a leading figure in a number of international consortia in the frame of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) and the International Epigenome Consortium (IHEC). Here, he has developed automated bioinformatics pipelines, which have been used in world-wide projects such as the Pan Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG). Furthermore, he has driven the translation of single or few cell sequencing technologies into clinical practice within the Heidelberg Center for Personalized Oncology (DKFZ-HIPO). In addition, he is coordinator of a network of university hospitals covering 25% of all university clinical sites across Germany, which follows the ambitious goal to make data from heterogeneous sources, both from electronic health records and research oriented imaging and sequencing technologies among others, interoperable across sites.
BIH-Charité will be involved in single-cell imaging and sequencing, single-cell ATAC sequencing, its bioinformatics analysis, and data integration within EASI-Genomics.
Technical equipment and infrastructure
BIH-Charité can offer Bioinformatics (BIH-Charité Digital Health Center) und Sequencing (BIHCharité Core Platform Genomics, CPG) services. Both are equipped with state-of-the-art sequencing and computing hardware. We will have access to the de.NBI cloud system (Heidelberg – Berlin) for bioinformatics computing and analysis. Moreover, single-cell sequencing microfluidic as well as compartment-based isolation system are in use (10X Genomics, TTP Labtech Mosquito, Dolomite droncSeq, Wafergen ICELL8, Silicone Biosystems NextGen DEPArray).
Anna-Louisa-Karsch-Straße 2, Berlin, Germany