13. September 2022 | Magazine:

New name for health research of the future Core research area "Infection and Therapeutics" renamed

Now it’s settled: The TU core research area “Infection and Therapeutics” is getting a new name. “Engineering for Health – from Molecules to Processes” aptly describes the work of the members in the core area and at the same time gives an outlook on a broader strategic orientation. However, infections and therapeutics remain a central topic. We spoke to Professor Martin Korte, the new spokesperson for the core research area, about the reboot.

You are the new spokesperson for the “Engineering for Health” research focus. What will change with the renaming?

Prof. Martin Korte, spokesperson of the TU “Engineering for Health” core research area. Photo credit: Martin Korte/TU Braunschweig

Above all, the new name does justice to the fact that it better reflects what the involved parties in the core research area are already doing. Furthermore, central members are the Braunschweig Integrated Centre of Systems Biology (BRICS) and the Center of Pharmaceutical Engineering (PVZ),

as well as working groups at three faculties (Carl-Friedrich-Gauß-Fakultät, Faculty of Life Sciences, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering) that are involved in longer-term collaborative projects. With the renaming, we are showing a wider range in order to address more researchers at TU Braunschweig. Our aim is to initiate and successfully carry out overarching collaborative research projects, especially at the interface of biology, bioinformatics, pharmacology and the engineering sciences.

Which research topics are now combined in the core research area?

In the strategy workshop, it was again clearly defined that here at TU Braunschweig, together with the partners, we can represent the unique multidisciplinary combination of subjects for the future field of “Engineering for Health – from Molecules to Processes”. The core research area can thus map the entire value chain from knowledge of the molecular basis of infection, possible active agent targets, active agent development, production and formulation to packaging. The development of biomedical measuring instruments and apparatus is also to be advanced, because the development of new drugs and the detection of new biomarkers is also related to the technical advancement of measuring instruments and methods.

How did the renaming come about? Is this also associated with a new strategic orientation?

In the strategy workshop, all representatives of the core research area agreed that the renaming would cover a broader field of research at TU BS. Other criteria for the name were that it more accurately reflects the research activities and that it fits better into the overall concept of TU Braunschweig. The name also creates comparability with the names of the other core research areas and distinguishes the activities of TU Braunschweig more clearly from those of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) – without us ceasing to do research on infections and therapeutics.

Which partners does the core research area include?

The variety of partners shows very well how broadly the core research area was already positioned before the renaming and that the new name optimally reflects the focus as a technical university: the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) with research groups at BRICS and in collaborative research alliances, the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM with research groups at BRICS and PVZ, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST with the participation of the PVZ in the Fraunhofer High-Performance Center Medical and Pharmaceutical Engineering as well as the Leibniz Institute DSMZ – German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures with a working group at BRICS and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) with a junior research group at BRICS.

What new ideas are there for the core research area?

We will introduce a special guest seminar with didactically gifted top-class researchers. The poster marketplace started this summer – a great success that we would like to continue. We are currently trying to intensify our cooperation with the Hannover Medical School (MHH), especially with regard to the Cluster of Excellence “Resist” at the MHH. We are currently looking for cross-sectional topics between research centres and faculties. We also want to intensify research relations with the PTB and the TU core research area “Metrology” in order to arrive at improved diagnostic and biomedical measurement techniques. The prototypical idea here is to further expand the “Homeohirn” research group funded by the state and the VW Foundation, in which scientists from three faculties are already involved, in order to live and expand “Engineering for Health” in the most direct sense. In short, we will work intensively on the health research of the future.

Thank you very much.