About us

Better Research, Better Therapies

The Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) is a biomedical research institution focusing on translational research and precision medicine. BIH is dedicated to improving the prediction in progressive diseases and developing advanced therapies for unmet medical needs in order to improve patients’ health and quality of life.

Our focus: Understanding mechanisms of disease development and progressive diseases, improving patient’s individual diagnoses and risk predictions and developing advanced therapies for personalized treatment of progressive diseases in cases of unmet medical needs.

Our aim: Providing excellent research solutions and innovation enabling value-based, personalized healthcare.

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) are founding institutions and independent, member entities within BIH. The BIH aims to create an innovative translational research commons of Charité and MDC.

Translational Research with Systems Medicine

Basic science, clinical research and medical practice stand equally side by side. At BIH, we understand „translation“ as a process of translating scientific discoveries from the lab into clinical research and into medical applications – and vice versa: Knowledge of clinicians of unmet clinical needs will be investigated in research projects. Translational medicine is a bidirectional and cross-disciplinary process.

The BIH’s research approach is based on systems medicine. Scientists and clinicians at BIH are not focusing on individual organs and/or pathologies. Rather, our work considers progressive diseases as systemic diseases originating from a combination of malfunctioning pathways or organs, and not from a single identifiable patho-mechanism. By using novel interdisciplinary and systems medicine approaches we will be able to understand mechanisms and disease progression in individual patients.

For a better prediction and new therapies, systems medicine at BIH encompasses methods to analyze the dynamic interactions of molecules, cells, tissues and organs as well as physiological and psychosocial factors.

Excellent Partners

To realize these innovative plans in translational research, BIH will integrate and build on the strengths and expertise of MDC and Charité, acting as partners. MDC is contributing its expertise in molecular and systems biology and providing access to both animal models of human disease and state of the art high-throughput omics technologies which are crucial for detailed molecular characterization of patients. The strengths of Charité are patient-oriented research and the interconnection of state of the art medical care with basic and clinical research, teaching, and support for early-career clinicians and scientists. This structure generates essential knowledge of disease mechanisms, covering a broad range of chronic, common, rare, and acutely dangerous diseases. Through available phenotyping and established biobanks and databanks, scientists will have access to cohorts of well characterized patients, thus gaining differentiated knowledge for research projects and clinical studies.

BIH also focuses on international strategic cooperations with renowned research organizations in order to successfully design translational biomedical research.

These local research capacities and global strengths are being brought together under one roof at BIH. In this way, a novel and lasting translational research structure is being established on a regional level — a structure contributing to improved human health in Berlin, Germany, Europe, and beyond.

Legal Framework

BIH receives institutional funding from the German federal government and the state of Berlin in a ratio of 90:10. The funding for the upcoming period 2017–2020 will be approximately 290 million euros. BIH is also supported by the Private Excellence Initiative of Johanna Quandt with additional 40 million euros by 2020. The funds are managed by the Charité Foundation.

Within the German science system, BIH is a novel translational research institution. For the first time in Germany, academic, clinical, and patient-oriented research is being brought together with non-academic basic research to form a new structure.

BIH was founded in March 2013 as an internal GbR (a partnership under civil law) and has become a Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts (corporation under public law) in 2015. As member entities MDC and Charité keep their status as separate legal entities and thus retain full independence.