Press release: BIH Executive Board welcomes the administrative agreement between the federal government and the state of Berlin

The Executive Board of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) welcomes the administrative agreement reached between the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Berlin Senate Chancellery – Higher Education and Research, according to which the BIH is to be integrated into Charité – Universitätsmedizin alongside patient care and research and teaching. This will allow the BIH to be even better at fulfilling its central mission of transferring research findings from the laboratory into clinical practice – what is known as translation. The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) will now be a “privileged partner” of the BIH.

Professor Axel Radlach Pries, interim Chairman of the BIH Executive Board and also Dean of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, welcomes the administrative agreement negotiated between the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Berlin Senate Chancellery – Higher Education and Research. “If one wants to translate research findings into bedside treatments more quickly and effectively, one has to closely combine research and clinical care. Integrating the BIH into Charité will therefore significantly support the complex processes involved in translational research.” The field of regenerative therapies is a good example of this: Researchers and clinicians from the BIH and Charité are already working together under one roof to find new, innovative ways to regenerate tissue. In order to develop novel translational approaches it is essential that, going forward, research has better access to clinical data and patient samples. “Already today, many BIH scientists are also working at Charité so the planned merger is a natural step,” stressed Professor Karl Max Einhäupl, Chairman of the Executive Board of Charité, adding that: “We are all passionate about providing the best possible patient care.” The BIH and Charité are therefore collaborating successfully within innovative and established structures, such as the Clinician Scientist Program, which is on its way to becoming a national model for training clinical physicians in translational research, or the QUEST Center, which is unique in Europe in its efforts to increase the value and benefit of biomedical research.

Professor Martin Lohse, Scientific Director of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC), is also pleased with the administrative agreement as it specifies that the MDC will be a privileged partner of the BIH: “We see the need for the BIH to be more closely connected with Charité and patient care. At the same time, there is also a need for researchers who provide completely new discoveries for BIH’s applied research – that is what the MDC can achieve with its internationally renowned researchers. We are therefore delighted to continue to collaborate with the BIH as a privileged partner on the great goal of improving the quality of life of patients with progressive diseases.”

The administrative agreement paves the way for making the necessary legislative changes at the state level. The federal government and the state of Berlin would thus be breaking new ground in the cooperation between university and non-university research institutions. However, the agreement must first be approved by the Joint Science Conference of the Federal Government and the Länder (GWK).