Translational and Systems Medicine Research

The general research approach of Berlin Institute of Health combines translational research with an overarching systems medicine approach. This means that results of basic research will be transferred into medical therapies, diagnosis, and prevention in a faster and more targeted way, and clinical observations will be taken up more quickly by basic research. In other words, a knowledge transfer occurs "from bench to bedside and from bedside to bench". Research results may stem from various specialized areas – medicine, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, information technology, and the social sciences.

Systems medicine is based on an understanding that the human body is a complex system consisting of dynamic, interconnected networks of molecules, cells, and tissues. Research in systems medicine involves the study of molecular mechanisms in the human body in an integrative manner. Rather than diseases being understood as the malfunction of individual cells or organs, attention is paid to overarching processes influencing both health and disease. Clinical symptoms can have a number of molecular causes, and inversely a genetic defect can spark various diseases. For example, inflammatory disease can affect various organs including the skin, the intestines, and the lungs.

Systems medicine at BIH means pursuing a process of reciprocal exchange between basic biomedical research, clinical research, and medical practice. Establishing this process thus forms an essential part of fulfilling our mission to make scientific and technological developments in systems medicine accessible for designing new preventive measures, diagnosis, and therapy.