Single cell technologies for personalized medicine

In order to make the highly innovative single-cell technologies clinically usable for effective translation as quickly as possible, the Berlin Institute of Health is establishing a jointly supported, close interdisciplinary cooperation, in which BIH and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin contribute clinical expertise (bioinformatics, imaging, machine learning, oncology, neurology, dermatology, biobanks, diagnostics and biomarkers) and the Max-Delbrück-Centrum/BIMSB technological and scientific expertise in the field of single-cell biology and gene regulation.

Single cell technologies for personalized medicine are a research focus of the BIH, the Charité and the Max Delbrück Center (MDC). Nikolaus Rajewsky (MDC) coordinates the focus area together with Angelika Eggert (Charité). The single cell analysis is also the basis for the pan-European LifeTime consortium: "Life Time: Revolutionizing Healthcare by Tracking and Understanding Human Cells during Disease".

The implementation is based on two pillars:

The establishment of three bridge junior research groups from BIH, MDC/BIMSB and Charité, which bring single cell expertise into clinical application. These junior research groups are located in the BIMSB building, where they have access to the latest single cell technologies and are in close contact with leading international scientists*. At the same time, each of these groups is integrated into a clinic at the Charité where they identify clinically relevant topics, use and develop single cell approaches to address specific clinical issues and establish the technologies for clinical use. This bridge concept optimally combines the internationally leading position of the BIMSB in the development of single cell technologies with the clinical-translational potential of BIH/Charité.

The development of a "Clinical Single Cell Sequencing" pipeline, which includes a central bioportal (patient sample collection, characterization and processing) as well as an integrated workflow with relevant genomics and bioinformatics services for the participating clinics.

Steering Committee





Prof. Nikolaus Rajewsky

Group Leader "Systems Biology of Gene Regulatory Elements", MDC


Prof. Angelika Eggert

Director Department of Paedriatrics, Department of Oncology and Hematology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin


Prof. Frank Heppner

Director Institute of Neuropathology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin


Prof. Norbert Hübner

Head of the lab "Genetics and Genomics of Cardiovascular Diseases", MDC


Dr. Jan Philipp Junker

Head of the lab "Quantitative Developmental Biology", MDC


Prof. Ulrich Keilholz

Director Charité Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCCC), Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin


Prof. Ana Pombo

Head of the lab "Epigenetic Regulation and Chromatin Architecture", MDC


Prof. Frank Tacke

Department Head, Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin