Clinical Translational Sciences
Christof von Kalle
Our research focuses on genetics, gene therapy, immunology and cancer.
Based on previous experience with the analysis of gene vectors, the research group is developing tools for an in-depth analysis of the clonal repertoire of T cell and B cell receptor formation. We want to understand how many functional clones are present in the peripheral circulation of normal healthy individuals, and how they are distributed in terms of receptor rearrangement sequences, antigen specificity, molecular and functional convergence. We are seeking collaboration with like-minded research groups and interests at the MDC and the Charité (see also research platform Multiscale Omics).
In addition, the research group at the BIH is dedicated to the project of bringing genetic high throughput analysis into clinical application against cancer, building on the experience of the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg.
A major component of our gene therapy research was incorporated in the biotech start-up GeneWerk, which was founded in 2014. Here, gene vector bio safety analyses and high throughput repertoire studies are carried out in cooperation with pharmaceutical and biotech companies.
Clinical Translational Sciences Platform and Clinical Study Center
To be effective, clinical translation requires complex infrastructures ranging from the characterization of patient collectives and their samples to administrative structures for quality assurance and clinical trial management. These functions are developed by the Clinical Study Center, which BIH and Charité have jointly established and which is headed by BIH Chairman Prof. Christof von Kalle. In studies conducted in an academic environment, new experimental research approaches can be identified from results (whether the original goal of the study is achieved or not) (bedside-to-bench), which lead back to preclinical and clinical investigations in accordance with the 'full circle' principle (bench-to-bedside).
Digital Health - The Data Box Project
DataBox is a project funded by BMBF and BMG in cooperation with SAP, Siemens and several health insurance companies as well as the multicenter nNGM lung cancer study. The DataBox project creates and tests patient-centered data rooms and manages them legally. The need to give citizens back control over their data is a new and mandatory task of health IT according to the new EU regulation on general data protection. DataBox aims at solving problems of data ownership, transfer and storage by providing individual data rooms, which legally belong to each individual, for patients of all levels of digital literacy (from landline phones to smart phones). Patients will be able to access their individual health data as soon as it becomes available and share it with selected healthcare providers of their choice. At the same time, healthcare providers can use the platform to upload health data. This construct not only enables the empowerment of patients and the creation of a digital patient service ecosystem, but also solves the issue of data protection for the long-term storage of data.