Two new joint collaborative research projects about to start

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The University of Greifswald and the Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology in Dummerstorf are intensifying their cooperation.

The University of Greifswald and the Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN Dummerstorf) are striving for a more intensive scientific exchange and an even better networking of their resources. To this end, a cooperation agreement was finalised and signed by the Rector of the University of Greifswald, Professor Dr. Johanna Eleonore Weber, and the FBN Dummerstorf Director, Professor Dr. Klaus Wimmers.

In the document, the partners agreed on close and cooperative cooperation in research and teaching. The aim is to ensure that the two scientific locations make the best possible use of the available human and material resources in the fields of research and the promotion of young scientists. In the near future, two new state-funded collaborative research projects will start in which the University of Greifswald and the FBN Dummerstorf, together with other scientific partners, will investigate medical solutions for diseases of the heart and gastrointestinal tract.

"We are fortunate to be able to achieve the research strength required for large research projects through cooperation with strong non-university research institutions. With its research profile and research infrastructure, FBN Dummerstorf is an attractive partner for the University of Greifswald," said Professor Dr. Johanna Eleonore Weber.

"This agreement will have a positive effect on increasing the scientific excellence of the partners, on the promotion of doctorates and junior researchers, and on the sustainable design of research activities," emphasized Professor Dr. Klaus Wimmers. The molecular biologist mentioned joint research projects, the participation of the FBN in university teaching, an intensive exchange of information and project cooperation, particularly in research projects of the European Union and the Federal Government, as well as mutual cooperation in scientific and technical committees and the joint use of infrastructures, as focal points. "In particular, the FBN offers young researchers and working groups access to modern equipment, such as climate chambers for livestock and laboratory animals, and to unique animal models such as the long-term selection lines of the mouse, which enable excellent research," said Wimmers. "The joint research projects that have currently been successfully acquired confirm the intention of this cooperation agreement, which, however, is going far beyond that."

In the past as well as in the present, Greifswald and Dummerstorf have already successfully transferred knowledge and Technology  with the Institute of Microbiology at the University of Greifswald, the Interdepartmental Institute of Genetics and Functional Genome Research and several clinics and institutes of Greifswald University Medicine.

Excellent research in MV for the future
In April, Education Minister Birgit Hesse gave the go-ahead for five major joint research projects as part of the Excellence Research Programme of the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. A total of 10 million euros in funding from the European Social Fund (ESF) is available for this purpose. The funding of health research projects is the result of an initiative by the Board of Trustees for Health Economics. With the Excellence Research Programme, the state aims to strengthen cutting-edge research. Two of the five projects, each lasting three years, involve two FBN research institutes.

The research network on "Enteral nutrition in malnutrition due to diseases of the gastrointestinal tract: from basic understanding to innovative treatment concept (EnErGie)" was launched on October 1, 2018. The partners are the Greifswald and Rostock University Hospitals, the Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences and the Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology in Dummerstorf. The FBN-Institute of Nutrition Physiology "Oskar Kellner" under the direction of Professor Dr. Cornelia C. Metges is in charge of this project.

The joint project aims to improve and deepen the medical understanding of the relationships between malnutrition, muscle atrophy and inflammation. The main focus is on human diseases of the pancreas, liver and intestinal tract. The form of nutrition will also play an important role in the prevention and treatment of health problems. The project will be funded with around two million euros, with FBN contributing 362,000 euros. In the overall project, FBN will analyse a large part of the plasma and tissue samples from the mouse study and human studies and contribute its nutritional knowledge.

Also in October 2018, the second joint research project "Programmed cardiac pacemaker cells for in vitro drug testing (iRhythmics)" with the University Clinics Greifswald and Rostock, the University of Rostock and the Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology Dummerstorf will start., which is also being funded with around two million euros. Dr. Andreas Höflich from the Institute of Genom Biology at the FBN Leibniz Institute is responsible for the project, which will receive 294,000 euros.

The innovative approach lies in the use of so-called "programmed cardiac pacemaker cells", in which beating cardiac muscle cells are produced from immature cardiac muscle precursor cells by adding factors for cell differentiation and programming. These offer the possibility of carrying out novel drug tests for cardiovascular diseases without animal experiments. In the joint project, FBN is responsible for the comprehensive gene expression analyses of the programmed pacemaker cells and the evaluation of the data.

Founded in 1456, the University of Greifswald is one of the oldest in Germany and the Baltic Sea region. Its history and geographical location have shaped teaching and research to this day, but its focus has broadened. The university proves its research strength with interdisciplinary focal points in the fields of health & prevention, environment & climate, energy & raw materials and opportunities & risks of globalization. Together with numerous partners, innovative solutions are sought for current, central social topics and challenges in Greifwald. The University of Greifswald has about 5,000 employees (as of May 2018) and about 10,200 students (as of May 2018), including university medicine.

The Leibniz Association connects 93 independent research institutions that range in focus from the natural, engineering and environmental sciences via economics, spatial and social sciences to the humanities. Leibniz Institutes address issues of social, economic and ecological relevance. They conduct knowledge-driven and applied basic research, maintain scientific infrastructure and provide research-based services.
The Leibniz Association identifies focus areas for knowledge transfer to policy-makers, academia, business and the public. Leibniz institutions collaborate intensively with universities – in the form of “Leibniz ScienceCampi” (thematic partnerships between university and non-university research institutes), for example – as well as with industry and other partners at home and abroad.
They are subject to an independent evaluation procedure that is unparalleled in its transparency. Due to the importance of the institutions for the country as a whole, they are funded jointly by the Federation and the Länder, employing some 19,100 individuals, including 9,900 researchers. The entire budget of all the institutes is approximately 1.9 billion Euros.

Laborfoto: FBN
Am FBN steht eine moderne Ausstattung für die Spitzenforschung zur Verfügung - hier Doktorand Denis Revskij im Labor des Instituts für Ernährungsphysiologie, das an den neuen Verbundforschungsvorhaben beteiligt ist.

Universität Greifswald
Domstraße 11, 17489 Greifswald
Die Rektorin Prof. Dr. Johanna Eleonore Weber
T +49 3834 420 1100

Presse- und Informationsstelle
Leiter der Presse- und Informationsstelle Jan Meßerschmidt
T +49 3834 420 1150
M +49 170 56 696 83

Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN)
Wilhelm-Stahl-Allee 2, 18196 Dummerstorf
Director: Prof. Dr. Klaus Wimmers
T +49 38208-68 600

Scientific Organisation: Dr. Norbert K. Borowy
Wilhelm-Stahl-Allee 2, 18196 Dummerstorf
T +49 38208-68 605