Professor Dr. Stefanie Dimmeler

With their joint application for an excellence cluster, Goethe University Frankfurt and Justus-Liebig-University Giessen asserted themselves successfully against strong competition. The German Research Foundation announced on 27th September, that the “Cardiopulmonary Institute” (CPI) application, along with 56 other Excellence Cluster projects nationwide, will receive funding for the next seven years.

University President Professor Birgitta Wolff says: “Congratulations to our colleagues in Frankfurt, Giessen and Bad Nauheim, who fought with great success for their scientific ideas and concepts with an excellent application amid a field of strong competitors. The culture of cooperation that has emerged over the course of nearly twelve years among the partners was undoubtedly a decisive moment for this achievement. The formal foundation as an interuniversity institute is new, as is a more developed substantive approach. This latest achievement demonstrates that the effort and investment put into university cardiovascular research paid off.”

Professor Stefanie Dimmeler, lead scientist for Goethe University, emphasizes: “We are thrilled about this huge success which would not have been possible without the support of our great team. The funding of the ‘Cardiopulmonary Institute’ will allow us to create a centre that is unique worldwide with the goal of better understanding heart and lung diseases and identifying new therapeutic options.”

Heart and lung diseases are among the most frequent causes of death worldwide, with multiple interactions between the two organs and challenges in treatment that have yet to be resolved. A coherent understanding of the molecular biology of the individual and cooperative cellular processes, which constitute the foundation of these organs’ homeostasis and their failure in the course of disease, is lacking along with the knowledge of how these processes could be used for new, individualized therapy concepts.

The consortium of the three partners consisting of basic and medical scientists and clinicians has already made fundamental contributions to cardiovascular research and therapeutic developments within the framework of the previously funded Excellence Cluster Cardio-Pulmonary System (ECCPS). The newly approved institute pursues new structural and programmatic paths with the vision of precision biology being the motor for precision medicine. This success is simultaneously an important signal for the sustained development of research strategy at Goethe University.

The joint institute is an interuniversity facility in accordance with §47 of the Hessen Higher Education Act. Within a short time, several new professorships and junior research groups will be set up to further strengthen work in future fields of cardio-vascular research. The CPI will finance cutting edge technologies and flexible innovation programs. The CPI Academy supports research-oriented teaching and promotes academic career development, such as a “science track” for medical students, support of MD and PhD programmes, the financing of career programmes for basic, medical and clinical researchers, and a mentoring programme.

With the new Excellence Cluster, the three partners also strengthen the scientific profile of the region, further enhancing its status in the area of cutting-edge medical research.