Kiel University (CAU), the University of Lübeck (UzL) and the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH) have founded a new, joint facility for clinical research. With “Precision Health in Schleswig-Holstein” (PHSH), the state underlines its desire to develop the medicine of the future. Today (Thursday 8 March) the President of Kiel University, Professor Lutz Kipp, the President of UzL, Professor Gabriele Gillessen-Kaesbach, and the chairman of the board of the UKSH, Professor Jens Scholz, signed the certificate of incorporation in Kiel, Germany.
Precision medicine, i.e. the customized diagnosis and treatment of diseases, will continue to gain importance in the future. In the past ten years, pioneering work this field has been carried out in Schleswig-Holstein. For Professor Kipp, President of Kiel University, the special nature of the new facility is obvious: "In PHSH, externally-selected scientists directly control the clinical research opportunities in a university hospital. This ensures that patients always have access to the latest medical innovations. With this excellence-driven promotion of clinical research, Schleswig-Holstein places itself at the forefront nationwide.”
The Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces” has successfully laid the foundation for the structures of PHSH. "With PHSH, we are strengthening the long-term partnership between medical research and patient care. The joint venture is a win-win situation for all involved, and of great strategic importance for the medical department at our university. Therefore we are delighted to participate in this project for the future," emphasized the President of UzL, Professor Gillessen-Kaesbach. The foundation for PHSH was already laid last year, with the first eight scientists nominated through the “Schleswig-Holstein Excellence Chair” program. Additional rounds will follow, so that the most excellent scientists are always involved in PHSH.
The organization of PHSH is also innovative. Professor Jens Scholz, chairman of the board of the UKSH, added: “The management structure of PHSH should support direct interaction between application-orientated researchers and the decision-makers in the UKSH’s administration. The state government has established the basis for PHSH in the new Schleswig-Holstein Higher Education Act (HSG). It is only through the latest version of the HSG that such a jointly-operated institution has become possible. With this innovative structure, we set standards for the whole of Germany.”
PHSH starts with substantial support from the state of Schleswig-Holstein and the universities. With these funds, opportunities will be created within the UKSH to support researching clinicians, to provide infrastructures for research, and to direct funding towards patient-centered research. In the medium term, PHSH will also apply for federal funds. Because PHSH - through its innovative management approach - is already able to receive funds made available in terms of Article 91b GG.
Since 2007, Schleswig-Holstein’s Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces", which has more than 300 members, has explored the causes of chronic inflammatory diseases of barrier organs such as the skin, lungs and intestines. The Cluster is currently applying for a third funding period as part of the German Excellence Strategy. PHSH is the motor that drives funds within the new Cluster to the right place, and connects scientists and clinicians together for patient-centered research. If the research initiative is awarded funding by the German Research Foundation (DFG) at the end of September, further development of the name in the next funding period will emphasize the importance of transferring research results into practice: “Inflammation at Interfaces” would become “Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation”.
Prof. Dr Stefan Schreiber
Cluster of Excellence spokesperson "Inflammation at Interfaces"
Tel.: +49 (0)431 880-5535