Scientist from Kiel University coordinates Million Euros Project in Inflammation Research

Philip Rosenstiel, Cluster of Excellence „Inflammation at Interfaces“, Professor for Molecular Medicine at Kiel University, Head of Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine at Kiel University and Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, campus Kiel.
Photo/ Copyright: Dr. Tebke Böschen/Kiel University

The international consortium of the new European research project SYSCID (“A systems medicine approach to chronic inflammatory disease“) aims to develop a personalised medicine approach for inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. The project coordinated by Kiel University in Germany (CAU) receives a total funding of 14.4 million Euros for a period of five years. Out of this budget Kiel University receives almost three million Euros. Academic and industry partners from nine different countries join forces to achieve the ambitious goals of the project which has started at the beginning of 2017.

With a lifetime prevalence of over ten percent in the EU, chronic inflammatory disease (CID) poses a major health care burden to modern society. “Our vision is to develop a prediction framework for disease outcome and choice of treatment strategies. With many new targeted therapies coming to the market, we need the right therapy at the right time,” said Professor Philip Rosenstiel from the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology at Kiel University and scientific coordinator of the SYSCID consortium. “Our approach combines several biomarker layers from the epigenome to the microbiome, but also aims to investigate more sophisticated tools, such as single cell analysis.”

The new epigenetic markers could be more significant than inflammation markers in the blood which have been used so far. As these ‘traditional’ markers also increase in patients with a common cold or elevated temperature, they cannot always be allocated clearly.

SYSCID will use dense clinical sampling and molecular phenotyping to analyse longitudinal patient cohorts and obtain a deeper understanding of the immunological network changes associated with response and non-response to current treatment regimes. Unlike current therapeutic interventions which mainly alleviate the symptoms, SYSCID aims to develop a therapeutic strategy that will eventually offer a first causal therapy. The consortium targets new therapy approaches by ‘reprogramming’ disease through epigenome editing. “Assuming that the development and course of a disease are related to long-term epigenetic alterations, it makes sense to target the very root of the disease,” Rosenstiel said.

SYSCID will build on previous and ongoing research activities by partners and international initiatives such as the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC) with the aim of exploiting already collected and established patient data and enabling their utilisation for the development of new clinical applications. Moreover, the project will create training opportunities and career perspectives for young European scientists with its findings serving as a blueprint for future development of precision medicine in other fields.


Kiel University, Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology

Prof. Dr Philip Rosenstiel

Tel.: +49(0)431/500 15111

Dr. Tebke Böschen

Tel.: +49(431) 880-4682 E-Mail:

Further Information

Project acronym: SYSCID

Start date: 01 January 2017

Duration: 63 months

Budget: € 14.4 Mio

Coordination: Kiel University, Germany

SYSCID Partners at a glance


University of Leuven




University of Southern Denmark


Kiel University

Comma Soft AG

European Research and Project Office GmbH

Saarland University

University of Bonn


Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens


Humanitas University


University of Luxemburg


University of Geneva


King´s College London

University of Cambridge