Biomedical Science

Managing Director: Dr. Lydia Didt-Koziel
Managing Director: Dr. Lydia Didt-Koziel

The researchers in Biomedical Sciences aim to uncover pathological mechanisms on the atomic, molecular, cellular and organismic level, and to use these findings to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic treatments. To do this, the researchers must cover a broad spectrum of pathological processes. Work on medical engineering solutions and new imaging techniques is also in progress.
The Centre for Medical Biotechnology (ZMB) is an interdisciplinary academic facility of the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), integrating 43 research groups from the Faculty of Medicine at the University Hospital and the Faculties of Biology and Chemistry on the Essen Campus. Since many diseases can be traced back to specific biochemical processes, interdisciplinary approaches are used to identify new therapeutic agents and find additional diagnostic and therapeutic points of application. The latest research results can be channelled directly into clinical research and clinical studies. With its four research programmes, the ZMB is aiming to achieve interdisciplinary integration of the medical fields of oncology and immunology and the natural science fields of genetics, bioinformatics, and developmental, cellular, molecular and structural biology.
The alliance between the campus and University Hospital is complemented by the Research in Biomedical Sciences (RIBS) joint initiative. Scientists from the natural sciences (chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics), engineering (electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science) and medicine work on interdisciplinary solutions to problems in the fields of biomechanics, biomaterials, sensor technology, imaging and analysis, and drug delivery.
2009 saw the addition of the Erwin L. Hahn Institute for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, an interdisciplinary research institution for the investigation and application of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in medical diagnostics and therapy.
The successful pooling of natural sciences and medical research has led to the establishment of several major group projects at the University of Duisburg-Essen. The SFB Transregio 60 Collaborative Research Centre, awarded in 2009, is working on the immunology of virus infections. This research group investigates the molecular and cellular interactions between viruses and the immune cells with the aim of developing new vaccines and immunotherapies against diseases such as hepatitis B and C, and AIDS. At the West German Tumour Centre, a German Cancer Aid-sponsored Comprehensive Cancer Centre, further areas of research include identifying cancer risk factors and new therapy target molecules. A series of BMBF projects with partners in industry are concerned with biomedical questions in a practice-based context.
To promote young scientists, researchers in the Main Research Area have successfully established two DFG-funded graduate research programmes in immunology of infections and genetics (GK 1045, GK 1431). These challenging programmes in the fields of medical biology and chemistry guarantee that the interdisciplinary work between the natural sciences and medicine will continue on a high level in the future.
The 1988 Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry, Prof. Robert Huber, has actively supported the Main Research Area since 2006. Prof. Huber, an expert in structural biology, is involved in research and teaching, and advises the ZMB on groundbreaking decisions.