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Research for a new era of medicine - precision medicine


Experts from all over the world exchanged ideas at the invitation of the Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces”

 "Precision medicine is nothing less than the biggest paradigm shift that has ever occurred in medicine." With these words, the neurobiologist and entrepreneur Dr Friedrich von Bohlen set the tone for his keynote speech on the topic to guests at an international symposium. At the invitation of the Schleswig-Holstein Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces", around 200 scientists discussed the latest advances in the field of precision medicine. "Precision medicine will enable individual, molecular-based diagnostics, as well as safer and more predictable treatment options. It will be a value- and use-orientated medicine," explained von Bohlen. The goal is to understand and treat diseases more precisely in individual cases through the targeted collection, linking and analysis of data, in particular of molecular data. Based on this individual disease profile, very precise individual treatment options could then be selected that are effective as well as safe. This represents the future of medicine. Von Bohlen, who as founder and Managing Director of the biotech company "Molecular Health" also promotes the idea of commercially developing precision medicine, is not the only one convinced.

The era of different people taking identical medication could soon be a thing of the past. Increasingly powerful analyses, such as gene sequencing and bioinformatic analysis of this data, will open up new worlds of possibilities in the future. The Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces" has also recognized the potential of these methods and data. For more than ten years, this Schleswig Holstein research initiative has explored the causes and molecular mechanisms of chronic inflammatory diseases, and thereby become pioneers in precision medicine. However, the long-term objective of this line of research goes beyond simply healing diseases. In the long term, it should be possible to detect diseases before they are clinically noticeable. "In particular, we want to make advances in early diagnosis and preventive intervention in chronic and age-related diseases," explained Cluster spokesperson Professor Stefan Schreiber. "A core component of the Cluster is conducting research directly on sick people. Due to the large cohorts required, there is a high level of effort and a very large volume of data involved. The systematic analysis of medical-biological data and associated patient data opens up new possibilities to improve the understanding of inflammatory diseases, and to develop approaches for individualized treatments."

The international symposium hosted by the Cluster covered a wide range of topics, under the title "Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation – From Pathophysiology to Treatment Decision". The (personal) microbiome, genetic mutations, biomarkers, as well as ethical and economic challenges all came under the spotlight during the two-day conference. And there was one thing all the participants agreed on: precision medicine will continue growing in importance in future, and change medicine dramatically. 

Dr Tebke Böschen
Press spokesperson, Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces"
Tel.: +49 (0)431 880-4682


Photos are available to download:

Photos/Copyright: Sascha Klahn/Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces"

The Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces" has been funded since 2007 by the Excellence Initiative of the German Government and the federal states with a total budget of 68 million Euros. It is currently in its second phase of funding. Around 300 cluster members are spread across the four locations: Kiel (Kiel University, University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH), Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design (MHK)), Lübeck (University of Lübeck, UKSH), Plön (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology) and Borstel (Research Center Borstel (FZB) – Center for Medicine and Biosciences) and are researching an innovative, systematic approach to the phenomenon of inflammation, which can affect all barrier organs such as the intestines, lungs and skin.


Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces"
Scientific Office, Head: Dr habil. Susanne Holstein
Postal address: Christian-Albrechts-Platz 4, 24118 Kiel, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)431 880-4850, Fax: +49 (0)431 880-4894
Twitter: I@I @medinflame

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