News › Leib­niz IPHT • Kick-off for new Photonicscenter

Four Jena rese­arch insti­tu­ti­ons sign coope­ra­tion agree­ment for the uni­que Euro­pean rese­arch infra­struc­ture for rese­arch into light-based health tech­no­lo­gies

Along with the estab­lish­ment of its admi­nis­tra­tive struc­tures, the new Leib­niz Cen­ter for Pho­to­nics in Infec­tion Rese­arch (LPI) in Jena will start on July 1, 2020 with con­crete pro­jects for rese­arch into light-based tech­no­lo­gies for the dia­gno­sis and the­rapy of infec­tious dise­a­ses. »The corona pan­de­mic shows us how we urgen­tly need new approa­ches in the fight against infec­tious dise­a­ses. Here in Jena, LPI is crea­ting a uni­que Euro­pean rese­arch infra­struc­ture for inter­na­tio­nal sci­en­tists to jointly rese­arch such solu­ti­ons and bring them to the mar­ket quickly,« says Prof. Dr. Jür­gen Popp, sci­en­ti­fic direc­tor of the Leib­niz Insti­tute of Pho­to­nic Tech­no­logy (Leib­niz IPHT) and spo­kes­man of the new rese­arch cen­ter, on the occa­sion of the sig­ning of the coope­ra­tion agree­ment for the LPI on June 17, 2020 in Jena.

New buil­ding on the cam­pus of the Uni­ver­sity Hospital

The Cen­ter, to be fun­ded by the fede­ral govern­ment with 124 mil­lion euros, is sup­ported by four Jena part­ners: the Fried­rich Schil­ler Uni­ver­sity Jena, Jena Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal, Leib­niz IPHT and the Leib­niz Insti­tute for Natu­ral Pro­duct Rese­arch and Infec­tion Bio­logy – Hans Knöll Insti­tute (Leib­niz HKI). »This new rese­arch buil­ding on the site of our hos­pi­tal distin­gu­is­hes the cam­pus in Jena Lobeda not only as a cen­tral loca­tion for inter­di­sci­pli­nary uni­ver­sity pati­ent care, but also as a cen­ter for the inte­gra­tion of cli­ni­cal rese­arch and basic rese­arch,« says Dr. Brun­hilde Sei­del-Kwem, spo­kes­wo­man of the board of Jena Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal. The offi­cial con­s­truc­tion phase for the new Leib­niz Cen­ter will begin in Janu­ary 2021 and from 2026 on the Cen­ter will be open to top rese­ar­chers from all over the world.

»We are curr­ently expe­ri­en­cing how quickly a pan­de­mic can spread in our glo­ba­li­zed world. So quickly that there is hardly any time to act appro­pria­tely,« empha­si­zes Jür­gen Popp. Ano­ther threat is the spread of mul­tid­rug-resistant germs. »Every day, 2000 peo­ple die from the con­se­quen­ces of an infec­tion with bac­te­ria against which no anti­bio­tics can help. Infec­tious dise­a­ses are among the most fre­quent cau­ses of death world­wide. We need good ideas, uncon­ven­tio­nal approa­ches, and solu­ti­ons that get quickly from bench to bedside.«

Rapid solu­ti­ons in the fight against mul­tid­rug-resistant germs

In future, the Leib­niz Cen­ter for Pho­to­nics in Infec­tion Rese­arch will pro­vide a foun­da­tion for this pur­pose. With short distances and clear trans­fer points lea­ding to mar­ke­ta­bi­lity, inter­na­tio­nal rese­ar­chers from the natu­ral sci­en­ces, tech­no­logy deve­lo­p­ment, and medi­cine as well as users from indus­try will be sup­ported in the prompt imple­men­ta­tion of inno­va­tive methods. In Sep­tem­ber 2019, the Fede­ral Minis­try of Edu­ca­tion and Rese­arch put the LPI on the for­ward-loo­king Natio­nal Road­map for Rese­arch Infrastructures.

»LPI offers the pos­si­bi­lity of lin­king dia­gno­stics and the­rapy,« says Prof. Dr. Michael Bauer, Direc­tor of the Cli­nic for Anaes­the­sio­logy and Inten­sive Care Medi­cine at Jena Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal. »From a medi­cal per­spec­tive, this opens up a great vision: to break new ground in the­ra­peu­tic approa­ches.” – »We want to be pio­neers for approa­ches that we believe will deter­mine the medi­cal agenda of the next 10 to 20 years, for exam­ple with rese­arch into bio­lo­gi­cal the­ra­peu­tics,« adds Prof. Dr. Axel A. Brak­hage, Direc­tor of the Leib­niz Insti­tute for Natu­ral Pro­duct Rese­arch and Infec­tion Bio­logy – Hans Knöll Institute.

The new Cen­ter will enrich Jena as a rese­arch loca­tion – and vice versa, empha­si­zes Uni­ver­sity Pre­si­dent Prof. Dr. Wal­ter Rosen­thal: »The Sci­ence Coun­cil jud­ged that LPI could revo­lu­tio­nize the dia­gno­stics of patho­gens,« said Rosen­thal. »It is no coin­ci­dence that this is hap­pe­ning in Jena. The com­bi­na­tion of pho­to­nic tech­no­lo­gies, basic rese­arch, and cli­ni­cal appli­ca­tion demons­trate the strengths of the loca­tion. Uni­ver­sity, non-uni­ver­sity rese­arch insti­tu­ti­ons, and indus­try are well net­worked here and make the loca­tion attrac­tive for highly qua­li­fied sci­en­tists from all over the world«.

Photo (Leib­niz-IPHT): Left to right: Dr. Brun­hilde Sei­del-Kwem (Com­mer­cial Direc­tor and Spo­kes­wo­man of the Board of Jena Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal), Prof. Dr. Wal­ter Rosen­thal (Pre­si­dent of Fried­rich Schil­ler Uni­ver­sity Jena), Prof. Dr. Axel A. Brak­hage (Direc­tor Leib­niz Insti­tute for Natu­ral Pro­duct Rese­arch and Infec­tion Bio­logy – Hans Knöll Insti­tute) and Prof. Dr. Jür­gen Popp (Sci­en­ti­fic Direc­tor Leib­niz Insti­tute of Pho­to­nic Technology).