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Charité – Institute of Functional Anatomy

Institute of Functional Anatomy

Brief Overview

Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin (CUB) is one of the largest University Hospitals in Europe with close to 100 different Departments and Institutes and more than 3,700 researchers. The interaction of people from different nationalities and backgrounds offers innovation and progress, especially in medicine, combining patients care and the claim to bring top-level medicine from the bench side to the bedside and the lecture hall. In particular, the research at the Institute of Functional Anatomy (IFA) focuses on understanding the pathophysiological changes during lung injury and fibrotic remodelling, studying alveolar dynamics and lung structure and the correlation with surfactant function.

Research Areas

Cell biology, Epithelial cell, Fibrosis, Interstitial lung disease, Molecular biology

Host center eligibility

Global fellowships (return phase only) \ European fellowships

Research infrastructure/facilities

The IFA is located in the center of Berlin surrounded by research institutes and the hospital. It is equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure, including a room for animal experiments, with the latest small animal ventilator system to study alveolar dynamics. A fully equipped lab for molecular biology and cell culture facilities are found in the same building. In addition, a close collaboration with the core facility in electron microscopy makes this unique technique readily available to researchers in the institute. Specific technical equipment not located in our own lab is used in core facilities within the campus.

Research funding/Resources

Prof. Dr. Matthias Ochs is Chair of Anatomy, Director of the IFA and Head of the Core Facility for Electron Microscopy (CFEM) at CUB. He is also principal investigator in the German Centre for Lung Research (DZL). This network, funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), offers the possibility to collaborate with many leading German lung researchers. The recently funded Collaborative Research Centre “Dynamic Hydrogels at Biointerfaces”, funded by the German Research Council (DFG), in which the host laboratory is participating, offers the perfect fitting and networking possibilities with other Berlin Universities and disciplines.

Links to non-academic sector

Berlin offers nowadays a vibrant innovative environment with plenty of Biotech companies growing and collaborating with universities. BIH innovations, embedded now in the Charité, includes the Technology Transfer Office and offers incubators and supporting help for translational research and start-up creation. In addition, they have a wide offer in innovation and entrepreneurial training. The IFA collaborates with AlveoliX AG, where secondments opportunities are organized.

Experience hosting international researchers, career development & training programmes, outreach activities

The Charité Welcome Center offers multiple services to help researchers when moving to Berlin and working at Charité. The IFA has continuous contact and exchange with international visiting professors and international students. Moreover, in the last years we hosted an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation postdoctoral researcher fellow (Dr. Elena Lopez-Rodriguez) and an ERS-short term post-doctoral fellow (Dr. Gemma Gay-Jordi). International PhD schools and post-doctoral training are offered at CUB and BIH (Berlin Institute of Health). Within the BIH-QUEST an intense program about research quality and integrity is offered at every career level. Plenty of outreach activities are available in Berlin, from Science Slams, open door day for high school students and the European researchers’ night. The connection point to patients is the ELF (European Lung Foundation) and hospital. The group also participates in internationally recognize lung meetings, such as the annual meeting of the ATS, ERS and Gordon Research Conferences.

HR Excellence in Research – EU award