Germany Berlin

Charité – Infectious Diseases and Respiratory Medicine

Department of Infectious Diseases, Respiratory Medicine and Critical Care

Brief Overview

Charité is one of the largest university hospitals in Europe. The Department of Infectious Diseases, Respiratory Medicine and Critical Care (jointly headed by Martin Witzenrath & Leif Erik Sander) at Charité is focused on respiratory diseases, infectious diseases and intensive care medicine with regard to science, patient treatment, and teaching. Our main goals are to treat our patients at the best achievable level, to improve understanding of the pathogenesis of lung diseases, particularly pneumonia and acute lung injury, in order to develop novel therapeutic strategies, and to teach clinical and scientific academics.

Research Areas

Acute Lung Injury (ALI)\Cell biology\Infection\Pulmonary hypertension\Ventilation

Host center eligibility

Global fellowships (return phase only)\ European fellowships

Research infrastructure/facilities

The department’s lab spreads over more than 600 square meters and is equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure, including a core facility for animal infections, a mouse ICU and different mouse ventilation systems, isolated perfused and ventilated mouse lung system, Chromium Controller for single-cell analysis, FACS facility (up to 8 colors), high-end life cell imaging confocal microscopy, electric cell impedance sensing system, licor infrared scanning system, human lung tissue preparations, organ-on-chip and lung organoids. Specific technical equipment not located in our own lab can be found and used in core facilities of other labs and institutes nearby.

Research funding/Resources

The department’s lab comprises approx. 60 staff members including more than 10 principal investigators leading internationally competitive research projects. Close collaborations are held with local institutes (including Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Robert Koch Institute, Max Delbrück Centre etc.) and international partners in academy and industry. Our scientific activities are supported in large parts by the German Research Foundation and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, as well as by foundations and industry. Several collaborative research programs are rooted at our department, including CAPNETZ, PROGRESS, CAPSyS, SYMPATH, Phage4Cure, MAPVAP, the SARS-CoV-2-related projects PROVID and NAPKON, all funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), as well as SFB-TR84 (“innate immunity of the lung”) and SFB1449 (“dynamic hydrogels at biointerfaces”), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Links to non-academic sector

The department has close collaborations with pharmaceutical industry and biotech start-ups in several fields of pulmonary medicine and research.

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

The Charité Welcome Center offers multiple services to foreign scientists to cope with the obstacles they face when moving to Berlin and working at Charité. To foster academic career development, our department offers a comprehensive program. In particular: – Attendance of annual conferences (e.g. ERS International Congress) – Attendance at events of the Transregional Collaborative Research Center SFB-TR84 (e.g. International Conference including postgraduate courses) – Internal training for employees (e.g. communication and methodological skills, leadership competencies) – Participation in specific courses of the Dahlem Research School: opportunity to develop teaching and leadership skills, essential professional guidance on obtaining research funding – Laboratory Animal Science Courses according to FELASA Guidelines Furthermore, the Technology Transfer Office at Charité provides advice on issues related to intellectual property rights, offers consultation on grant applications, guides scientists in the process of creating spin-off companies, and supports scientists in the area of contract administration.

HR Excellence in Research – EU award