Structural Change in East Germany – Center for Medical Innovation to Create Job Opportunities

Digitalization and artificial intelligence are driving innovations in medicine. (Imago / Arnulf Hetrich)

The film looks professional and promising: “The Center for Medical Innovation will integrate central future technologies from basic research to care in a common approach.” Pictures of lignite drilling rigs follow neat laboratories, servant banks, and hospital beds. Accelerate the path from science to patients – that’s what many projects want to do. But the planned approach of the Center for Medical Innovations in the Leipzig-Halle region is unique, as initiator Jens Mailer emphasizes: “The Center for Medical Innovations operates at the interface between the personalization and digitization of medicine. Innovation will occur at this interface between computer science and medicine.”

Innovations in the interaction between medicine and computer science

Exactly beyond the keywords, wants Bioinformatics scientist from the University of Leipzig But it is not disclosed at the moment: “The specific application is still a bit of a secret. But the specific topics we are dealing with are, for example, computer-aided design of vaccines.”
Jens Miller is already working on this in Leipzig and at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, USA.

Using artificial intelligence and big data analysis, HIV and influenza vaccines are generated on the computer: “By using computer-aided methods, we can produce better vaccines, at least in basic research, that have a longer impact, have a broader impact and are also powerful against mutations.” In the virus. And we want to not only design these best vaccines here and not just here in the region, but also manufacture and test them here in the region.”

AI can improve care in rural areas

Vaccines are only one topic for Planned Large-scale Research Center for Medical Innovations, CMI for short. Diabetes will also be researched there, as well as environmental diseases and new concepts of medical care in rural areas. Jens Meiler says that the development of AI could play an important role: “For example, to analyze a picture of a wound and determine whether a patient should come from Erzgebirge to the clinic in Chemnitz or Leipzig to treat that wound – or if there is another treatment option” .

Unlike many well-established large-scale research institutions, the CMI should not be concerned with a topic such as cancer, cardiovascular disease or dementia, but with interface technologies and their applications, the bioinformatics scientist asserts: “This center for medical innovation is the first in Germany that deals with With these innovative approaches to medicine regardless of disease.”

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More than 40 companies want to cooperate with CMI

Specifically, the research center’s planned large-scale focus should be on information technology and modern treatment concepts such as genetic engineering. These methods and techniques can be widely used in many traditional medical specialties. Jens Miller believes that central Germany is well placed for this. Here, for example, there is already a site for the National Center for Artificial Intelligence, a wide base of basic research in the field of life sciences and several medical schools that can test new methods in clinical studies. More than 40 companies from medium-sized companies to pharmaceutical giants have signed preliminary agreements with the Center for Medicine Innovation, so they will be interested in developing ideas into products.

“Together for a Health Tomorrow”

Jens Mailer is convinced that the Leipzig region – Halle has potential for growth – and many young people who want to stay there. This capital will also be used if the Federal Research Department does not make the Medical Innovation Center one of the winners From the Idea Contest “Knowledge creates prospects for the region!” must choose. Even at the current application stage, Jens Meiler’s team has identified promising research projects and found suitable collaboration partners in the Halle-Leipzig region. In any case, there will be more medical innovations from the previous lignite mining area. Or as the film promises: “The search is with the people of the region, for the sake of the people of the region. Together for the health of tomorrow.”

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