TUM – Technical University of Munich Menu
Leibniz Prize winner Prof. Franz Pfeiffer and a colleague working on a project at the miniature synchrotron MuCLS.
Leibniz Prize winner Prof. Franz Pfeiffer is the new director of TUM's Munich School of BioEngineering (MSB). (image: Andreas Heddergott / TUM)
  • Research news

Leibniz Prize winner Franz Pfeiffer to head TUM Integrative Research CenterMunich School of BioEngineering sets European standards

Two years after its founding at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Munich School of BioEngineering (MSB) is expanding its scope of action: The upcoming opening of the MSB-associated Central Institute for Translational Cancer Research  (TranslaTUM) will give physicists, engineers and physicians a shared new laboratory building for transdisciplinary research in the midst of the TUM’s  Klinikum rechts der Isar in Munich. In addition, a new structure for the Bavarian NMR Center (BNMRZ) will soon open on the Garching campus. The new building for protein research, expected to be finished in two years and also located in Garching, completes the most topically diverse bio-engineering structure in all of Europe. The new construction represents an investment of more than 135 million Euros, half of which is being financed by the German Federal Government. Leibniz Prize winner Prof. Franz Pfeiffer (44) will succeed the founding director Prof. Axel Haase as of April 1, 2017.

Founded in 2015, the Munich School of BioEngineering (MSB) is an inter-faculty Integrative Research Center accredited for supervision of Doctoral degrees and is anchored in the basic principles of the TUM. The definition of its mission follows the modern alignment of biomedical engineering towards the result and value creation chain Molecule – Organism – Patient, and is thus targeted towards key medical questions, driven by scientific research and shaped by engineering and computer sciences.

In spite of their continuing major significance, apparatus-oriented classical medical technologies (e.g. technical assistance systems) are not a core element at the MSB. Research is much more oriented towards the functionality of genes, transportation of information between cells, the processes of protein folding and the structural-mechanistic interaction of proteins. This new field of knowledge, a product of the relentless progress being made in bioscience research, is altering the direction taken by medical technologies, with the role of Big Data equal in importance to that of miniaturization and biological microscopy and imaging methods. This places cell and protein biochemistry, biological microscopy, biophysics and medical physics, semiconductor technologies and robotics at the center of the novel research area bio-engineering, bounded by natural sciences, technology development and medicines. The TUM is strong in all these areas, including Informatics as well as Applied Mathematics.

The Munich School of BioEngineering covers four research sectors:

Sensor Technologies & Biomedical Imaging

Examples:

  • Opto-Acoustics as a biological imaging process using the emission of ultrasound following the absorption of laser light to depict metabolic processes.
  • Phase Contrast as a high-sensitivity x-ray method in radiography and computer tomography utilizing the wave properties of x-ray radiation in the early detection of lung disease and tumors.
  • Multimodal Molecular Imaging as a combined diagnostic procedure using Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in simultaneously detecting anatomy, structure and metabolism in tissue.

Synthetic Biology and Biomolecular Systems

Examples:

  • DNA Origami as a bottom-up synthesis procedure for generating and understanding the nature of cellular structures and mechanisms.
  • Bioinformatics and Computer-Aided Biology as a predictive tool in the investigation of protein folding.
  • Functional Proteome Analysis as a bioanalytical procedure for use with proteins to investigate molecular mechanisms in cases of cancer.

Biomaterials & Bio-Inspired Engineering

Examples:

  • Microscopy and Micromechanical Modeling as a methodology for understanding the biological-mechanical properties of the bone-cartilage unit.
  • Computer-Based Modeling as the basis for predicting blood and breath flow profiles in the context of cardio-vascular disease.
  • Electrochemical Sensor Fields as a method for measuring chemical signals from cells in real-time in order to generate structured cell networks.
  • Bionics, in the sense of forming an interface between nature, medicine and technology.

Biomedical Technologies

Examples:

  • Cognitive Systems in multifunctional high-performance robots for improving robot-aided medicinal applications.
  • Neuronal Information Processing and Nanoelectronics for improved inner-ear implants in support of the auditory system.
  • Laser-Based Compact Synchrotron "Munich Compact Light Source" (MuCLS) as a source of high-brilliance x-ray radiation for microscopic investigation of biological and biomedical issues in the context of illnesses.


With the objective of establishing a scientific bio-engineering community, the former Graduate School GSISH (Information Science in Health) was thematically transformed into the TUM Graduate School of Bioengineering (GSB), which will remain under the direction of Prof. Axel Haase. The international master’s program "BioEngineering" will begin in winter semester 2018/19, combining the engineering disciplines with key questions of biology, biophysics and medicine and focusing on cancer, cardio-vascular and metabolic illnesses. The curriculum is coordinated by Leibniz Prize winner Prof. Vasilis Ntziachristos, Chair of Biological Imaging.

Leibniz Prize winner Prof. Franz Pfeiffer, Chair of Biomedical Physics, will succeed the founding director Prof. Axel Haase as the head of the MSB. Prof. Pfeiffer is an internationally recognized authority in the field of medicinal imaging processes and recently developed the mini-synchrotron MuCLS. The director will be assisted in his leadership tasks by a steering commission. The research commission, which currently includes members from eight faculties, designs the institute's research program in ongoing coordination with the associated institutions TranslaTUM (Munich), Munich Center for Functional Protein Assemblies (Garching), Bavarian NMR Center (Garching), Bavarian Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry Center (BayBioMS, Freising-Weihenstephan) and the TUM Entrepreneurship Center (Garching). The TUM Institute for Advanced Study (TUM-IAS) will support the work activities of the MSB with international top researchers, as will the EU-subsidized post-doctoral program of the TUM.

The research building built in 2001 for TUM medical technology at the Garching Campus center will serve as a location for central collaborative projects and as the street address of the MSB.

Corporate Communications Center

Technical University of Munich

Article at tum.de

Prof. Markus Becherer vom TUM-Lehrstuhl für Nanoelektronik auf der TEDxTUM Bühne. (Bild: Verena Braun)

Tiny technologies with enormous impact

The TEDx conference stands for short presentations that reach millions of people online. Since 2014, this format is also offered at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). TedxTUM is organized on a voluntary basis by...

Bundeswissenschaftsministerin Anja Karliczek (2. von links) und Bayerns Wissenschaftsministerin Prof. Marion Kiechle (l.) im Labor von Prof. Oliver Hayden (r.).

Expand research for cancer patients

The new German Federal Minister of Education and Research, Anja Karliczek, has called for rapid implementation of effective treatments in clinical practice as a key objective of health-related research. The Technical...

Gummi-Süßigkeiten mit aufgedruckten Mikroelektroden-Arrays.

Producing sensors with an inkjet printer

Microelectrodes can be used for direct measurement of electrical signals in the brain or heart. These applications require soft materials, however. With existing methods, attaching electrodes to such materials poses...

Dominik Sievert (links) und Maria Driesel (2. von rechts), Gründer von inveox mit dem Prototyp ihres Automaten zur Erfassung medizinischer Proben.

Automation in the histopathology lab

The start-up inveox focuses on a hugely important but practically invisible area of medicine: histopathology. The company founded by students and alumni of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) aims to use its inventions...

Links: Micro-CT-Aufnahme einer Mausniere, rechts: Nano-CT-Aufnahme des Gewebes.

Histology in 3D

To date, examining patient tissue samples has meant cutting them into thin slices for histological analysis. This might now be set to change – thanks to a new staining method devised by an interdisciplinary team from the...

Ein Stummelfüßer der Art Euperipatoides rowelli.

Nano-CT device successfully tested

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a...

Trypanosomen in der Durchlichtmikroskopie (links) und in der Fluoreszenzmikroskopie (rechts). Angefärbt sind hier die Glykosomen (rot), gegen die sich der Wirkstoff richtet, sowie die DNA des Parasiten (blau). Bild: Ralf Erdmann, Vishal Kalel / Ruhr-Universität Bochum

New therapeutic strategy against sleeping sickness

A newly developed small molecule selectively kills the pathogen causing sleeping sickness and Chagas disease. Scientists from the Technical University of Munich, the Helmholtz Zentrum München and from the Ruhr University...

Prof. Franz Pfeiffer und PD Dr. Daniela Münzel am Mini-Synchrotron Munich Compact Light Source.

Miniature particle accelerator saves on contrast agents

The most prevalent method for obtaining images of clogged coronary vessels is coronary angiography. For some patients, however, the contrast agents used in this process can cause health problems. A team at the Technical...

Am TranslaTUM werden interdisziplinäre Teams aus Ingenieuren, Naturwissenschaftlern und Medizinern gemeinsam daran arbeiten, um wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse rasch in praktische Anwendungen zu „übersetzen“. Diese Translation war namensgebend für das Zentrum. (Bild: doranth post architekten GmbH)

TUM sets the next milestone in biomedicine

Translational cancer research will be the focus of the new TranslaTUM central institute at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The topping-out ceremony for the new research building (investment volume of approx. EUR...

Der neue Mini-Teilchenbeschleuniger "Munich Compact Light Source" steht in Garching am Zentralinstitut für Medizintechnik (IMETUM). (Foto: K. Achterhold / TUM)

New state-of-the-art compact X-ray source

For some years now it has been possible to generate high-brilliance X-rays using ring-shaped particle accelerators (synchrotron sources). However, such installations are several hundred meters in diameter and cost billions...

Fasern des Muskelproteins Aktin

TU München establishes center for protein research

Technische Universität München (TUM) is establishing the “TUM Center for Functional Protein Assemblies (CPA)” to concentrate its wide-ranging expertise in protein research. It will conduct cross-departmental research into...