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New life sciences centre in Ulm

The Baden-Württemberg Minister of Finance, Gerhard Stratthaus, has officially handed over the 31-million-euro life science research building to the University of Ulm. The modern laboratory on the Ulm University campus has already fulfilled its first promise: it is an architectural gem, and for the President of Ulm University, Prof. Karl Joachim Ebeling, the most beautiful building in the science city of Ulm.

The new Life Science Centre will house eleven interfaculty research groups dealing with specific aspects of tissue regeneration. The state of Baden-Württemberg and the University both expressed their high expectations for the centre at the official opening of the building.

A big step for the life sciences

The new life sciences research building on the Ulm University Campus with its transparent facade (Photo: University of Ulm)
The new life sciences research building on the Ulm University campus with its transparent facade (Photo: University of Ulm)
Stratthaus spoke of a “big step for the life sciences in Baden-Württemberg”. His colleague from the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts in Baden-Württemberg, Peter Frankenberg, said: “This centre comes with all the prerequisites that are necessary for carrying out groundbreaking research on the production of cells and organs from adult stem cells. This approach may, in future, be able to offer treatments for diseases such as Parkinson’s, cancer and diabetes. The research skills of the centre will become a unique selling point of the University of Ulm.

ZytoOrganoPoese is taking shape

Research is already being carried out in several laboratories. View across the inner courtyard (Photo: Pytlik)
According to Professor Ebeling, the University of Ulm would like to see the establishment of a Max Planck Institute, which would then be the first non-university research institution at Baden-Württemberg’s youngest university. A first step towards this goal is the Max Planck research group led by Prof. Lenhard Rudolph which has already started its research activities in the new building.

Prof. Ebeling also referred to Prof. Vinzenz Hombach, Medical Director of the Department of Internal Medicine at Ulm University, whose concept of the ZytoOrganoPoese research network has already been put into reality across an area of 5,800 square metres. Hombach hopes to bring together all researchers working in the fields of stem cell biology, stem cell therapy, regenerative cell and tissue engineering. He has the vision that successful interdisciplinary research will lead to a ‘biocity’ in which the bench results could be efficiently transferred into commercial commodities by local companies.

Exemplary university architecture

Looking at art projects and great expectations – the Lord Major of Ulm, Ivo Gönner, pointing to the high, artistic ceiling of the research building. Picture taken at the official opening of the building. MdL Rivoir (to the right of Gönner), Minister Strat
Looking at art projects – the Lord Major of Ulm, Ivo Gönner, pointing to the artistic ceiling of the research building. Picture taken at the official opening of the building. MdL Rivoir (to the right of Gönner), Minister Stratthaus and on the far right of the picture, Prof. Guido Adler. (Photo: Pytlik)
The new transparent building is nothing like the rigid grey concrete architecture or the painted wooden buildings of the university buildings in the west of Ulm. Finance Minister Stratthaus praised the architecture of the new research building for basic biochemical and biomedical research, as the building is officially called, as another exemplary piece of university architecture of the 21st century. With construction costs totalling 31 million euros, the new building is the most important building project carried out by Ulm University since the completion of the engineering sciences building fifteen years ago.

Three research groups have already started work

Three research groups have already moved into the light-filled building on the James-Franck-Ring/Meyerhofstraße intersection. These are the Institute of Molecular Medicine and the Max Planck research group for stem cell ageing associated with it (Prof. Lenhard Rudolph), the Molecular Neurophysiology research group (Prof. Birgit Liss) and the Institute for Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology (Prof. Nils Johnsson).

Milestone in the development of the science city

The Lord Major of Ulm, Ivo Gönner, sees the new research centre as a “milestone in the development of the science city of Ulm”. He is pleased that the University has focused on the life sciences and expressed his hope that this will lead to effective cooperation with the life science industry in Ulm.

wp - 27.02.2008
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