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The only professorship for preclinical imaging in Europe is in Tübingen

On 29th January 2008, the University of Tübingen officially opened its new laboratory for Preclinical Imaging and Imaging Technology of the Werner Siemens Foundation in a ceremonial symposium. The professorship is the only one in Europe combining preclinical imaging and the development of new imaging technologies for research and clinical studies.

Peter von Siemens, chairman of the board of the Werner Siemens Foundation in Switzerland, and Walter Märzendorfer, head of Magnetic Resonance Tomography (MRT) at Siemens Medical Solutions, highlighted the great importance of the laboratory for medical-technological research around the world. The laboratory’s major research objective is interdisciplinary basic research in the fields of radiology, oncology, neurology, cardiology and immunology, using state-of-the-art imaging technologies.

3.2 million euros in funding from the Werner Siemens Foundation

By funding the professorship and the laboratory for a period of ten years, the Werner Siemens Foundation hopes to be able to contribute to solving biological and medical questions in the field of preclinical imaging, using an approach from the engineering sciences. Professor Claus Claussen, Director of the Department of Radiology at the University Hospital in Tübingen, where the new laboratory is located, explains: “Preclinical, basic research-oriented research as well as clinical diagnostics in oncology and neurology, cardiovascular diseases and clinical immunology are likely to benefit from the innovative, non-invasive imaging methods developed and applied in our laboratory.” It is hoped that by working closely with preclinical and clinical researchers, new therapies will be developed rapidly and these therapies transferred to hospitals, thereby making it possible to detect, reliably diagnose and more effectively treat, diseases such as tumours, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s or immanent vascular obstructions in the heart.

"Our motto is: from mouse to men – from bench to bedside,” explains Professor Dr. Bernd Pichler, who holds the new post in Tübingen. “This commitment by the Werner Siemens Foundation makes a very important contribution to the training of excellent, young scientists in the fields of medical technology and biomedicine,” highlights Professor Ingo Autenrieth, Dean of the Medical Faculty at Tübingen University. “The opening of the laboratory and the establishment of the professorship is a milestone for the University of Tübingen as a whole,” said Rector Professor Bernd Engler, pleased about the support received from the Swiss foundation. “The generous funds of the Werner Siemens Foundation contribute considerably to the reputation of Tübingen University as an outstanding research university with an international reputation.”
Professor doctor Bernd Engler presents doctor Bernd Pichler the professorship appointment certificate.
Prof. Dr. Bernd Engler, the rector of Tübingen University, presented Dr. Bernd Pichler the professorship appointment certificate. (Photo: University of Tübingen)

Research priorities in biomedicine

The Laboratory for Preclinical Imaging and Imaging Technology has existed as a work group at the Department of Radiology at the University Hospital since 2005. The laboratory pursues its own research priorities in biomedicine, multimodal imaging and detector development, as well as cooperative research projects with the hospital’s departments of dermatology, human genetics, internal medicine, cardiology and neurology. It also carries out contract research that is carried out in cooperation with medical engineering companies and research-based pharmaceutical companies. The laboratory is also working together with numerous national research institutions and international universities, mainly in the USA. It is also one of only three reference laboratories of Siemens Preclinical Solutions.

“We also train scientists from around the world in the field of non-invasive preclinical imaging in workshops,” said Professor Bernd Pichler. Since its establishment, the laboratory has succeeded in acquiring approximately 7 million euros in funding from governmental institutions in the USA and Germany. Funding is also achieved via cooperative research with companies, which is now complemented by the ten-year-funding from the Werner Siemens Foundation. With Professor Dr. Bernd Pichler, the laboratory has a well-trained leader, well versed in a variety of disciplines: Pichler studied electrical engineering with a major focus on biomedicine and cybernetics, then did his doctorate at the faculty of physics and received his habilitation from the faculty of medicine. His team consists of eleven scientists and three technicians.

Source: University of Tübingen - 30.01.2008
Website address: https://www.gesundheitsindustrie-bw.de/en/article/news/the-only-professorship-for-preclinical-imaging-in-europe-is-in-tuebingen