In 2005 the now almost 90-year-old Institute took a new scientific direction and chose a new name. In 4 departments an international team of scientists conduct research on molecular processes of organ developments and diseases of the heart and lung with state-of-the-art technologies. “Approximately 400 employees are currently part of the success story of which 200 are scientists”, Braun explained.
What is particular about the MPI Bad Nauheim is the close networking with the neighbour universities in Gießen and Frankfurt, according to Braun. The 3 cooperating partners were the only successful applying consortium from the Federal State of Hesse with regards to a recent excellence grant of the Federal and State Governments. In 2019 the excellence cluster “Cardiopulmonary Institute” (CPI) was established and focuses on the research in therapeutic approaches for new therapies to cure heart and lung diseases, amongst other areas. Braun continued: “The excellence initiative is equally favorable for all 3 partners. The reason for its success in the selection process is, however, that each one has been successful before.”
The Hessian Science Minister is well aware of the meaning of the network for the science and medicine landscape in Hesse: “In the previous years, the region has developed into a hotspot of research and therapies of cardio-vascular and lung diseases.” The Federal State of Hesse were willing to further support this development. For this, already existing excellence clusters will be paid bonuses as well. Additionally, LOEWE professorships will be part of a new grant initiative of an own excellence initiative of Hesse (LOEWE) in the future.
Minister Dorn emphasizes the role of the MPI Bad Nauheim in this context: „The Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research is one of 3 strong columns of the CPI. It is not only me the Science Minister but also the Federal State of Hesse altogether who are highly interested in the Institute’s current constellation to be continued on a long-term basis.” Maintaining the status quo of the large-scale scientific portfolio served as a fundament for staying agile in the next years.
During a subsequent tour through the laboratories of the Institute the Minister gained insights into current research projects. Dr. Isabell Salwig from the Department of Thomas Braun, for instance, presented her project which examines the potential role of lung stem cells for the formation of lung tumors. Dr. Radhan Ramadass presented spectacular images of his results with regards to the involvement of single heart cells for the development of the organ in the early embryonic state, taken with high-resolution microscopes. A better comprehension of the processes might lead to a first step towards new therapies for newborns.