Campus network continues to grow

Start of construction of the new research center ICON for diseases of the cardiovascular system of the LMU and the LMU Hospital on the Campus Großhadern

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Architectural design of the new research center ICON for diseases of the cardiovascular system of the LMU and the LMU Hospital on the Campus Großhadern

“We are very pleased about the start of construction, because this new research building will make excellent use of the synergies at the Großhadern/Martinsried site to further dovetail basic biomedical research and clinical application. Modern medicine is inconceivable without translational research.”

Professor Dr. Bernd Huber

Over the next three years, a further reinforcement will be created for the innovative research and development ecosystem at the Großhadern/Martinsried campus in the immediate vicinity of the IZB. On September 22, 2021, Bavaria’s Minister of Science Bernd Sibler, the Bavarian Minister of State for Housing, Construction and Transport, Kerstin Schreyer, LMU President Prof. Dr. Bernd Huber, the Medical Director of LMU Hospital Prof. Dr. Markus M. Lerch, Prof. Dr. Steffen Massberg, Head of Medical Clinic and Polyclinic I, and Prof. Dr. Eckhard Wolf from LMU’s Gene Center broke ground for the new ICON research center.

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From left to right: Thomas Kaßner, Division Director of the Munich State Building Authority 2; Prof. Dr. Eckhard Wolf from the LMU Gene Center; Prof. Dr. Steffen Massberg, Director of the Medical Clinic and Polyclinic I; Prof. Dr. Markus M. Lerch, Medical Director of the LMU Hospital; Bernd Sibler, Bavarian State Minister for Science and the Arts; Kerstin Schreyer, Bavarian State Minister for Housing, Construction and Transportation; Prof. Dr. Bernd Huber, President of the LMU; Rainer Post of doranth post architects.

Research on the most common cause of death
The planned “Interfaculty Center for Endocrine and Cardiovascular Disease Network Modelling and Clinical Transfer” (ICON) will address key research questions on diseases of the cardiovascular system. Not only in Germany, but also worldwide, cardiovascular diseases are among the leading causes of death according to WHO. In 2019 alone, nearly 18 million people died from cardiovascular disease. The main drivers of these diseases of civilization are endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases such as obesity or diabetes mellitus.

In recent decades, scientists involved in modern basic research have gained increasing insights into the causes and mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases. Possible therapeutic approaches have also been developed in this way. However, in order to bring such research concepts into the phase of clinical testing and later into the clinics, their validation in suitable large animal models is indispensable.

Bridge between basic biomedical research and the clinic
The aim of the new ICON research institute is to bridge the gap that currently exists between basic research and clinical application and to make translation more effective. Based on their wealth of experience in basic biomedical research, as well as in research on large animal models, LMU physicians and veterinarians are able to focus on new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for endocrine-metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, they will validate such approaches preclinically in mainly genetically modified large animals. In terms of both space and content, the researchers at ICON will be able to work closely with the LMU Hospital and its Early Clinical Trial Unit.

New ICON research institute costs around 50 million euros
Located north of the Innovation and Start-up Center Biotechnology IZB, the ICON building will cover a total area of 6,823 m². Based on a recommendation by the Science Council, the center will be financed with 45.7 million euros, half of which will be provided by the federal government and half by the Free State of Bavaria. Completion of the building is scheduled for the end of 2024. “IZB very much welcomes the construction of the research center and looks forward to expanding its network to build another bridge between research and product development” said Dr. Peter Zobel, Managing Director Fördergesellschaft IZB.

Campus Martinsried/Großhadern