Clusters of Excellence

Cardio-Pulmonary Institute

Heart and lung diseases are the leading causes of death worldwide, with still unmet treatment challenges. The molecular biology underlying individual cellular phenotypes and intercellular cooperativity in development and homeostasis of these interconnected organs is still elusive. Similarly, understanding of the failed regulation that leads to disease and that can be exploited for novel therapies is lacking. These challenges will be addressed by the Cluster.

The Cluster is a consortium of basic scientists, translationally-oriented researchers and expert clinicians at the universities of Frankfurt (GU) and Giessen (JLU) and the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research (MPI-HL). This consortium has already made groundbreaking contributions to cardiopulmonary science and the development of novel treatments in the previously funded Excellence Cluster Cardio-Pulmonary System.

With the Cardio-Pulmonary Institute (CPI) we go substantially beyond the already established structures and programs with the vision that “precision biology drives precision medicine”.The CPI structure is based on five Discovery Areas and three Translational Hubs. The Areas focus on most important emerging topics in the cardiopulmonary field:

  • i) cellular plasticity and heterogeneity in tissue homeostasis and disease,
  • surveillance mechanisms and quality control processes essential to maintain cell function,
  • pathways of morphogenesis, tissue remodeling, repair and regeneration,
  • the critical impact of macro- and microenvironmental cues, and
  • systemic inter-organ communication with the heart and lung.

The Hubs are designed to bridge basic science and clinical innovation, and include:

  • the “Disease Modeling Hub” which will provide novel (humanized) models, (epi)-genome editing and screening approaches on the cellular, organoid and intact organ levels,
  • the “Cardio-Pulmonary Systems Biology and Medicine Hub” which will integrate “omics” and deep phenotyping data (experimental & clinical) for systems biology analysis, and
  • the “Precision Medicine Hub” which will refine patient phenotyping and exploit insights from the Discovery Areas for individualization of treatment at the personal and – as future view – cellular levels.

The CPI has been founded according to Hessian University Law to create a sustainable joint institute. The CPI promotes the further development of technologies and fund flexible “outbreak programs” to address novel research topics.

Involved Institution:

  • Max-Planck-Institut für Herz- und Lungenforschung – W.G. Kerkhoff-Institut