From the MHH

Foundation stone laid for the Center for Individualised Infection Medicine (CiiM)

Unique in Europe: Joint initiative of MHH and HZI gets 25 million euro new building next to MHH campus

Prof. Manns, Minister Mohrs and HZI-Chef Prof. Heinz (from the left). Copyright: Karin Kaiser / MHH.


Right next to the campus of the Hannover Medical School (MHH), a separate building is being constructed for the Centre for Individualised Infection Medicine (CiiM), a joint initiative of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) and the MHH. The foundation stone for the new building with 2,100 square meters of floor space was laid on Wednesday, 23 November 2022. The CiiM, which was initially founded in 2015 as a virtual center, addresses urgent challenges in infectious medicine with the aim of an individual prognosis and diagnosis of infectious diseases and a derived optimised and customised prevention and personalised therapy for the benefit of the individual patient. It is unique in Europe in its orientation. The construction costs of 24.9 million euros are covered by the federal government, the state of Lower Saxony, the Helmholtz Association and the HZI.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has just shown us how important infection research and personalised medicine are - and that research findings need to get from the laboratory to the bedside more quickly," said Lower Saxony's Science Minister Falko Mohrs. "The life sciences are one of the most important drivers of innovation, especially in the Hannover-Braunschweig-Göttingen-Wolfsburg metropolitan region, and promise significant improvements in diagnosis and therapy. The new research building in the Medical Park will give CiiM's interdisciplinary research groups the opportunity to realise their vision of better individual patient care."

"By using the latest molecular, imaging and data-based technologies, research is being conducted at CiiM to understand the individual course of infectious diseases much more precisely than before, in order to be able to offer customised treatments for individual patients or groups of patients in the future," emphasised Professor Dr Dirk Heinz, Scientific Director of the HZI. MHH President Professor Dr Michael Manns, who was also the founding director of CiiM, added: "The CiiM research building is further documentation of MHH's strategic partnership with the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig. Personalised medicine is becoming increasingly important for many areas of medicine in order to provide the individual patient with the optimal therapy in terms of effectiveness, tolerability and costs. CiiM has international model and lighthouse character for personalised infection medicine."

The ceremonial laying of the foundation stone took place under the moderation of the CiiM directors Professor Dr. Markus Cornberg and Professor Dr. Yang Li, during which a time capsule was also embedded in the foundation stone, which, in addition to current impressions of the event, also contained wishes of the guests and future users of the CiiM. The new building is to house a good 150 workplaces. After completion, the building will allow patient data and samples to be systematically stored, processed and analysed with state-of-the-art technologies under one roof. For example, the scientists are looking for individual aspects that lead to different severity of disease progression. The aim is to identify new biomarkers that can be used to develop adapted therapy approaches. These should then clearly define who needs to be treated particularly quickly, how long treatment should last and what happens to patients who do not respond well to treatment. The individualised approach will help to reduce the burden of disease, improve the quality of life of those affected and reduce the healthcare costs caused by infections. CiiM will thus combine the internationally unique expertise from clinical, research and data science in a transdisciplinary workflow that focuses on the individual infection patient and their best possible treatment.