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© Prof. Dr. med. Andreas C. Hocke/Charité: Spectral confocal fluorescence microscopy of an alveolus in human lung tissue


The doctors and scientists at the clinic see it as their task to use their high level of expertise in the clinic's three clinical core competencies - infectiology, pneumology, respiratory and intensive care medicine - to improve diagnostics and therapy and thus reduce the number of illnesses in the future.

Learn more about the current research projects of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Pulmonary Medicine of the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

(Picture on the left: © Prof. Dr. med. Andreas C. Hocke/Charité:
Spectral confocal fluorescence microscopy of an alveolus)

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Chair of Infectiology

Chair of Pneumology: Martin Witzenrath.

Scientific focus: Pneumonia (lung inflammation)

Copyright: Dr. med. Holger Müller-Redetzky/Charité
Copyright: Dr. med. Holger Müller-Redetzky/Charité

The scientific focus of the clinic is the systematic investigation of pneumonia and in this context in particular the investigation of the innate immunity of the lung, which is of crucial importance for the survival of the disease.

Pneumonia is one of the most common infectious diseases worldwide and, despite the use of effective antibiotics, still kills about one in ten pneumonia patients treated in hospitals.

Research cooperations

The clinic has initiated several national research alliances on its main scientific topic of pneumonia, which are funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) or the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Particularly noteworthy is the Collaborative Research Centre TR-84, which has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) since 2010 and until 2022. Here, scientists are working in an interdisciplinary manner on research into the innate immunity of the lung and in particular on research into the mechanisms of pathogen attack and host defence in pneumonia. N. Suttorp is the coordinator of the project.

Experimental Research

Experimental research is basic medical research using molecular and cell biological methods, tissue cultures, organ models and high-end microscopy.

The clinic only carries out mouse experiments if they are unavoidable. In laboratory experiments, influencing factors are varied in a controlled manner and their effects investigated in order to test hypotheses and clarify causal relationships.

Research teams

The experimental research laboratory of the clinic works in several working groups on different issues, for example on innate immunity of the lung and pneumonia, respiratory damage, vaccination strategies, malaria, sepsis, bronchial asthma and pulmonary hypertension.

Clinical Research

Clinical research requires as many volunteers and patients as possible who are interested in participating in the study in order to support the research. With their consent, their research results are incorporated into the research.

Clinical research is carried out by the clinic as part of health care research, both for the search for new biomarkers, e.g. to identify the severity of the disease, and for clinical studies with new drugs. The aim is to optimise and further develop the diagnostics and therapy of patients.

The clinic has been conducting clinical studies on bronchial asthma, bronchial carcinomas, COPD, HIV/AIDS, malaria, pulmonary hypertension, sepsis and tuberculosis for many years.

Translational research - from the laboratory to the patient

The clinic conducts translational research, i.e. it tries to incorporate its results from basic research as quickly as possible into the development of new diagnostic and treatment methods and thus transfer them into clinical practice.

One example is the identification of important target molecules in experimental research. The inhibition or activation of this molecule can be decisive in preventing an unfavourable course of the disease.

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