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Welcome to BIOME

biome [bī-ōm] n. a collective term used to describe a distinctive regional biotic community; an acronym for a graduate school of biomedical science at the University of Duisburg-Essen established in 2010, an academic association offering state of the art doctoral training to young scientists, the heritage of a recent innovative research renaissance in the Ruhr region.

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Introductory Film to doing a PhD in Epidemiology


Saint Nicolas Meeting in Aachen

Aachen Web
Martina Cremanns, Christina Heiselmayer, Verena Höfer, Manuela Kirch and Maike Olsowski were the organisers of the successful Genetics and Cell Biology core retreat in Aachen this year. Guest speakers invited to share their expertise included Wolfgang Wagner (RWTH Aachen), Arnaud Rondelet (Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, Dortmund) and Martin Zenke (RWTH Aachen). The winners by democratic vote of the best presentation prizes were Miriam Lutomski and Kerstin Köhler.


Rural Retreat for Immunity and Cancer

Hamminkeln From Above Web 2016
The Immunology and Tumour cores withdrew to the countryside in Hamminkeln this year for their joint annual retreat which was organised with great attention to detail by Alexandra Frey and Gina-Eva Görtz with on-site support by Sören Latteyer. Excellent and inspiring talks were given by the invited keynote speakers Johannes Roth (University of Münster), Christian Ottmannn (Technical University of Eindhoven) and Adelheid Cerwenka (German Cancer Consortium - DKFZ - Heidelberg). The high level of doctoral presentations made the scientific jury's selection of the best lecture and poster prizes extremely difficult. After long discussion and deliberation, the lecture award was granted to Natalia Block and, in the name of fairness, two poster prizes (instead of the foreseen one) were given to Nadine Beckmann and Florian Murke.


New PhD Degree Programme on Epidemiology

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The Center of Clinical Epidemiology (CCE) at the Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (IMIBE) at the University Hospital Essen offers with immediate effect a new PhD programme on Epidemiology and Clinical Research. Initiated by Prof. Dr. Andreas Stang, the 3-year programme is ancored in the newly-published PhD doctoral regulations of the Medical Faculty at the University of Duisburg-Essen. The importance of epidemiology and clinical research has increased significantly in recent decades, yet research and training in this field is still only possible at very few German universities. "Through this latest programme we would like to spark epidemiological and clinical research in the Rhine-Ruhr region, strengthen its scientific significance, and train next-generation scientists at the highest possible level," explained the Dean, Prof. Dr. Jan Buer. Read more


Introducing BIOME-PEP: Medical Faculty funds Postdoctoral Excellence Programme

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The Medical Faculty has introduced a new funding structure for outstanding biomedical science doctorates to support them during the critical initial career phase after their PhD: the BIOME Postdoctoral Excellence Programme (BIOME-PEP). Its first scholarship holder is Dr. Elisabeth Littwitz-Salomon who was awarded her doctoral degree with summa cum laude in April 2016. “I’m highly delighted to be offered the chance through this programme to further my current research at UK Essen and to possibly develop new therapeutic approaches in acute and chronic viral infection.” Read more


Genetics and Cell Biology - Diversity Perfectly Presented

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The diversity and complexity of the biomedical research currently being conducted at both the main campus (Biology) and the medical campus (Medicine) was beautifully reflected at this year's meeting of the core "Genetics and Cell Biology". Organised by Jana Stanurova and moderated by PhDs, this inner city retreat offered participants not only an insight into trans-faculty work at UDE, but also into the fascinating studies being performed by the groups of James Adjaye (Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf), Alexander Bird (Max PIanck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Dortmund), Stefan Herlitze (Ruhr University Bochum) and Volker Mailänder (Johannes-Gutenberg-University, Mainz).


The Technicalities of Cancer and Immunity

Retreat Group Imm Tum 2015 Web
A closer look at the finer details of doctorates' work was shared internally at the annual retreat of the Immunolgy and Tumour cores. An environment of vigorous and interactive discussion in smaller groups during the poster session was well generated by the organising duo, Anna Lollies and Michel Bremer. The plenary sessions were chaired in turn by Alina Meyer, Yahya Al-Matany, Marija Kovacevic, Felix Vogel and Stefanie Pikos.


First MD/PhD Candidate

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The University of Duisburg-Essen's first MD/PhD candidate, Dr. med. Dr. rer. nat. Ilseyar Akhmetzyanova, has successfully completed her second doctoral degree. In 2012 Ilseyar acquired her MD degree which was topped with a PhD this week. The MD/PhD programme especially equips young researchers to pursue a career at the frontier of ground-breaking medicine.


Clinical Studies – the Bridge between Bench and Bedside

Inauguration Clinical Studies Web
The distinguished scientist and CEO of the Clinical Trial Center, Hannover, Heiko von der Leyen, and the expert on paediatric haematology and oncology, Dirk Reinhardt, Director of the Paediatric Clinic III, Essen, were BIOME's guests of honour at the inauguration of the core on Clinical Studies. Amongst the participants were also the 20 first generation doctorates of the new BIOME core. In addition, four students from the Faculties of Medicine and Biology, Maria Göbel, Abdelaziz Shabaneh, Niklas Weltermann und Anne Goertz, shared impressive insights into their own clinical studies. Read more


Rhine-Ruhr Retreat in Essen

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The BIOME doctorates, Julia Badziong and Robert Petri, organised 2014's annual meeting of the Immuinolgy and Tumour cores which was once again held in Essen. The retreat was given a regional bias by the invitation of guest scientists from centres within the Rhine-Ruhr area including Andrea Musacchio (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Dortmund), Philipp A. Lang (Department for Gastroenterology, University Hospital Düsseldorf) and Carsten Watzl (Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors, Dortmund).


Mye-EUNITER: New COST Action on Immune Regulation

Cost Mye Uniter Whole Randlos Large Web

European funding for a new research network aimed at standardising immunological biomarkers
The latest developments in basic and clinical research have suggested that myeloid regulatory cells contribute to a pathological immune disbalance in the course of human disease. Myeloid regulatory cells are a specialised subset of white blood cells, which include granulocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, and acquire immunoregulatory and/or immunosuppressive activity as a consequence of the disease of the host. Unfortunately, the dysfunction of these cells is still poorly understood. The reason for this is that, worldwide, myeloid regulatory cells have been researched using vastly different methods and markers. The new COST Action Mye-EUNITER, short for “European Network of Investigators Triggering Exploratory Research on Myeloid Regulatory Cells,” aims to establish technical standards for the characterisation and analysis of these cells. Read more


BIOME Retreat on 15q11-q13 Day

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A local retreat was held by two BIOME cores in Essen's city centre in November 2013. The meeting was organised by the doctorates for the doctorates, a concept that was enthusiastically embraced by the organising team consisting of Jolanthe Baingo, Tina Danielzik and Christina Heeke, with Stefanie Haller offering technical support on locus. At the close of the retreat, the new BIOME scientific coordinator, Laura Steenpass, held an introductory lecture on her research, drawing attention to it being the international centennial Angelman, Prader-Willi and Chromosome 15q Duplication syndrome day.


BIOME Farewell

On the eve of her retirement, BIOME paid tribute to Elke Winterhager for her unfailing support, inspiration and input as a scientific coordinator of the core "Tumour and Signalling". Prof. Winterhager's dedication and commitment have contributed greatly towards the success of the graduate school since its establishment in 2010. Amongst other things, she initiated the Clinical Grand Rounds, a voluntary translational programme aimed at forging greater understanding between young biomedical researchers and their clinical colleagues. 


European Workshop on Immune Integrity (IRUN)

As part of the IRUN biomedical strategy to promote our network’s universities, graduate schools and medical centres in Europe, RIMLS at Radboud University Nijmegen organised an international workshop on Immune Integrity, a survival kit for PhD students. This interactive and hands-on workshop involved over 35 PhD students and more than 15 group leaders from 6 different countries. Read more.


First BIOME Awards at Annual Retreat

The first BIOME awards for the best doctoral poster and talk were presented during the joint annual retreat of two cores of the graduate school in Hamminkeln on 13 November 2012. Judith Hönes received the prize for the best poster presentation while Stefanie Rost received the best lecture prize. This retreat was kindly sponsored by the Kulturstiftung Essen.


IRUN Symposium on Immune Recognition of Pathogens and Tumours

A pilot symposium to promote a new tradition of lively, mutual scientific exchange and dialogue between the strong life science research centres and graduate schools within the European International Research Universities Network (IRUN) was oranised by BIOME and held at Villa Wolfsburg, Mülheim an der Ruhr in October 2011. Guest keynote speakers from other IRUN partner universities were Gosse Adema, Irma Joosten and Jurjen Tel, Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS), Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, Gerard Graham, Glasgow Biomedical Research Centre, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom and Stephan Ludwig, Center for Molecular Biology of Inflammation (ZMBE), University of Münster, Germany.


BIOME's Inauguration

BIOME: The inauguration of the Graduate School of Biomedical Science took place on Monday, 5 July 2010 at Audimax, Universitätsklinikum Essen. Our inaugural guest of honour was Robert Huber who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1988. His talk was about protein (structure) research: from the laboratory to the patent, and it was followed by an open Q&A forum in which his responses to the graduates' questions about his life and work were charmingly candid and highly encouraging. 

Speakers: (from left to right) Prof. Michael Forsting (Dean of Medicine), Prof. Robert Huber (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry), Prof. Ulf Dittmer (Chairman of BIOME), Prof. Andrea Vortkamp (Dean of Biology and Geography), Delia Cosgrove (Coordinator of BIOME) and Prof. Michael Farle (Prorector of the University of Duisburg-Essen).