German-Australian Institute of Translational Medicine (GAITM) - Transferring knowledge of complementary translational research approaches in the field of preventive diagnostics from bench to bedside

One of the most important tools to fight the constantly increasing epidemic diseases such as diabetes obesity, hypertension, dementia and depression, especially in Europe and in the Asian-Pacific region, is creating a strong international network for translational research.


Scientific Background

The future of our modern health care system lies in the effective translation of clinical and basic science. The Medical Faculty at the Technische Universität Dresden concentrates on the translation of research approaches in the areas of prevention and regeneration. The John Curtin School of Medical Research of the Australian National University in Canberra focuses their research on individualized pharmagogenomic and predictive medicine. Therefore, it seemed almost mandatory to cooperate with such an ideal partner in the Asian-Pacific region to develop a binational Institute for Translational Medicine.

Shake hands

GAITM founding directors Prof. Licinio (left), Prof. Bornstein (right) - © private

Project and Objectives

GAITM will not only enable us to understand and treat the global dimension of these problems but it is also the basic prerequisite for the development of significant predictive and pharmacogenomic approaches. Due to its population development the Asian-Pacific region is the most important region of the future, but lacks the embedding of translational approaches. To anchor GAITM in the long term and to archive a steady internationalisation all partners will focus on the achievement of the following milestones:

  1. Implementation of master course Translational Medicine within the GAITM structure
  2. Completion of the first project (Chinese German Australian Friendship Epigenetic Prevention Trial) in cooperation with the industry partner BGI
  3. Implementation of the international cooperation DIMT (Diabetes Intestinal Microbiota Triangle) between Germany, India and China
  4. Initiation of an international multi-centre study for the treatment of type 1 diabetes using encapsulated porcine islets

Aspects of Research Structure

The permanent adoption of the cooperation in science as well with partners from industry was achieved within the partnership of the GAITM directors and BGI Shenzen, one of the leading genome research centres worldwide. In the context of the “Chinese-German-Australian Friendship Epigenetic Prevention Trial” the high-tech infrastructure of BGI is used to analyse the influence of gastric bypass surgery on the metagenome of intestinal microbiota of patients with type 2 diabetes. The aims of the study play an important role in the treatment of those patients.

Funded in the context of the BMBF funding programme to establish joint research structures of German universities with partners in APRA. More information on APRA.