NeuroCure / SPARK-BIH
NeuroCure is a Cluster of Excellence in the neurosciences at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The primary aim of this interdisciplinary network is to explore and understand the mechanisms of diseases of the central nervous system in order to find potential new therapies for neurological and psychiatric disorders.
NeuroCure /SPARK-BIH funding
In 2020, NeuroCure and SPARK-BIH joined forces to find the best teams from the neuroscience community to be part in the translational program of SPARK-BIH. This call enabled a further focus on neuroscience projects and a widening of the SPARK-BIH network by also including NeuroCure affiliated teams that are not associated with the Charité. The four selected teams received funding from NeuroCure and mentoring as well as support from the SPARK-BIH program to accelerate their translational projects into outstanding medical solutions.
The funding of these four teams has been renewed for a second funding period in 2022. After the successful implementation of the NeuroCure/SPARK-BIH program, NeuroCure and SPARK-BIH prolonged their collaboration and organized a second call for projects in 2022.
These five teams have been selected for funding:
- The aim of dot.base (Jasper Mecklenburg, Dr. Gregor Wenzel, Prof. Dr. Andrea Kühn) is to develop a vendor-independent platform for combining and organizing data from deep-brain-stimulation patients to improve the therapy and patients’ outcome.
- Myalink represents a digital platform to monitor myasthenia gravis patients and to provide access to specialists. During the funding period, the team (Dr. Sophie Lehnerer, Dr. Maike Stein, Dr. Lea Gerischer, Prof. Andreas Meisel and Prof. Dr. Matthias Endres) wants to generate clinical evidence that monitoring of the patients will improve patients’ outcome and prevent life threatening crises.
- Team PERCIPIENCE (Predictors for chemotherapy-induced polyneuropathy identified with mass spectrometry), with PD Dr. Petra Hühnchen, PD Dr. Wolfgang Böhmerle, Dr. Vadim Farztdinov, Dr. Michael Mülleder and Prof. Dr. Matthias Endres aims to find a predictive biomarker for chemotherapy-induced polyneuropathies.
- The team of Prof. Dr. Volker Haucke and Prof. Dr. Christoph Harms (StrokeProtect – A novel treatment to prevent endothelial lesions and thromboinflammation in ischemic stroke) wants to develop a new neuroprotective therapy for stroke patients and demonstrate a proof of concept that this medication can preserve vascular integrity and attenuate damages after stroke.
- Team Valbiothics (Validation of Biomarkers and Potential Therapeutic Targets in Neurodegenerative Diseases) with PD Dr. Péter Körtvélyessy, Dr. Felix Wohlrab, Laura Göschel and Prof. Dr. Matthias Endres wants to identify prognostic biomarkers from a well-characterized patient cohort.
Besides the funding-program, NeuroCure and SPARK-BIH have developed and established a medical Design thinking workshop series, which took place once a year from 2021 to 2023.
Building on the experience from the Inventors for Health Program (I4H, supported by Stiftung Charité), NeuroCure and SPARK-BIH further developed the concept of medical design thinking and organized a condensed Design Thinking workshop in order to identify and develop promising innovative project ideas.
Together, more than 15 project ideas were presented and more than 40 participants with various backgrounds joined the workshops. In each round, the participants voted for the three best projects and grouped themselves in interdisciplinary teams to go through a Design Thinking journey in order to look at the medical problems from different perspectives.
“Design Thinking can show you ideas, you never would have thought of. The user is in the center of everything!” (participant from NCI 2023)
Impressions from the Workshops:
This format will be included in the newly established Detect and Dispatch (D&D) program by Stiftung Charité and CBI (Charité – BIH – Innovation: the joint technology transfer of Charité and BIH).