In addition to the project areas (areas of research) the thematic conceptual levels are supported by five platforms.

A Methodology portal and technology development

B Patents and innovation transfer

C UGMLC cell and tissue bank

D Clinical study centre and biometrics

E UGMLC School, career development and equality

 

A Methodology portal and technology development

This platform is aimed to capture methodic approaches systematically, that were brought into the UGMLC by faculty members. We will make this information available for every faculty member and their groups and promote further method developments necessary for the objectives of the UGMLC. This implicates molecular based technologies ("omics") and animal experimental models, analytical imaging techniques, nano and aerosol technology and processes of the GMP compatible cell processing for use in patients. As a first objective within this platform we plan to develop the Small Animal Imaging and Phenotyping Center at the MPI.

 

B Patents and innovation transfer

This platform has its function in recognizing the innovative value of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches as well as technological developments, to secure the intellectual property rights of these inventions and, by involving a professional transfer institution, to create a basis assisting in patent protection and commercial use. The central Hessian transfer institution TransMIT GmbH included the concept of UGMLC has an essential role in this.

 

C UGMLC cell and tissue bank

It is a stated goal of the UGMLC to create extensive cell, tissue and data banks (resource-repositories) to the prototype diseases of the UGMLC. This should be build on already existent bio and data banks if possible and aim for a connection with bio material and data bank networks on a national and international basis - if reasonable and manageable. All technical conditions for the development of these repositories and the secure asservation of samples are fulfilled and standard operation procedures (SOPs) for conservation, splitting and conditioning of the material are available. Software solutions which permit interrogation and logical connection of this data were developed in previous activities in NGFN networks. All tissue banks aim for a connection with corresponding data banks (registers), with a detailed clinical characterization and to follow the individual course of disease. The extension for following bio banks is scheduled:

Human primary lung cell banks. These involve alveolar an bronchial epithelial cells, macro and micro vascular endothelial cells, pulmonary vascular fibroblasts, pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cells and interstitial lipo- and myofibroblasts from healthy donor lungs plus lungs of patients with pulmonary hypertension, lung fibrosis and COPD/emphysema (cooperation with the EU projects Pulmotension and eurIPFnet; extensive cell banks are already partly available).

Blood cell bank at pneumonia and pneumogene sepsis. This involves a collection of > 1.000 very well characterized samples, obtained at defined time points after the beginning of pneumonia or rather sepsis (cooperation with the NGFN-net infection and inflammation plus CAPNetz, SEPNET and PROGRESS).

Broncho alveolar lavage bank in ARDS, mandatory ventilation pneumonia and different forms of ILD. This includes at the moment > 900 samples, which were asservated over a period of 6 years.

Blood cell and plasma/serum bank in pulmonary hypertension. This includes a collection of > 2.000 patients with apparent pulmonary hypertension of different etiologies, which were built up over a period of > 10 years. The samples are cataloged in the data bank for PH-patients in Giessen (biggest mono centric data bank of the world).

Stem/Progenitor cell bank. Bank for human progenitor and stem cells out of the blood and/or bone marrow of patients with lung diseases. Attached is a DNA bank for identification of genetic determinants of the Progenitor cell function.

Human tissue banks. By cooperation with lung transplantation centers in Giessen and Vienna > 150 explanted lungs are already available, which after removal were directly asservated, and correspondingly treated spare human lung donor material. Basic diagnoses cover pulmonary hypertension (cooperation with European PH Tissue Bank in the EU-project Pulmotension), lung fibrosis (European IPF bio bank in EU project eurIPFnet) and COPD (planned cooperation with COPD-Netz COSYCONET). Because of the excellent condition of this sample collection plus the material quantity it is possible, using laser assisted cell picking (established for many years), to isolate singular compartments (e.g. alveolar septa, vascular wall, bronchial wall) or to isolate singular target populations (e.g. alveolar macrophages, Type II-epithelia cells) out of the tissue materials and to analyze these molecularly A tumor tissue bank including lung tumors already exists in cooperation with the CCC in Marburg. This is completed by a lung carcinoma tissue bank at the thorax surgery of the Kerckhoff-Klinik in Bad Nauheim, which is growing rapidly performing > 1.500 thorax surgeries in a year.

 

D Clinical study center and biometrics

This platform supports the activities of the UGMLC in the area of clinical studies on different levels. An important component of this center is to create a "lung" module in the coordination center for clinical studies (KKS, Marburg).

 

E UGMLC School, career development

This platform has the assignment to support all stages of education and further education of the young scientists and to make sure that the modules, which are intended for this in the program of the UGMLC, will be developed continuously. Also it is responsible for the implementation of the concepts of gender equality.