42 million euros approved to fund new research building on FAU Campus Erlangen (North)

The Center for AI-based Real-time Medical Diagnostics and Therapy (CARE-MED) will focus on chronic inflammatory, degenerative and oncological diseases and is to be built by 2028.

The German Council of Science and Humanities has recently approved 42 million euros in funding for a new research building. The Center for AI-based Real-time Medical Diagnostics and Therapy (CARE-MED) is to be built on the northern premises of Universitätsklinikum Erlangen between the Department of Neurology and the Center for Internal Medicine, in the direct vicinity of research buildings at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen and FAU that focus on neighboring disciplines. With five stories and approximately 1,500 square meters of floorspace, the CARE-MED, also known as the Translational Research Center (TRC) III, will offer space for approximately 100 researchers and assistants.

CARE-MED is unique in that it is the first time that an integrated research environment will be created for collecting high-resolution image and sensor data from patients and merging them with medical health care data. Researchers will use methods from artificial intelligence (AI) to generate a holistic real-time model of chronic inflammatory, degenerative and oncological diseases. Based on the collected data and models, experts with an international reputation from the fields of imaging, sensing, medical data science and advanced AI will carry out research into integrative approaches for individualized precision medicine for the three main diseases: Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and gastrointestinal tumors. Work will be carried out on the key research priorities in close consultation with clinicians and patient representatives, focusing on all aspects of these main diseases. In the long term, it is hoped that artificial intelligence will improve the diagnosis and therapy of the named diseases.

“The unique feature of CARE-MED are the close ties between imaging, sensing, medical data science and advanced AI, and the fact that it is located in the direct vicinity of patient care facilities and collaborating research institutions,” says Prof. Dr. Markus F. Neurath, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at FAU. “The research building will provide a unique opportunity to research multimodal disease signatures and models for individualized diagnosis and treatment that benefit patients directly.”

“FAU is already a pioneer in interdisciplinary research at the interface of medical informatics, biomedical AI, imaging and sensing. Our leading position is underlined by the fact that FAU is the health hub for artificial intelligence in medicine in the High-Tech Agenda Bavaria,” Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger, FAU President, explains. “Thanks to CARE-MED, these different areas will now be located close to each other, encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration even further, at the same time as strengthening the unique ties between FAU, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen and our external partners.”

“Using artificial intelligence directly in imaging and sensing offers enormous potential for providing accelerated patient care tailored to the patient’s individual state of health,” added the medical director of Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c.Heinrich Iro. “I am proud that approval has been granted for this research building, which will in future provide researchers from different disciplines the opportunity to work closely together for the benefit of our patients.”

Markus Blume, State Minister for Science and the Arts, stressed that, “With a total of two successful applications in Erlangen and Munich, Bavaria is the leader in Germany when it comes to this coveted Federal-State funding, thus confirming once again its role as the leading location for research in Germany!” The research carried out at CARE-MED will make an important contribution to improving personalized precision medicine for treating cancer and other complex diseases by incorporating artificial intelligence. Congratulations to everyone involved!”

“I am pleased that with CARE-MED we will have the opportunity to expand our strengths in the field of imaging, sensing, data science and artificial intelligence in a research building located close to patient care facilities,” comments Prof. Dr. Thomas, Professor of Medical Data Science at FAU and Chief Medical Information Officer at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, who filed the application with the German Council of Science and Humanities together with nine other excellent researchers.

Excellent local connections

Further research buildings for neighboring disciplines are currently under construction in the direct vicinity of CARE-MED, for example the Max Planck Center for Physics and Medicine (MPZPM) and the Center for Immunotherapy, Biophysics and Digital Medicine (CITABLE, TRC II), whose server infrastructure will be used by CARE-MED. A junior research group from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits will be integrated into CARE-MED. In addition, CARE-MED will be located in the direct vicinity of the Center of Personalized Medicine and Research (CESAR, TRC IV), the Department of Neurology and the Center for Internal Medicine. These close ties will facilitate interaction between clinician scientists, experts in biomedical informatics and physics, bioengineering and molecular biology as well as clinical treatment centers such as the Deutsches Zentrum Immuntherapie at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen and the Bavarian Comprehensive Cancer Center Alliance WERA.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Thomas Ganslandt

Phone: +49 9131 85 67782