LOEWE research

LOEWE 2015 From psychology to IT: four new LOEWE research clusters and one LOEWE research centre

In January 2015 the LOEWE research centre Translational Medicine and Pharmacology TMP began work. It follows on directly from the LOEWE research cluster Applied Pharmaceutical Research, which was funded from 2012 to 2014. At the interface between preclinical research and clinical development and trials, the centre’s aim is to ascertain the effectiveness and safety of pharmaceutical substances as quickly as possible and hence to reduce the cost of developing new medicines. Within the TMP, the Translational Medicine and Pharmacology project group at the Aachen-based Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME is being expanded, the intention being for it to be commuted to a Frankfurt-based Fraunhofer Institute. One year after the LOEWE Centre for Insect Biotechnology and Bioresources (ZIB) in Giessen, this is the second time that the step from a LOEWE research cluster to a LOEWE research centre has been made with the prospect of establishing a new Fraunhofer Institute.

In addition, four new research clusters established since the start of the year have expanded the range of LOEWE research. New didactic methods are being researched at the Kassel-based LOEWE research cluster Desirable Difficulties in Learning. Researchers from the fields of psychology and educational science are exploring the question of the extent to which deliberately introduced learning difficulties – such as the temporal distribution of practice or the alternation of various topics – can have a lasting impact on children’s learning abilities. A second LOEWE research cluster in Kassel deals with materials research; Safer Materials: Safe and reliable materials focuses on selected (high performance) materials and analyses their properties in the context of unforeseeable failure. For the first time, particular account is being taken of the human impact on the materials over their entire chain of effect. This is intended to generate technical expertise that will lead to greater safety and reliability.

The LOEWE research cluster Medical RNomics: RNA-regulated networks in human illnesses in Giessen is studying ribonucleic acids – RNAs for short – which assume a range of tasks in the human body and, for example, transmit genetic information. Using new high throughput sequencing technologies, data on regulatory
RNA networks and their pathological mutations are recorded in their entirety. The aim is to acquire a better understanding of the causes of disease and the development of new therapeutic concepts. The LOEWE research
centre NICER: Networked Infrastructureless Cooperation for Emergency Response in Darmstadt is located in the field of information technology. In a crisis situation, when electricity and technical infrastructures have failed, how can people still network and coordinate? NICER’s aim is, over the long term, to bring about a marked increase in the performance of infrastructureless information and communication systems.