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New research center for Grosshadern/Martinsried

22 Sep 2021

Ground-breaking ceremony for ICON, a research center for diseases of the cardiovascular system, a joint venture between LMU and the LMU Medical Center.

Exterior view of the ICON research center

The new building of the research center ICON | © doranth post architekten

On LMU’s Grosshadern/Martinsried campus, construction of the new Interfaculty Center for Endocrine and Cardiovascular Disease Network Modelling and Clinical Transfer (ICON) has begun. Earlier today, LMU President Prof. Dr. Bernd Huber, Prof. Dr. Markus M. Lerch (Medical Director of the LMU Medical Center), Prof. Dr. Steffen Massberg (Director of Medical Clinic and Outpatient Clinic I), Prof. Dr. Eckhard Wolf (LMU Gene Center) and Bernd Sibler and Kerstin Schreyer, Bavaria’s Ministers for Science and Construction respectively, broke the first ground on the site.

The new Center is dedicated to the study of important aspects of disorders of the cardiovascular systems, which – according to the World Health Organization – are now the leading cause of death not only in Germany, but worldwide. In 2019 alone, almost 18 million people around the globe died of cardiovascular disease. The ICON building, which is being financed jointly by the Federal Government and the Free State of Bavaria, will cover an area of 6823 m². If all goes according to plan, construction will be completed by the end of 2024.

In recent decades, basic researchers have made great strides in understanding the causes of diseases and the mechanisms that underlie them, and developed new strategies to treat them. However, before innovative therapeutic concepts can be validated for use in clinical settings, they must first be tested in appropriate animal models.

The primary purpose of the new ICON research center is to facilitate this translation phase and make it more effective. LMU physicians and veterinarians possess a wealth of experience in this area – not only in the context of biomedical research, but more especially in the development and use of large-animal models. In the new ICON Center, this expertise will be focused on the search for new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to endocrine-metabolic diseases and cardiovascular disorders. Promising strategies will then be tested in the preclinical phase using suitable, and appropriately genetically altered, large-animal models. ICON researchers will work in close collaboration, both spatially and intellectually, with their colleagues in the LMU Medical Center and its Early Clinical Trial Unit.

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