Michael P. Manns First Clinical Director of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research

HZI reinforces the interface between research and clinic

12-13 Titel Manns Interview©MHH/KaiserThe Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig appointed its first Clinical Director in early October 2015. Prof Michael P. Manns from the Hannover Medical School (MHH) will take over this newly created position, in which he will coordinate and strengthen the connection between basic and applied research at the HZI and the MHH. Simultaneously, he will act as the founding director of the new Centre for Individualised Infection Medicine (CIIM) to be set-up in Hannover. 

"Michael Manns is one of the leading specialists in the world in the field of liver diseases and infections. We are very pleased that he accepted the appointment as Clinical Director," says Prof Dirk Heinz, who is the Scientific Director of the HZI. "He combines profound clinical experience with international scientific excellence and a passion for translational research and is therefore the ideal person for this important interface." 

Manns, who is the director of the Clinic for Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology at the Center for Internal Medicine of the MHH, has worked closely with HZI researchers for many years, for example as the coordinator of the Hepatitis Centre in the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF). In addition, he was a member of the Clinical Board and of the Scientific Council of the HZI until the time of his appointment. The Clinical Board is an independent expert panel that advises the supervisory committees of the centre aiming to integrate clinical aspects more deeply into the research conducted at the centre. "The interface between a doctor's work with the patient and basic research has always been of interest to me," says Manns. The cooperation between the MHH and the HZI is very promising and I really look forward to this new challenge," says Manns. 

It is an important strategic goal of the HZI to translate the results from basic research to applications and to investigate and answer questions from the daily work on the patient using methods of basic science. "Founding the TWINCORE Institute was the first important organisational measure aiming to interlink the HZI and its researchers more closely to its major clinical cooperation partner, the MHH," says Manns. 

Manns' main task will be to interconnect research projects of the HZI more closely with clinical research groups of the MHH and to advise the senior management of the HZI in all medically-relevant issues. Especially the planned establishment of a Centre for Individualised Infection Medicine (CIIM), with Manns as its Founding Director, aims to develop personalised approaches in the field of infection medicine. The centre planned jointly by the HZI and the MHH is expected to provide a major spark in this young field of research. 

The medium-term plans include the erection of a new building for the CIIM in Hannover in the immediate vicinity of the TWINCORE, the MHH and the Clinical Research Centre Hannover (CRC) aimed at fostering the close cooperation of clinicians, scientists and bio-informatics specialists under one roof. Working together, these specialists will integrate insights and analytical methods from the clinical area and basic research for a more rapid and efficient development of new diagnostics and individualised treatment concepts for patients. The networks in the area of infection medicine and their branch offices, which are directed from Hannover, will also be anchored at the CIIM. 

"The position of Clinical Director is another important building block for the HZI on its way to becoming one of the leading centres in the field of translational infection research and to establishing the Hannover-Braunschweig site within the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) as an internationally renowned infection research location with a distinct clinical focus," says Heinz.