Delegation from the NRW-Science Ministry visit the Protein Research Unit within Europe – PURE in Bochum

As part of a delegation from the NRW Ministry for Innovation, Science and Research, Minister Svenja Schulze and NRW Minister President Carina Gödecke visited various sites belonging to the Protein Research Unit within Europe – PURE in Bochum. After they had visited the Bergmannsheil University Clinic and the RUB Clinic St. Josef Hospital, the delegation came to the Ruhr University. The representatives from the Ministry looked round the new PURE laboratories at the RUB with great interest.

In the morning the scientists first discussed the future prospects of the Bochum model for educating doctors with representatives from the Ministry. The team at the Bergmannsheil Clinic also presented a project for rehabilitation using an exoskeleton; at the St. Josef Hospital Prof. Dr. Ralf Gold reported on successes in gaining approval for a new medicine based on fumar acid esters for multiple sclerosis therapy. At the Ruhr University PURE speaker Prof. Klaus Gerwert presented the concept behind the Protein Research Unit within Europe. “Our mission is to be able to diagnose cancer and neurodegenerative diseases more precisely and earlier”, the bio-physicist explained. To achieve this the researchers are not examining changes at a genetic level, as is usually the case, but are looking into all proteins in the cell in their entirety. They are, for example, working on diagnosis procedures for cancer using spectroscopic methods. The team now wants to transfer the results of this fundamental bowel and bladder cancer research into practice. The German Statutory Health and Accident Insurance is also providing 2 million Euros for two years to enable further studies into lung cancer to get started.

Klaus Gerwert was very satisfied with PURE’s successes so far: “It is running brilliantly. During an appraisal in the year 2012, the representatives of the advisory board stated that we had exceeded all expectations”. Things have really been happening here, not only in research, but also with regard to our staff and lab facilities. “We have gained more highly qualified staff and have equipped new rooms as well”, Gerwert continued. Another 1200 m² are now available for biophotonic research at the RUB.

Protein Research Unit within Europe PURE

The Protein Research Unit within Europe PURE was founded in 2010 at the Ruhr University Bochum with support from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research at the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Internationally renowned protein researchers at the Ruhr University Bochum and the University Duisburg-Essen, as well as the RUB clinics are pooling their research activities into early diagnosis of diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer here. PURE is initially to run until the year 2014.

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