About 500 scientists, clinicians, patients, and stakeholders from 20 European countries and beyond have gathered in Berlin at the LifeTime Opening Conference. The pan-European initiative aims to revolutionize healthcare. It applies breakthrough technologies to the progression of human diseases and intends to find and implement new methods for personalized prevention, early diagnosis and treatment.

During the two days of the conference, leading members from renowned European research institutions will discuss how to best implement and achieve LifeTime’s mission: to make it possible for physicians to assess the molecular state of patient tissues in real time, leading to early diagnosis and effective interception of diseases.

The LifeTime Opening Conference highlights and goes beyond the state-of-the-art technologies that build the core of the initiative – single cell multi-omics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and experimental disease models, such as organoids – which will transform our understanding of life and the practice of medicine. LifeTime is important to keep Europe at the forefront of global research and innovation.

Precision medicine of the future

The line-up of speakers includes world-class experts from the entire globe. The keynote speakers will be Alfonso Valencia, from Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Angelika Eggert, from Charité, Berlin. Alfonso Valencia will present the tools and computational infrastructures for precision medicine, while Angelika Eggert will give an overview of the potential medical, economic and societal impact of LifeTime on individual cancer patients and the healthcare community. Breakout sessions will provide opportunities for all participants to discuss how to implement LifeTime’s mission and next steps. It is an essential component of LifeTime to be transparent and open to new ideas and members.

Professor Nikolaus Rajewsky, head of Berlin Institute for Medical System Biology at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and co-coordinator of LifeTime Initiative said: “LifeTime wants to understand mechanisms and find new means for intervention in order to diagnose and treat human diseases in ways previously not possible. This cross-fertilization of disciplines will generate innovation that will be critical in moving European life sciences, biotechnology, and healthcare into a much-improved future.”

“Great potential for European research”

Besides this transdisciplinary scientific approach, LifeTime also brings a new perspective to the collaboration between researchers from many different fields, industry, policymakers, citizens and patients.

“This conference is paving the way for how we want to work. It not only offers the opportunity to meet and network with excellent scientists, clinicians, businesses, funders, and other important stakeholders. It gives all participants the chance to influence how LifeTime shall progress, to take part in the decision making, and to provide critical feedback,” said Dr. Geneviève Almouzni, from Institut Curie, Paris and co-coordinator of the LifeTime initiative.

Steffen Krach, Permanent Secretary for Higher Education and Research of the Federal State of Berlin said: “The LifeTime initiative underlines the great potential of European research. We are delighted to welcome the LifeTime network members to our city and proud to see the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine take a leading role in this innovative European project. Berlin as a city of science and innovation puts a great emphasis on medical research and strongly supports international cooperation.”

Background information

LifeTime is a growing consortium of more than 60 leading European research institutions together with international advisers and over 70 companies. It is jointly coordinated by the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin and the Institut Curie in Paris, with major contributions by the Helmholtz Association and the French National Centre for Scientific Research.

LifeTime is one of the six winners of an EU-wide competition in which ambitious and forward-looking research projects were selected. The European Commission supports LifeTime with one million euros to build over the coming year a plan on how to map, understand, and target human cells during disease.

Categories: Press release

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