On 6 July, the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) officially inaugurated its new research centre "New Bioactive Compounds" (FAU NeW). In this centre, interdisciplinary and internationally renowned research teams from the fields of pharmaceutical sciences, food chemistry and pharmacology at FAU as well as facilities of the University Hospital Erlangen create a unique research network. The editor-in-chief of Trillium Extracellular Vesicles – Prof Gregor Fuhrmann – is member of this research network and one of the co-speakers.
In her welcome address, Prof Dagmar Fischer, Chair of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy, emphasised the high social relevance of the development of new active substances. Universities and research institutes are playing an increasingly important role in this, especially with regard to basic research, the realisation of new active principles and innovative pharmaceutical therapy concepts. Compared to other universities, FAU NeW is characterised by its special feature: researchers from pharmacy, food chemistry and pharmacology as well as from the University Hospital Erlangen cover the entire pharmaceutical-medical development chain, from active ingredient development and optimisation to formulation and bioanalytics, and investigations in clinically relevant disease models.
Prof Andreas Hirsch, FAU Vice President People and Chair of Organic Chemistry II, emphasised in his welcoming address the strong embedding in the scientific focus of FAU and recalled the origins of FAU NeW, which lie in the "Emil-Fischer-Centre". There, various groups from the life sciences joined forces very successfully to build a molecular bridge between the natural sciences and medicine. The FAU NeW offers an ideal environment for ambitious young researchers and for the development of innovative approaches, which in turn can lead to successful research networks. Prof. Hirsch also emphasised the advantage of FAU as a full university and the close connections to the University Hospital Erlangen.
In his welcoming address, Prof Jürgen Schatz, Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Professor of Organic Chemistry, underlined the high social significance of FAU NeW. The success of the research is based on the scientists, their curiosity and their creativity.
Prof Monika Pischetsrieder, Henriette Schmidt Burkardt Chair of Food Chemistry, devoted her speech to the tasks of the FAU NeW. For detailed information, please see our announcement on the establishment of the research centre: www.fau.de/2023/03/news/wissenschaft/fau-forschungszentrum-neue-wirkstoffe-nimmt-arbeit-auf/
Finally, Prof Lorenz Meinel, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, spoke in his keynote lecture about "Bioinspired Paths to Therapy and Diagnostics" and illustrated the topic with the example of carbon monoxide. Actually, the gas is known because of its poisonous properties, but science has found out that in low concentrations it has a therapeutic potential. Researchers have observed that the body produces carbon monoxide during inflammation, and when there is a lack of oxygen. This gave them the idea that the gas could possibly be of use. Currently, researchers are faced with the challenge of developing safe medicines based on their findings.
Further information on the research topics and members of NeW may be found at: https://www.new.fau.eu