„We seek to better understand the development and progression of neuroimmunological and neuroinfectious diseases with particular emphasis on multiple sclerosis to translate molecular findings into drug treatment and improve clinical care. In order to achieve this goal, we systematically study immunology, neurobiology and patient care using a wide methodological spectrum.“
The at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf was founded 2006 based on an initiative of the Gemeinnützige Hertie-Stiftung which intended to create a translational research institute for multiple sclerosis research. Committed to the mission to better understand the aetiology and pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis and other neuroimmunological diseases and to translate this knowledge into efficacious treatments. Besides cellular and molecular research, the INIMS also sets high standards in providing patient care.
To achieve these goals, basic research is interlocked with clinical activities ensuring access to patients as well as setting up operative platforms for conducting clinical studies. The INIMS consists of three operational units: It integrates a (i) basic science institute located at the Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg (ZMNH) with a (ii) clinical research platform located at the dedicated MS Day Hospital and other neuroimmunological diseases (outpatient clinic) affiliated to the Department of Neurology; and operates (iii) a section for multiple sclerosis imaging (SeMSi) dedicated to MRI studies affiliated to the Department of Neuroradiology . The INIMS basic science institute is equipped with state-of-the art cellular and molecular biology laboratories as well as in vivo facilities focussing on immunology and neurobiology research. The INIMS closely interacts with the Department of Neurology to assure continuity in inpatient and outpatient care of neuroimmunological patients (6,500 MS patients in database), biomaterial collection (multiple sclerosis biobanking with samples of more than 2,000 patients) and continuous medical education as well as teaching of students. The imaging section is equipped with a 3T Siemens Skyra MRI scanner and a fully established infrastructure destined predominantly to multiple sclerosis diagnostics and research. Moreover, the Fraunhofer Institute IME SP operates a Biomarker and Discovery Biology platform located at the INIMS addressing biomarker development in multiple sclerosis and their treatment trials and collaborating with the INIMS in several projects, which are mainly associated with the consortium NEU2. The main scientific goal of the INIMS is translational research – to transform biology into effective therapeutic agents for neuroimmunological diseases:
- to study the aetiology and pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis and other neuroimmunological and neuroinfectious diseases
- to investigate the immune system and the central nervous system and their interactions to understand mechanisms of immune cell dysregulation, neurodegeneration and neuroprotection
- to develop new drugs and behavioural interventions for multiple sclerosis patients and to test them in multiple sclerosis treatment trials