Goals of JLU-CAREER
The Justus-Liebig University Giessen Clinician Scientist Program in Biomedical Research (JLU-CAREER) aims to continue to attract young, talented, highly motivated young residents to the Faculty of Medicine of the JLU and to foster their career as Clinican Scientists by providing secured time on an excellent biomedical research project alongside with clinical education. The previous and future success of JLU-CAREER is reached by purely excellency-driven selection of applicants and projects from both, clinical as well as biomedical disciplines, an interdisciplinary group of supervisors, secured time on the research project for 1.5 out of 3 years, fast-track clinical education, a structured educational program in the section “Clinical Sciences” of the International Giessen Graduate Center for the Life Sciences (GGL), achievement of a Clinician Scientist certificate and of additional academic qualifications (Dr. biol. hom.; PhD) and participation in a mentoring program. Participation of female clinician-scientists is supported by coaching, strategic networking as well as flanking measures to ensure compatibility of family and career.
Scientifically, JLU-CAREER is based on three research areas (RAs) „Imbalanced Inflammation & Infection“, „Fibrotic Repair & Remodelling“ and „Cancer Evolution & Progression“. In here, we will study (i) the delicate balance between exaggerated inflammation aiming at pathogen removal, and preservation and re-establishment of organ function by strategies limiting inflammatory injury and fostering tissue regeneration and repair. In this context, we will also aim to identify and study relevant signaling pathways underlying the activation of the local stem cell niche. We will (ii) elucidate triggering factors in parenchymal organ fibrosis and vascular / cardiac remodeling, define involved stem cells and developmental pathways driving epithelial regeneration, and we will dissect epigenetic changes in mesenchymal cells underlying fibrosis / remodeling. We will also (iii) focus on the interplay between tumor microenvironment signaling, epigenetic and metabolic programming as key cancer hallmarks in controlling tumor malignancy and therapy resistance, and develop further early detection methods and biomarkers for improved cancer diagnosis and therapy. Moreover, we will continue to (iv) promote cross-fertilization between RAs, enabling us to e.g. study mechanistic commonalities between benign inflammation-driven/-associated diseases such as parenchymal organ fibrosis or pulmonary vascular remodeling and malignant transformation. All our activities will aim at a putative transfer of therapeutic concepts into the clinic, hence conductance of Investigator-initiated clinical / first in man trials.