“We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Thomas Thum for the vital scientific impetus he has brought to us, especially in research fields focusing on RNA and the cardiovascular system,” said Professor Norbert Krug, who has been executive director of the institute since 2017 and will be in sole charge of its activities until a successor to Professor Thum is appointed. RNA technologies will continue to play a key role at Fraunhofer ITEM.
The long-term plans for the institute involve reinforcing its core competencies: both preclinical and clinical lung research, and toxicology. This means that the future chair of Toxicology at MHH will also hold a shared role as institute director of Fraunhofer ITEM. A joint nomination committee involving both MHH and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has already been set up with the aim of filling this important position soon.
The institute enjoys an outstanding reputation worldwide as a result of its long-standing expertise in conventional toxicology and the efforts it has made over many years to pivot toward modern assessment models when examining the safety of drugs and chemical substances. Its close affiliation with academia, combined with its expertise in market transfer, puts it in an ideal position to lend this field of research renewed momentum and enhance the critical mass and appeal of Hannover as a translation hub for research into safety and efficacy.