Our department is headed by Prof. Dr. Jens Kurreck.
The focus of the department is the application of biotechnological methods in molecular medicine. In this way we try to understand mechanisms of disease development and to develop new therapeutic approaches. RNA technologies such as RNA interference or CRISPR/Cas9, which can be used to specifically inhibit the expression of genes, play a special role here. Recently, our group succeeded in identifying a very efficient small interfering RNA (siRNA) against the SARS coronavirus-2, which is now being further developed.
In the interest of animal welfare, we are striving to develop new replacement models for animal experiments. Three-dimensional bioprinting is used to generate organ models that are then used for infection research. In addition to animal welfare, an advantage of this approach is that human cells are used and the humanized models may have greater relevance to human disease than animal models.
We are using oncolytic viruses to try to block the growth of tumors and especially the development of metastases. RNA technologies are also used to combat dangerous viral infections.
In teaching, the department provides basic teaching in biochemistry as well as advanced teaching in molecular medicine within the biotechnology and food technology courses.
Prof. Kurreck is co-spokesperson of the Einstein Center 3R, vice-chairman of the Central Commission for Ethics in Research of the TU Berlin and ombudsman of the TU Berlin.
Research and teaching are carried out according to the principle of sustainability (energy saving, waste prevention). The department is certified with the highest sustainability label green by My Green Lab.