The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of Germany’s top universities and is characterized by a unique profile with its core domains natural sciences, engineering, life sciences, and medicine. The institutional strategy is focused on strengthening the excellence of disciplinary core competences in research, teaching and learning, but is also targeted towards the promotion of groundbreaking, interdisciplinary research. TUM is committed toward the major challenges facing society in the 21st century in areas such as energy, climate, and environment, natural resources, health and nutrition, communication and information, mobility, and infrastructure. Besides research and teaching, TUM inspires and pro-actively empowers its students, academics, and alumni to think and act entrepreneurially. It initiates growth oriented start-ups and assists its entrepreneurs in building new companies (TUM Entrepreneurship).
TUM enters OPTOMICS as coordinator and lead engineering entity and one of the two study centers for the clinical study. Through its newly established Research Center TranslaTUM, which was cofounded by OPTOMICS coordinator Prof. Ntziachristos, TUM places a strong focus on cutting-edge research and direct application in clinical settings in its University Hospital (Klinikum Rechts Der Isar). TranslaTUM places a focus on novel imaging and sensing approaches combined with advanced computation to address highly complex prevention, diagnostic and theranostic problems, bringing today engineering, biology and medical/clinical expertise.
Within TUM and TranslaTUM, the Chair for Biological Imaging (CBI, Chair: Prof. Ntziachristos) has assembled an interdisciplinary team of scientists with strong expertise in all aspects of imaging and data science: mathematical foundations, efficient computational methods for processing big data, statistical data analysis, machine learning and AI. Moreover CBI has established dedicated examination rooms at the University Hospital and a clinical translation group consisting of 5 medical doctors and 3 engineers (leader A. Karlas MD) dedicated to the translation of optoacoustics to the clinics. CBI closely synergizes with the Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging (IBMI) and Institutes for Translational Genomics and Computational Biology at the Helmholtz Center in Munich, solidifying world-leading research expertise and infrastructure relating to OPTOMICS, which in combination with the exceptional SMEs and clinical partners of OPTOMICS builds the foundation for successful completion of the project. Moreover, Prof. Ntziachristos has an extensively proven and highly successful track record on managing innovation with several products driven by his research on the market today: FMT by Perkin Elmer, MSOT by iThera Medical GmbH and T3 Fluorescence Imaging by SurgVision B.V. (now acquired by Bracco SpA).