A successful start into the Excellence Strategy

Invitation to submit a full proposal

February 02, 2024

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has made a successful start to the current round of calls for proposals under the Excellence Strategy: Today, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Council of Science and Humanities announced that JGU was successful with its draft proposal "Communicating Biomaterials: Convergence Center for Life-like Soft Materials and Biological Systems" (CoM2Life) and may now submit a full proposal for CoM2Life for approval as a Cluster of Excellence. The proposal for the cluster project of JGU, Technische Universität Darmstadt and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research was one of 143 draft proposals submitted to the DFG. Yesterday, 41, or less than 30 percent, of these were positively evaluated by a panel of internationally renowned scientists.

"In view of the strong competition, we are very pleased that our draft proposal CoM2Life was successful and that we can now submit a full proposal for another Cluster of Excellence," said JGU President Prof. Dr. Georg Krausch. "This success is also a result of our profile development in research, which we are consistently pursuing as part of the research initiative of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, and is clear evidence of JGU's research strength. The positive assessment for CoM2Life also highlights the research strength of the Rhine-Main region and the strategic alliance of Rhine-Main universities, as CoM2Life is a joint project with Technische Universität Darmstadt."

"I would like to congratulate Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and its partner universities on this well-deserved result. I would particularly like to thank the researchers involved, who are now continuing to compete for excellent research with full proposals. The successful outcome is clear proof of the quality of science at JGU and its cooperation partners. It is well-deserved recognition for all those who, with their creative ideas and commitment, have worked to further develop top-level research at their universities in recent years. I keep my fingers crossed for all those involved and wish them every success for the rest of the competition," said Rhineland-Palatinate Science Minister Clemens Hoch.

Communicating Biomaterials: Convergence Center for Life-like Soft Materials and Biological Systems (CoM2Life)

CoM2Life is a cluster project of JGU, the Technical University of Darmstadt and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research. It aims to develop a revolutionary generation of soft biomaterials that are based on the principles of living systems and are able to enter into permanent and reciprocal communication with living systems, i.e. cells and tissues. To this end, the scientists are following an approach that combines the chemistry-centered design of biomaterials with the design of regulatory circuits in synthetic biology. In this way, they are creating the prerequisites for the development of intelligent biomaterials that are capable of selectively detecting signals from their environment, processing them internally and then controlling actuators and effectors as required. The aim is to enable groundbreaking advances in medical research, including the development of feedback-controlled materials for the needs-based release of drugs and biological effectors for cancer immunotherapy or tissue regeneration, for new tissue models that can replace animal experiments and, in the long term, for the development of artificial organs. Communication sciences are also involved in this highly interdisciplinary project in order to counter the challenge of misinformation about this innovative field of research.


Text: JGU

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