MWM Biomodels GmbH was founded in 2007 as a spin-off company of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich). MWM is focussed on the generation and characterisation of large animal models for human diseases, such as diabetes mellitus. MWM Biomodels GmbH works in close collaboration with the Institute of Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology (MABB; Head: Prof. Dr. Eckhard Wolf) at the Gene Center and at the Department of Veterinary Sciences of the LMU Munich. This provides students working at MWM Biomodels GmbH access to all the training programmes for PhD students and PostDocs established by the LMU Munich as part of the German Excellence Competition among all universities, in which LMU Munich was the most successful. Via its contact with MABB, MWM Biomodels GmbH has access to a brand new facility for genetically engineered pig models (Centre for Innovative Medical Models = CiMM). In close collaboration, MWM Biomodels GmbH and MABB have already successfully contributed to the research training network EpiHealthNet and to other research consortia such as the Leading-Edge Cluster “m4 – Personalised Medicine and Targeted Therapies” (see http://www.m4.de/en/leading-edge-cluster/the- competition.html), which was funded by the German National Ministry of Science and is now being continued as a registered nonprofit association (see http://www.m4.de/en/association-m4.html).
Short biography principal investigator
Prof. Dr. Eckhard Wolf
Prof. Dr. Eckhard Wolf, co-founder and chief scientific officer (CSO) of MWM Biomodels GmbH, directs the Institute of Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology (since 1995), the Laboratory for Functional Genome Analysis (LAGUGA; since 2003), and the Centre for Innovative Medical Models (CiMM; since 2015) at the Gene Centre and the Department of Veterinary Sciences of the LMU Munich. He is Vice-Dean for Research at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of LMU Munich (since 2008), Member of the Leopoldina – German National Academy of Sciences (since 2000), and Corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW; since 2014). EW is Action Chair of COST Action BM1308 “Sharing Advances on Large Animal Models – SALAAM” which provides interesting training opportunities, such as Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) and Training Schools (see www.salaam.genzentrum.lmu.de) which will also be open for DOHART-NET students. EW has long-standing experience in the generation and characterisation of genetically tailored biomedical pig models, especially for diabetes research and for xenotransplantation. He will provide the academic environmet for student(s) at MWM Biomodels GmbH and the scientific supervision of the project.
Key Research Facility and Equipment
MWM has all the equipment (cell culture, micromanipulation, embryo transfer) required for the generation of genetically tailored large animal models. Via collaboration with MABB, MWM Biomodels GmbH has access to the Centre for Innovative Medical Models (CiMM), one of the largest and best equipped facilities for the generation an characterisation of genetically engineered pig models in Europe. If required, also systematic OMICs studies can be offered via collaboration with the Genomics and Proteomics units at the Laboratory for Functional genome Analysis (LAFUGA; director E. Wolf) at the LMU Gene Centre.
Current involvement in Research and Training Programmes
National: E. Wolf is a member of the Excellence Graduate School QBM (Quantitative Biosciences Munich), which provides interdisciplinary training at the interface of experiment and theoretical analysis for young life scientists. Drawing on a range of disciplines represented at LMU, including biochemistry, bioinformatics, structural biology, medicine, physics and mathematics, the School will equip students with the skills necessary for modern quantitative, systems- oriented bioscience (http://www.qbm.genzentrum.lmu.de/). Some of the moduls, such as QBM lecture series, seminars etc. will be open for DOHART-NET students. In addition the LMU Graduate Centre offers a broad range of courses in soft skills such as presentation techniques, time management etc. (see http://www.en.graduatecenter.uni- muenchen.de/index.html).
International: E. Wolf is Action Chair of COST Action BM1308 (SALAAM, on large animal models for biomedical research), which includes interesting training opportunities on large animal models.