Translating experimental fundamental research into clinical applications

Research Focus

Research within GRADE BioMed FIRST, the "Frankfurt International Research School for Translational Biomedicine" focuses on biomedical research in five areas:

  • Research in inflammation and pain focuses on various diseases and covers the entire value chain of drug discovery from target identification to clinical trials.
  • The scope of cardiovascular research integrates investigations at the mo­lecular and cellular level, at the level of isolated organs, as well as in animal models and in humans to develop novel therapeutic targets and/or strategies.
  • Targeted cancer therapies interfere with molecules causally involved in carcinogenesis, tumour growth and metastasis and aim to be more effective than current treatments and less harmful to normal cells.
  • The intra- and intercellular role of redox signaling under physiological con­ditions and during the switch to pathological processes will be elucidated.
  • The research area of biologicals has already established the structure of an early drug pipeline. Novel drug targets for cancer, cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory disorders are identified/validated.

One of the most important aspects connecting these areas is translational medicine, i.e. the transfer of knowledge from basic science and findings in the laboratory to test­able hypotheses for evaluation in clinical trials. The Georg-Speyer-Haus in Frankfurt and the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute in Langen have joined the Goethe-University to ad­dress different aspects of drug research from basics up to clinical development:

  • How to accelerate the development of new drugs with knowledge from basic science?
  • How to bring new drugs faster from bench to bedside?
  • How to make most of bedside knowledge to bring about new therapies?


GRADE BioMed FIRST is devoted to the interdisciplinary research training of out­standing PhD students in translational biomedicine with a focus on drug research, development and safety. However, we must stress that the development of drugs is not the primary aim. Rather, GRADE BioMed FIRST provides an education for PhD stu­dents who will later establish careers in these areas, both in academia and industry. To this aim, we offer a »Core Curriculum on drug research, development and safety« with 12 modules covering the value chain of drug development. The integration of pharmaceutical companies within the educational programme highlights the interest of non-academic institutions in this education concept and guarantees a practically orientated curriculum tailored to the future needs of biomedical research and will help to overcome the barriers between academia and industry.