BioMed X Institute completes first research project in neuroscience with Boehringer Ingelheim

  • Research Team BMP (Brain Microcircuits in Psychiatric Diseases) uncovered alterations in astrocyte metabolism as a major hallmark of depression
  • The completion of this project marks another milestone in the successful partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim

Heidelberg, 8.12.2020. German independent research institute BioMed X announces today the successful completion of its first joint research project with Boehringer Ingelheim in the fields of neuroscience. The results of the project are transferred to Boehringer Ingelheim for further development.
The project was launched together with Boehringer Ingelheim in 2016 as a global call for research proposals using BioMed X Institute’s crowdsourcing platform. Led by Dr. Michał Ślęzak, team BMP uncovered the contribution of astrocytes, a subtype of glial cells, to molecular phenotypes in depression. Using state-of-the-art genetic approaches and imaging methods, the team has provided a comprehensive insight into defective neuro-glia interactions and their consequences for neurotransmitter homeostasis. This work has led to the identification of molecular components regulating crucial processes impaired in depression. The team has validated candidate genes in several biological systems, and as a key achievement, proposes novel glial-specific drug targets for therapy of depression.

Dr. Christian Tidona, Managing Director & Founder of the BioMed X Institute: “This is the second successfully completed project with Boehringer Ingelheim and our first one in the field of psychiatric diseases. Our ongoing partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim is a bright example for sustainable translational research at the interface between academia and industry resulting in solid new impulses for pharmaceutical research and development.”

About BioMed X

BioMed X is an independent research institute located on the campus of the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Together with our partners, we identify big biomedical research challenges and provide creative solutions by combining global crowdsourcing with local incubation of the world’s brightest early-career research talents. Each of the highly diverse research teams at BioMed X has access to state-of-the-art research infrastructure and is continuously guided by experienced mentors from academia and industry. At BioMed X, we combine the best of two worlds – academia and industry – and enable breakthrough innovation by making biomedical research more efficient, more agile, and more fun.


Bettina Rohmann-Lawrenz
Communications Manager
+49 151 20192986