BioMed X Facts & Figures

About Us

Established: 2013
Employees: > 70 / > 25 nationalities
Independent Research Institute (Limited Liability Company)


Our vision is to be the leading research institute that combines the best of both worlds, academia and industry, seeding biomedical innovation for the benefit of patients.


By exploring new biology in major human disease areas, we enable our partners to take an active role in seeding biomedical innovation for the benefit of patients. By harnessing the brain power of the global scientific crowd, and by bridging the gap between academia and industry, we provide solutions for the pharma industry’s biggest R&D challenges. Embedded in a world-class innovation ecosystem on the campus of the University of Heidelberg, we embrace diversity and are committed to empowering the next generation of top researchers, enabling them to advance their careers and to create impact for society.

Value Proposition for Partners

  • Novel open innovation model (Betz & Tidona 2015: Nature Biotechnology 33, pp. 20-21)
  • External innovation in high-risk exploratory fields of biomedical research and drug discovery & development
  • Access to the best international academic research talents via BioMed X‘s Career Space
  • Relocation of international top talents to an open innovation lab facility embedded in a world-leading academic research campus ecosystem
  • A collaborative working model focused on clear deliverables and constant progress leveraging partners‘ expertise
  • First right of the partner to transfer the results at the end of the project term

Key Process

  • Definition of an ambitious R&D challenge which adds significant value to the partner‘s product development pipeline
  • World-wide publication of the challenge and crowdsourcing of the best ideas and talents addressing the challenge (on average, 100-200 project proposals from up to 80 countries per challenge)
  • Selection and invitation of the 15 best candidates to a 5-day boot camp in Heidelberg for interdisciplinary team building, mentorship, and conversion of outstanding ideas into well-designed project proposals
  • Selection and relocation of 2–3 winning candidates for a 3–5 year fellowship at the BioMed X Institute to run the project


BioMed X Institute Heidelberg, Germany

1,800 sqm laboratory and office space in the Heidelberg Technology Park on the life science campus of the University of Heidelberg, Germany, surrounded by renowned research institutes such as German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH), Heidelberg University Hospital with 44 specialized clinical departments, and approximately 100 large and small life science companies.

Coming soon!

BioMed X Institute New Haven, CT, USA

A new BioMed X Institute located in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, will start its activity in 2023. The first project to take place at this facility is a collaboration with AbbVie, in the field of immunology & tissue engineering. Neighboring the historic campus of Yale University, the US branch of BioMed X will be embedded in the New Haven life sciences hub.

Coming soon!

XSeed Labs Ridgefield, CT, USA

BioMed X started working with Boehringer Ingelheim in 2015 with a series of joint research projects hosted by the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, Germany. The new collaboration model – called XSeed Labs – entails an open innovation incubator embedded in the Boehringer Ingelheim Ridgefield campus in Connecticut, USA. The topic of the first research project within this new framework will be wound healing and fibrosis.

AION Labs, Rehovot, Israel

AION Labs was founded in Rehovot, Israel, in 2021 as an alliance of AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer, Teva, Israel Biotech Fund, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to create and incubate innovative startup companies. The new venture creation process of AION Labs is built on the BioMed X innovation model and crowdsourcing platform. The BioMed X Institute serves as a strategic partner for the alliance.

Key Partners

Key Target Partners

  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Biotech companies
  • Foundations

Supervisory Board

  • Dr. Gerhard Ries (Chairman)
  • Fabian Engelhorn
  • Dr. Bernhard Kirschbaum


Dr. Christian Tidona

Managing Director

 Short Bio

Christian Tidona is a biotech entrepreneur and founder of the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg, Germany. He studied biology and received his doctoral degree in natural sciences from the University of Heidelberg.

Throughout his career, his focus was always to seed innovation at the interface between academia and industry. Christian is co-founder of BioRN in Heidelberg, the cluster management organization at the heart of one of the strongest biomedical innovation hubs in Europe, co-founder of the Heidelberg Institute for Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine HI-STEM, and member of the Board of Directors of Yeda Research and Development, one of the world’s most renowned technology transfer organizations at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Christian is married and father of two children.


Dr. Thomas Rückle

Senior Vice President Research

 Short Bio

Dr. Thomas Rückle studied Chemistry and Toxicology at the University of Ulm, Germany, where he received his PhD in Organic Chemistry in 1996. After two postdoctoral fellowships at the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, and at the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, San Diego (CA), USA, he joined Serono International in Geneva (Switzerland). From 1998 to 2006, he led Research and Preclinical Programs in Autoimmune Diseases and Oncology.

From 2007 onwards, Thomas held several global roles in Project Management and Translational Medicine of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Oncology. From 2012 to 2016, he was Director of Translational Medicine at Medicines for Malaria Venture, the world’s leading NGO in antimalarial R&D.

Prior to BioMed X Institute, he spent 3 years as Chief Development Officer at GeNeuro, a clinical stage biotechnology company working in the field of autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. Together with his teams, Thomas has brought over a dozen molecules from research into clinical trials. He is the principal or co-author of over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications and co-inventor on 23 patents.


Yvonne Stappenbeck

Vice President HR & Operations

 Short Bio

Yvonne has been at BioMed X since its foundation in 2013.

Being responsible for “almost everything except research” takes a strong passion for strategy and organization but above all for people and their needs. She sees her position as a great opportunity to help create a work environment that allows groundbreaking research and that her colleagues look forward to coming to every day.

Prior to her position as VP HR & Operations she was BioMed X’ Head of Operations until 2019 and Head of HR until Summer 2021.


Mark Johnston

Chief Executive Officer BioMed X USA

 Short Bio

Mark Johnston is a biotech entrepreneur who has founded/managed 6 companies in the areas of cell & gene therapy, contract manufacturing, and cell-based assays, including Vesta Therapeutics, ADMET Technologies, Cytonet, Promethera Biosciences, Novabiosis, and Transfecta Biosciences.

Passionate about enabling therapies and technologies that improve human health, Mark is particularly drawn to opportunities that involve deep science, as he enjoys the novelty and interdisciplinarity they entail. By working extensively with organ procurement organizations in the United States, Mark has also acquired expertise in organ donation & transplantation management. He is an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy and enjoys spending time with his husband and their Husky puppy, as well as hiking and going to the beach.

Mark received a bachelor’s degree in Physical Sciences (Mechanical Engineering, Math, and Physics) and an MBA from the London Business School.


Dr. John M. Lindner

Head of Immunology Discovery & Head of Research USA

 Short Bio
  • 2018 – 2022: Group Leader of team IAA (Rapid Identification of Auto-Antigens in Autoimmune Diseases) at the BioMed X Institute, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2014 – 2018: Postdoc in autoimmune antibody repertoires with Dr. Elisabetta Traggiai at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Basel, Switzerland
  • 2008 – 2013: PhD (molecular immunology) in B-cell transcriptional control with Dr. Peter Nielsen in the Department of Prof. Michael Reth at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, Germany

Contact HQ and Facilities

Im Neuenheimer Feld 515,
69120 Heidelberg,

+49 6221 426 110