Collaborate. Leverage. Impact.

On the way to a
Collaborative
Research Centre (CRC)

Basic and clinical reproductive research, involving DFG-funded collaborative endeavours, has a long tradition in Münster.

Since 2017, we have been investigating the genetics and function of male germ cells within the Clinical DFG-Research Unit (CRU) 326 “Male Germ Cells: from Genes to Function”. The CRU326 combines research in cell biology, physiology, epi-/genetics and bioinformatics, aiming on the translation of basic knowledge into the clinics and vice versa. To this end, biologists, biochemists, bioinformaticians, physicists and physicians from various institutes and clinics of the Medical Faculty and the Max-Planck-Institute have joined forces.

Using the CRU326 as a blueprint, this Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) – composed of basic and clinical scientists of the University, University Hospital, and Max Planck Institute Münster as well as one collaborator from the RWTH Aachen shall take this endeavour further and establish a beacon of excellence Unravelling the Molecular Mechanisms of Male Infertility. The central objective of the CRC is, thus, to elucidate the genetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms governing the formation and function of the testis, production and function of sperm, and the fertilisation process – both in health and disease. To this end, we combine interdisciplinary research in molecular and cell biology, physiology, epi‑/genetics, (bio)informatics, and multimodal data analysis. The major focus is on humans, capitalising on the close interconnection of medicine, clinical science, and basic science in Münster. This unique setting enables projects relying on thoroughly characterised human material, particularly from male patients suffering from infertility and related disorders, inspiring projects on selected mammalian and non-mammalian model organisms and vice versa. Finally, innovative central projects that interface clinics with science, generate and analyse genomic data, manage scientific and medical data, and conduct “Citizen/Patient Science” maximise the CRC’s scientific, clinical, and social impact.

Our mission is to spur the translation of basic knowledge into the clinic and develop Münster in the medium and long term into the leading international location for excellent reproductive research.

Reproduction.MS – Unravelling the Molecular Mechanisms of Male Infertility
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Roadmap for our
Reproduction.MS initiative

To render our CRC initiative successful, we have to meet several challenges: In particular, we need to identify research areas and potential participants and form a cross-faculty network of experts for excellent reproductive research.

Hence, we kick-started our initiative in June 2021 with our virtual workshop 1.0 “Reproduction.MS – From Genes to Molecules and Function“. A total of 90 participants and 39 presentations provided an initial overview of potential topics, fascinating project ideas, and interested colleagues who could become part of the initiative. After intense post-processing of the impressions, ensuing brainstorming, discussions, and directional decisions of the core team, a first draft outlining the scope and aims of the envisaged CRC was developed. Accordingly, in September 2021, an open call to propose projects that could become part of the CRC was launched. Striving for a transparent and collaborative approach, submitted proposals were circulated within the group of potential principle investigators (PIs) to fostering their interconnection.

The next milestone of our endeavour was the final selection of projects and PIs based on the project proposals. With those people, ideas, and topics, an exciting year 2022 was started! In January, our workshop 2.0 took place: all PIs were invited to present their projects, stimulating lively discussions on the particular topic, and its positioning within the CRC. Moreover, the unifying question and objectives to be addressed by the CRC, research areas, and core projects were discussed. This workshop, follow-up discussions, and intense synergies represent the key for a great CRC application. At the end of March 2022, we sucessfully submitted our CRC proposal “Reproduction.MS – Unravelling the Molecular Mechanisms of Male Infertility” – fingers crossed! Stay tuned for further updates.

Münster pools expertise

Team

Frank Tüttelmann_verlauf_final

Univ.-Prof. Dr. med.
Frank Tüttelmann
Coordination

Institute of
Reproductive Genetics (IRG)

Vesaliusweg 12-14, 48149 Münster
frank.tuettelmann@ukmuenster.de

Timo Strünker_verlauf_final

Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat.
Timo Strünker
Coordination

Centre of Reproductive Medicine
and Andrology (CeRA)

Domagkstraße 11, 48149 Münster
timo.struenker@ukmuenster.de

Nadja Rotte_verlauf_final

MSc
Nadja Rotte
Management

Institute of
Reproductive Genetics (IRG)

Vesaliusweg 12-14, 48149 Münster
nadja.rotte@ukmuenster.de

Monika Möller_verlauf_final

Monika Möller
Secretariat

Institute of
Reproductive Genetics (IRG)

Vesaliusweg 12-14, 48149 Münster
reprogenetik@ukmuenster.de

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