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Three questions to deans Professor Stephan Lütz and Professor Stefan Kast

TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity Establishes Dort­mund Life Science Center (DOLCE)

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A scientist wearing safety glasses leans over to his microscope. © BillionPhotos.com​/​Adobe Stock
Four professors will conduct fundamental biological re­search at the new center.

TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity is expanding its activities in the life sciences: Applications were re­cent­ly invited for four new professorships at Dort­mund Life Science Center – or DOLCE in short – with a focus on biology. The planned center is intended to enhance biotechnological as well as chemical and biological re­search in Dort­mund through ex­per­tise in fundamental areas of biology. Jointly responsible for the center are the Department of Chem­is­try and Chemical Biology and the Department of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering. In this interview, the deans Professor Stefan Kast and Professor Stephan Lütz report on TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity’s wide-ranging activities in the areas of chemical biology, biotechnology and drug re­search, in which DOLCE with its four professorships will be embedded.

How is TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity currently positioned in the area of drug re­search?

Professor Lütz: We’re already very well positioned. TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity has been conducting widely visible and successful re­search in this field for a long time within the profile area “Chemical Biology, Drug Research and Process Engineering”. We cover a broad range from molecular interrelations to new process engineering tools. Our aim is to develop new chemical, biotechnological and pharmaceutical processes and products. The main res­pon­si­bi­li­ty for the profile area lies with the Department of Chem­is­try and Chemical Biology and the Department of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering.

Portrait of Professor Stephan Lütz © Nikolas Golsch​/​TU Dort­mund
Professor Stephan Lütz is dean of the Department of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering.

Professor Kast: In addition, we’re collaborating with several strong non-uni­ver­si­ty re­search in­sti­tu­ti­ons that are also based in Dort­mund: the Max Planck In­sti­tute of Molecular Physiology, the Leibniz In­sti­tute for Analytical Sciences (ISAS) and the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo). We’re working with industrial partners, for example, in the Drug Discovery Hub Dort­mund on the efficient transfer of academic innovations into pharmaceutical applications.

At the heart of this powerful re­search structure, DOLCE will, above all, conduct fundamental biological re­search. To what extent will this strengthen activities?

Professor Kast: DOLCE makes it possible for the first time to cover the entire scope of preclinical re­search in drug dis­cov­ery and the associated production processes in Dort­mund. The center closes a gap in cell re­search, which can greatly improve our understanding of mecha­nisms of action and metabolic processes through cell culture experiments or computer simulations.

Portrait of Professor Stefan Kast © Aliona Kardash​/​TU Dort­mund
Professor Stefan Kast is dean of the Department of Chem­is­try and Chemical Biology.

Professor Lütz: The new center will provide im­por­tant stimuli from the life sciences. In this way, the entire value chain can be examined, from basic re­search to the application of insight, for example, in the field of tumor re­search and immunology. Our aim is to work on highly im­por­tant questions from an inter­dis­ci­plin­ary perspective.

Four new professorships form the center’s scientific core. Which main topics exactly will they be working on?

Professor Lütz: Two of the four new professorships are hosted by the Department of Biochemical and Chemical Engineering. The “Functional Metabolomics” professorship shall investigate the metabolome of eukaryotic cells with in­no­va­ti­ve methods. Possible areas of application are the biotechnological production of bioactive substances or the development of diagnostic markers. The goal of the “Computational Systems Biology” professorship is to develop models for complex biological processes and systems from molecular to cellular and organ level and to use these models to answer fundamental questions in the field of biology.

Professor Kast: The two other professorships are hosted by the Department of Chem­is­try and Chemical Biology. The “Cell Biology” professorship will investigate in­no­va­ti­ve cell biology questions, e.g., in oncology or immunology. The “Complex 3D Cellular Systems” professorship focuses on questions in the field of biology that require 3D cell culture systems to answer them, especially those that can simulate physiologically im­por­tant, organ-like properties and interact with their environment. All four positions were advertised internationally in early No­vem­ber. All professorships will be jointly affiliated with both departments in order to foster sustainable synergies.

Contact for further in­for­mation:

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Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is “Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen” (closer to South Cam­pus), and from B 1 / A 40 “Dort­mund-Dorstfeld” (closer to North Cam­pus). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from North Cam­pus to South Cam­pus by car, there is the connection via Vo­gel­pothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at North Cam­pus and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity has its own train station (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät”). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station (“Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof”) and Düsseldorf main station via the “Düsseldorf Airport Train Station” (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 15 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duis­burg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station “Stadtgarten”, usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At “Stadtgarten” you switch trains and get on line U42 towards “Hombruch”. Look out for the Station “An der Palmweide”. From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop “Dort­mund Kampstraße”. From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop “Dort­mund Wittener Straße”. Switch to bus line 447 and get off at “Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity. There are two stations on North Cam­pus. One (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”) is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the “Technologiepark” and (via South Cam­pus) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at North Cam­pus and offers a direct connection to South Cam­pus every five minutes.

The facilities of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity are spread over two campuses, the larger Cam­pus North and the smaller Cam­pus South. Additionally, some areas of the uni­ver­si­ty are located in the adjacent “Technologiepark”.

Site Map of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity (Second Page in English).