Biomarker Evaluation

Prof. Dr. Hansjürgen Volkmer
Head of Pharma & Biotech

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for the identification and validation of novel biomarkers

Biomarkers are measurable biological characteristics that can be used to diagnose disease, assess disease course, and evaluate the effect of treatments. For personalized medicine, informative biomarkers that consider the individual disposition of patients for treatment are a prerequisite.

As biomarkers must correlate with the clinical endpoint, validation steps are required. However, this is difficult for brain diseases. For example, intracellular signalling pathways addressed by drugs cannot be measured directly in the brain. Instead, correlates that can be analyzed are expected to be sufficiently informative.

At the NMI, we pursue two approaches towards biomarker validation. Stem cell technologies are used to produce neurons from blood or skin cells in order to investigate alterations in neuronal networks in vivo. Alternatively, new techniques are being continually established to detect biomarkers.



  • HEXMED - High-throughput sequencing of exosomes for personalized medicine
  • BEST Biomarker evaluation to support clinical translation for schizophrenia