Imaging experts from various faculties under one roof
The Multiscale Imaging Centre, MIC for short, is the central research building of the Cells in Motion Interfaculty Centre and is currently being built on Röntgenstraße 16 in Münster. In future, working groups from various faculties at the University of Münster will be based in the building. They will be bringing together a core of our wide range of expertise in biomedical imaging, as well as the corresponding technologies which they will be using to investigate the behaviour of cells in organisms. Our research building also provides a future meeting point for all the researchers actively involved in the field of cell dynamics and imaging – both from our University and from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Biomedicine in Münster. We will be coming together here to listen to talks, take part in symposia or attend Cells in Motion members’ meetings.
The Multiscale Imaging Centre is being constructed in the middle of Münster University’s life and natural sciences campus. Its immediate neighbour is the Max Planck Institute – and little more than a stone’s throw away are the Center for Molecular Biology of Inflammation (ZMBE), the Center for Soft Nanoscience (SoN), the Center for NanoTechnology (CeNTech) and many other institutes and clinics in which scientists investigate topics relating to cell dynamics and imaging.
The Building and Real Estate Management Authority for North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) (Bau- und Liegenschaftsbetrieb NRW) is carrying out the project for Münster University and is due to hand the building over to the University in 2020. The costs for construction and initial fixtures and fittings, amounting to around 71 million euros, will be borne by the Federal Government in Berlin, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and Münster University. The Federal government and the regional State governments had agreed on the construction of the research building in June 2014 after a corresponding recommendation from the German Council of Science and Humanities. Nuclear medicine specialist Prof. Michael Schäfers is the spokesperson for the Multiscale Imaging Centre.
What’s behind the building’s name?
Imaging is a central element in our field of research which we use systematically to analyse cellular processes in organisms. Using a variety of imaging technologies enables us to observe various aspects: high-resolution microscopic methods, for example, enlarge minute structures and permit the highly detailed examination of individual cells and their components. Methods of whole-body imaging such as positron emission tomography have a lower resolution than microscopes – but, in contrast, they enable the entire organism with its tissues and organs to be depicted.
In order for us to be able to examine the same cell in various spatial dimensions and over time – thereby helping us to understand the “big picture” – we pursue a unique strategy in our research: We develop chemical and mathematical methods that can be employed in different imaging methods. This strategy of generating images of structures and processes at various scales – i.e. “multiscale imaging” – is what gives our building its name.
Who will be working in the building?
Researchers from the fields of medicine, natural sciences, mathematics and computer science work on research in cell dynamics and imaging; they are already very well networked concerning the content of their research, and now they will also come together physically in the Multiscale Imaging Centre. Around 260 people from the Faculties of Medicine, Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, and Mathematics and Computer Science will be working in the new building. These will include researchers who were newly recruited to strengthen our research focus and who have built up their teams at Münster University.
The following working groups are on schedule to be moving into the Multiscale Imaging Centre in the future:
Our research centre has approximately 5800 m2 of floor space, with 4300 m2 being used for laboratories and 1500 m2 for offices, seminar rooms and a lecture hall. Some of the imaging technologies require special arrangements: The cellar, for example, will house a particle accelerator and radiochemical laboratories which need special shielding measures so that radioactive substances can be produced here for nuclear medicine imaging techniques.
The building is rectangular, with five floors in the northern part of the building and three in the southern part. This difference in the number of floors is a result of the sloping terrain and takes account of the adjacent buildings. The outside impression of the compact, tiered structure will be dominated by a splendid entrance area, broad window hinges and a brick clinker façade typical of the region. The building was designed by the Dortmund architectural practice of Gerber Architekten.