40 years of cutting-edge research and health education
Researching the causes of disease, educating about risks and developing measures that contribute to a healthier lifestyle: these have been the central tasks of the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS for more than 40 years. Because the anniversary of the institute, which was founded in 1981 as the "Bremen Institute for Prevention Research and Social Medicine" in 2021, coincided with the COVID-19-pandemic, it was now celebrated with a Senate reception at the invitation of Science Senator Dr. Claudia Schilling for the staff and many friends of the institute from politics, science and society. Another occasion for congratulations in the Upper Town Hall: The Bremen Cancer Registry, which is located at the BIPS, celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2023.
In her welcoming address, Science Senator Dr. Claudia Schilling acknowledged the special significance of BIPS for Bremen and beyond: "Like hardly any other institute, BIPS succeeds in producing cutting-edge scientific research and at the same time providing a helpful service to the people of the state with directly applicable guides, for example the Bremen Checklist for Balanced Lunches in Daycare Centers." Dr. Schilling also emphasized the BIPS' performance during the pandemic: "Within a very short time, the BIPS adapted to the challenges of the pandemic and tirelessly contributed to producing scientific knowledge about the consequences of the pandemic and the opportunities for coping with it. Last but not least, the BIPS' support in the educational work also ensured that Bremen was able to demonstrate a high vaccination rate comparatively quickly."
Prof. Dr. Iris Pigeot, Director of the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS, thanked above all the total of around 200 BIPS employees: "The expertise and passion that go into this house are immeasurable. The successes we have achieved as an institute over the past four decades would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of every single employee. In order to successfully meet our future challenges, we look forward to the new building that will complement the existing building on Achterstrasse. This step will enable us to expand our capacities and position the institute optimally for the years to come."
In addition to further welcoming addresses by Prof. Dr. Martina Brockmeier, President of the Leibniz Association, and Prof. Dr. Jürgen May, Chairman of the Board of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg and Vice-Chairman of the Institute's Scientific Advisory Board, the program was rounded off by expert presentations by Prof. Dr. Oliver Razum, University of Bielefeld, Dr. João Breda, World Health Organization, and Prof. Dr. Elsebeth Lynge, University of Copenhagen. Further scientific presentations and anecdotes from 40 years of epidemiological research formed the second part of the anniversary event, which took place in the Glocke.
The Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS uses its research to develop effective strategies for the prevention of chronic, non-communicable diseases. The primary goal is to set the course for a healthy life course at an early stage. The research therefore focuses on starting points of cross-disease relevance, such as lifestyle and living environment, biological and social factors, as well as early detection and therapy safety. The research spectrum ranges from method development and the identification of disease causes to intervention and implementation research. Further tasks are the information and education of politics and the population as well as academic qualification. BIPS thus covers the entire cycle of epidemiological research. In September 2016, it was also named a WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, Nutrition and Physical Activity.
BIPS is one of the nation's leading epidemiological research institutes with international recognition and, as a member of the Leibniz Association, is jointly funded by the German federal and state governments. In the wake of the Corona pandemic, BIPS has been the point of contact for the media, providing statistical advice to government agencies, developing school strategy, advising on the vaccination campaign, supporting nationwide modeling, and conducting initial surveys on Long COVID, to name a few.
On New Construction:
In 2021, the Bremen Senate decided to build an extension to the "Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology" (BIPS), which is bursting at the seams. It will be built right next to the old BIPS building, near the university in Achterstrasse. The new office complex, with a large lecture hall and space for the urgently needed expansion of IT, will cost 13.6 million euros. Since BIPS is an institute of the Leibniz Association, the federal government is covering half of the costs for the extension building, with 6.8 million euros. The remaining 6.8 million euros will be financed by the state of Bremen.