Health Minister Klaus Holetschek looks into Long Covid research at the MPL
The Bavarian Minister of State for Health and Care was impressed by the great potential of real-time deformability cytometry for the diagnosis of infections such as Covid-19 and other diseases during a laboratory tour by Director Jochen Guck.
Klaus Holetschek had come especially to Erlangen to the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL) to learn more about the latest research results of the Biological Optomechanics Division in the field of (Long) Covid. During a laboratory tour, the head of the dvision, Professor Jochen Guck, explained how the method developed by him and his team can be used to physically measure blood cells and detect changes in the mechanical fingerprint of blood even months after a survived infection with SARS-CoV-2.
"We are very pleased that we were able to present our research to Minister of State Klaus Holetschek today. The real-time deformability cytometry we have developed makes it possible to literally feel for the condition of cells - and thus opens up completely new possibilities for diagnosing not only diseases such as Long Covid, but also cancer, for example, better than before. We hope that the Bavarian state government will continue to actively support us so that we can bring this method to clinics and doctors' practices as quickly as possible," explained Guck. He is currently the managing director of MPL and one of the leading figures in the Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin in Erlangen, which was founded out of the institute. His research results on Long Covid, published in June, had caused quite a stir.
Following his visit, Minister of State Holetschek (CSU), who is currently also Chairman of the Conference of Health Ministers of the German Federal States, said: "The MPI is doing high-quality basic scientific research with promising results on the causes of post-Covid symptoms." He added that the data obtained might be used as biomarkers for Covid-19 and possibly other infectious diseases in clinical medicine in the future. The minister referred to his ministry's recently launched funding initiative for health care research, which is part of the Bavarian Post-Covid Syndrome Action Plan and for which the Free State is providing five million euros. "The basic research of the MPI and the health care research of our funding initiative complement each other very well," said Holetschek.
Recently, also Daniel Föst, Member of the Bundestag and Bavarian State Chairman of the FDP, visited the MPI together with Matthias Fischbach, Parliamentary Secretary of the FDP in the Bavarian State Parliament, and other party colleagues.
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