Escalating global mortality from infectious diseases is responsible for more deaths pro annum than cancer and results from infections by various pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. There is also an alarming increase in antibiotic resistance of such microbes, which is contributed to by current slow or unspecific diagnosis. Life-saving treatment requires selection of the appropriate antibiotic agent. Successful patient outcome is thus dependent on more rapid and accurate identification of underlying pathogens.

Alongside infections, control of chronic inflammatory diseases is also a major medical challenge. Inflammation is the cause of various chronic, and sometimes autoimmune, conditions, which have become more prevalent over recent years. Inflammatory processes also play an important role in other illnesses, such as cardiac infarction and cancer, which may seem unrelated at first glance.
Medicine is turning to new and holistic approaches in the search for effective therapies for these diseases. The discovery of biological markers, so-called biomarkers, enables not only specific diagnosis but also monitoring of disease progression and treatment effect. Biomarkers can also act as a basis for disease- targeted therapy and for the design of future personalized medicines.