Laboratory for Extreme Photonics

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Centre for Advanced Laser Applications (CALA)


CALA_logoCALA - a joint research project between the LMU and the TUM - is a new 70-million-Euro laser center expanding on the already existing, broad range of cutting-edge research into laser science and technology for applications in the fields of life sciences and medicine in the Munich research area. It is currently being constructed in the direct vicinity of LEX Photonics and will be commissioned in 2016.


Research at CALA aims at developing laser-based technologies in order to improve the cure rates of cancer patients, through a combination of early detection and targeted particle therapy. With the former approach also offering the potential for the early detection of other chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis, and diffuse lung diseases, which – like cancer – show increased prevalence in the demographic development.

CALA’s novel strategy for fighting cancer rests on three main pillars: (i) Brilliant, broadband laser-driven mid-infrared radiation may permit the early detection of cancer cells in the blood and/or compounds in the breath, offering a cost-effective, risk-free method for screening. In the case of a positive screening test, (ii) brilliant X-rays produced by a compact laser-driven or laser-assisted source will allow the localization of the tumor, by means of advanced imaging techniques. This procedure, if successfully demonstrated, will allow recognition of the primary tumor at a stage when the probability for metastases is still very low. Knowing precisely the anatomical site of the tumor offers the prospect of curing the patient with (iii) a localized, high-precision, laser-driven radiation and particle therapy.

The novel techniques pursued in CALA hold promise for substantially improving current diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities as well as reducing the socioeconomic burden of combatting several chronic diseases.


Dr. Martin Groß

General Management


Dipl. Inf. Michael Bäuerle

Project Management

Main research foci of CALA:

CALA-3D view into the building
© WoogieWorks

On the left you see LEX Photonics and in the direct vicinity CALA will arise
The new laser laboratory will be integrated in the nature at the northern edge of the research campus

Video: Two hours in the construction process of CALA


For further information on CALA and its future research, please contact

Thorsten Naeser

Media Relations, Public Outreach

phone: +49 (0)89 32905 124

joint research project of LMU and TUM