The amount and heterogeneity of data in biomedical research, notably in transnational research, requires new methods for the collection, presentation and analysis of information. Important data from laboratory experiments as well as patient trials are available as images. Thus, the integration and processing of image data represent a crucial component of information systems in biomedical research. The Charité Medical School in Berlin has established a new information service center for kidney diseases and transplantation (Open European Nephrology Science Centre - OpEN.SC) together with the German Research Agency (DFG). The aims of this project are (i) to improve the availability of raw data, (ii) to establish an infrastructure for clinical trials, (iii) to monitor the occurrence of rare disease patterns and (iv) to establish a quality assurance system. Major diagnostic procedures in medicine are based on the processing and analysis of image data. In diagnostic pathology, the availability of automated slide scanners provide the opportunity to digitize entire microscopic slides. The processing, presentation and analysis of these image data are called virtual microscopy. The integration of this new technology into the OpEN.SC system and the link to other heterogeneous data of individual patients represent a major technological challenge. Thus, new ways in communication between clinical and scientific partners have to be established and will be promoted by the project. The technological basis of the repository are web services for a scalable and adaptable system. HL7 and DICOM are considered the main medical standards of communication.