Partnerships – German Centers for Health Research
In the face of increasingly complex research questions, innovations and research successes are primarily the result of interdisciplinary and international collaborations.
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German Centers for Health Research
In all six German Centers for Health Research (DZGs), researchers and physicians work together in pursuit of a common aim: to ensure that patients will benefit from research findings sooner than is currently the case. They have joined forces in the fight against the major common diseases of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, neurodegenerative diseases, infectious diseases and cancer. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin is a contributing partner in three of the six DZGs currently in existence. DZGs are groundbreaking partnerships which enable translational research by fulfilling one of its most crucial requirements: they overcome and transcend the rigid boundaries which have traditionally existed between institutions and disciplines in Germany.
While increasing numbers of people survive cancer and fewer die of cardiovascular disease, the six most common groups of diseases continue to cause great suffering and enormous health-related costs (€100 million per annum in Germany). As the population ages, we are seeing a dramatic increase in the numbers of people with dementia, diabetes, heart failure, cancer and respiratory disorders. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are becoming a major concern for hospitals, while infectious diseases continue to cost lives, particularly in developing countries.
To ensure we can continue to develop successful solutions in the fields of diagnosis, prevention and treatment, we need robust structures which promote the translational process through the close cooperation of all crucial partners: university physicians, and researchers from non-university-based institutions, as well as representatives from the pharmaceutical industry, the world of politics, regulatory authorities, and patient associations. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research started to create such robust structures when it launched the first German Centers for Health Research in 2009.
The German Centers for Health Research are:
- The German Cancer Consortium (DKTK, www.dkfz.de/de/dktk)
- The German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD, www.dzd-ev.de)
- The German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK, www.dzhk.de)
- The German Center for Infection Research (DZIF, www.dzif.de)
- The German Center for Lung Research (DZL, www.dzl.de)
- The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE, www.dzne.de)