DFG to establish seven new Clinical Research Units

December 11, 2003

This release is also available in German.

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation - DFG) approved the establishment of seven new Clinical Research Units at a session of the relevant Grants Committee held on 5 December 2003.

Twelve Clinical Research Units were originally established in 2001 in response to recommendations contained in a white paper. Today, the DFG funds a total of 21 units at 15 universities. Clinical Research Units were introduced to intensify networking between basic research and clinical application, to create research oriented structures at university clinics and to establish these long term. On the one hand, the programme centres on supporting particularly proven groups of researchers by appointing a new leader for this group. On the other, it aims to promote innovative research projects at medical faculties. The funding is scheduled to run for six years. It particularly supports young researchers and makes a sustainable contribution to raising the profile of universities.

Lung transplants continue to be the only treatment which promises a cure for patients suffering from serious diseases to this organ. However, a lack of donor organs means that almost one third of all patients die before the life-saving operation can be carried out. Yet patients who have had a lung transplant also have much lower average post-operational life expectancy than heart transplant patients, for example. The newly established Clinical Research Unit "Lung Transplantation" at the Hannover School of Medicine is doing research into how alternative approaches can help to improve the situation of lung patients, for example by obtaining donor organs from animals or using stem-cell based therapies to stop organ rejection.

A Clinical Research Unit is being established at the University Clinic Würzburg to gain a better understanding of "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" (ADHD). ADHD is one of the most common behavioural conditions among youngsters and children known to juvenile psychiatry. The cause of this complex genetic disorder, which eventually leads to a brain malfunction, remains very largely unresearched. The interdisciplinary Research Unit hopes to be able to find ways in which ADHD therapy can be made more effective. The long term goal is to develop an interdisciplinary centre of excellence in ADHD research at the University of Würzburg.

The DFG received a total of 25 project outlines in response to its third announcement for the "Clinical Research Units" programme in autumn 2002. The following seven units were selected:
-end-
Further information available from the programme director responsible for Clinical Research Units at the DFG or from the other programme directors at the DFG Medical Units.

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

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