German Centers of Health Research at Internal Medicine Conference

Major widespread diseases are the focus of the German Centers of Health Research (DZG), which are funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. From April 9 -12, 2016 DZG centers will for the first time participate jointly in the annual meeting of the German Society of Internal Medicine (DGIM) in Mannheim.

Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, lung diseases, infections and neurodegenerative diseases are responsible for costs in Germany of around 100 billion euros per year. Many patients who visit a general practitioner or internist suffer from one of these diseases, some even have multiple diseases. Due to the fact that people are living longer, the number of mostly age-related diseases is increasing steadily.
The German Centers of Health Research (DZG), which were founded between 2009 and 2012, constitute new research structures to combat these common diseases. For the first time in Germany, university and non-university institutions are collaborating in a permanent network. With this structure, the six centers are well positioned to translate their research results to the patient. They want to accelerate this translation process – for the benefit of patients and the healthcare system.

Five of the six centers are represented at the DGIM at a joint stand. Under the auspices of the DZG, the latest research findings will be presented in symposia, e.g. on immunotherapy in oncology (DKTK), overweight and fat metabolism (DZD), treatment for heart failure (DZHK), new dangerous infectious diseases (DZIF) and individualized treatment for obstructive pulmonary disease (DZL).

Diseases do not stop at the borders of medical disciplines. For example, there is a strong link between cardiac arrhythmias and stroke. Myocardial disease and cancer can be caused by viruses. Obesity and diabetes increase both the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Lung cancer accompanies various chronic lung diseases with increased incidence and many forms of shortness of breath are caused by complex interactions between the heart and the lungs As a consequence, the DZG centers collaborate increasingly in a systems medical approach. 

Internal medicine is a bracket term encompassing the research priorities of the German Centers of Health Research. The annual meeting of the DGIM, which with some 10,000 participants is the largest German medical conference, offers doctors and physician-researchers ideal opportunities for interdisciplinary networking and for learning about the latest research approaches and results of the German Centers of Health Research.

Stand during the DGIM: No.101

These are the German Centers of Health Research:

German Cancer Consortium (DKTK)
German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD)
German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK)
German Center for Infection Research (DZIF)
German Center for Lung Research (DZL)
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) (not at the DGIM)