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The German Council of Science and Humanities Lauds the German Centers for Health Research: Promising Model for Medical Research

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The German Council of Science and Humanities has given the German Centers for Health Research (DZG) a positive assessment in recognition of the DZG’s outstanding achievements. According to the Council, the DZG are a suitable model to promote translational research in specific areas of disease. In the assessment, the advisory body for the Federal Government and the State Governments (Länder) certified that the six centers play an important role in the German science system and recommended their further development.

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“The German Centers for Health Research provide a valuable contribution to the German science system,” said Professor Martina Brockmeier, chair of the Council, commenting on the positive assessment. In April 2016, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) asked the German Council of Science and Humanities to conduct a cross-center evaluation of the DZG and to indicate possibilities for future development.

The six DZG were founded on the initiative of the BMBF in the period from 2009 to 2012 with the purpose of combating specific major diseases more effectively. Each center is devoted to one disease area: cancer (DKTK), diabetes (DZD), cardiovascular disease (DZHK), infectious diseases (DZIF), lung disease (DZL), dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases (DZNE). The common objective is "translation", that is, to improve the transfer of research results from the laboratory to broad medical care, thus to advance efforts against these diseases. For this purpose, the centers are bundling the research expertise existing in various university and non-university institutions regarding the respective major diseases across institutional boundaries.

It is precisely this institutional link between non-university and university research which the Council considers crucial for the important role of the DZG in the German science system. The Council recommends that the potential of this network be expanded in the long term and used efficiently for the treatment of patients as well as to pursue new approaches in the prevention of major diseases.

At yesterday’s DZG discussion forum, the DZG board members emphasized that this very positive assessment by the Council is an incentive to intensify cooperation even further. They thanked the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the State Governments for their constructive support and for financing the establishment of the German Centers for Health Research.

Further information

German Centers for Health Research:

German Cancer Consortium (DKTK)
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD)
German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK)
German Center for Lung Research (DZL)
German Center for Infection Research (DZIF)

All guidelines and recommendations of the German Council of Science and the Humanities can be accessed here (in German).