Clinical research

The DZHK’s research focuses on clinical studies, registries and cohorts in which all 17 clinical institutions participate. Non-DZHK institutions are also invited to include patients in DZHK studies. A complex harmonisation process undertaken by the DZHK ensures that patient data and biosamples are collected in a uniform manner in each of these studies. Over the long term, the resulting pool of data has the potential to develop into Germany’s most important resource for clinical research projects.

Focus of Clinical Studies

Pursuant to its research strategy, the DZHK focuses on selected areas of translation in its clinical studies:

Early clinical studies

This area includes first patient studies (first-in-patient), early clinical trials, including pharmacogenetics and biomarkers, as well as studies on imaging procedures (imaging studies).

Guideline relevant studies
These are studies that lead to a change in practical therapy recommendations. Examples are:

  • comparison of different therapies
  • testing of new treatment methods
  • examination of previously approved treatment procedures or medicinal products for new indications (repurposing studies)
  • testing of new pacemaker and heart support systems

Funding of Clinical Studies

As of 2015, a total of 14 million euros per year will be allocated to clinical studies, registries and cohort studies and the core structures required for conducting them. 

The DZHK funds multicentre clinical studies which are designed and implemented by scientists of the partner institutions. External partners can and should include their patients in such studies. 
In addition, the DZHK offers associated status to other studies funded by third parties. 

For guidelines on the funding of clinical studies go to

Coordination of Clinical Studies

The coordination of clinical studies is one of the few areas in which the DZHK is engaged in building up central structures. A central scientific infrastructure has been created for the uniform collection and management of patient data and biomaterials. Who owns the data and samples and who will have access to them is regulated by the DZHK Use and Access Policy.

Dr. Stephanie Lesser,
Head of Group Clinical Research, DZHK Main office
phone: +49 30 3465 529 03, stephanie.lesser(at)