Charité involved in the establishment of two new centers for health research


The aim of the German Centers for Health Research, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the federal states, is to combat common and widespread diseases more effectively. Two new centers have now been added to the six existing centers: the German Center for Child and Adolescent Health (DZKJ) and the German Center for Mental Health (DZP). During this competitive, science-driven process, the scientists at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin excelled in their contributions and will now play a key role as partners in founding the two new centers. The DZP and DZKJ will be ready for establishment in about a year.

The transfer of health-relevant research findings into practice (i.e., translation) is becoming increasingly important in the dynamic field of health research. In this spirit, the German Centers for Health Research pool their competencies towards common goals. "About two years ago, the German government announced that two new Centers for Health Research would be established. The names for participating institutions for the German Center for Mental Health and the German Center for Child and Adolescent Health have been selected by the BMBF and Charité has been chosen as a partner in both cases. We are very pleased about this, as the selection will further improve research and care in these important subjects in Berlin. We warmly congratulate our colleagues," says Prof. Dr. Heyo K. Kroemer, the Chief Executive Officer of Charité.

The goal of each German Center of Health Research is to create optimal research conditions within its field. Each center consists of several partner sites distributed throughout Germany. Charité is already involved in numerous ways in three of the existing six centers: It coordinates the Berlin sites of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen, DZNE) and the German Cancer Consortium (Deutsches Konsortium für Translationale Krebsforschung, DKTK) and serves as a partner institution for the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (Das Deutsche Zentrum für Herz-Kreislauf-Forschung, DZHK). Prof. Dr. Axel R. Pries, the Dean of Charité, stresses the importance of the two newly emerging centers: “Child and adolescent health, as well as mental health, are crucial parts of responsible university medicine. In both these areas, research and translation are increasingly necessary for converting modern medical possibilities into better care for patients. Both topics will remain highly relevant for the Charité’s future strategic development and we are pleased that scientists and physicians of Charité will be involved in the establishment of these new health centers."

The designated partners of the new centers are now entering a phase of joint conceptual development that will lead to establishing the research alliances. The overall scientific strategy will map the infrastructures necessary for the implementation of each respective research concept and outline the possibilities for future cooperation.

German Center for Mental Health (Deutsches Zentrum für Psychische Gesundheit, DZP)

The application to become a site for the DZP was coordinated by a team led by NeuroCure PI Prof. Dr. Andreas Heinz and Prof. Dr. Isabella Heuser-Collier, directors of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurosciences which is part of both the Campus Charité Mitte and the Campus Benjamin Franklin, and Prof. Dr. Matthias Rose, director of the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine at the Charité. At this site, there will be collaboration between experts from Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) of the Helmholtz Association, the Robert Koch Institute, the University of Potsdam, the German Institute of Human Nutrition (Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke, DIfE), and partners in Freiburg and London. The basis of the DZP site, and its satellite site in Freiburg, is the Charité Mental Health (CMH) platform, an association that already exists between all the clinics and institutes at Charité as well as other university and non-university institutions that are active in the field of mental health in the Berlin and Brandenburg region, especially regarding research, teaching, prevention, and patient care. The work will focus on the diversity of human living conditions and lifestyles in the prevention and treatment of mental illness. Other areas to be examined include individual differences in the development of physical and mental health across the lifespan, the diversity of social living conditions and participatory opportunities, and targeted interventions based on such differences. An international board and a “Trialogical” advisory board with representatives of the federal organization of relatives, those affected, the German Medical Association (Bundesärztekammer) and the Federal Chamber of Psychotherapists (Bundespsychotherapeutenkammer) support the participatory research and will accompany the development of the new center. An advisory board with representatives from regulatory authorities, industry and start-ups will support the rapid implementation of findings in application and practice. For further information, please see:

German Center for Child and Adolescent Health

(Deutsches Zentrum für Kinder- und Jugendgesundheit, DZKJ)

The Berlin DZKJ site comprises a network of clinically and scientifically active experts from Charité, the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH), MDC, and the German Rheumatism Research Centre Berlin (DRFZ) of the Leibniz Association. The Berlin DZKJ site is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Marcus Mall, Director of the Clinic for Pediatrics with a focus on pneumology, immunology and intensive care medicine at the Charité. The clinical backbone is the Otto Heubner Center, which combines the nine pediatric clinics of the Charité into Germany's largest center for pediatric and adolescent medicine. Here, specialists from a wide range of disciplines work together to provide chronically ill children and adolescents with holistic care based on the latest scientific research. Together with the partners at the site, they pursue the goal of improving the prevention, diagnosis, and therapy of serious diseases in childhood and adolescence. As part of the DZKJ, Berlin will bring its expertise in severe rare genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, chronic inflammatory diseases such as allergies and autoimmune diseases, and childhood developmental disorders of the brain and other organs. In addition, with the help of new cross-organ and cross-disease ‘systems medicine’ research approaches, new ways of deciphering disease mechanisms can be found, and these findings translated into new therapies in a timely manner. For further information, please see:

Source: Charité Press Release

Deutsches Zentrum für Psychische Gesundheit (DZP)

Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Andreas Heinz
NeuroCure Member
Medical Director Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Campus Charité
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin Campus Charité-Mitte
Charitéplatz 1
10117 Berlin


Prof. Dr. Isabella Heuser-Collier
Direktorin Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie Campus Benjamin Franklin
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Hindenburgdamm 30
12200 Berlin


Prof. Dr. Matthias Rose
Direktor Med. Klinik m.S. Psychosomatik
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Hauptstandort mit Hochschulambulanz und Station 34
Hindenburgdamm 30
12200 Berlin


Deutsches Zentrum für Kinder- und Jugendgesundheit (DZKJ)

Prof. Dr. med. Marcus A. Mall
Klinikdirektor der Klinik für Pädiatrie m. S. Pneumologie, Immunologie und Intensivmedizin 
Ärztliche Centrumsleitung CC 17
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Augustenburger Platz 1
13353 Berlin


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