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Research at the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg


The Medical Faculty of Heidelberg is, according to numerous surveys and rankings, one of the leading institutions for medical research and education in Germany.


Research at the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg and Heidelberg University Hospital means close relation between laboratory work and medical care, swift transfer of new insights into clinical trials, modern teaching in step clinical practice and well-directed promotion of young researchers. It is characterised by a high degree of multidisciplinary collaboration beyond the boundaries of departments and institutes, especially in basic and clinical research.


The research at the Faculty of Medicine of Heidelberg focuses on five areas of primary importance:

  • Infectious Diseases

  • Vascular Ischemia and Myogenic Dysfunction

  • Neurosciences

  • Translational and individualised Oncology

  • Transplantation and Individualised Immunotherapy

The Medical Faculty of Heidelberg and the Heidelberg University Hospital conduct numerous collaborative research centres, research training groups , research units and clinical research units funded by the DFG (German Research Foundation), which represent the above mentioned areas of focus to a large extent. Additionally, further medical and scientific institutions at the University of Heidelberg as well as other cooperating institutions contribute to Heidelberg's position as a location of research. 


The Deanery of Research of the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg

The Deanery of Research offers researchers at the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg advisory and administrative support with applications and arrangement of research projects, individual inquiries concerning fund raising from third party funds and administrative support with the promotion programmes for research and young researchers, offered by the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg.

Collaborative Research Centers (CRC) and CRC/Transregios (SFB and SFB-Transregio)

  • SFB 1389: Understanding and targeting resistance in glioblastoma – UNITEGLIOBLASTOMA; (Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wick, Department of Neurology)
  • SFB 1158: "Pain" (Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Rohini Kuner, Institute of Pharmacology)
  • SFB 1129: Integrative Analysis of Pathogen Replication and Spread (Coordinator: Prof. Hans-Georg Kräusslich, Department of Infectious Diseases)
  • SFB 1118: Reactive Metabolites as Cause of Diabetic Complications (Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Peter Nawroth,  Department of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine I)
  • SFB-TR 209: Liver Cancer – New mechanistic and therapeutic con-cepts in a solid tumor model (Heidelberg, Hannover, Tübingen); Coordinator: Prof. Dr. P. Schirmacher, Institute of Pathology
  • SFB-Transregio 179: Determinants and dynamics of elimination versus persistence of hepatitis virus infection(Heidelberg/Freiburg/München); Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Ralf Bartenschlager, Zentrum für Infektiologie
  • SFB-Transregio 156: The skin as sensor and effector organ, orchestrating local and systemic immunity (Heidelberg/Mainz/Tubingen; Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Alexander Enk, Department of Dermatology)
  • SFB-Transregio 83: Molecular Architecture and Cellular Functions of Lipid/Protein Assemblies (Heidelberg/Dresden/Bonn; Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Thomas Söllner, Biochemistry Center)

Additionally, the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg participates in following Collaborative Research Centres:

  • SFB 1366: Vascular Control of Organ Function; Coordinator: prof. Dr. H. Augustin, Medical Faculty Mannheim
  • SFB 1324: Mechanisms and functions of Wnt signaling (Heidelberg/Karlsruhe/Göttingen); Coordinator: Prof. Dr.  T. Holstein, Centre for Organism Studies Heidelberg
  • SFB 1036: Cellular Surveillance And Damage Response (Coordinator: Prof. Bernd Bukau, Zentrum für Molekulare Biologie Heidelberg)
  • SFB 873: Maintenance and Differentiation of Stem Cells in Development and Disease
  • SFB-Transregio 186: Molecular Switches in the Sepatio-Temporal Control of Cellular Signal Transmission (Heidelberg/Berlin)
  • SFB-Transregio 152: TRiPs to Homeostasis: Maintenance of Body Homeostasis by Transient Receptor Potential Channel Modules(München; Freiburg/Saarbrücken/Heidelberg/Leipzig)
  • SFB-Transregio 79: Materials for tissue regeneration within systemically altered bone (Gießen/Heidelberg/Dresden)

Research Training Groups (GRK)

The Medical Faculty participates also in following Research Training Groups:

  • GRK 2350: Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Psychosocial and Somatic Conditions Across the Lifespan
  • GRK 2099: Hallmarks of Skin Cancer
  • iGRK 1874: Diabetic Microvascular Complications – DIAMICOM

Research Units (FOR)

  • FOR 2289: Calcium homeostasis in neuroinflammation and -degeneration: New targets for therapy of multiple sclerosis? (Heidelberg/Homburg, Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Ricarda Diem, Department of Neurooncology)

The Heidelberg University Medical Faculty is also currently participating in:

  • FOR 2969: Mechanismen der Fehlfaltung von Antikörper-Leichtketten in der Systemischen AL-Amyloidose
  • FOR 2509: The concert of dolichol-based glycosylation: from molecules to disease models; Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Sabine Strahl, Centre for Organismal Studies (COS), Heidelberg
  • FOR 2407: Exploring Articular Cartilage and Subchondral Bone Degeneration and Regeneration in Osteoarthritis (ExCarBon)
  • FOR 2149: Elucidation of Adhesion GPCR signaling
  • FOR 3031: NORMAL#VERRÜCKT Zeitgeschichte einer erodierenden Differenz

Clinical Research Units (KFO)

Participation exists in:

  • KFO 329: Disease pathways in podocyte injury – from molecular mechanisms to individualized treatment Options


Priority Programmes (SPP)

  • SPP 1923: Innate Sensing and Restriction of Retroviruses (Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Oliver Till Fackler, Department of Virology)


  • SPP 2084:  µBONE: Colonization and interaction of tumor cells within the bone microenvironment

  • SPP 1935: Deciphering the mRNP code: RNA-bound determinants of post-transcriptional gene Regulation
  • SPP 1782: Epithelial intercellular junctions as dynamic hubs to integrate forces, signals, and cell behavior
  • SPP 1784: Chemical Biology of native Nucleic Acid Modifications
  • SPP 1738: Emerging roles of non-coding RNAs in nervous system development, plasticity & disease
  • SPP 1710: Dynamics of Thiol-based Redox Switches in Cellular Physiology
  • SPP 1665: Resolving and Manipulating Neuronal Networks in the Mammalian Brain - from Correlative to Causal Analysis
  • SPP 1608: Ultrafast and temporally precise information processing: normal and dysfunctional hearing
  • SPP 1468: Osteoimmunology - IMMUNOBONE - A Program to Unravel the Mutual Interactions between the Immune System and Bone
  • SPP 1392: Integrative analysis of olfaction 
  • SPP 2177: Radiomics: Next Generation of Biomedical Imaging
  • SPP 2306: Ferroptosis: From Research to Clinical Application


Initiative for Excellence

  • Exzellenzcluster "Cellular Networks" (Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Hans-Georg Kräusslich, Department of Infektiology, division Virologie)
  • The Hartmut Hoffmann-Berling International Graduate School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (Coordinators: Prof. Dr. Elmar Schiebel, ZMBH and Prof. Dr. Michael Lanzer, Department of Infektiology, division Parasitology)

For more information on the Initiative for Excellence at the University of Heidelberg visit the University's Initiative for Excellence page.

Joint research projects promoted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Scientists at the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg participate in numerous joint research projects promoted by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Following projects are being coordiated at present:

  • Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung (DZIF)
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislauf-Forschung (DZHK)
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Lungenforschung (DZL)
  • Deutsches Konsortium für Translationale Krebsforschung (DKTK)
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Diabetesforschung (DZD) - associate participation
  • Nationale Kohorte (NAKO)


University's scientific institutions

Other cooperating research institutions 

International partnerships

  • Semmelweis University Budapest
  • Tonji Medical University Wuhan, China
  • Cooperation with the Medical Faculty and the Universidad Católica de Chile as well as the Heidelberg Center for Latin America
  • In the field of medicine and medical equipment engeneering exists an agreement between the Medical Facultys of the Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh) and the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg



Last update: 16.12.2021