German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK)
Top Cardiovascular Researchers Work in Concert
Tasks and Objectives of the DZHK
Interdisciplinary cooperation and large-scale studies comprise the basis for future-oriented and patient-oriented cardiovascular research. In the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) scientists find the opportunity for such research projects. The DZHK offers them a collaborative framework to jointly implement research ideas - better and faster than they were able to do so previously. The most important goal of the DZHK is to make research findings available as quickly as possible to all patients in Germany and to advance the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease.
To achieve this, with the founding of the DZHK German cardiovascular research has completely repositioned itself. Twenty-six research institutions at seven partner sites located throughout Germany are joining forces and developing a joint research strategy. These sites and their scientists were selected in a competition initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). International experts judged them as the best in the field of cardiovascular research in Germany.
Seven Partner Sites under One (Virtual) Roof
In cardiovascular research, a centre with a nationwide reach provides many advantages. This field has seen enormous progress in recent years; for this reason further progress is expected to be incremental rather than paradigmatic. To continue to make progress, ever larger multi-centre clinical studies, patient registries and biobanks will be needed. This can be implemented much better in one nationwide centre than in many small single institutions. At the seven DZHK partner sites – Berlin, Göttingen, Greifswald, Hamburg/Kiel/Lübeck, Heidelberg/Mannheim, Munich and Rhine-Main - more than 140 recognized experts are working in concert.
Joint Research Programmes and Initiatives
The partner sites and the institutions of the DZHK cooperate in eight research programmes. The programmes are devoted to the following topics:
- Vascular disease
- Hereditary and inflammatory cardiomyopathies
- Heart failure (cardiac insufficiency)
- Cardiovascular prevention
- Cardiac imaging
- Scientific infrastructure
- Social infrastructure
At least four of the partner sites shall collaborate in each research project under the auspices of one of these programmes. In addition, there are overarching "cooperative research initiatives" in which all partner sites of the Centre work together and also provide financial means for collaboration with scientists outside the DZHK. This shall enable the initiation of large-scale cardiovascular clinical trials in Germany to evaluate new drugs or treatments.
The DZHK is funded jointly by the federal government and nine state governments. The federal share amounting to 90% of the total funding is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Each DZHK partner institution receives the remaining 10% from its respective state.