The German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin (DRFZ) focusses on the biomedical and epidemiological analyses of rheumatic diseases. It combines biological, clinical and epidemiologic research to improve treatment of rheumatic patients.
The biomedical research area “Pathophysiology of Inflammatory Rheumatic Diseases” aims at a molecular and cellular understanding of chronic inflammation. An exact knowledge of the cells and molecules initiating and driving chronic inflammatory diseases will allow the design of new therapies, with the ultimate goal to find a cure. The strategy is to target pathogenic cells selectively, without affecting protective immune cells.
Epidemiologic research at the DRFZ addresses the prognosis of rheumatic diseases in adults and children, the quality of health care and the safety and effectiveness of new treatments. This research area maintains unique long-term cohorts and closely cooperates with a large network of rheumatologists all over Germany and Europe.
The DRFZ has 24 independent research groups, 8 of which are liaison groups with the Charité – University Medicine Berlin, 1 with the Cluster of Excellence "NeuroCure" at the Charité and 1 with the Robert Koch-Institute in Berlin. At the DRFZ, physicians, biologists, geneticists, biochemists, mathematicians and sociologists closely collaborate. Researchers of the DRFZ participate in 6 Collaborative Research Programs of the German Research Council (DFG) and in 9 research networks of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The DRFZ is partner in 5 research networks of the EU, and holds one Advanced Grant of the European Research Council.
Within the Leibniz Association, the DRFZ is a member of the Leibniz-Research Networks "Healthy Aging" and "Interdisciplinary Drug Research", and coordinates an international network on “Immunological memory”.