Heidelberg joins the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF) Initiative through Heidelberg University, the University Hospital and through partners from the German Cancer Research Institute (DKFZ).

Heidelberg mainly focuses on the Thematic Translational Units (TTUs) "Emerging infections", "HIV", "Hepatitis", "Infections of the immunocompromised host" and "Malaria". Heidelberg is the central coordinator for the TTU "HIV" and focuses on identifying and characterizing factors from the innate immune system that restrict HIV infection, and on analyzing integration sites of viral DNA into the host cell.

The Heidelberg partner site coordinates the DZIF infrastructural measure "Biobank", with a focus on tissue biobanking. Heidelberg is also involved in the infrastructural project "Clinical trial unit" and in the infrastructural measure "African partner sites" with its partner site in Nouna, Burkina Faso.

Research activities concentrate on imaging infections in systems of increasing complexity: from clonal cells to mixed cell populations, whole tissue models and even small animal models. Heidelberg is building further infrastructures and expertise in this field for all of DZIF.

Education of young students and continued education of scientists and doctors in Heidelberg is fostered through participation in the DZIF Academy. An example Academy programme implemented in Heidelberg is the clinical leave stipend: MDs can receive a stipend and be released from clinical duties for one year to pursue infectious disease research. Another example is the MD programme that allows highly motivated medical students to interrupt their studies for 9 to 12 months to follow an infectious disease research project in one of the member labs. The Academy also includes mentoring programs and stipends for women returning to infectious disease research after maternity leave.

Participating in the following TTUs

Emerging Infections
Infections of the Immunocompromised Host

Participating in the following infrastructural measures

Clinical Trial Unit
African Partner Sites

Partner site speaker
Klaus Heeg (Universität und Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg)

Deputy partner site speaker
Hans-Georg Kräusslich (Universität und Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg)

Partner site manager
Elvira Bijedic (Universität und Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg)

Research institutions involved

Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Heidelberg University Hospital
German Cancer Research Center