Epidemiologists develop real-time apps which help to record and control outbreaks.© HZI/EPID

Epidemiology is the study of the occurrence, spread and distribution of diseases in a population. Epidemiology assumes that the distribution of diseases is not random but is facilitated by congenital and acquired characteristics in individuals, groups and the environment. Epidemiological studies determine factors contributing to health risks and disease prevention, in order to develop preventive measures that curb the spread of disease and reduce disease burdens. It also evaluates the effectiveness of the measures.

The DZIF infrastructure Epidemiology supports the different DZIF research fields in epidemiological questions, and bridges the methodological gap between the individual research fields and the infrastructures. Besides providing epidemiological expertise for different projects, it also offers workshops and specific trainings. In line with translation, it develops new research tools for clinical trials and epidemiological studies, as well as systematic reviews that contribute to evidence based medicine and health care. The infrastructure Epidemiology has close connections to the German National Cohort (NAKO)—one of the largest international prospective cohort studies—enabling it to transfer specific DZIF research approaches to general population cohorts on a large scale, and amongst other things, investigate previously undiscovered links between infections and widespread chronic diseases in the population.

Tasks and goals

  • Strengthening aspects of epidemiology in DZIF studies
  • Workshops and trainings on epidemiological methods
  • Research on disease burden in the population
  • Developing new research tools for clinical and epidemiological research
  • Use of modern communication technology for clinical and epidemiological research
  • Incorporation of DZIF research approaches into the NAKO



Gérard Krause
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research/Hannover Medical School


Osamah Hamouda
Robert Koch Institute

Projekt manager

Vanessa Melhorn, HZI
Sandra Beermann, RKI
Helga Brink, HZI