The German Cancer Research Centre and the Centre for Molecular Biology Heidelberg have created a new type of cooperation between the university and the Helmholtz Society.
The Centre for Molecular Biology at the University of Heidelberg (ZMBH) and the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) are located within close vicinity to each other on the Neuenheim campus in Heidelberg. Both institutions have long traditions as well as first-class international reputations in research into the fundamental processes of life, namely cell and molecular biology. Like the ZMBH, the DKFZ’s research priority A focuses on molecular processes that regulate the differentiation, growth and survival of cells. The similarity of each institution’s goals, issues and methods along with the growing necessity for interdisciplinary cooperation led to the creation of a collaborative alliance entailing also the establishment of an international centre that gives an important impulse to the molecular life sciences. Joint research and funding programmes, joint organisational structures, the joint use of the scientific infrastructure and joint recruitment are expected to improve the use of financial, scientific and human resources as well as to increase the utilised capacity of platform technologies. The University of Heidelberg and the DKFZ hope that their alliance will help increase their attractiveness to high-calibre scientists and boost Heidelberg’s internationally leading position in the area of molecular life sciences. The University of Heidelberg is one of nine elite universities in Germany. The DKFZ-ZMBH alliance concept was a major contributory factor to Heidelberg’s score in the German government’s excellence initiative. It is a concept that fosters interdisciplinary dialogue across institutional borders and cultures.With the signing of the agreement on 7th December, the DKFZ’s chairman and scientific director, Professor Otmar D. Wiestler, and its administrative-commercial director, Dr. Josef Puchta, the rector of Heidelberg University, Professor Bernhard Eitel, and the director of the ZMBH, Professor Bernd Bukau, officially launched the research alliance between the DKFZ and the ZMBH.