Focus areas

You choose one of the four focus areas portrayed below after the first semester. Acquiring a thorough knowledge of facts and methods, developing and testing your own hypotheses, getting to know your focus area on a medical and on a molecular level - Medical Life Sciences provides the opportunity for just that.

Focus area Evolutionary Medicine leprosy genome

Evolutionary Medicine looks at the dynamic interrelations between environmental factors and the human genetic make-up that influence the development of and susceptibility to diseases. Why do we suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity? Why are certain genetic variants maintained within populations despite their disease risk? Why do pathogens evolve drug resistance and can we take measures against it? Evolutionary medicine aims to bridge the gap between evolutionary biology and medicine. It focuses not only on a mechanistic understanding of medical conditions, but also considers their evolutionary origins to ultimately help improve innovative research in biomedicine.




zellbio-larsFocus area Inflammation 

How do molecular processes trigger the onset of disease, influence its course and the therapeutic success in chronic inflammatory diseases? Which role do genetic factors play in the susceptibility to civilisation diseases such as Crohn’s disease, atopic dermatitis or obesity? The focus area Inflammation teaches state-of-the-art omics-approaches and methods to investigate those questions
in depth. Students discuss current scientific publications in literature seminars, are involved in international research projects,
shadow medical doctors in specialised clinics and learn much more than just the ins and outs of inflammation research:
teamwork, lab routines, clinical-applications training are all part of the parcel.





Focus area Oncology

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Initiated by genetic and environmental factors (e.g. tobacco smoke, alcohol) and often promoted by inflammatory mechanisms (obesity, infections), cancer cells develop over long time periods from non-malignant cells and may be inhibited by immunological defense mechanisms.
The focus area Oncology trains you in molecular, cellular, genetic and epigenetic state-of-the-art approaches in cancer research and how current knowledge can be translated into diagnostics and therapy. You will be involved in cutting-edge research projects. During a clinical practical, you accompany medical doctors on their consultation rounds to learn more about clinical aspects of cancer research.





Focus area Longevity

Why do some people stay young and healthy and get as old as the hills? What protects them against the detrimental effects of ageing? Molecular pathways are key to understanding why some people escape the typical age-related decline in health and survive several decades longer than the average person. But just what exactly works differently in people who enjoy more than 90 or even 100 years of well-being? To investigate this, we look at those people and their extraordinary condition, which is called longevity and may be influenced by mechanisms that counteract biological ageing. If we understand the molecular processes responsible for their genomic and metabolic stability and disease resilience, we are a huge step closer to knowing what governs life-long health.