Inflammation is a focus area in Medical Life Sciences because research on inflammatory disorders is a key expertise at Kiel University. For more than 25 years now, Kiel has substantially contributed to findings on chronic inflammation. Several large-scale research units were established, which enables MedLife students to join hands-on research.

Chronic inflammatory diseases - many of them autoimmune disorders - are on the rise, from psoriasis to Crohn’s disease. Those diseases severely worsen the quality of life for millions worldwide and constitute an increasing healthcare burden globally.

In a common scenario, our immune system delivers an overblown immune response to a pathogen attack without termination, or it mistakes own-body cells for enemies to be eliminated at any cost: chronic inflammation is one of the consequences. Our lifestyle, the environment in which we live and work seem to play a big role in the development of those conditions. So-called genetic risk loci render their carriers more susceptible to certain types of chronic inflammation; but whether, when and why a chronic inflammatory disease is triggered in an individual often remains unclear. More research is needed.

inflamed tissueMany people know that chronic inflammation is at the core of Crohn’s disease or psoriasis, but there are also diseases whose inflammatory component has been discovered only a few years ago, take Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, type-2 diabetes or Parkinson’s disease.

Various types of cancer may also develop from chronically inflamed tissue. Consequently, several inflammatory disorders have been classified as pre-malignant conditions. Taking all this into account, it’s not difficult to see why inflammation is such a central topic in (bio)medical research today.

In Kiel, you are in good hands when choosing INFLAMMATION as your focus area: Kiel has been an international inflammation-research hub for well over two decades. Inflammation is investigated in high-level research networks and projects connecting major national and international research institutions and experts, providing the opportunity for MedLife students to get first-hand insight into state-of-the art approaches:

  • Platforms have been created during the last 10 years that enable scientists to “read” genomes with high-throughput sequencers. With the new Competence Center for Genomic Analysis, Kiel hosts one of Germany’s largest academic sequencing centers.
  • Scientists from nutritional science to biology, from gastroenterology to bioinformatics work together in the Center for Molecular Biosciences and process big data in powerful computing clusters of the university.
  • Clinicians of the specialized Excellence Center for Inflammation Medicine and the clinical departments of the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein care for patients and devise treatment strategies jointly, work with geneticists and cell biologists in research projects.
  • After very successfully completing two funding periods, the Cluster of Excellence Inflammation at Interfaces has been followed by Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation. In this cluster, hundreds of scientists and clinicians have joined forces to address urgent needs in treating chronic inflammatory disorders.
The focus area INFLAMMATION is closely linked to all those institutions supporting students in their research activities.