Center for Child and Adolescent Health launched

Julia Hauer, holder of the Chair of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, is deput
Julia Hauer, holder of the Chair of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, is deputy head of the DZKJ site in Munich.

TUM part of newest German Center for Health Research

The newly founded German Center for Child and Adolescent Health (DZKJ) will promote and network research on child and adolescent health throughout Germany. The Technical University of Munich (TUM) will be heavily involved at the DZKJ site in Munich. Julia Hauer, Professor of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, is the vice spokesperson. This makes TUM one of only two German universities involved in all German Centers for Health Research.

The members of the DZKJ have joined forces to research age-specific disease risks and disease mechanisms, modern diagnostics and new therapeutic approaches and to develop new approaches to prevention. Over the next two years, the nationally organized and networked research center will be established. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding this phase with 30 million euros. The DZKJ office will be set up in Göttingen.

On Tuesday, June 25, the members of the Munich site presented themselves. In addition to TUM and its University Hospital rechts der Isar, the alliance includes Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) and its hospital, Helmholtz Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry.

Precision medicine at eye level

"In the newly founded Munich Child Health Alliance, we will work together to ensure that incurable diseases can be cured in the future," says Prof. Christoph Klein, DZKJ Munich site spokesperson and Director of the Children’s Hospital and Children’s Polyclinic at the Dr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital of the LMU Clinic. "We want to contribute to the development of a new era of precision medicine."

"A major goal is to give children and adolescents a strong voice with this network," says Prof. Julia Hauer , Deputy DZKJ Site Spokesperson Munich and Director of the Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine - a cooperation between the Munich Clinic and the TUM’s Klinikum rechts der Isar. In line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, affected children and their parents will be involved in the research activities and organization of the DZKJ from the very beginning. They will also be able to participate in the preparation and implementation of research projects, for example in joint workshops and round tables with the researchers. The Munich site will contribute to the DZKJ in particular with its expertise in immune and metabolic systems.

TUM experts involved

In addition to Prof. Hauer, whose research focuses on genetic predispositions to the development of childhood cancer, the team includes several principal investigators based at TUM: immunology experts Prof. Dirk Busch and Prof. Jürgen Ruland, human geneticist Dr. Holger Prokisch and Eleftheria Zeggini, Professor of Translational Genomics, Volker Mall, Professor of Social Pediatrics, AI expert Fabian Theis, Professor of Mathematical Genomics as well as Anette-Gabriele Ziegler, Professor of Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes.

TUM is a member of all’Health Research Centers

Prof. Stephanie Combs, Dean of the TUM School of Medicine and Health, said: "We are delighted to contribute the diverse expertise of the researchers at TUM to the DZKJ. Innovative approaches for disease diagnoses and therapies, but also for the topic of prevention, are our daily business. Still, It is important for us to keep an eye on the special characteristics of all groups of patients - children are not small adults."

TUM Vice President Prof. Juliane Winkelmann said: "The collaboration at the DZKJ is another example of the success of the ONE MUNICH strategy. Munich is more than the sum of its parts in the important field of pediatric and adolescent medicine thanks to the close cooperation of outstanding research institutions." With the involvement in DZKJ, TUM is contributing to every single one of the eight German Centers for Health Research (DZG). Together with LMU, TUM thus plays holds a special position throughout Germany. The centers are associations of research institutions, universities and university hospitals in Germany that focus on researching and combating widespread diseases.