Biomedical Research and Clinical Medicine

Research ClustersAbstract

DNA-Helix The relevance of biological, sociocultural and psychological aspects of gender to gender-equitable medical care is evident in many fields of the public healthcare system. Research in this particular cluster (responsible scientists: PD Dr. Andrea Kindler-Röhrborn and Prof. Sigrid Elsenbruch) takes into account the increasing importance of valid results in gender research, particularly with respect to development towards personalised medicine and pharmacotherapy.

Particular highlights of 2014 and 2015 were the renewal of the DFG Research Units FOR 1328 "Expectation and conditioning as basic processes of the placebo and nocebo response - Transferring mechanisms to clinical applications" (2010-2017) and FOR 1581 "Extinction Learning: Behavioural, Neural and Clinical Mechanisms" (2011-2016), as well as the BMBF joint project "Sex/Gender sensitive research in Epidermiology, Neurosciences and Genetics/Tumour Research (2011-2014). Successful collaboration with the University's Science Support Centre (SSC) added a new qualitative dimension with the application for an Innovative Training Network (ITN) "TriHealth - Tailored research concepts for health care in men and women" with a total volume of 3.5 million euros under European research funding. This multi-disciplinary consortium focuses on non-communicable diseases such as cancer or dementia. The EKfG is further involved as a partner organization in the BMBF research alliance “Health Literacy in Childhood and Adolescence (HLCA)” (2015-2018) coordinated by the University of Bielefeld.

2015 saw the launch of the lecture series “Sex and Gender Aspects in Biomedical Research and Clinical Medicine” as part of the Tuesday Seminars of the Faculty of Medicine, which aims to address medical professionals in research and clinical practice and young researchers at the University Hospital Essen in particular but also the interested public. In collaboration with the Faculty, three-year external funding was secured to promote gender research by the chairs of Prof. Sigrid Elsenbruch-Harnish (Experimental Psychobiology Considering Gender Specific Aspects) and Prof. Anke Hinney (Molecular Genetics of Adiposity and Eating Disorders Considering Gender Specific Aspects) as part of the NRW programme for gender-equitable universities. Intensive networking activities, the lecture series “Health – Care – Gender” (2014/2015), workshops for young researchers, and a publication from within the interdisciplinary cluster context accompanied the research activities.

Research in this cluster is accompanied by intensive networking activities under a College initiative to establish an interdisciplinary expert network for gender research in the health sector in North Rhine-Westphalia and later extend it to federal level.