Health and Prevention Research

The EKFS Promotionskolleg Re-Thinking Health is an ambitious, laboratory-based structured doctoral program for MD students, which provides extensive, individual and direct mentoring, that extends beyond the time spent in the Promotionskolleg. To this end, the program is linked to the long-established BIH Charité Clinician Scientist Program of the Charité and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). It is our goal to provide a well-structured academic career path for medical students whose long-term goal it is to become Physician/Clinician Scientists.

Research Focus on Understanding Health: Inspired by the concepts laid out in Virchow’s „Cellular Pathology“, the past 150 years of medical research have taken a disease-centric approach. Indeed, today, it is easier to define or conceptualize disease on a molecular level than health. Thus, our primary approach for treating diseases is to block pathogenic responses or to remove the insult, rather than inducing pathways that work to maintain health.

The scientific mission of the EKFS Promotionskolleg Re-Thinking Health is to identify the molecular pillars that establish, promote and maintain health. These lines of research were informed by recent insights revealing that the state of health is safeguarded by molecular circuits that underpin resilience and vigor of a species. Resilience and vigor are shaped by the adaptation of multicellular organisms to their environments (i.e., microbiota, diets etc.). It is the long-term vision of our research to make these health-promoting pathways accessible for molecular prevention and novel therapies.


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