Heidelberg University Hospital (UKL-HD) with its 43 specialized clinical departments and 13 medical institutes is one of the leading medical centers in Europe. Every year, hundreds of thousands of patients from all over Germany and many other countries come here to make use of our modern treatment facilities. The highest standards of medical care are guaranteed by our world-renowned professors, distinguished physicians and committed nursing staff. UKL-HD is constantly developing new methods of diagnosis and treatment at the forefront of biomedical research for the benefit of all patients. The strong international atmosphere at UKL-HD and orientation is reflected by the more than 70 currently ongoing participations in programs such as FP7, H2020-SC1, ERC, FET-OPEN, Erasmus+, MSCA-ITN, MSCA-IF, MSCA-Night, IMI2, NIH, European Reference Networks and ERA-NET actions.
Relevant to this call, the Specialty Clinic for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders at the Department of General Internal Medicine and Psychosomatics as tertiary center was established in 2012 and is running well and smoothly. In addition, interdisciplinary teams of clinicians and scientists from the Heidelberg area focusing on neuroscience related to neurological, mental and neurogastroenterological disorders are engaged within the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences. At the Institute of Human Genetics research is performed bridging basic research and clinical medicine. With the ever increasing rapidity and high throughput methodology the genetic contribution to many diseases can be tackled leading to interchanges with practically all medical fields. At the Department of Human Molecular Genetics the focus is on the molecular elucidation of human disease with a special focus on developmental and neuro(gastroentero)logic disorders. The major aim is to understand how genetic variants correlate with disease, how genes are regulated and how they contribute to differentiation and development as well as disease pathogenesis. By integrating complementing genetic, molecular, biochemical and cell biological approaches, the basic understanding and function of these genes and their roles in the relevant networks are aimed to be established. Most recently, the Niesler team was very active in building the first German IBS biobank sampling blood, DNA and tissue samples of more than 1000 IBS patients from Germany and 700 from colleagues from GENIEUR including partners actually engaged in DISCOvERIE (Santos, Vicario, Simrén, van Oudenhove, Cryan, Clarke) and established in vitro models for the functional follow up of (epi-) genetic findings. Furthermore, The Statistical Genetics Group at Heidelberg University Hospital lead by Prof. Lorenzo Bermejo develops and applies advanced statistical methods to examine high-throughput molecular data (DNA- and RNA-sequence data, SNP, methylation, mRNA and miRNA expression arrays,…). The major research areas of group members are the statistical data integration, robust methods in statistical genetics, genetic association in families and populations, admixture estimation and admixture mapping. The Statistical Genetics Group offers considerable expertise in applied Bioinformatics, Genetic Epidemiology and Population Genetics, and coordinates the statistical analyses in international studies on gallbladder, colorectal and breast cancers, irritable bowel disease, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. All necessary equipment and expertise is available at the Institute of Human Genetics and the Core Facilities of the Heidelberg Campus. The research facilities have been initiated in different research programmes on the Heidelberg University Campus, are hosted at different institutes of Heidelberg University Campus and have recently joined forces under the umbrella of the HMLS Core Facilities initiative. Most of them are part of the Excellence Cluster CellNetworks or the Interdisciplinary Centre of Neurosciences in both of which Beate Niesler is engaged as PI. Furthermore, Niesler etablished the first IBS biobank in Germany in which samples of the IBS-Net Germany and GENIEUR are stored and available for research projects as outlined above. She collaborates with Lorenzo-Bermejo (Inst. Medical Biometry and Informatics, UKL-HD) with expertise in methodological and applied research on statistical genetics, epidemiology and medical biostatistics. Another crucial partner in Heidelberg is Jonas Tesarz who is specialist in internal medicine and works as a senior physician at the Department of General Internal Medicine and Psychosomatics. He is head of the Specialty Clinic for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders and of the Specialty Unit for Integrated Pain Medicine at the Heidelberg University Hospital.