Research Foci

Based on challenges of high clinical and societal relevance and the special competencies of its cooperation partners, HZI has established Research Foci (RF), providing a synergistic, dynamic and flexible framework for the programme.

The Research Foci integrate know-how from different areas of HZI’s research, namely from all three Topics, and can thus address research questions using expertise on pathogens, immune systems and anti-infectives. They offer the flexibility to meet new challenges, e.g. by establishing a new Research Focus when a new urgent problem emerges. Within each Research Focus, HZI scientists pursue the transfer of knowledge from the lab to clinical or pharmaceutical application.

Currently, researchers at HZI and its partner institutions cooperate in five Research Foci addressing the clinically relevant fields of:

Digital and Global health (EPI)

Research Focus EPI – short for “Epidemiology” – deals with infectious diseases at the level of populations and develops solutions for public health. The HZI-coordinated development of the Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System SORMAS is already contributing to the response to epidemics in Africa. It will improve the understanding of the spread of infectious diseases. HZI will also intensify development of Mobile Health or “mHealth” technologies utilizing mobile electronic devices for infection research.  Within the German National Cohort and beyond, these applications will deepen our knowledge on associations between infections and non-infectious diseases.
The most important questions scientists in RF EPI work on are:

  • How can we improve global health security and pandemic preparedness?
  • How can applications for digital and mobile devices enhance prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of infections?
  • Which causal associations between infections and non-infectious diseases exist – and can they offer novel control approaches?

Speaker RF EPI: Dr Stefanie Castell
Deputy Speaker RF EPI: Prof Dr Gérard Krause


Most relevant publications

Digital and Global health (EPI)

Schweitzer, A., Horn, J., Mikolajczyk, R.T., Krause, G., and Ott, J.J. (2015). Estimations of worldwide prevalence of chronic hepatitis B virus infection: a systematic review of data published between 1965 and 2013. Lancet 386, 1546-1555.

Yinka-Ogunleye, A., Aruna, O., Dalhat, M., …, Tom-Aba, D., Silenou, B., …, Krause, G., Ihekweazu, C. (2019). Outbreak of human monkeypox in Nigeria in 2017-18: a clinical and epidemiological report. The Lancet Infectious diseases 19, 872-879.

Ott, J.J., Horn, J., Krause, G., and Mikolajczyk, R.T. (2017). Time trends of chronic HBV infection over prior decades - A global analysis. J Hepatol 66, 48-54.
Rübsamen, N., Castell, S., Horn, J., Karch, A., Ott, J.J., Raupach-Rosin, H., Zoch, B., Krause, G., and Mikolajczyk, R.T. (2015). Ebola risk perception in Germany, 2014. Emerging infectious diseases 21, 1012-1018.

Schweitzer, A., Akmatov, M.K., and Krause, G. (2017). Hepatitis B vaccination timing: results from demographic health surveys in 47 countries. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 95, 199-209G.


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