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University of Cologne receives 46 million euros for new Centre for Metabolism Research

Federal and state governments invest in new building for the Life Science Campus Cologne / Interdisciplinary research into secondary diseases such as obesity / Start of construction in 2019

The Joint Science Conference of the Federal Government and the Laender (GWK) is funding the construction of a new Centre for Metabolism Research (Zentrum für Stoffwechselforschung – ZfS) at the University of Cologne with 46.6 million euros. In the new research center, around 90 scientists and over 80 staff members will work together in nine working groups from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Cologne. The new Centre (approximately 7,240 m²) will be built on the current site of University’s Experimental Medicine (Robert-Koch-Straße). Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019 and the Centre will open in 2023.

Professor Thomas Krieg, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Cologne, says that the funding commitment is a milestone for the further expansion of metabolism medicine at the Life Science Campus Cologne: ‘The fact that we have succeeded in securing the construction of a unique, interdisciplinary research center is a major step for the University of Cologne as a research location. I am particularly pleased that we are able to build on our successful work in the research area “Homeostatic principles in metabolism and tissue regeneration”. It is an essential part of the Key Profile Area “Aging-Associated Diseases” at the University of Cologne. We want to identify basic metabolic processes in order to develop new therapies for metabolism-associated diseases.’
Krieg continues: ‘The aim of the funding is to find responses to a broad spectrum of frequent diseases that are very relevant to society and for which we urgently need new treatment options, making use of all synergy potentials.’

A major initiator of the project is the physician and scientist Professor Jens Brüning (endocrinology): ‘I am glad that we will be able to devote ourselves to even more intensive research on metabolic diseases in the future. Cologne is an ideal location with its interdisciplinary and comprehensive research activities and the connection to the top medicine of Cologne University Hospital. With the new Centre, we have the opportunity to use proven translation processes so that patients can benefit from our findings quickly.’

Obesity currently affects about 30 percent of all people in Germany. The World Health Organization predicts a decrease in average life expectancy as a result of obesity and overweight beginning in 2030. Obesity often leads to secondary diseases such as high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, diabetes type 2, cancer and various orthopaedic and psychological conditions. About five percent of all health expenditure in the industrialized countries is due to obesity, amounting to about 30 billion euros annually in Germany.

The Centre for Metabolism Research will act as a catalyst to identify new metabolic regulation principles as biomarkers or as a starting point to treat a broad spectrum of diseases. These findings will provide the basis for the development of urgently needed new therapies.

With the Centre for Metabolism Research and the planned expansion of the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research as well as the interaction with the Cluster of Excellence for Aging-Associated Diseases CECAD, the Centre for Molecular Medicine, the Centre for Genomics and the Clinical Trials Centre Cologne, the campus intends to develop into an internationally competitive location for metabolism research.

Media Enquiries:  
Professor Thomas Krieg
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Cologne
+49 221 478-6039

Press and Communications Team:
Frieda Berg
+49 221 470-1704

Further Information: