Field of Focus IResearch Activities

The members of the Field of Focus 1 “Molecular Foundations of Life, Health and Disease“ have committed themselves to the cooperation across institutional boundaries. The joint research projects include initiatives consisting of two to over a hundred researchers.


BioQuant, the Center for “Quantitative Analysis of Molecular and Cellular Biosystems” at Heidelberg University was established in 2007 as an interdisciplinary University research center that is solely dedicated to research and training in systems biology.


CellNetworks (founded in 2006), an interdisciplinary cluster aiming at understanding structure, function and evolution of subcellular and supracellular networks, assembles a large number of excellent groups from all Heidelberg molecular life science institutions and specialists from mathematics and computational sciences, chemistry and physics to tackle fundamental questions in network structure and architecture, dynamics and regulation. CellNetworks was instrumental in fostering the infrastructure of the Heidelberg Life Science Campus and acts as an umbrella organization for Core Facilities.

DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance

The DKFZ-ZMBH alliance is a strategic co-operation between research groups of the DKFZ (German Cancer Research Center, Member of the German Helmholtz Association) with focus on cell and tumor biology, and groups of ZMBH (Center for Molecular Biology Heidelberg, part of the University of Heidelberg) with focus on basic research in Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences.

German Centers for Health Research

The German Centers for Health Research have been founded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research in order to create optimal research conditions and to combat widespread diseases. Heidelberg succeeded in winning four centers or partner sites and therefore could strengthen its research portfolio significantly.


The Heidelberg Biosciences International Graduate School (HBIGS) International PhD Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology Heidelberg offers training and excellent research opportunities for outstanding PhD and MD/PhD students from Germany and abroad in a vibrant and stimulating scientific environment.


InnoLife, a consortium of more than 50 core partners (and in addition 90 associate organisations) of leading businesses, research centres and universities from 9 EU countries, has been selected by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) as the Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) for EIT Health. Central aim of the consortium - in strong collaboration with Heidelberg University and Field of Focus 1 - is to foster innovative products and services for healthy living and active ageing.

Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit (MMPU)

The MMPU is a successful joint venture between the Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), with the mission to strengthen the link between molecular research and medicine.

Collaborative Research Centres

Many Collaborative Research Centres funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) strengthen the Field of Focus 1. 

"Unseminar" Bioinformatic (HUB)

Heidelberg Unseminars in Bioinformatics (HUB) take the standard seminar format and turn it upside down, enabling active audience participation, ex¬change of expertise, open discussion, and fun. Since HUB began in April 2012, many two-hour unseminars have been held.