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Success! Schleswig-Holstein’s Cluster in inflammation masters the first hurdle in the application process for the Excellence Strategy


Today the German Research Foundation (DFG) announced the Senate’s decision, which has been awaited with great anticipation in scientific circles: which Clusters of Excellence have achieved the honor of being allowed to apply for a third funding period within the framework of the German Excellence Strategy? There was great joy at Schleswig-Holstein’s Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces": after two successful funding periods, the 300+ member research network may apply for further funding in the final round as from 2019.

All six partner organizations agree: it was only possible to create an excellent research infrastructure due to the extremely good networking across disciplines and locations. A unique feature of the Cluster is that patients benefit directly from its research. Because here, the new findings from fundamental research are put into clinical practice unusually quickly. In the two inflammation outpatient clinics in Kiel and Lübeck, around 6,000 patients are treated per year, using an interdisciplinary approach.

What is next? The Excellence Cluster must submit its full proposal to the DFG by 21 February 2018. For the potential third funding period, the further development towards treatment of patients should also be clearly reflected in a new name for the initiative:  “Inflammation at Interfaces” is becoming “Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation”. From March 2018, international experts will examine the applications received in the last round, to determine their scientific excellence. On 27 September 2018, the DFG will announce which research consortia will receive funding from January 2019 onwards. If "Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation" is successful, the Cluster will be funded for a further seven years. "We are delighted with the DFG’s positive assessment in the first round," said Cluster spokesperson Professor Stefan Schreiber, on behalf of the Cluster’s steering group. Professor Ulrich Stephani, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Kiel University, added: “This shows that we are at the forefront with our application-orientated research, in Germany and also internationally. We would like to expand this position in the coming years.” What is required now is the power of combined knowledge to prepare the scientific application.

The Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces" has been funded since 2007 by the Excellence Initiative of the German government and the federal states with a total budget of € 68 million. It is currently in its second phase of funding. Over 300 Cluster members are spread across the four locations: Kiel (Kiel University, University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH), Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design (MHK)), Lübeck (University of Lübeck, UKSH), Plön (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology) and Borstel (Research Center Borstel (FZB) – Center for Medicine and Biosciences) and are researching an innovative, systematic approach to the phenomenon of inflammation, which can affect all barrier organs such as the intestines, lungs and skin.

More information (in German):
The DFG’s detailed schedule for the Excellence Strategy:

The German Excellence Strategy:

Dr habil. Susanne Holstein
Head of the Cluster of Excellence “Inflammation at Interfaces” Office
Tel.: +49 (0)431 880-5536

Press contact:
Dr Tebke Böschen
Tel.: +49 (0)431 880-4682, e-mail:

Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces"
Scientific Office, Head: Dr habil. Susanne Holstein
Postal address: Christian-Albrechts-Platz 4, 24118 Kiel, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)431 880-4850, Fax: +49 (0)431 880-4894
Twitter: I@I @medinflame

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