Helmholtz Zentrum München is the German Research Center for Environmental Health. It investigates important common diseases which develop from the interaction of lifestyle, environmental factors and personal genetic background, focusing particularly on diabetes mellitus and chronic lung diseases.

Helmholtz Zentrum München is a research institution of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Free State of Bavaria. It is a memeber of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.


How genes and the environment shape our life

Man and the environment form a unit. This is the angle adopted by scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. Their research approach, which combines ecological and biomedical research, is based on this perspective. This concept is unique in the German research landscape. Our research focuses on environmentally induced diseases such as diabetes mellitus and chronic lung diseases. We help to shed light on the mechanisms that underlie neurodegeneration, cancer, diseases of the immune system and widespread chronic diseases.

The interaction of individual risk factors, lifestyle and environmental conditions influences the development and progression of these diseases. Our scientists examine the complex systems that underlie human condition. In so doing, they aim

•    to identify human health risks at an early stage
•    to decode the mechanisms that cause disease
•    to develop individualized concepts for the long-term prevention and cure of disease
•    and to improve diagnostics

Focus Areas within Strategic Programs

Excellent basic research is the foundation of scientific work at Helmholtz Zentrum München to which 40 scientific institutes and departments contribute. Their scientific competencies are linked with regard to content and thematically through strategic programs of the Helmholtz Association and are financed through program-oriented funding (POF). Thus, complex questions and problems relevant to science, society and the economy can be explored beyond the boundaries of institutions and disciplines.

Helmholtz Zentrum München is integrated into the research areas Health and Earth and Environment within the scope of program-oriented funding (POF) of the Helmholtz Association. Following a successful review in the area of Health, the Center is continuing to focus on the investigation of major common diseases.
In the third POF phase beginning in 2014, the Center is pooling its resources in the health program GEnCoDe (Genes and Environment in Common Diseases). In the area of Earth and Environment, the Center is conducting research in the program Terrestrial Environment (TE).

In the research area Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München is involved in all cross-disciplinary activities. Helmholtz Zentrum München and four additional Helmholtz health centers have joined together in the association Personalized Medicine.

In the research area Earth and Environment, Helmholtz Zentrum München participates in cross-disciplinary topics and associations that focus on the bio-economy, climate research and water.

health program GEnCoDe (Genes and Environment in Common Diseases) and its topics

program Terrestrial Environment (TE) and its topics