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New Name Expresses Strategic Advancement of Research Center

As of 1/1/2008 the GSF – National Research Center for Environment and Health renamed itself to German Research Center for Environmental Health.

The new name reinforces the position as the German Research Center for nvironmental Health and emphasises its affiliation with the Helmholtz Association. “Our new name expresses the strategic advancement of our center”, said the CEO Prof. Dr. Günther Wess on the occasion of the announcement of the new name. "In the future we will increasingly engage in research into diseases the development and course of which are decisively influenced by environmental factors and develop new methods for prevention and therapy”, said Wess. This combination of health and environmental research and the focus on interactions between environmental influences and human health are unique.

"The renaming to a Helmholtz-Zentrum is an important step towards improving the profile and image of the largest German research organisation and better positioning its centers in the competition for the best minds and for subsidies", said Dr. Anette Schavan, Federal Minister of Education and Research. "I am pleased to see the Helmholtz brand being filled with more life so as to point out what a strong association stands behind the results of research work", said the Minister.

As the German Research Center for Environmental Health the Helmholtz Zentrum München investigates complex diseases at the interface of health and the environment. A comprehensive understanding of disease mechanisms is expected to contribute essential innovative diagnostic and therapeutical methods to the future of a society worth living in. The focus is on chronic, degenerative diseases, such as lung diseases, allergies, cancer and cardiovascular diseases, which are influenced considerably by personal risk factors, lifestyle and environmental conditions. The new name emphasises that the center is part of the Helmholtz Association. "The more centers take this step, the more will the success of one center stand for all other members of the association”, said Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mlynek, President of the Helmholtz Association.

The Helmholtz Zentrum München is the German Research Center for Environmental Health. The center is presently divided up into 25 independent institutes and departments and has about 1,700 employees. The headquarters of the Helmholtz Zentrum München is to the north of Munich on a 50 hectare research campus. Several institutes are located in the immediate vicinity of the clinic at the life science location Munich-Großhadern. Apart from that, the center runs Clinical Cooperation Groups together with the universities of Munich.

With 15 research centers, 26,500 employees and an annual budget of more than Euro 2.2 billion the Helmholtz Association is the largest scientific organisation in Germany. Hermann von Helmholtz, 1821-1894, was one of the last great universal scholars. The research he worked in encompassed medicine, physics and mathematics as well as psychology, music and philosophy. His pioneering research work and developments linked theory, experiments and practical applications. The medical sciences owe pioneering insights into physiological optics and acoustics to him. Finally Helmholtz also devoted himself to philosophy. In his papers he dealt extensively with the epistemic consequences of scientific research.

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