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Focus Area (Exzellenzinitiative II): „DynAge“

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("Disease in Human Aging – Dynamics at the Level of Molecules, Individuals, and Society")
(Part of the Federal Excellence Initiative II; FU Berlin in cooperation with Charité Berlin)

Within DynAge, we aim to promote and develop interdisciplinary research on diseases, which relate to human aging. Our most important goals are: First, analyzing and understanding molecular, individual and societal change processes that contribute to aging-related diseases. Second, finding and understanding patterns of these processes in different disease groups. Third, understanding the consequences of aging-related diseases as well as demographic change for individuals, their immediate surroundings and societies. Fourth, analyzing how humans aim to cope with aging related change while their intent and purpose underlie different limitations. Thus, DynAge focuses on three inter-related levels of analysis: the molecular level, the individual level and the societal level. Given that analyzing these levels demands expertise from different perspectives, DynAge integrates several academic disciplines. For instance, life scientists especially look at the molecular level. Biomedical scholars and psychologists tend to look at the individual level while scholars from the social sciences, e.g. business and economics, sociology and many more, bridge the individual with the societal levels of analysis. Given that DynAge only funds projects that address at least two of the aforementioned levels, DynAge-projects are, by definition, interdisciplinary. Empirically, these projects are built around four disease groups: Tumors, cardiovascular diseases, degenerative diseases and diseases of the musculoskeletal system, as well as cognitive disorders and depression. Research is going a step further with a new project. Until june 2017 the focus will be on frality-related information exchanges and drawing on an economical computational modeling approach.

More infomation on DynAge can be found here:

           Incentives and disincentives for sharing frailty-related information in perioperative care based on an integrated IT approach

Disease in Human Aging Dynamics at the Level of Molecules, Individuals, and Society

Project duration:

initially three years; Goal: continuity
(3/2013 – 3/2016)


Prof. Dr. Martin Gersch

Project budget:

Research funds (Exzellenzinitiative II) of the Freie Universität Berlin and the Charité Berlin

Project partners:


Prof. Dr. Nina Knoll (FUB) and Prof. Dr. Ulrich Keilholz (CUB)


Freie Universität Berlin

Prof. Dr. Verena Blechinger-Talcott
(Fachrichtung Japanologie)

Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Dilger (Institut für Ethnologie)

Prof. Dr. Martin Gersch (Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaft)

Dr. Max von Kleist (Computational Pharmacometrics)

Prof. Dr. Charlotte Kloft (Institut für Pharmazie, Klinische Pharmazie & Biochemie)

Prof. Dr. Petra Knaus (Institut für Chemie und Biochemie)

Dr. Frank Noé (Stellv.) (Computational Molecular Biology)

Charité Berlin

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ertel, (Klinik für Unfall- und Wiederherstellungschirurgie)

Prof. Dr. Isabella Heuser, (Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie)

Dr. Oliver Peters (Stellv.), (Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Modul Psychiatrie des Alterns)

Prof. Dr. Christoph Stein, (Klinik für Anästhesiologie mit Schwerpunkt operative Intensivmedizin)

Prof. Dr. Walter Zidek, (Klinik für Nephrologie, Transplantationsmedizin, Hypertensiologie und internistische Intensivmedizin)

Goal/ Research question:

Acute illness and chronic disease are triggered by a multitude of exogenous and endogenous factors, by health-relevant behavior (e.g. sedentary lifestyle), and the societal environment. Many diseases are age-related in the sense that exposure to risk-factors, which eventually drive the development of morbidity, change or cumulate over the life-span. This constitutes a major public-health challenge that needs to be met with systematic knowledge on the dy- namics of pathogenesis and disease progression in different phases of human life as well as by knowledge on how individuals and their social environments may prevent and/or cope with age-related diseases over the life-course. Furthermore, knowledge is needed to assess how shifts in demography correlate with the accumulation of diseases in specific populations and how the resulting challenges can be met by increasingly extended and adapted health systems.

With this Focus Area, we will make use of the unique Berlin/Brandenburg location that is often regarded as a model area for rapidly aging societies and join expert knowledge on age-related disease processes from natural sciences, biomedicine, humanities, and social sciences at Freie Universität Berlin and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Benefiting from a rich pool of methodological approaches and technologies, the Focus Area will provide a unique interdisci- plinary platform spanning the molecular antecedents of age-related disease to the conse- quences for individuals and society as they respond to challenged health.

Competence Center E-Commerce
Entrepreneurial Network University (ENU)
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Department Information Systems