Visual Universitätsmedizin Mainz

BMBF - Disease-oriented Competence Network Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is still incurable, and remains a disease with significant socioeconomic impact: the diagnosis is usually made at an age – between 20 and 40 years – when a person is just beginning to map his or her future, when career and life plans are primary concerns. Statistics for Germany show that approximately 130,000 people are affected by the disease, two-thirds of whom are women.

As one of the Competence Networks in the field of Medicine - which aim to bring together researchers on a national and interdisciplinary level to facilitate research on specific disease entities, with the goal of improving patient care – the disease-oriented Competence Network Multiple Sclerosis (Kompetenznetz Multiple Sklerose – KKNMS) focusses on a long-term improvement of MS diagnostics, treatment and the quality of patient care. A more rapid transfer of research insights into the clinical practice is the goal. The project took off in May 2009 as initiated by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The University Medical Center Mainz is in charge of several subprojects and, moreover, is represented by University Professor Dr. Frauke Zipp who is an advisor to the executive board of the Competence Network Multiple Sclerosis.

Duration: Since 2009

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Frauke Zipp
Department of Neurology
Tel.: 06131 17-7156

BMBF - Degenerative Dementias

The University Medical Center Mainz is a co-founder and partner of the BMBF-funded compentence network "Degenerative Dementias" that has been in existence since 2008. Within this network, the group of Prof. Pietrzik investigates the „Transport of Aß42 oligomers, NSAIDs und NSAIDS-derived molecules across the blood brain barrier“. The accumulation of Aß42 peptides in the brain is one of the causative steps in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Aß42 peptides have a strong tendency to aggregate, and small aggregates (oligomers) are particularly damaging to cells. Aß-oligomers are balanced with individual Aß peptides (monomers). However, little is known about the regulation of this balance and the physiological reduction of the oligomer.


The blood-brain barrier is a natural barrier in the body that regulates the transport of molecules into and out of the brain in the periphery. Aß peptides and medicines such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs cannot freely pass over the blood brain barrier. Aß peptides can only pass out of the brain through special transporters in the blood stream and end up in the liver, for example. where they are dismantled. An unexplained question is if Aß-oligomers can be transported across the blood brain barrier or if they must first be broken down into monomers.


 Univ.-Prof. Dr. Claus Pietrzik
Institute for Pathobiochemistry
Tel.: 06131 39-25390



BMBF - Asthma und Chronic Obstructive Lung Diseases (COPD)

Within the BMBF-funded competence network "Asthma and chronic obstrictive lung diseases" the University Medical Center aims to improve prevention, diagnostics and therapy of Asthma. Researchers of the University Medical Center included in this network are investigating/developing new methods of ASTHMA/MRI, studying basic and clinical questions of lung diseases and managing bio- and imaging- databases.

The sector ASTHMA/MRI has the following goals:

  • Development of the lung MRI as an appropriate and routine diagnostic tool for COPD and Asthma,
  • Development and implementation of MRI measurement protcols for phenotyping and quantifying the limitations of lung function and the definition of target regions for operative and interventional therapy,
  • Development of a software platform for MRI of the lungs to quantify monitoring of therapy effects and  of disease progression.


 Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christoph Düber 
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Tel.: 06131 17-7371