DFG Support for Stem Cell Research

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) funds projects in stem cell research through its Individual Grants Programme, and a framework of Coordinated Programmes such as Collaborative Research Centres, Priority Programmes and Clinical Research Units.

Individual grants programme

Stem cell research aiming at therapies of haematological diseases has been pursued for more than 30 years. A large number of projects funded through the Individual Grants Programme study haematopoietic stem cells, both animal and human.

Priority programmes

Clinical research units

In October 2001 the Joint Committee of the DFG confirmed the establishment of new clinical research units, among them two that conduct research on adult stem cells:

Stem Cell Transplantation and Immunomodulation – Development of Molecular Therapeutic Strategies in Pediatrics (Hannover)

This group, funded with €1.1m for the first three-year period, studies haematopoietic stem cells in childhood diseases. Their objective is the genetic modification of tissue-specific stem cells for targeted use in therapy. Cooperation with the Institute for Science and Ethics at the University of Bonn is planned to provide ethical guidance through problems associated with these new therapeutic strategies.

Osteogenic Stem Cell Differentiation and the Therapy of Bone Loss (Würzburg)

This unit, funded with €0.53m for the first three years, studies bone stem cells. The stimulation of bone reconstruction is a clinically significant but unresolved problem. The unit will identify and characterise genes of therapeutic relevance. Together with other working groups and industry, a centre of excellence is to be created that will conduct both basic and applied research in order to improve patient care.

Since 1999, over €40m has been provided in funds for adult stem cell research through the Individual Grants Programme and the Coordinated Programmes mentioned above.

Collaborative research centres

In addition, a number of DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centres are conducting projects that include stem cell research.

For further information about DFG funding opportunities visit the DFG website.

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