Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne

Second funding period of the Clinical Research Unit (CRU) 329 focusing on kidney diseases approved by the DFG


The CRU 329 is starting the second funding period with a funding volume of over five million euros until 2024 on `Molecular mechanism of podcyte diseseas - Nephrology on the way to precision medicine`.

Prof. Dr. Paul Brinkötter

Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Benzing, Chair of the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne

Prof. Dr. Thomas Benzing

Worldwide, the number of people suffering from chronic kidney disease is increasing. Diseases of the kidney filter, the glomeruli, play a prominent role. So far, however, the increasingly detailed understanding of the causes has not led to improved treatment options.

With the goal of further optimizing the treatment of kidney patients, the Clinical Research Unit (CRU) 329 , funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), began its work three years ago. Now, the second funding period of the  "Molecular mechanisms of podocyte diseases - nephrology on the way to precision medicine" has been approved. The renewed funding period runs until 2024 and with a funding volume of over five million euros.

The CRU 329 consortium consists of clinician scientists and basic researchers from various life science disciplines and is headed by Prof. Dr. Thomas Benzing (Director of the Clinic of Internal Medicine II and Chair of the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne - CMMC) and Prof. Dr. Paul Brinkkötter (physician and clinician scientist of the Clinic of Internal  Medicne II and the CMMC). The on-going research activities will exploit molecular insights into specific signaling pathways as well as gene mutations involved in the development of glomerular diseases (defects of the renal filter) to establish new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

"The extension of funding period the CRU 329 consortium by the DFG is of great importance for us and shows that we are on the right track to further advance kidney research. The focus of the second funding period will be on translating findings from research into clinical practice and thereby closely integrating basic and clinical research into clinical care for our patients," said Brinkkötter, coordinator of CRU 329.

The CRU 329 is based on close cooperation between the Clinic II for Internal Medicine, the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, the Cluster of Excellence CECAD, the Children's Clinic as well as the Institute for Human Genetics and the Cologne Center of Genomics, and is closely integrated into the research focus "Life Sciences" of the University of Cologne.

In addition, the CRU consortium also integrates colleagues from the University of Bonn (Institute for Molecular Medicine and Experimental Immunology (IMMEI), the Heidelberg University Hospital (Klaus Tschira Institute for Integrative Computational Cardiology Department of Internal Medicine III) and the University Clinic Freiburg (Institute for Clinical Pathology).

Original press release from the University Hospital Cologne: