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Strong Together

Approximately 34 million euros for four collaborative research centers at the University and Freiburg University Medical Center

Freiburg, May 29, 2020

Strong Together

Photo: Sandra Meyndt

Four successes for collaborative research at the University of Freiburg and Freiburg University Medical Center: the German Research Foundation (DFG) is providing the humanities collaborative research center (CRC) ‘Heroes – Heroizations – Heroisms’ and three CRCs in medicine with approximately 34 million euros in funding for the next four years. “I congratulate all the academics who have contributed to this outstanding result,” says the rector, Prof. Dr. Hans-Jochen Schiewer. “This once again proves our special strength in collaborative research. The university and Freiburg University Medical Center represent creativity and cooperation – from the humanities to the life sciences.”

Since 2012 the ‘Heroes – Heroizations – Heroisms’ CRC has engaged with the question of why and how communities produce heroes and what significance these extraordinary figures have for their social standards and orders – something that appears more relevant than ever at the moment. It studies the subject from Graeco-Roman ancient history to the present day, covering cultural regions from Europe to China. What is special about the concluding, third, funding phase is its orientation towards syntheses and knowledge transfer, explains the classical archaeologist Prof. Dr. Ralf von den Hoff, coordinator of the CRC, “We will combine, process and make available not only to academia but also to the public all previous and new results in subprojects that deal with interdisciplinary questions.” The synthesizing projects will look at hero figures in historic situations of upheaval, as figures of personalization and of the negotiation of masculinity, as well as with the aesthetics of their depiction and their effects. The CRC will be promoting the exchange of knowledge by combining the results of its research on a digital portal and presenting it in multimedia forms, completing its online lexicon, the ‘Compendium Heroicum’, which it started in the second funding phase, developing teaching modules for training teachers and use in school, and realizing an exhibition. The disciplines involved include history, literature and fine arts, Islamic studies, sinology, sociology, theology, musicology and philosophy. The DFG is providing a total of 6.2 million euros for the project.

In the field of medicine the DFG has granted funding for three CRCs. The new CRC ‘The heterocellular nature of cardiac lesions: Identities, interactions, implications’ is receiving eleven million euros for research into the natural repair processes following tissue damage to the heart. Its coordinator is Prof. Dr. Peter Kohl, director of the Institute for Experimental Cardiovascular Medicine at the University Heart Center (UHZ) Freiburg-Bad Krozingen. The CRC ‘Medical Epigenetics – From basic mechanisms to clinical applications (MEDEP)’ which is in its third and final funding phase, will continue to look at mechanisms of heredity over and above the genetic determinants in DNA. The group headed by coordinator Prof. Dr. Roland Schüle is receiving 14 million euros for this. Prof. Schüle is the scientific director of the Department of Urology and head of central clinical research at the Freiburg University Medical Center. In addition a team led by Prof. Dr. Robert Thimme, medical director of the Department of Medicine II (Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Endocrinology and Infectiology) of the Freiburg University Medical Center, is involved in the CRC/Transregio (TRR) ‘Determinants and dynamics of elimination versus persistence of hepatitis virus infection (Participation)’, which is receiving 11.4 million euros in its second funding phase, around three million euros of which comes to Freiburg. The project is headed by the University Medical Center Heidelberg.


Press Release of Freiburg University Medical Center with detailed descriptions of the CRCs in Medicine receiving funding

DFG’s Press Release


Websites with additional information



Sebastian Meurer
CRC 948 ‘Heroes – Heroizations – Heroisms’
University of Freiburg
Tel.: +49 (0)761 203-67602