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  • Medical School OWL


    Graphic of the building R.1 of the Medical School OWL
    © Universität Bielefel

Research Profile

With the research profile "Medicine for People with Disabilities and Chronic Diseases", the Medical School OWL will address a topic of high medical and social relevance. Against the background of demographic and epidemiological change, the insufficient care of people with disabilities and chronic illnesses is to be given special importance in this way.

Chronic diseases and disabilities confront the entire care system, from (general) medicine to nursing, with complex, interprofessional questions. The faculty therefore follows a translational approach that focuses on basic research and clinical research as well as on outpatient and inpatient regular care. The research field can build on the established and proven structures and networks both at Bielefeld University and in the region of Ostwestfalen-Lippe as a whole. In order to strengthen the research on health care provision, a network of private practices is being planned, which will realize projects together with the faculty.

Grafik Medizin für Menschen mit Behinderungen und chronischen Erkrankungen
© Universität Bielefeld

The research profile "Medicine for People with Disabilities and Chronic Diseases" includes the research areas "Brain - Impairment - Participation" and "Intelligent Systems - Assistance - Interprofessional Networking". Both focal points follow the guiding principle of interdisciplinarity and build on the expertise of the existing faculties in basic and care research. Other important cooperation partners in this context are the clinics of the University Hospital OWL, which is currently being established, general practitioners and specialists in private practice and other research institutions.

Research Areas and perspective fields

In the research area "Brain - Impairment - Participation", the interactions between neuropsychiatric/psychosomatic clinical pictures with the environment and behavior are being investigated. In particular, the focus is on related functional impairments and disabilities, how they are managed and the effects on participation possibilities. The focus is currently on three disease patterns or model diseases: Epilepsies, stress and somatoform disorders and cerebrovascular diseases.

The research area "Intelligent Systems - Assistance - Interprofessional Networking" focuses on the increasingly important area of interaction with technical systems in medicine and care. Central to this is research in the fields of design, development and testing of intelligent systems for diagnostics, therapy, rehabilitation, care support and decision support for physicians. The innovative combination of interaction research and clinical research is specific to this focus.

In close connection with the research priorities, the two future-oriented perspective fields "Microbial Diversity in the Human Habitat" and "Data Science for Medical Care" are currently being developed. In the perspective field "Microbial Diversity in the Human Habitat" the function of the microbiome in the healthy organism as well as its role in the development of disease and therapy options will be researched. Among other things, the influence of the microbiome on the development and therapy of neuropsychiatric diseases and impairments will be investigated.

The aim of the perspective field "Data Science for Medical Care" is to gain new insights into the development of disease, prevention and individualized therapy from the integration and analysis of various research and care data and thus contribute to the improvement of medical care. In addition to clinical, epidemiological, imaging and molecular genetic data, care data, especially from the outpatient sector, will play a central role in this context. In cooperation with other German medical locations, the aim is to establish a data infrastructure for systematic, data-based support of medical researchers and players in the health care system.

The cross-cutting topics of "medical ethics and physician-patient-communication", "acceptance research" also play an important role for all fields of perspective, as Bielefeld University is already very active in these areas. "Gender- and diversity-sensitive medicine" is to be centrally anchored as a further cross-cutting theme.

The research profile is being continuously developed and expanded and will be gradually expanded to include further clinical research fields in the coming years.

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