Research Strategy

Research Strategy - An Overview

Epidemiological research cycle

The Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS develops effective strategies for the prevention of chronic, non-communicable diseases. Supporting a healthy life-course early on is our primary goal. The focus of our research is therefore on factors beyond individual diseases, such as lifestyle and environment, biological and social factors, as well as early detection and drug safety. Our research spectrum covers methodological development, the identification of the causes of diseases, and intervention and implementation research. We also offer information to politicians and the general population and provide academic qualification to young scientists. BIPS thus covers the entire cycle of epidemiological research.

Under the central theme of "population-based prevention research in the life-course," the institute conducts interdisciplinary epidemiological health research on the national and international level. It develops innovative methods and utilizes diverse data sources to study significant health disorders and to evaluate preventive measures and strategies. In addition, BIPS significantly contributes to epidemiological research and the establishment of research infrastructures of national and international importance. For many years, strengthening prevention has been a key scientific, social, and political objective. BIPS is dedicated to achieve this goal with high-quality research based upon methodological research investigating epidemiological questions with a focus on the development of epidemiological and statistical methods. The institute emphasizes the particular importance of the life-course perspective for the health of individuals and the population as a whole with its focus on long-term studies. Research at the institute provides impor­tant insights to ensure and improve health and well-being with measures that begin early and are related to transition periods within the life-course.

Thus, (a) evidence-based prevention and (b) methodological research are the primary research areas of BIPS. They are applied in our scientific work which focuses on the following four main topics:

  • Child health
  • Healthy aging
  • Cancer prevention
  • Drug safety.

Our population-based research focuses on chronic, non-communicable diseases such as cancer, obesity, and diseases of the cardiovascular system. However, we are not limited to individual diseases. The selection of and work on the individual research questions in the above-mentioned main topics are based on the respective current state of science. The research infrastructure established at BIPS forms an exceptional basis for this. It includes the German Pharmacoepidemiological Research Database GePaRD, the Biobank, the Bremen Cancer Registry, the Bremen Mortality Index, as well as an extensive and constantly growing inventory of high-quality population-based primary data and survey tools resulting from diverse research projects of BIPS. As a study center for the nationwide prospective German National Cohort, BIPS has a long-term commitment to the largest ongoing epide­miological research project in Germany at present and thereby is in accordance with the roadmap for the health research program of the Federal Government.

Internationally, we are involved in numerous research collaborations. In the European context, in particular, BIPS cooperates on its research areas and main topics with numerous other top research facilities. BIPS has assumed a leading role in various European consortia. For example, BIPS has been the principal leader of a large European research consortium on child health for many years. In accordance with our growing visibility and expertise, we want to consolidate our leadership role in strategically significant projects and continue to take the lead on the international level in the future. In order to achieve this goal, the institute aims to further intensify the professional exchange and scientific cooperation with other leading research institutions worldwide, particularly in Europe and North America. We pursue this internationalization on three levels: (1) To cooperate further, we will participate in and also initiate major international collaborative research projects, and we will also seek complementary funding opportunities for thematically focused bi- or tri-national projects. (2) In order to intensify the exchange of knowledge, we will use existing cooperative structures and databanks to invite highly qualified scientists of other leading research institutes to visit BIPS. In return, we are increasingly encouraging our scientists to visit cooperating institutions abroad. (3) Through the internationalization of our personnel, we will integrate international cooperation into daily work at BIPS.