Unit Molecular Epidemiology

Under the roof of the Department of Epidemiological Methods and Etiological Research the Molecular Epidemiology Unit contributes to identifying causal relationships between occupational and environmental, metabolic, immunologic and genetic factors and the occurrence of various diseases, in particular, cancers such as tumors of the upper aero-digestive tract, male germ cell cancer or childhood cancer, but also metabolic diseases like cardiovascular diseases or metabolic syndrome. It therefore establishes close connections to the Unit Lifestyle-Related Disorders with which it cooperates in certain projects.

The main research focus is on the investigation of molecular markers that are related to the risk of disease, in order to allow a precise and accurate estimation of exposures, intermediate changes or prognoses. Irradiation experiments in human fibroblasts from skin biopsies like in the BMBF-funded project ‘ISIBELA’ as well as microbiome and epigenetic analyses like in the EU-funded project ‘MyNewGut’ complete the research direction of the unit. The aims are to gain insights into the basic mechanisms of disease etiology as well as to the course of the disease. For these research approaches the Unit Molecular Epidemiology works closely with the biobank of the BIPS as well as the Unit Statistical Methods in Genetics and Life-Course Epidemiology.