On Thursday, the Rector of the University of Rzeszów (Poland) awarded Prof. Dr. Iris Pigeot and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ahrens the great medal of his university. He thanked them for their excellent cooperation, especially in the field of child health research. Specifically, the Senate of the University of Rzeszów justified its decision with the "merits for the scientific and didactic development of the staff of the Medical Faculty".
"I am very happy about this award, because in difficult times it shows how important European cooperation is and what great projects can emerge of it. Ultimately, the current pandemic also shows us that we cannot think in terms of health within national borders," says Prof. Dr. Iris Pigeot, Director of the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS and Head of the Department of Biometrics and IT.
The University of Rzeszów is a cooperation partner of the IDEFICS/I.Family Cohort Study. The IDEFICS study coordinated by BIPS examined more than 16,000 children aged 2 to 9 years in eight European countries (Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Hungary and Cyprus) to investigate the influence of diet and lifestyle on their health. Within the framework of the follow-up study I.Family, also initiated by BIPS, a large proportion of the children - now aged between 7 and 17 years - were re-examined at a later date. In addition, family members were also interviewed. The University of Rzeszów joined this longitudinal project with the I.Family study. It used the instruments of the IDEFICS/I.Family cohort study to conduct these surveys in Poland and thus obtain comparable data that can now be evaluated together with the data from the eight other countries. Beyond the IDEFICS/I.Family Cohort Study, the cooperation now forms the basis for completely new research ideas of the medical faculty. Ms. Pigeot and Mr. Ahrens and their teams accompanied this process very intensively.
"The University of Rzeszów has always been an exceptionally committed cooperation partner in these extremely complex studies," says project leader Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ahrens, Head of the Department of Epidemiological Methods and Causal Research and Deputy Director of BIPS. He adds: "Through their contribution, their scientists, especially Professor Artur Mazur, have helped to investigate throughout Europe how lifestyle habits affect health from childhood to young adulthood and how chronic diseases can be prevented in childhood. With this knowledge we can improve the lives of people throughout Europe. I would be very pleased if we could further strengthen our very good cooperation in the future.
BIPS - Health Research in the Service of People
The population is at the center of our research. As an epidemiological research institute, we see our task in identifying the causes of health disorders and developing new concepts for the prevention of diseases. Our research provides the basis for social decisions. It informs the population about health risks and contributes to a healthy living environment.
BIPS is a member of the Leibniz Association, to which 96 independent research institutions belong. The Leibniz Institutes' research activities range from natural sciences, engineering and environmental sciences to economics, spatial and social sciences and the humanities. Leibniz Institutes are dedicated to socially, economically and ecologically relevant issues. Due to their importance for the whole country, the federal and state governments jointly support the institutes of the Leibniz Association. The Leibniz institutes employ around 20,000 people, including 10,000 scientists and researchers. The institutes have a total budget of more than 1.9 billion euros.