Our scientific strategy focuses on the areas of Neurooncology, Vascular Neurology, Neuroimmunology and Acute and Critical Care Neurology. Our goal is to advance the translation of research findings into clinical application for the benefit of our patients. We have published a series of major papers improving our understanding of neurological diseases. In 2015/2016, our department published more than 300 papers and top publications reaching the 3rd place (together with the department of Pharmacology) in the Heidelberg University Hospital publication ranking. 14 associated research groups of the department have won numerous peer-reviewed research project grants, adding up to more than €3.6m of funding in 2015.
Major program project grants recently won by our department:
- The DKH-funded Max-Eder Research Group Neurooncology of low grade Gliomas won by Sevin Turcan.
- A Heidelberg-lead NOA trial consortium of 30 centers (PI: Wolfgang Wick) has won a €2.4m BMBF grant “Improvement of functional outcome for patients with newly diagnosed grade II or III glioma with co-deletion of 1p/19q – IMPROVE CO-DEL: a NOA trial”. The trial aims at recruiting 400 patients to show superiority of temozolomide (TMZ) plus CCNU (lomustine) over partial brain radiotherapy (RT) followed by procarbazine, lomustine and vincristine (PCV) chemotherapy (RT-PCV) for overall survival without sustained functional deterioration.
- The Heidelberg-lead NCT Neuro Master Match (N2M2) trial is funded by Deutsche Krebshilfe (€1,5m), the DKFZ HIPO program and NCT 3.0. The objective of N2M2 is the improvement of overall survival of patients with glioblastoma with an unmethylated MGMT promoter based on molecular characterization and use of targeted compounds in an adaptive trial design.
- Ricarda Diem is leading the DFG funded (€2.7m; first funding period) Research Consortium FOR2289 – Calcium homeostasis in neuroinflammation and -degeneration: New targets for therapy of multiple sclerosis? This initiative, formed by 15 research groups, aims to discover some of the fundamental principles by which calcium influences the disease processes of neuroinflammation and –degeneration.
- Based on the positive results of the phase II VISION PROTECT trial - showing RGC protection as concluded from significantly higher mean retinal nerve fiber layer thickness as assessed by optical coherence tomography and less atrophy of the optic nerve as measured by MRI in erythropoietin-treated patients - we started a phase III study (TONE; NCT01962571) with inclusion of a large spectrum of functional outcome parameter of vision. In this BMBF-funded (€1m) 13-centers study, we have already included 73 of the planned 100 patients (status Aug 25th, 2016).
- Within the framework of the regional stroke consortium (SCHLAGANFALLKONSORTIUM RHEIN NECKAR; FAST) – funded by the Dietmar Hopp Stiftung (approx. €1m) - the Heidelberg Neurology Clinic cooperates with planned 30 regional partner sites. The consortium aims at providing best possible care for stroke patients in the region by joint SOPs, IT structures, logistics, education modules and a central coordination office. It provides fast and coordinated access to the technically complex thrombectomy for all patients in the region. The consortium strives to demonstrate improved outcome and quality of care for stroke patients through regional cooperation and structural improvements.
- In the Acute and Intensive Care Neurology Program, the SETPOINT2 study (Stroke-related early tracheostomy vs prolonged endotracheal intubation) is funded by the DGNI Foundation.