Medicine 3

Head of Department:
Prof. Dr. med. univ. Georg Schett

The physicians and scientists of the Department of Internal Medicine 3 investigate the molecular and celluar mechanisms which are responsible for pathogenesis and perpetuation of rheumatic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

The aim of the research activities is to translate new findings from basic into clinical Research, to develop innovative diagnostic methods and therapies. Subsequently to reduce suffering of patients and improve their quality of life as well as to open options of healing of such diseases.

Basic research

Our experimental research groups focus on deciphering cell functions of the immune system. Here we concentrate on the interactions between cells and organs, e.g. bones, connective tissue, skin and joint structures (i.a. cartilage). In cooperation with institutions of phyiscs at the FAU we develop new and specific imaging and measurement methods to obtain deep insights into underlying molecular mechanisms (Immunophysics). Particular interest lies on responsible factors for regulation of inflammatory processes. Central task of the immune system is to initiate and control inflammatory response to react on all kind of damage in human body. Rheumatic diseases establish often out of dysregulation and destruction of affected organs (i.g. bones and joints).

Clinical Research

We verify the findings of basic research in clinical trials. These investigations are essential to validate and monitor efficacy of novel drugs. This allows the development of innovative treatment methods to implement them into clincial practice. Further focus is the optimization of imaging methods of diagnosis and supervision of progression of disease (within the scope of Immunophysics). The results of such clinical research projects achieve remission in half of all patients with rheumatoid arthritis.