About DZL

German Center for Lung Research / Deutsches Zentrum für Lungenforschung

The World Health Organization (WHO) lists four lung diseases among the ten most frequent causes of death worldwide. Every fifth death worldwide is the result of a lung disease or a secondary disease. It is predicted that the number of cases will continue to rise sharply until 2030. The most serious lung diseases are still incurable, can only be treated symptomatically and are associated with high economic expenses.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), therefore, endorsed the foundation of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), modeled after the American National Institutes of Health, to support the development of new diagnostic options and therapies, for an increased prevention of lung diseases.

Under the umbrella of the German Center for Lung Research e.V., located in Giessen, the DZL has five partner sites. Among the partners are university hospitals, Helmholtz Centers, Max-Planck, Leibniz, and Fraunhofer Institutes, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and a number of other renowned lung centers, which are allocated to the five partner sites.



At the DZL, doctors and scientists predominantly address diseases that are still considered to be incurable and follow distinct aims for the individual indications. Findings from basic research should be adopted for the development of biomarkers for improved phenotyping of patients, which should then influence the development of new therapies.


For this major project, the DZL has chosen the integrative research approach. All disease areas are worked on and researched jointly by several of the DZL partners. The available platforms and core facilities provide the scientists with a solid basis for their research activities. In addition to the excellent infrastructure already existing, work goes on continuously on tailormade innovative technologies to complement the existing pool.

A total of 70 million € has been made available to set up the German Center for Lung Research from 2011 – 2015, and 130 million€ for the years 2016-20. 90% of the amount is contributed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and 10 % by the federal states involved. This substantial funding strongly promotes the attractiveness of Germany as a scientific location.

DZL e.V.

The 9th of June 2011 was a milestone in the history of health research in Germany. The then Federal Minister of Health, Annette Schavan, officially opened the six
German Centers for Health Research.

The German Center for Lung Research was founded on the initiative of the BMBF on 14 November 2011 as an association based in Giessen.

    The founder members and partner sites of the DZL e.V. are:

    • Airway Research Center North (ARCN)
    • Biomedical Research in Endstage and Obstructive Lung Disease Hannover (BREATH)
    • Comprehensive Pneumology Center Munich (CPC-M)
    • Translational Lung Research Centre Heidelberg (TLRC-H)
    • Universities of Giessen and Marburg Lung Centre (UGMLC)

    Weiteres Mitglied im DZL:

    • Helmholtz Zentrum München – German Research Center for Environmental Health

    The DZL Management Board comprises:

    • Prof. Dr. Hans Werner Seeger
    • Prof. Dr. Tobias Welte
    • Prof. Dr. Erika von Mutius
    • Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Kauczor
    • Prof. Dr. Klaus Friedrich Rabe

    Manager of DZL e.V.:

    • Dr. Christian Kalberlah

    Mission of DZL

    Networked research of lung diseases and the transfer of results to clinical use are the highest aim of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL).

    All partners of the DZL pledge themselves to the jointly formulated Mission Statement:

    "translational research to combat widespread lung diseases".

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    DZL International Advisory Board

    Professor Peter J Barnes

    Professor of Thoracic Medicine and Head of Airway Disease,
    National Heart and Lung Institute
    Imperial College London
    Honorary Consultant Physician at Royal Brompton Hospital, London

    Professor Rachel Chambers

    Professor of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
    Center for Respiratory Research
    University College London

    Jeffrey M Drazen, MD

    Distinguished Parker B. Francis Professor of Medicine
    Harvard Medical School
    Editor-in-Chief, New England Journal of Medicine

    Professor Stuart Elborn

    Professor of Respiratory Medicine
    Director CF Center, Belfast City Hospital
    President ECFS
    Centre for Infection and Immunity
    Queen's University Belfast

    Mark Gladwin, MD

    Division Chief
    Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine
    Vascular Medicine Institute
    University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

    Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Prokosch

    Professor für Medizische Informatik
    Institut für Medizininformatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie
    Friedrich-Alexander-Universität (FAU)

    Marlene Rabinovitch, MD

    Professor of Pediatric Cardiology
    Stanford University School of Medicine

    Susan Shurin, MD

    Deputy Director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
    National Institutes of Health (NIH)

    Prof. hon. Dr. med. Peter M. Suter

    Akademien der Wissenschaften Schweiz
    Centre Médical Universitaire
    University of Geneva

    Jacob I Sznajder, MD

    Chief, Division of Medicine-Pulmonary
    Ernest S. Bazley Professor of Asthma and Related Disorders
    Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine