In the summer of 2001 the German Research Foundation (DFG) approved funding for the first of three DFG Research Centers. The successful proposal of the University of Würzburg to establish the Rudolf Virchow Center envisioned a biomedical research institution that uses state-of-the-art technologies to investigate the causes of human diseases at the molecular level. In October 2009 the Rudolf Virchow Center moved into its present building, on the medical campus of the University of Würzburg and thus closer to its medical collaboration partners. This proximity promotes interdisciplinary collaboration across disciplines. In 2013 the Rudolf Virchow Center (RVZ) was transfered from DFG to funding by the State of Bavaria and has since been a central institution of the University of Würzburg.
Understand molecular mechanisms
The RVZ is a key element of the biomedical research enterprise at the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg (JMU). The Center derives its name from the eminent 19th century German pathologist Rudolf Virchow, who was the first to map the causes of diseases at the level of individual cells. Scientists at the Rudolf Virchow Center focus on so-called target proteins, central regulatory biomolecules derived from diverse cell types with a causal connection to human health. When target proteins are dysfunctional or misregulated, this may lead to pathophysiological states, and eventually, to a diseased organism. Given their pivotal role in the cell, target proteins are therefore of prime importance (as targets) for therapeutic interventions.
About 100 scientists work at the Rudolf Virchow Center in the field of target proteins. Structural biology, molecular microscopy, proteomics and mass spectrometry are just some of the key technologies established in our research groups.
Science for Society
In addition to research, the Center is particularly interested in promoting young research talent. The Course Biomedicine is supervised together with the Faculties of Biology and Medicine. Small groups of students are trained specifically for research in the very interdisciplinary field of biomedicine. In order to ensure a high standard of quality in doctoral studies, all doctoral students are supervised by the "Graduate School of Life Sciences" of the University of Würzburg during their doctoral thesis.
The Public Science Center (PSC) is an independent division at the Rudolf Virchow Center. It fosters dialog between science and society by sharing the research work of the Rudolf Virchow Center with the public. A variety of public activities are offered for children and adults throughout the year.