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Dr. Manuela Bergmann

Gabriele Weeske
phone: 033200 88-2711

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Status: 24.08.2019 17:48:53

Biological samples are stored in liquid nitrogen. (© Till Budde/DIfE)

Human Study Center (HSZ)


Aim of the Human Study Center (HSZ) is to support DIfE researchers in conducting human studies. In particular, the HSZ advises researchers on the procedures and methods required for epidemiological, experimental and clinical studies, such as the management of workflow, study participants, data, as well as a biomaterials bank. In addition, the HSZ assists scientists in the preparation of study designs, documents and applications. In this context, the HSZ is responsible for upholding high ethical standards and guaranteeing the observance of participants’ rights according to data-protection laws. Concerning the administrative procedures, the HSZ secretariat for studies coordinates all internal scientific projects as well as cooperative projects with external partners.

The core tasks of the HSZ range from the methodological or scientific supervision of the studies to their organizational implementation.

The HSZ is divided into four areas of responsibility: the data trustee, the examination center, the data center and the biobank. Each unit may be involved, depending on the required support. For example, in studies completely conducted by the HSZ, proband management is done by the trustee, whereas the study protocols are conducted in the examination center. The data center provides assessment instruments such as questionnaires and assumes responsibility for data collection as well as data flow. Finally, the biobank supervises the collection of biological samples as well as their processing and storage.

Furthermore, data sets and biological samples are provided for statistical analyses within research questions of DIfE scientists and their cooperation partners from other scientific institutions.

Currently, these are primarily data and biological samples from the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) Potsdam Study, a large cohort study which began in the early '90s. The utilization of data and samples from this study is dependent on the favorable assessment of an applicant‘s analysis concept by a scientific committee.

The HSZ has a scientific board consisting of the DIfE directorates as well as leading scientists whose research involves human studies. The board meets quarterly and advises the HSZ on strategic decisions.

© 2019 DIfE - German Institute of Human Nutrition. All rights reserved. // as of 20.07.2017

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