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Introduction to the Institute of Human Genetics

Genetic factors play a causal role in the development of many diseases. Human genetics is therefore a cross-disciplinary field of medicine, which works closely with diverse clinical specialties. As a theoretical subject, human genetics is also closely linked to multiple basic science subjects, ranging from biology to mathematics / computer science.

The Institute of Human Genetics in Bonn is involved in all three aspects of university institute function: health care, research, and teaching. These areas are closely interlinked and mutually beneficial.Patient care includes the provision of human genetic counseling; clinical-genetic differential diagnosis, including special consultation hours; molecular and cytogenetic diagnostics; and consultations at the University Hospital of Bonn and other clinics. Diagnostics is performed using state-of-the-art techniques, and the diagnostic laboratories are certified according to current standards. For all tasks within the field of health care, the Institute cooperates closely with the Center for Medical Genetics of the MVZ Venusberg (http://mvz-venusberg.eu/medizinische-genetik-1.html).

Research foci at the Institute comprise neuropsychiatric disease; hereditary tumor diseases (in particular familial colorectal cancer and polyposis); congenital malformations (cleft lip and palate and uro-rectal abnormalities); disorders of the skin and skin appendages (e. g.,  hair loss); and intellectual disability. Researchers at the Institute are at the forefront of their respective fields, both nationally and internationally. Their research projects are supported by third-party funding, and the results are published in leading international journals.

Organization chart of the Institute of Human Genetics to Download.

Brief History

The Institute for Human Genetics was founded on 24 December 1964 with the appointment of Prof. Dr. med. Heinz Weicker to the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University of Bonn. From 1984 to February 2008, the Chair for Human Genetics was held by Prof. Dr. med Peter Propping. Under the leadership of Prof. Propping, the Institute developed into a modern facility of great national and international renown. In 2008 the chair and the management of the Institute were overtaken by Prof. Dr. med. Markus M. Nöthen. On this date, the Department of Genomics of the Life & Brain research center became part of the Institute of Human Genetics. From 1964 to 2009, the Institute of Human Genetics had been located in the center of the city of Bonn, in an historical building erected in 1903 as a university ophthalmology clinic.  In 2009, the Institute moved to the new Biomedical Center building on the Venusberg, where it has since profited from its proximity to the medical clinics and other research facilities at the University Hospital of Bonn.

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