Disease in Human Aging: Dynamics at the Level of Molecules, Individuals, and Society (DynAge)

In the DynAge Focus Area (Disease in Human Aging – Dynamics at the Level of Molecules, Individuals, and Society), age-related disease processes will be investigated using an interdisciplinary approach. The involved researchers aim to gain a fundamental understanding of the origin and development of acute and chronic diseases over the lifespan of individuals. What are the consequences for the patients and their families and friends, and ultimately, for society? Such knowledge is gaining in significance in light of demographic change.

The DynAge Focus Area aims to contribute to the existing knowledge in this field. Researchers in the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities who are based at Freie Universität Berlin will investigate these issues jointly with medical experts at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the joint medical school of Freie Universität and Humboldt-Universität, as well as the German Institute of Human Nutrition and other collaborating partners.

The main emphasis will be placed on four disease groups:

  1. Tumors
  2. Cardio-vascular disease
  3. Degenerative musculoskeletal diseases
  4. Cognitive disorders/depression

These four groups of diseases will be investigated from three different perspectives:

  1. To gain a better understanding of the molecular processes involved in aging-associated diseases, natural scientists will team up with experts in biomedicine.
  2. Psychologists, philosophers, anthropologists, and social scientists, as well as researchers from other academic departments at Freie Universität will join clinicians to investigate how individual patients and their families and friends experience and deal with their diseases, as well as which health-related behavior changes are important, and what other common disease mechanisms can be identified.
  3. The resulting consequences for society and the perception of the four disease groups by the general population are issues that will be explored together by experts from the humanities and social sciences as well as from the fields of public health and biomedicine.

Using a comparative approach, they will also study how demographic changes affect the health systems of different countries. DynAge is part of excellent research networks. In addition to having a high concentration of universities and independent research institutions, the Berlin-Brandenburg region can be regarded as a model region for aging societies and is thus a particularly well-suited location for application-oriented cutting-edge research on site. 

Information about the Focus Area is presented in an information brochure. Print versions of all the focus area brochures are available in German and English and can be obtained from the coordinators of DynAge, the Center for Research Strategy (CRS), or the Office of News and Public Affairs.


Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Nina Knoll (Freie Universität Berlin), Email: nina.knoll@fu-berlin.de

Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Keilholz (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin), Email: ulrich.keilholz@charite.de

Project Coordinators: Dr. Linda Baldensperger (née Parschau), Email: linda.baldensperger@fu-berlin.de and Daniela Lange, Email: daniela.lange@fu-berlin.de 

Projet Administrator: Sascha Amann, Email: sascha.amann@fu-berlin.de

For more information, please see the DynAge website.