DynAge Focus Area
What are the differences between younger and older people in terms of how diseases progress? The DynAge “Disease in Human Aging – Dynamics at the Level of Molecules, Individuals, and Society” Focus Area takes an interdisciplinary approach to questions like these.
Within this Focus Area, scholars and scientists from the fields of natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences at Freie Universität do joint research with medical experts from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the joint medical school of Freie Universität and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. That makes this an excellent setting for introducing students to interdisciplinary, cross-institutional research on a subject of social relevance.
Starting in the 2013/2014 winter semester, groups of students are regularly involved in various research projects at this Focus Area on a systematic basis. With supervision and assistance from experienced scholars and scientists, they work on a range of issues, studying them empirically and presenting the results at the Focus Area’s annual workshops.
These courses are part of the students’ schedules, and students earn academic credit for them. They give students insight into interdisciplinary research and working groups, offer an opportunity to “publish” of research results as poster presentations, and highlight possible avenues to pursue in a master’s thesis.
The scholars and scientists involved receive support during their project work and benefit from synergy between their teaching and research activities.
Example Showing the Progress of a Research Workshop
Starting in October 2013, students of the master's degree program in psychology with a focus on clinical and health psychology (in the third semester in each case) have the opportunity within the DynAge research workshop to identify a sub-issue within the DynAge projects, participate actively in the project with guidance, and create a poster on the issue. The posters are presented at the end of the semester, at an event marking the end of the research workshop and at the Annual DynAge Workshop. A number of master’s thesis topics have arisen from previous research workshops.
Projects That Offer or Have Offered a Research Workshop:
- Subjective cognitive impairments: A valid predictor for cognitive disorders?
Project managers: Dr. Michael Niedeggen, Professor (Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Education and Psychology), and Dr. Andreas Lüschow (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Ambulantes Gesundheitszentrum Neurologie (Outpatient Neurological Health Center))
- Age-related aspects of cancer care and their interactions: Molecular profiles, personal goals, treatment adherence and social network structures
Project managers: Dr. Amelie Wiedemann (Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Education and Psychology) and Dr. Ulrich Keilholz, Professor (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Medizinische Klinik mit dem Schwerpunkt Hämatologie, Onkologie und Tumorimmunologie (Medical Clinic, Emphasis: Hematology, Oncology, and Tumor Immunology)
- The role of actor interests for guideline development: Bridging guideline science with organization and management theory
Project managers: Dr. Laurie Wessel, Junior Professor (Freie Universität Berlin, School of Business and Economics) and Dr. Anne Letsch, Lecturer (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Comprehensive Cancer Center)