LMU Integrated Center for Research and Treatment of Vertigo, Balance and Ocular Motor Disorders (IFB-LMU)
Deputy Director: Prof. Dr. Michael Strupp
Chief Administrator: Dr. Andreas Schepermann
The Integrated Center for Research and Treatment of Vertigo, Balance and Ocular Motor Disorders (IFB-LMU), was established in Munich in 2010 and is part of the Integrated Research and Treatment Centers (Integrierten Forschungs- und Behandlungszentren - IFB) initiative funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The IFB-LMU brings a novel approach towards integrating basic research and clinical treatment. During the last decades, Munich has become the site of a unique concentration of leading experts on vertigo, balance and ocular motor disorders, both in clinical and basic sciences.
Using this unique expertise, the IFB-LMU seeks (1) to create an independent patient-oriented clinical research center; (2) to overcome existing clinical and academic barriers separating the traditional specializations; (3) to establish a standardized interdisciplinary longitudinal and transversal network at one site for the management of patients; (4) to organize the study infrastructure for prospective multicenter clinical studies as well as to free clinical scientists from administrative tasks; (5) to promote translational research with a focus on the innovative topics of molecular, functional and structural imaging, experimental and clinical pharmacotherapy, clinical research of vertigo and balance disorders, mathematical modeling, interaction between biological and technical systems (robotics), and research on functionality and the quality of life; (6) to offer new attractive educational paths and career images for medical doctors, students of the natural sciences, and engineers in clinical research in order to overcome traditional hierarchical structures. This should promote the principles of efficiency and self reliance; (7) to supplement the existing expertise with up to eight groups of young scientists and up to eight tenure track professorships. This should also be seen as an incentive that will attract the best young scientists; (8) to incorporate IFB-LMU competence into the existing medical and biological graduate schools.
Translational research within the IFB-LMU is supported by up to eight young scientist groups working independently and self-reliantly within the IFB-LMU and up to eight tenure track professors. The access to patients and methods is ensured by cooperation contracts among the clinics and institutes involved in the IFB-LMU. Training within the IFB-LMU builds on existing scientific training programs such as the M.Sc. programs in Clinical Epidemiology and Human Functioning Sciences and the Ph.D. program in Neuroscience through the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences (GSN-LMU). The IFB-LMU furthermore plans to establish a “Clinical Scientist IFB-LMU” curriculum which shall be integrated in the degree awarding process for M.Sc. (Epidemiology, Public Health) and M.D./Ph.D. programs focused on clinical research.