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The Competence Centre Epidemiology is divided into the following sections:

  • Epidemiology
  • Statistics
  • Epidemiological consulting

The Competence Centre Epidemiology supports the German Social Accident Insurance and its members, and various other bodies, in evaluating the epidemiological evidence of the effects of hazardous substances and working conditions on health.

Research focuses on studies on the carcinogenicity of hazardous substances, in particular on the interaction of hazardous substances in the development of cancer. Research also focuses on the design of shift work systems that are less harmful to health (e.g. using molecular mechanisms), the identification and validation of non-invasive biomarkers for early cancer detection, cancer risks in firefighters and welders, and the recording of exposures and suggestions for reducing exposure at exposed workplaces. Biological samples collected in projects are stored and managed in an institute-wide biobank, which has been established as a core facility of the institute.

A further focus of the Competence Centre's work is the provision of scientific advice to accident insurance institutions and state bodies on occupational medical and epidemiological issues.

In addition, the Competence Centre Epidemiology supports the IPA’s other competence centres in the planning and performance of studies according to good epidemiological practice. For quality-assured results, a wide range of study instruments including operation manuals with detailed SOPs and quantitative assessment of exposure are required. A central element of the evaluation strategies includes the application of appropriate statistical methods, which take into account possible influencing factors for the interpretation of complex datasets.



Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Behrens
Tel. +49 30 13001-4210


Dr. rer. med. Dirk Taeger
Tel. +49 30 13001-4220