At the Network Aging Research, humanists, natural- and medical scientists research interdisciplinary the aspects of aging, since aging affects humans in its entirety. About a hundred years ago, the Heidelberg physician and clinic director Ludolf Krehl (1861- 1937)- founder of the somatic medicine- already demanded to treat sick people in its entirety, a personality with body, mind and soul. His view of sicknesses is a reminder and a challenge to us: “There is no such thing as sickness, we only know sick people” The NAR with its integrated, systematic approach and its interdisciplinarity is unique in Germany. Interdisciplinarity in the necessary breadths and depths of aging research, requires new ways of knowledge transfers, that ensure a connection between the fields but also between theory and practice.
Presently the work of the NAR are focused on four emphases:
1. Research in all fields that are represented in the network
2. Promotion of young researchers
3. Dialogue beyond the borders of disciplines
4. Public relations
The Network Aging Research (NAR) of the University of Heidelberg consists of three major research areas:
Basic biological research and medical aging research
Humanistic, social and behavioral research into aging
Medical and socio-economic interventions
Cooperation partners are the University of Heidelberg, the University of Mannheim, the German Cancer Research Center, the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg, the Faculty of Clinical Medicine, Mannheim, the Institute of Mental Health and the Mannheim Research Institute for the Economic of Aging. The mission of the network is to combine the existing expertise of age related research, which helps to understand the aging process. Because of the significance for society, this research network is meant to be a long term commitment in which already existing connections between these partners will be strengthendened and expanded on its highest level. The network will be financed mostly by research funds, with the exeptions for chairs and equipment contributed by each partner.