The Robert Bosch Stiftung

Forschung auf Spitzenniveau
Photo: Björn Hänssler 
The Dr. Margarete Fischer Bosch Institute for Clinical Pharmacology (or IKP) is the largest scientific research institution for clinical pharmacology in Germany.

First-Class Research

Two renowned scientific institutes located in Stuttgart belong to the Robert Bosch Stiftung: the Dr. Margarete Fischer Bosch Institute for Clinical Pharmacology and the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s Institute for the History of Medicine. Viewed internationally, both work at the top of their respective fields. And both have their roots in initiatives launched by the Bosch family.
 

Internationally renowned research experts

The Dr. Margarete Fischer Bosch Institute for Clinical Pharmacology (abbreviated IKP in German) is the largest scientific research institution for clinical pharmacology in Germany. It is one of the leading research institutes for pharmacogenetics and personalized medicine. The IKP’s founding traces back to a donation by Robert Bosch’s oldest daughter, who picked up on her father’s idea to establish a research institute at the Robert Bosch Hospital. 

The institute began its work in 1973 with four employees. Today the institute employs around sixty-five research associates, over thirty doctoral candidates and students earning their master’s degrees, who work in a variety of research groups striving to fundamentally improve pharmacotherapy for patients. In addition, physicians and scientists from the Robert Bosch Hospital also work on research topics at the IKP. The head of the institute, Professor Matthias Schwab, is one of the most renowned representatives of his field in Europe. As the European trade publication Lab Times determined, he is Germany’s most-quoted researcher in the field of pharmacology and pharmaceutics, having been quoted over four thousand times between 2005 and 2011. The fact that such an outstanding position has been achieved by an institute not affiliated with a university speaks for the excellent reputation the IKP has among the international competition. The researchers also pass their expertise down to the younger generation, with the head of the IKP also heading up the institute for clinical pharmacology at the University of Tübingen and as such, being responsible for the medical student’s education in the field of pharmacology. The IKP employees also support many foreign scholarship recipients, guest scientists, and doctoral candidates who work at the IKP. This international collaboration forms the basic foundation of the institute.

 

  

The IKP’s largest area of research is personalized medicine. Experts predict that by 2020, it could be a reality. Physicians would then prescribe the medicine which perfectly fits the patient’s individual requirements, thus eliminating side effects. For certain diseases, such as breast cancer, scientists have already demonstrated why a certain medicine can have different effects as a result of the patient’s metabolism. At the present time, the researchers are studying breast cancer in particularly aggressive forms of this tumor disease as well as kidney cancer and possible new treatment options.
 

The history of medicine

The Robert Bosch Stiftung’s Institute for the History of Medicine (abbreviated IGM in German) was founded in 1980, and is the only research institute not affiliated with a university which conducts research into the history of medicine. It has its origin in a department at the Robert Bosch Hospital which conducted research into the history of medicine, and which was established as a result of Robert Bosch’s interest in the health-care sector and homeopathy. Today physicians’ organizations, museums, and research institutes worldwide value the IGM’s high scientific standards. As such, the head of the institute, Dr. Robert Jütte, is also chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Medical Association and the spokesman of the Pluralismus in der Medizin dialog forum, among other things.

The institute also acts as a kind of institutional memory of homeopathy. Its archives contain writings and photos, documents, and files, including numerous patient letters and patient journals. This is where the valuable legacy of Samuel Hahnemann as well as key students and successors is preserved. The IGM was also entrusted with the archives of the International Homeopathic Medical Society (LMHI) and the European Committee for Homeopathy (ECH). The internationally significant research library encompasses over 50,000 works. In addition, the IGM is also active worldwide through traveling exhibitions.

When it comes to research in the field of the social history of medicine, the focus is on the patient’s perspective. Answers to the modern health-care sector’s issues are often easier to find by considering the patient’s point of view. For example, historians led by Professor Robert Jütte conduct research into immigrants’ health problems and the relationship men have with their own health. The widespread coverage in the media which the IGM’s publications receive (including outside of the professional world), is proof that these issues are relevant to society today.

 

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Projects in the field of science

Apart from the institutes the Foundation supports many projects
in the field of science.