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Background and Focus

Chica and Heinz Schaller, a remarkable husband-and-wife team, were able to turn a personal commitment into a vehicle to benefit generations of future scientists. Their gift to biomedical research was the creation in the year 2000 of the Chica and Heinz Schaller Foundation, a non-profit private limited company. The Foundation offers financial support with a flexibility and freedom from administrative constraints unusual in the research world.

The Foundation promotes scientists working on aspects of neurobiology and infectious disorders. Its flagship programme is the Schaller Research Groups multi-year programme, which helps to build the careers of young researchers. There are five Schaller Research Groups to date, with more planned. The Annual Chica and Heinz Schaller Research Award is presented to junior scientists in Heidelberg for original research of biomedical relevance. A recent initiative includes dual career support. In the past, the Foundation has funded an endowed chair in molecular virology at the University. The Foundation also sponsors seminars, symposia and workshops, and together with the German Academic Exchange Service, co-funds the University's International Master's Programme entitled "Molecular and Cellular Biology".