The Rudolf Virchow Center is the DFG Research Center for Experimental Biomedicine and a central institution of the University of Würzburg. The Center was established in January 2002 as one of three pilot projects approved in 2001 by the DFG part of their plan to support national 'Centers of Excellence'. The research groups are working on target proteins: the proteins essential for cellular function and therefore central to health and disease.
Research groups at the Rudolf Virchow Center work in close collaborations with external laboratories, both nationally and internationally. To further promote cooperation within the biomedical community in Würzburg as well as fund promising high-risk projects, the RVZ Network was added in 2006. Another institution closely associated with the Rudolf Virchow Center is the Bio-Imaging Center, initiated in 2005, which comprises research groups funded by the State of Bavaria and the University of Würzburg. The focus of the Bio-Imaging Center is developing and appliying state-of-the-art imaging techniques for studying target proteins.
The Rudolf Virchow Center has also initiated its own undergraduate and postgraduate programs, in cooperation with the Faculties of Biology and Medicine, namely the BSc/MSc program in Biomedicine and the Virchow Graduate Program that is part of the Graduate School of Life Sciences. To promote dialog between science and society, the Public Science Center, the Public Relations department of the Rudolf Virchow Center, organizes many events that complement the research and teaching activities of the Center.