Team | Advisory Board | Sponsor

Institute of Medical Sociology (IMS)

The interdisciplinary project has collected many years of experience in health care and self-help research. The team members are scientific staff of the Institute of Medical Sociology (IMS) specialized in the fields of psychology, sociology and health sciences.

The IMS is responsible for the education of medical students in psychosocial aspects of illness and health. As a university hospital institution, the institute is closely interlinked with the university clinics, in particular within this project, with the university cancer center (UCCH = University Cancer Center Hamburg). The UCCH is one of the excellence centres for cancer research, and partially funded by the German Cancer Aid.

A scientific focus of the team is the self-help research. Since its founding in 2006, the work group "Patient Orientation and Self-help" (POSH) has worked on numerous projects in the field of health-related self-help, including the nationwide study "Health-related Self-help in Germany" (SHILD), funded by the Federal Ministry of Health. Dr. Christopher Kofahl is member of the expert committee "Cancer Self-help / Patient Advisory Board" of the German Cancer Aid.

Dr. phil. (PhD)

Christopher Kofahl

Project Manager

Dr. phil. (PhD)

Jens Klein

Senior researcher


Elâ Ziegler


David Cebulla

Student assistant

House of Cancer Self-Help - Federal Association (HKSH-BV)

The House of Cancer Self-Help - Federal Association (HKSH-BV) - Haus der Krebs-Selbsthilfe - Bundesverband - was funded in 2015 by nine federal associations of cancer self-help. Patron and main sponsor is the German Cancer Aid. The House of Cancer Self-Help is Europe's first umbrella organisation for pharma-independent cancer self-help. Currently the HKSH-BV has ten member associations. All of them are also financially supported by the German Cancer Aid and are independent of the interests and financial resources of the pharmaceutical industry and of other commercial enterprises within the health care system.

The members of HKSH-BV, who also participate in the gesa-K project, have many years of experience in boards of federal organisations of cancer self-help and combine personal experience and patient view with professional skills in business management, organisation and lecturing. They coordinate the tasks and activities of their 10 member associations for greater political assertiveness. In the gesa-K project, they support the research team with advice and with the recruitment of participants via the cancer self-help organisations and their self-help groups.

Chair: Hedy Kerek-Bodden

Branch Manager: Bernd Crusius

Advisory Board

The project is supported by an advisory board consisting of experts in clinical care, health care research and self-help research. We are grateful for the valuable advice provided by the board members!

Prof. Dr. Anja Mehnert-Theuerkauf
Universitätsklinikum Leipzig
Department for Medical Psychology and Sociology

Dipl.-Psych. Jürgen Matzat
Universitätsklinikum Gießen
Clearing-house for self-help groups

PD Dr. med. Andreas Block
University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
University Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH)

Prof. Dr. Joachim Weis
Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
Professorship Self-Help research

Dr. Christoph Kowalski
German Cancer Society
Research co-ordinator

Sponsor: German Cancer Aid - Deutsche Krebshilfe (DKH)

The German Cancer Aid was founded in September 1974 by Dr. med. Mildred Scheel. The aim of the non-profit organisation is to fight cancer diseases in all their manifestations. Under the heading "Helfen. Forschen. Informieren." (Help. Research. Inform.) the foundation supports projects to give new impulses in cancer research and to improve the treatment of cancer patients.

On the basis of these aims, the DKH also supports the gesa-K project.