HU is a public research university with a strong international orientation. Besides enhancing its disciplinary strengths, the University places special emphasis on maintaining the dialogue across traditional subject boundaries. The concept of a comprehensive university is the central component of HU's institutional strategy which ensured our success in the German Excellence Initiative. The first of the four so-called Fields of Focus - HU’s outstanding research areas - is the “Molecular and cellular foundations of life.” Another strength of HU lies in its numerous partnerships and alliances with non-university research institutions and companies in the region, as well as its strong involvement in 2 top-level clusters of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. HU is integrated in a worldwide network of research and teaching collaborations. Exchange programmes have been established with more than 400 universities worldwide. Heidelberg’s marked global interconnectedness is also evidenced by its 23 university partnerships and 2 international Research Training Groups, as well as its membership in European networks such as the league of European Research Universities (lERU) and the Coimbra Group. There are 2 medical faculties at HU. Cutting-edge research and training standards come together with high performing patient care, based on latest advances in science. The Medical Centre, together with the Medical Faculty Mannheim (MFM), forms the Universitätsmedizin Mannheim. In 2006, MFM was transformed into a comprehensive medical faculty, offering pre-clinical and clinical training. It now offers an innovative curriculum for 1st year medical students: MaReCuM. Mannheim medical curriculum is based on an interdisciplinary and integrative approach to teaching, which has been a success from the beginning. MFM ranks among the top institutions in the student-oriented national ranking by CHE (Centre for Higher Education Development). Research activities at MFM focus primarily on 4 topical areas: Oncology, Neuronal Plasticity, Vascular Medicine and Medical Technology. Nearly all the Faculty clinics and institutes are active in these areas, representing the strong interdisciplinary approach to research at MFM.