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The research programmes of the Cluster are addressing questions of clinical and translational research in the fields of rheumatology, balneology and rehabilitation. The focus of clinical research is on the two major rheumatic diseases, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA), the focus of translational research is on cellular and molecular mechanisms of balneotherapy, especially sulphur spa therapy and nuclear magnetic resonance therapy because only few studies have so far adressed these issues and scientific evidence for effectiveness of these therapies is scarce and still doubtful.