We teach the know-how of clinical research. We train young clinical researchers in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics. We teach medical students and young clinicians the principles of evidence-based medicine and how to use these principles for clinical decision making in order to improve patient care. We create a stimulating atmosphere to facilitate the critical questioning of common clinical practice and the penetration of evidence-based medicine into clinical practice. As an associated institute of the University of Basel and the clinical epidemiology unit of the University Hospital Basel, we are in an ideal situation to strengthen this academic environment with the goal to improve patient care and outcome.