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German Research Foundation extends funding for basic research in the neurosciences

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The German Research Foundation (DFG) will be providing financial support to the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1080 on "Molecular and cellular mechanisms of neuronal homeostasis" for four more years. In addition to Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), Goethe University Frankfurt as the CRC's speaker university, the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, and the Mainz-based Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) are participating in this research center. A total of some EUR 12 million is being made available in the new funding period that will commence on January 1, 2017.

CRC 1080 was established on January 1, 2013 with Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz acting as the speaker university. With the commencement of the new funding phase, the speaker role will be transferred to Frankfurt University which, as a member of the Rhine-Main Neuroscience Network (rmn²), is participating in the CRC with its own research projects. The future coordinator of the CRC, Professor Amparo Acker-Palmer, heads up the Frankfurt Institute for Cell Biology and Neurosciences and is also a fellow of the Gutenberg Research College (GRC) at JGU. Professor Heiko Luhmann, Director of the Institute of Physiology at the Mainz University Medical Center, will take up the post of deputy coordinator.

The purpose of the CRC on "Molecular and cellular mechanisms of neuronal homeostasis" is to study the molecular and cellular interactions that enable the brain to maintain a state of functional equilibrium, otherwise known as network homeostasis. New findings should contribute to understanding disease processes in the brain, thus providing insights in the development of innovative new therapies. This might even include the creation of new pharmaceutical agents that could be used to treat cerebral disorders in humans. Specifically, the researchers working at the CRC are investigating different classes of molecules, such as those involved in the control of cell-to-cell interactions and signaling processes.

"The extension of funding of the Collaborative Research Center 1080, which studies aspects that offer great potential benefits to society, owes much to our very productive and collaborative research endeavors," pointed out the Chief Scientific Officer of the Mainz University Medical Center, Professor Ulrich Förstermann.

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Oliver Kreft
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