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JGU builds out neuroscience research capabilities with German funding

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

The University Medical Center at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany (JGU) announced separate deals to build out its capabilities in neuroscience research.

In one announcement, it said that the German Research Foundation (DFG) will create a collaborative research center at JGU to conduct studies into the molecular and cellular interactions “that enable a brain to maintain a balanced functional state in the form of network homeostasis.”

Separately, JGU announced a future collaboration with the Yale University School of Medicine aimed at providing insight into brain functions such as cognition and memory.

As part of the deal to establish the collaborative research center, DFG is providing €9.3 million ($12.0 million) over four years. The center will focus on research into molecular and cellular interactions in order to elucidate disease processes in the brain and develop new treatment options for them.

Robert Nitsch, director of the Institute of Microscopic Anatomy and Neurobiology at the Mainz University Medical Center, will lead the research. He is also the coordinator of the Research Unit Translational Neurosciences at JGU.

“The enormous potential of the new [center] lies in the fact that we have a realistic chance of making a significant contribution to decoding network homeostasis,” Nitsch said in a statement. “We aim to study the control mechanisms that regulate cell formation, the synthesis and stabilization of cellular synapses, protein metabolism in cells, and the exchange of signals between cerebral cells during development and in adults.”

JGU separately said that it will collaborate with neuroscientists at Yale University to investigate the development, cellular organization, and function of the nervous system in controlling cognition, memory, language, and thought.

The partners did not provide further details about the collaboration or the research that will be carried out.

“Our aim is to arrive at a better understanding of brain development and functioning by working closely with the neuroscientists at Yale University,” Reinhard Urban, CSO of the Mainz University Medical Center, said in a statement. “This should provide us with the necessary insight to develop new medications and diagnostic tests for treating neurological and psychiatric illnesses such as stroke, depression, or schizophrenia.”

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