Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for Young Researchers Awarded to James Poulet
For his outstanding achievements in biomedical research, the British neuroscientist Dr. James Poulet of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch has received the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for Young Researchers. The prize, endowed with 60,000 euros, was awarded to the researcher in St. Paul’s Church in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Dr. Poulet works in the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence at the Charité in Berlin. According to the prize announcement issued by the Paul Ehrlich Foundation, Dr. Poulet’s research furthers our understanding of the neuronal basis of behavior. His work is of fundamental importance for the development of artificial joints and prostheses.
Read more … Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for Young Researchers Awarded to James Poulet
New Coordinator at Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure
As of the start of the second funding phase on November 1, 2012, Professor Dr. Christian Rosenmund will be the new Coordinator of the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure. He succeeds Professor Dr. Dietmar Schmitz, who will continue to support NeuroCure as a member of the Board of Directors. Christian Rosenmund was elected to the position of Coordinator at the Cluster of Excellence Members’ Assembly on October 1, 2012.
Read more … New Coordinator at Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure
NeuroCure moves into new training and research centre
Within the scope of a ceremonial opening, the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin inaugurated its new training and research centre on schedule and just in time for the beginning of the semester. The state-of-the-art building at the historical Campus Charité Mitte unites for the first time important basic disciplines of the Medical Faculty, the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence as well as training facilities in particular for the scientific disciplines of medical studies.
Read more … NeuroCure moves into new training and research centre
A Good Network – Important for Brain Activity
Speech, sensory perception, thought formation, decision-making processes and movement are complex tasks that the brain only masters when individual nerve cells (neurons) are well connected. Berlin neuroscientists have now discovered a molecular switch that regulates this networking of nerve cells. The scientists from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) have published their work in the journal Genes and Development.
Read more … A Good Network – Important for Brain Activity
Information flow in the brain is not a “one-way street”
A longstanding question in brain research is how information is processed in the brain. Neuroscientists at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure and University of Newcastle have made a contribution towards answering this question. In a new study, they have shown that signals are generated not only in the cell body of nerve cells, but also in their output extension, the axon. A specific filter cell regulates signal propagation. These findings have now been published in the journal Science.
Read more … Information flow in the brain is not a “one-way street”
Success for neuroscience research in Berlin
The continuation of the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence, an association of Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and its universities, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Freie Universität Berlin as well as three non-university research institutes, will sustainably advance the substantial expansion of neuroscience research that Berlin has seen in recent years. Since 2007, university scientists have been collaborating with researchers from the Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine (MDC), the Deutsche Rheuma-Forschungszentrum (DRFZ) and the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in an interdisciplinary effort across institutional borders to investigate the functions of the nervous system. “Over the past few years, extensive international appointments have enabled us to successfully expand our Berlin-based neuroscience research. Now we can move forward on this path, using the additional funding to further strengthen the cooperation projects we have established”, says a delighted Dietmar Schmitz, spokesman and initiator of the Cluster of Excellence.
Read more … Success for neuroscience research in Berlin
Of Mice and Men
Malfunctioning single proteins can cause disruptions in neuronal junctions leading to autistic forms of behavior. A current study, published in the scientific journal Nature, comes to this conclusion after examining genetically altered mice.
The study, in which scientists from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence contributed, thus supports the hypothesis that disruptions in neuronal junctions, i.e. synapses, could be the cause of the development of neuropsychiatric illnesses like autism. The international research team, that included scientists from Ulm University and the Institut Pasteur in Paris, ascribes a key role to the excitatory synapses. This finding could become an important step stone for future autism therapies.
Read more … Of Mice and Men
Research Prize for Berlin Young Investigator
The Berlin scientist Tatiana Korotkova of the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin has been awarded this year’s Young Investigator Grant of the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP).
Read more … Research Prize for Berlin Young Investigator
Using 7-T brain MRI Charité and MDC researchers show: Multiple sclerosis more destructive than previously thought
Using 7-T brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) researchers in Berlin have shown nearly twice as much damage in the brain of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) as with the 1.5-T MRI typically used in routine clinical diagnosis. "MS patients should therefore in the future be treated much earlier and even more consistently," recommends study director Prof. Friedemann Paul of the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure and the Experimental and Clinical Research Center of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in Berlin-Buch (Archives of Neurology published online Feb. 20, 2012. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.2450)*.
Read more … Using 7-T brain MRI Charité and MDC researchers show: Multiple sclerosis more destructive than previously thought
Professor Michael Brecht receives Liebniz Prize 2012
Prof. Dr. Michael Brecht, member of the NeuroCure Board of Directors and Speaker of the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, received the prestigious Gottfried Wilhelm Liebniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG) 2012 worth 2.5 million euros, on 27th February. In a statement, the DFG explained: „The Leibniz Prize for Michael Brecht honours a scientist whose original research approaches and innovative methods have broken new ground in neurobiology.“
Read more … Professor Michael Brecht receives Liebniz Prize 2012
How the brain communicates
An important mechanism by which the human brain hemispheres communicate with each other has been discovered by a team of researchers from Berlin and the University of Bern. The findings, which appear in the current issue of the journal Science, provide new insights into nerve cell communication in the brain that could also play a role in stroke.
Read more … How the brain communicates
Accelerated Search for Active Agents to Treat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Professor Erich Wanker of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and of the Excellence Cluster Neurocure is to receive EUR 675 000 in funding from the Helmholtz Association over the next two years. The grant shall be used to accelerate the search for active agents to treat diseases that are caused by protein misfolding. These include Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The grant amount will be matched by the MDC, a member institution of the Helmholtz Association, which means that the total funding for the research project will be EUR 1.35 million.
Read more … Accelerated Search for Active Agents to Treat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Sugar for the Brain
Oxygen and glucose are the food of our brain. If they are absent, such as during a stroke, nerve cells die. An international research team at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany, and McMaster University, Canada, has discovered a novel mechanism to prevent this cell death. The results of the study have now been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.
Read more … Sugar for the Brain
When nerve cells stop speaking
By researching fruit flies, neuroscientists of the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence in Berlin were able to gain a better understanding of a meaningful mechanism of neuronal communication. They demonstrated the importance of a specific protein for signal transmission between nerve cells. This is of high significance as certain people with autism – a functional development disturbances of the brain – suffer from genetic defects in this protein. Therefore the findings could improve the possibility of treating this disease more effectively. The results are presented in the latest issue of the professional journal Science.
Read more … When nerve cells stop speaking
Discovery of a new muscle repair gene
An international team of researchers from England and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin has presented new findings regarding the function of muscle stem cells, which are published in the current issue of the journal Nature Genetics*. The researchers investigated several families with children suffering from a progressive muscle disease. Using a genetic analysis technique known as “next generation sequencing” the scientists identified a defective gene called MEGF10 responsible for the muscle weakness.
Read more … Discovery of a new muscle repair gene
NeuroCure researchers awarded prestigious EU grant
Two researchers of the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie Berlin (FMP) have independently of one another received the renowned European Research Council (ERC) research award. Neurobiologists Prof. Gary Lewin (MDC) and Prof. Thomas Jentsch (MDC/FMP) will each receive an ERC Advanced Grant of 2.5 million euros in research support.
Read more … NeuroCure researchers awarded prestigious EU grant
New Findings Concerning Function of the Hippocampus
A research team from Berlin, Munich and Haifa has presented new findings concerning the function of the hippocampus, a region of the brain that is important for memory formation. The researchers investigated cellular mechanisms of high-frequency rhythms, which play a key role in memory processes, and possibly also in various brain disorders, albeit in a different manner.
Read more … New Findings Concerning Function of the Hippocampus
Small molecules hit it big - new therapeutic approaches against viruses, bacteria, and cancer
Scientists from the Freie Universität Berlin and the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence led by biochemist Volker Haucke in collaboration with colleagues from Australia and the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP) in Berlin have developed small molecules that inhibit the internalization of important signalling molecules but also of pathogenic organisms such as the immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and bacteria into cells. These compounds inhibit the function of the cellular scaffold protein clathrin und could thereby serve as a starting point for novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of cancer, viral or bacterial infections or neurological disorders. These results were published in the latest issue of the prestigious journal Cell.
Read more … Small molecules hit it big - new therapeutic approaches against viruses, bacteria, and cancer
And fire! - How nerve cells are kept up to speed
Scientists from the Freie Universität Berlin and the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence led by Volker Haucke in collaboration with colleagues from the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP) in Berlin have unravelled a mechanism involved in the reformation of neurotransmitter containing membrane vesicles in the brain. Perturbations of this reformation process because of mutations in key proteins such as CALM and AP180 are a possible cause for the development of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. These results were published in the latest online issue of the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.
Read more … And fire! - How nerve cells are kept up to speed
New hope fighting immune diseases
A certain type of immune cells that assumes new functions in the intestine proves to be an effective aid in fighting autoimmune disorders. This discovery was made by researchers of the Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin, an institute of the Leibniz Association, the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence and the Yale University School of Medicine, and is presented in the latest issue of the scientific journal Nature*.
Read more … New hope fighting immune diseases
Another success in health research for Berlin
By establishing a new site for the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the scientists from Berlin have once again been suc-cessful in a nationwide competition with their research concept.
Read more … Another success in health research for Berlin
Measuring the world by the brain – Scientists identify circuits with which rats map the environment
For the first time, researchers at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Bernstein Center Berlin and NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence explain how the cellular architecture of spatial memory is related to its role in orientation. In the journal Neuron, they present a new technique with which they could examine the activity and interconnection of individual neurons in freely moving animals. This method allowed them to identify the circuits with which rats capture and learn the spatial structure of their environment.
Read more … Measuring the world by the brain – Scientists identify circuits with which rats map the environment
Berlin neuroscientists decode crucial component in brain signal processing
A team of neuroscientists from NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, have made a major breakthrough in understanding how signals are processed in the human brain. The paper, published in the current issue of the scientific journal Neuron, shows that a certain type of protein – the “vesicular glutamate transporter” (VGLUT) plays a crucial part in the strength regulation of synaptic connections. This regulation enables synapses to vary in strength.
Read more … Berlin neuroscientists decode crucial component in brain signal processing