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If we’re hungry, we should stay awake and eat. If we’re tired, we should sleep instead of eating. It’s obvious that the behaviors involved in eating and sleeping are mutually exclusive. But how does the brain determine which set of behaviors is the right one at any given time? Dr. David Owald, a professor who works in neurophysiology and behavioral science at Charité –Universitätsmedizin Berlin, is delving into this question using the tiny brains of fruit flies as a model.
Dr. Wegmann, Research Group Leader at DZNE and ECN Member, is studying tau protein actions in neurodegenerative diseases by utilizing different experimental models and methodologies to discover tau's normal function and misfunction in the diseased brain.
The EU project TEF-Health aims to test and validate innovative artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics solutions for the healthcare sector and accelerate their path to market. It is led by ECN Member Prof. Petra Ritter, who heads the Brain Simulation Section at the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH) and at the Department of Neurology and Experimental Neurology of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an established treatment option for patients suffering from Parkinson's disease. In a neurosurgical procedure two electrodes are implanted in the brain to permanently stimulate specific brain regions. Setting the stimulation parameters, however, is a complex process. A research team at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin has developed an algorithm that may increase efficiency.
We congratulate the ECN PhD Fellow Alexandra Tzilivaki for winning this year’s edition of the Brenda Milner Award. With the price comes a monetary award of 15.000 EUR, for project consumables and/or travel for project collaborations.
ERC Starting Grants are among the highest European awards. Once again, six researchers from Charité, including Professor Dr. Wolf-Julian Neumann, neuroscientist and board member of the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin, were able to convince the European Research Council (ERC).
After two years of pandemics, we were finally able to hold the Berlin Neuroscience Meeting as an in-person event! It started on October 13th with a keynote lecture from Anne McKinney, from McGill University, and a get-together with students and postdocs at the BCCN lecture hall. On October 14th, a large crowd met at the Kaiserin-Friedrich-Haus.
For the first time, neuroscientists from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence (currently in the process of being established) have revealed the precise connections between sensory neurons inside the retina and the superior colliculus, a structure in the midbrain. Neuropixels probes are a relatively recent development, representing the next generation of electrodes. Densely packed with recording points, Neuropixels probes are used to record the activity of nerve cells, and have facilitated these recent insights into neuronal circuits. Writing in Nature Communications*, the researchers describe a fundamental principle which is common to the visual systems of mammals and birds.
During the Long Night of the Sciences (LNDW) 2022 on July 2nd, from 5 pm to midnight, scientific and science-related institutions in Berlin and Potsdam opened their doors and invited visitors to more than 2,000 experiments, lectures, science shows, guided tours and much more. This year, the guiding idea of the LNDW was Science as a response to fake news, conspiracy theories and fatal errors.
Three European collaborative projects and one comprehensive infrastructure project, all of which are to be led by researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH), have been given the go-ahead by the EU Commission. Charité researchers will also be involved in two further projects which are due to be launched. The new Charité-led projects will address mental health issues, an innovative cell therapy, prognosis after stroke, and virtual models of the brain.
The call (2022) for applications is now online! Innovation and science have a high priority in Germany. Sharing knowledge, opening up to the ideas of others, working together to drive innovation - this is what Open Innovation describes, but Open Innovation has also found its way into science. Some of the objectives are to make research more transparent and improve the quality of scientific work.
ECN member Prof. Soekadar heads the Translation and Neurotechnology Research Unit and the Clinical Neurotechnology Working Group at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Charité Mitte Campus. Complementing the current ERC Starting Grant, a proof-of-concept grant of 150,000 euros from the European Research Council will now help to refine a promising approach and bring it to application maturity.
ECN PI Andreas Horn uses and develops state-of-the-art imaging methods to study brain function. His focus is on understanding and modulating neuronal networks in the brain, with the declared aim of improving “deep brain stimulation”.
On Saturday, May 7, 2022, the Career Exploration Day took place at Cabuwazi in Berlin. The event was organized by The Career Development Initiative (CDI) with the aim to inform, network and discuss about different career paths.
Neuroscientist Matthew Larkum has been awarded an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for his research project "Dendro-somatic coupling and global neuronal signalling" as part of the European research program Horizon Europe.
Two new ERC Consolidator Grants for Charité researchers
Research at scientific boundaries and awards for excellent work - 313 scientists from 24 European countries are the winners of the latest competition for Consolidator Grants of the European Research Council (ERC), among them two researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and ECN member.
Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, or PI3K for short, is a family of lipid kinases that plays a key role in the human body, performing functions such as cell division, metabolism, and cell growth. While class I PI3Kα is well-researched and an important target for cancer drugs, little is known about class II of this lipid kinase family. Now, researchers from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) have been able to shed light on its structure and function.
The Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin (ECN) invites applications for its PhD program. Students currently enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s program and expecting to graduate before October 2022 are encouraged to apply.
Dr. Maike Krause and Dr. Sophie Lehnerer, two scientists from the Department of Neurology at Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, have won this year's Health-i Award in the young talent category with their project MyaLink. MyaLink is a digital platform that connects patients with rare diseases such as myasthenia gravis with their specialists.
Being able to precisely turn on or off particular neurons in the brain at will was a major challenge for the neuro- science field, and few could have anticipated that the solution would come from algae. The 2021 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award recognizes the contributions of ECN Member Peter Hegemann, Dieter Oesterhelt, and Karl Deisseroth for their discovery of light-sensitive microbial proteins that can activate or silence brain cells.
The glutamate receptor AMPA was previously known for its lightning-fast transmission of excitation. All the more surprising, therefore, are the results that researchers from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin have now made: AMPA-receptors can also be extraordinarily slow.
Today sees research institutions from across Germany and the rest of Europe sign an agreement which commits them to providing transparent information on animal research. As part of this step, researchers from across the life sciences commit to taking an active role in shaping the public dialog on animal research and imparting relevant knowledge.
An international team of researchers led by Dr. Michael R. Kreutz and Dr. Marina Mikhaylova from the Leibniz Institute of Neurobiology Magdeburg (LIN), the Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg (ZMNH) and Humboldt University Berlin, and Dr. Eunjoon Kim from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has deciphered the molecular-level effects of mutations in the autism risk gene SHANK3.
Together with 13 other personalities from science,ECN PI Michael Brecht from the Bernstein Center Berlin was appointed to the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The newly elected members received their membership certificates on the occasion of the Academy's Leibniz Day celebration on June 5, 2021.
On 20th July 2021, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin will be opening the Humboldt Lab with its inaugural exhibition “After Nature”. The exhibition in the Humboldt Forum deals with the interactions between climate change and biodiversity loss as well as the global crises of democratic principles of order. It draws on a wide array of voices from scientific research in order to address the effects of man-made changes to the global environment. The title of the exhibition refers in equal measure to both the destruction of species and ecosystems and the idea of “learning from nature”.
After a one-year preparation phase, the Einstein Center for Alternative Methods in Biomedical Research is launched. The Einstein Foundation is funding the center with approximately 5.3 million euros until the end of 2026.
When the brain suffers injury or infection, glial cells surrounding the affected site act to preserve the brain’s sensitive nerve cells and prevent excessive damage. A team of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have been able to demonstrate the important role played by the reorganization of the structural and membrane elements of glial cells. The researchers’ findings, which have been published in Nature Communications*, shed light on a new neuroprotective mechanism which the brain could use to actively control damage following neurological injury or disease.
The "Berlin Brains" lecture series at URANIA is jointly organized by the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure, the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, the SFB 1315 and the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin.
STEMOs (Stroke-Einsatz-Mobile) have been serving Berlin for ten years. The specialized stroke emergency response vehicles allow physicians to start treating stroke patients before they reach hospital. For the first time, a team of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin has been able to show that the dispatch of mobile stroke units is linked to improved clinical outcomes.
Throughout your scientific career, you might have faced struggles, detours, switching fields, or even failures. When you look around at your colleagues or your supervisors, you might think that their journeys in academia, not like yours, were smooth and straight forward...
Using post-mortem tissue samples, a team of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have studied the mechanisms by which the novel coronavirus can reach the brains of patients with COVID-19, and how the immune system responds to the virus once it does. The results, which show that SARS-CoV-2 enters the brain via nerve cells in the olfactory mucosa, have been published in Nature Neuroscience*. For the first time, researchers have been able to produce electron microscope images of intact coronavirus particles inside the olfactory mucosa.
The European Research Council (ERC) is providing 10 million euros in funding for an interdisciplinary, collaborative project to structurally and biophysically analyze selected photo-receptors and develop them into “OptoGPCRs”, light-controlled molecular switches with a wide range of applications in biology and medicine.
It appears that autophagy protects our neurons in the brain, but evidently for entirely different reasons than previously assumed, as researchers from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Charité in Berlin have now shown. These fundamentally new findings have now been published in the prestigious journal “Neuron”.
We are Falling Walls Finalists! Watch our science breakthrough in the Science and Innovation Management Category here: Enable the next impact-driven generation of scientists Register for free to join the virtual showcase of the Science Breakthroughs of the Year from 1 – 10 November 2020
Ten days of research, innovation and international exchange - Berlin Science Week and Falling Walls invite you to a Remote World Science Summit this year. With more than 200 virtual discussion events, workshops, exhibitions and performances, the organizers defy the pandemic and want to promote a deeper understanding of the world. Neuroscientists will discuss, for example, how to deal with dementia.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry to NeuroCure PI Prof. Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, Scientific and Managing Director of the newly established Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin for her groundbreaking work on the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. She shares the prize with Jennifer Doudna from the University of California, Berkeley, USA.
MDC researchers received a $150,000 pilot project grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Neurodegeneration Challenge Network to investigate a defining feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
One of the largest international meetings of neuroscientists, the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), went virtual this year from 11-15 July 2020, offering five days of lectures, posters, symposia, exhibitions, networking and development opportunities.
ECN’s booth at the “Research in Germany” virtual career fair this year saw nearly 500 visitors. The chatroom was fully booked for every minute of the four-hour event as dozens of students expressed interest in the program and asked questions about the curriculum, lab rotations, and the application process and requirements.
During the Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting 2020 – ECN fellow Alexandra Tzilivaki organizes a workshop entitled: Dissecting the role of interneurons in mnemonic functions using computational modelling approaches."
Cellular waste disposal, where autophagy and lysosomes interact, performs elementary functions, such as degrading damaged protein molecules, which impair cellular function, and reintroducing the resulting building blocks such as amino acids into the metabolic system. This recycling process is known to keep cells young and, for instance, protects against protein aggregation, which occurs in neurodegenerative diseases. But what, apart from starvation, actually gets this important system going?
Though academic institutions have contributed enormously to the remarkable growth in the healthcare industry, a key limiting resource for this continued growth is the creation of career opportunities for doctoral graduates.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is the most common form of inherited neuropathies. A genetic mutation causes the insulating myelin layer of peripheral nerves to become progressively damaged, resulting in severe disabilities in the case of CMT type 4B, for instance. Since the molecular basis is largely unknown, this type of CMT is untreatable and incurable to this day. Now researchers from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin, in collaboration with colleagues from Milan, Paris and Mexico, have been able to highlight a new molecular mechanism.
Many neurological disorders are associated with impaired movement. Neuromodulation, the targeted electrical stimulation of nerve cells, can help to control altered neuronal network activity. A new Transregional Collaborative Research Center (SFB/Transregio) will now study the nature of the neuromodulation mechanisms which are responsible for a range of conditions.
Happy to announce our new website section Mental Health in cooperation with Scholar Minds, which is a self-organized-initiative of PhD students at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin trying to provide the Berlin neuroscience community with some relief.
A research group led by Professor Dietmar Schmitz of Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin has pinpointed the area of the brain involved in transferring memory-associated information into long-term memory. The results have now been published in Nature Communications*.
Professor Volker Haucke from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and the Freie Universität Berlin receives a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant of the European Research Council (ERC). The biochemist is granted a total funding of up to 2.5 million euros for a period of five years for his highly innovative research on the assembly of synapses.
A current research project underway at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), in cooperation with the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence at Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, suggests that individual antibodies from the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with limbic encephalitis, a certain form of autoimmune encephalitis, increases the excitability of nerve cells. This finding moves us in the direction of a better understanding of the disease. The results have been published in the journal Annals of Neurology* (Ann Neurol 2020; 87: 405-418).
The mystery of general anesthesia is that it specifically suppresses consciousness by disrupting feedback signaling in the brain, even when feedforward signaling and basic neuronal function are left relatively unchanged. The mechanism for such selectiveness is unknown. A team of scientists from Germany (Matthew Larkum & Suzuki Mototaka, Humboldt University of Berlin) showed that three different anesthetics have the same disruptive influence on signaling along apical dendrites in cortical layer 5 pyramidal neurons in mice.
A team of scientists from Germany (Matthew Larkum, Humboldt University of Berlin) and Greece (Panayiota Poirazi, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (IMBB-FORTH)) have discovered a unique form of cell messaging occurring in the human brain that's not been seen before.
The Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin is one of six locations selected by the Hertie Foundation for the newly established Hertie Network of Excellence in Clinical Neuroscience. The strategic network and career development program for clinical neurosciences will initially receive a total of five million euros in funding for three years. Of this amount, 660,000 euros will go to four young researchers at the Charité.
With the support of the Einstein Foundation, Berlin's universities have succeeded in attracting three internationally renowned researchers to Berlin as a location for science on a permanent basis. Physicist Cecilia Clementi moves from Rice University to Freie Universität Berlin, neuroscientist Roberto Cabeza from Duke University to Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The neurobiologist Benjamin Judkewitz could be kept at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. They are the first to receive funding in the program line "Einstein Profile Professorship".
Under the motto "Slammin like there’s no tomorrow", our Science Slam-Science Rocks event kicked off this years Berlin Science Week on Friday, November 01, 2019.
Between 7 PM and 2 AM, Roadrunner's Paradise swayed and rocked as the slammers used all their powers to entertain the audience, giving unique talks on everything from mathematics to neuroscience. Costumes, props, movies, power-point presentations and other experimental setups – it was all allowed.
Nerve cells communicate with one another via signaling molecules. The rule is: the more of these molecules, the stronger the signal. Drugs and diseases influence these processes and can weaken or strengthen the signal. Together with colleagues of Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow Thomas Südhof from Stanford University, who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2013 and is supported by Stiftung Charité, Charité researchers have now been able to explain how these communication “modulators” work. They have published their results in the scientific journal Cell.
Human deep sleep is characterized by rhythmical brain waves. In deep sleep millions of cerebral neurons are active in synchrony and generate slow, rhythmical brain waves. After a long time awake, the same brain activity pattern can be measured as a sign for fatigue. A NeuroCure research team led by Dr. David Owald now observed those waves within fruit flies.
Jens Kremkow, ECN-Member will have his project in visual perception brought to fruition at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle; its results will be accessible to all interested scientists. The project is part of a new endeavor called OpenScope – a project spanning various institutions that was begun in 2018 and modeled after shared astronomy observatories that became the seat of major findings about the physical universe.
Dysfunctions in the maternal immune system that occur during pregnancy could possibly lead to impaired brain development in the unborn child. This is suggested by studies by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, which are based on laboratory experiments and additional findings in humans.
All around the world children play hide and seek. But do animals do so too? In a recent study, scientists from the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin and the Humboldt University Berlin show that rats can quickly learn a rat-human version of the game and can easily switch between different roles – hiding and searching. The scientists suspect that hide and seek has its origins much earlier in evolution than previously thought. The study has been published on September 13, 2019 in the journal Science.
Prof. Volker Haucke, Director at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and member of the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence, has been elected to the renowned "Academia Europaea".
For his research on memory, Dr. rer. nat. Nicolas Schuck, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, will receive a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). The grant is endowed with approximately 1.5 million euros.
The activation of mTor complex 1 in the cell is central to many vital processes in the body such as cell growth and metabolism. Overactivity of this signalling pathway can result in diseases such as in diabetic insulin resistance and cancer. A team led by the scientist Volker Haucke (Leibniz – Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie and Freie Universität Berlin) has now discovered how inactivation of a certain lipid kinase promotes mTor complex 1 activity, and may therefore constitute a new point of attack for the treatment of diabetes and cancer. The results have just been published in the renowned journal Nature Cell Biology.
Major award for Berlin: The Berlin University Alliance has won funding as a group in the Universities of Excellence funding line of the German federal and state governments’ Excellence Strategy. The German Council of Science and Humanities announced the decision on July 19, 2019, in Bonn. The four Berlin partners – Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin – submitted a joint proposal entitled Crossing Boundaries toward an Integrated Research Environment and in a highly competitive process were able to convince the reviewers of its feasibility.
We are pleased to announce that Genevieve Yvon-Durocher, Neurasmus and MedNeuro MSc student won the prize for the best thesis defence during this year's annual meeting of the Neurasmus MSc program. The thesis was done in the lab of David Owald (ECN and NeuroCure) focusing on the role of slow wave delta oscillations in sleep homeostasis in Drosophila melanogaster.
Upcoming Saturday June 22, the next Soapbox Science Berlin event will take place at Alexanderplatz In this novel public outreach platform that promotes women scientists and transforms public spaces into arenas for learning and scientific debate, twelve female researchers will step onto their soapboxes to give talks to the public.
Open Innovation and Open Science are increasingly recognized as the central pillars of future research and innovation systems. A better integration of Open Innovation and Open Science into research will become an important driving force to increase scientific novelty and impact, calling for the creation of novel playgrounds for Open Innovation in Science (OIS).
We’d like to invite you to one of the smartest nights of the year – the Long Night of the Sciences (LNDW).
On June 15th, from 5pm until midnight, over sixty scientific institutions across Berlin and Potsdam-Telegrafenberg are opening their doors to the public, offering more than 100 hands-on venues with the motto marvel at, touch and understand.
Approximately 10 million people in Germany are addicted to either alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs or illegal drugs. A small percentage manage to overcome their addiction without any outside help. How they manage to do so is being explored by the new transregional Collaborative Research Center (SFB/TRR) ‘Losing and Regaining Control in Addiction – Development, Mechanisms and Interventions’, which is being led by Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
In the context of this year’s day of the biosciences, the University of Regensburg confers the honoris causa to Prof. Dr. Peter Hegemann for his outstanding work on photoreceptors and their implications in Optogenetics.
On Wednesday, May 22 the National Academy of Sciences introduces the new members in the field of life sciences. Honouring her scientific achivements, Prof. Dr. Carmen Birchmeier is getting one of the highest scientific Awards granted by a german Institution.
The "Berlin Brains" lecture series at URANIA is organized jointly by the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure, and the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin. This lecture series increases the visibility of the neurosciences in Berlin and highlights the funding invested in these areas. In 2019 female neuroscientists from Berlin will present their work.
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences awards the Rumford Prize to Peter Hegemann, Ernst Bamberg, Ed Boyden, Karl Deisseroth, Gero Miesenböck and Georg Nagel for the invention and refinement of optogenetics. The Rumford Prize was presented during the Academy’s Annual Awards Ceremony on April 11, 2019, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is one of the oldest scientific prizes in the United States founded in 1796.
How can we improve the identification and prompt diagnosis of genetic diseases? A new Research Unit at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin will set out to identify and reliably interpret important non-coding sections of our genomes in the hope of finding the diagnosis for unsolved diseases. The researchers’ objective is to develop software capable of analyzing whole-genome data in the clinical setting. The Research Unit, which is being funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), will receive approximately €3.5 million over a period of three years.
How might we further improve deep brain stimulation and its use in the treatment of neurological disorders? And how does the nervous system regulate both protective and chronic immune responses? These questions are at the heart of investigations by two research teams headed by Dr. Andreas Horn and Dr. Christoph Klose at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), these two independent Emmy Noether Junior Research Groups are set to receive more than €1.7 million for a period of three years, with potential for extension.
The international week of the Brain - the “Brain Awareness Week” - took place from March 11th - 17th 2019. This year once again the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin and NeuroCure presented together with various research institutions in Berlin a diverse program including lectures, workshops and movies for people of all ages.
In the first call for proposals in 2018, all five institutions have now approved 29 research projects in the humanities, social sciences, medicine, and the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Berlin partners and the University of Oxford are funding the projects with 450,000 euros.
The Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is an international campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of current brain research, ranging from microscopical cells to complex psychiatric disorders.
Prof. Volker Haucke, Director at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) receives the Feldberg Prize 2020, which is awarded annually by the Feldberg Foundation for anglo-german scientific exchange. The aim is to promote scientific exchange between British and German researchers in the field of experimental medicine, in particular in the disciplines of physiology and pharmacology.
The Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin (ECN) invites applications for its PhD program / Fast-Track program. Students currently enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s program and expecting to graduate before October 2019 are encouraged to apply.
Traumatic childhood experiences can have a strong impact on lifelong health. In the "Kids2Health" research project, scientists from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin are developing therapeutic approaches for children who have had stressful experiences at an early age.
The international Master program, Neurasmus, has been recently labelled a "Success Story" for its "Good Practices" by the European Commission. In total 14 best projects out of 377 Erasmus Mundus projects have received this label.
Implementing a project entitled ‘BrainPlay’, an interdisciplinary team of researchers will explore the way in which play affects the human brain. Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the University of Geneva will study the effects of play on the learning processes inside the brain. The project has been awarded an ERC Synergy Grant by the European Research Council (ERC) amounting to €9.8 million Euros over a duration of six years.
Outstanding Research in Berlin: Seven Clusters of Excellence approved in the Excellence Strategy
In the Excellence Strategy research competition run by the German federal and state governments, seven Clusters of Excellence of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have been adopted in total. Starting in 2019, the interdisciplinary research projects will be funded for seven years with up to ten million euros per annum, as declared in Bonn.
Shimpei Ishiyama, postdoc in Michael Brecht's lab, has successfully applied for a Freigeist Fellowship (VW Stiftung). He will receive 1 Mio Euro to continue his research on positive emotions like ticklishness and their corresponding neuronal processes in the brain.
Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Zuse-Institut Berlin have developed a new generation of pain medications. Using computer simulations, they have designed new opioids that have an effect only at the site of injury or inflammation
This year at the 18th International Literature Festival in Berlin, ECN member Prof. Dr. Christoph Stein talks with Harald Staun about "The medicines of today are the drugs of tomorrow". The event will take place in the special series "The Politics of Drugs".
Synapses are the interfaces for information exchange between neurons. Teams of scientists working with Professor Dr. Volker Haucke, Director at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Professor at the Freie Universität Berlin, and Professor Dr. Stephan Sigrist at the Freie Universität Berlin discovered the materials, which form new presynapses for the release of transmitters. The findings may help to design better nerve-regenerating therapies in the future.
If certain signaling cascades are misregulated, diseases like cancer, obesity and diabetes may occur. A mechanism recently discovered by scientists at the Leibniz- Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin and at the University of Geneva has a crucial influence on such signaling cascades and may be an important key for the future development of therapies against these diseases.
ERC Starting Grants for behavioral biologist and neuroscientist of Freie Universität Berlin The behavioral biologist PD Dr. Mirjam Knörnschild and neuroscientist Dr. med. Radoslav Cichy of Freie Universität Berlin won a European Reasearch Council Starting Grant (ERC).
The countdown is running – in a few days the FENS Forum of Neurosciences will start in Berlin (July 7-11, 2018, City Cube, Berlin, Germany). We are excited to be there with our joint booth Neurocenters in Germany.
With a new blood test, researchers can determine the state of the internal clock of a person. Once the internal rhythm of patient is known, drugs could be administered at particular times of day making them more effective and with fewer side effects than standard therapy.
How does our long-term memory work? – This is the question to be investigated intensively starting July 2018 by researchers of the Humboldt University (HU) together with colleagues from other major science institutions, including the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure.
At the end of April, neuroscientist Prof. Michael Brecht, a recipient of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize in 2012, made his first trip to Brazil to present his research work to colleagues there. The DFG’s Latin America office organised two Leibniz Lectures to be delivered by Brecht in São Paulo and in Rio de Janeiro, along with an accompanying scientific programme. On the agenda were visits to renowned neuroscience research institutions at the University of São Paulo (USP), the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and the Instituto D’Or (IDOR) in Rio de Janeiro.
Thank you to everyone who joined the Selection Symposium of the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin (ECN) on April 12th/13th, 2018. We are very glad to have carefully chosen our new 15 Einstein PhD fellows!
James Poulet's lab at the MDC uses advanced techniques to monitor the activity of networks of single sensory neurons in the brain. By listening in on hundreds of conversations, the scientists have discovered how a single signal from one cell manages to attract attention.
Basic researchers Gary Lewin and Norbert Hübner are investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying neurological and heart diseases. Their focus is on understanding the anchoring of ion channels and micropeptides in heart muscle cells.
Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is a global campaign that informs about the progress and benefits of brain research. Every year in March, brain researchers present their work to the public and answer questions about the brain and about their research.
A new Annals of Neurology study provides insight into the neurobiology of dying. For the study, investigators performed continuous patient monitoring following Do Not Resuscitate -- Comfort Care orders in patients with devastating brain injury to investigate the mechanisms and timing of events in the brain and the circulation during the dying process.
Joint press release of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin are entering the Excellence Strategy competition together. On February 21, 2018, the three universities submitted their letter of intent to the German Council of Science and Humanities in Cologne. Taking note of the unique academic environment and great variety of disciplines in Berlin, they emphasize the vibrant and diverse culture of cooperation. In the Clusters of Excellence funding line, researchers from the named institutions submitted a total of nine full proposals, as invited by the German Council of Science and Humanities and the German Research Foundation (DFG) in September 2017.
Using patient measurement data, researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Berlin Institute of Health have succeeded in further refining the brain modeling platform ‘The Virtual Brain’. The software, which has been downloaded almost 11,000 times to date, has been used in projects and publications across the globe. The latest findings have been published in eLife*.
The call for applications for the second cohort of the ECN PhD Fellowship Program ended on January 14th, 2018. Thank you for submitting your work! We look forward to reading your application and will get back to you by the end of February.
The great challenges of our time cannot be resolved by one institution. Whether it is climate change, the threat of terrorism, or the opportunities and risks arising through digitization – the solution of complex, global problems and the search for answers to pressing social issues require the expertise of many specialists from different disciplines.
Researchers at Charité’s NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence have successfully identified the mechanism behind rapid signal transmission. Their work, which has been published in the current issue of Nature Neuroscience*, shows that bridging by a specific protein is responsible for this high speed of transmission.
The first Open Innovation in Science Training-program with ECN PhD-Students
A successful two-day workshop took place in Berlin in November 2017. Approximately 15 ECN Students took the possibility to join the workshop and learn more about “Open Innovation”. The speakers Dr. Karin Beukel, Dr. Marion Poetz and guest speaker Dr. Lucia Malfent led through the program.
The 47th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience 2017 was held November 11-15 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. More than 30,300 attendees convened in the U.S. capital city for the world’s largest marketplace of ideas and tools for global neuroscience.
Prof. Dr. Andrea Kühn was awarded the Dingebauer Prize of the German Society of Neurology on September 21, 2017 for her research on Parkinson’s disease. Her work has made a significant contribution to advances in deep brain stimulation. Through the characterization of pathological network activity and the possibility of influencing it, she has laid the foundation for significantly improving deep brain stimulation in the future.
Together with our partner institutions, we would like to celebrate the first anniversary of the Einstein Center for Neurosciences (ECN) Berlin. In addition, the first cohort of the ECN PhD fellows will have arrived in Berlin and will start their lab-rotations the week after.
Professor Dr. Edvard Moser, Neurowissenschaftler von der Technisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Universität Norwegens wird ab Januar 2018 als Einstein BIH Visiting Fellow ein neues Labor am Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung (BIH) aufbauen. Das von der Stiftung Charité in den nächsten drei Jahren mit knapp einer halben Millionen Euro finanzierte Labor wird bei Einstein-Professor Dr. Dietmar Schmitz angesiedelt, der das Neurowissenschaftliche Forschungszentrum (NWFZ) der Charité leitet und Sprecher des Einstein-Zentrums für Neurowissenschaften sowie des Berliner Exzellenzclusters „NeuroCure“ ist.
Working with colleagues from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Harvard Medical School and Ohio State University, researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have shown that the increased incidence of infections seen in spinal cord injury patients is directly linked to a disruption of the normal central nervous system.
Anlässlich des diesjährigen internationalen literaturfestivals berlin betrachten Wissenschaftler des Exzellenzclusters NeuroCure der Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, des Einstein-Zentrums für Neurowissenschaften und des Centrum für Schlaganfallforschung die Funktionsweisen des Gehirns auf literarische Weise.
In recognition of his scientific achievements, Professor Dietmar Schmitz has been elected as a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, one of the most prestigious scientific awards given by a German institution.
Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin in collaboration with colleagues from the University of California Irvine, Oregon Health and Science University and the University of North Carolina in the USA have shown that increased levels of inflammatory markers during pregnancy can lead to changes in fetal brain development which, in turn, may increase the child's risk of developing psychiatric disorders. The incidence of impaired impulse control – the cardinal symptom of these disorders – appears to be particularly affected by this increase in maternal inflammation. Results from this study have been published in the journal Biological Psychiatry*.
On 24th June 2017 the Long Night of Science took place for the 8th time in Berlin. From 5 to 12 pm the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin organized together with NeuroCure and the Center for Stroke Research Berlin a brain-teaser and a painting activity for kids at our booth.
On Sunday 4th June 2017 between 2 and 5 pm, Berlin will host its very first soapbox science event in Tempelhofer feld. Female scientists will step on their soapboxes and tell you about the fascinating work they do, so come join us and add a little extra excitement to your Sunday stroll!
Volker Haucke has received the Avanti Award in Lipids from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) for his research on the roll of membrane lipid homoeostasis during cell transport. "Haucke's findings are of central importance for cell physiology and pathophysiology," according to Britta Brügger and Thomas Söllner from the Biochemistry Centre at the University of Heidelberg, who nominated Haucke for the award.
Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have discovered a new way of developing painkillers. The team of researchers used computational simulation to analyze interactions at opioid receptors – the cell's docking sites for painkillers. When used in an animal model, their prototype of a morphine-like molecule was able to produce substantial pain relief in inflamed tissues. However, healthy tissues remained unaffected, suggesting that the severe side effects currently associated with these types of painkillers might be avoided. This research has been published in the current issue of the journal Science*.
As most naked mole-rats scurry off to work, some continue to lie on their backs for a while in the sleeping chamber. It’s not laziness that keeps these animals from fulfilling their duties in the eusocial community structure of the mole-rats – it’s ventilation. 100 naked mole-rats may sleep together in a mound, and last night they were stuck in the middle. „The air can get very stuffy in these underground burrows,” says Professor Gary Lewin, a researcher at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC). Oxygen levels can drop to conditions that would be life-threatening for other species.
The official opening took place on December 8-10, 2016 with a festive grand opening symposium. We are happy to be looking back on three marvelous days filled with amazing new insights, impulses and lively discussions.
The kick-off meeting was held in Berlin at the Veterinary Anatomy Theatre with an introduction to the Berlin history of Neurosciences, the symposium continued on Friday with talks from our distinguished speakers.
The Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin (ECN) is pleased to announce their involvement in SfN's (Society for Neuroscience) 46th annual meeting.
The meeting 2016 will take place November 12-16 at the San Diego Convention Center.
This meeting is the premier venue for neuroscientists to present emerging science, learn from experts, collaborate with peers, explore new tools and technologies, and advance careers.
We hope you will join us for this great networking opportunity. Meet more than 30,000 colleagues from more than 80 countries at the world’s largest marketplace of ideas and tools for global neuroscience.
The German Neuroscience Society announces travel stipends for young researchers for the participation in the symposium "Brains in vivo and in silico: from Synapses and Circuits to Brain-Inspired Technologies" to be held in Jerusalem, Israel on November 28 – 30, 2016. The symposium is jointly organized by the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
Young qualified researchers will have the opportunity to present their own work to German and Israel key neuroscientists in poster sessions and to discuss the most recent developments with them. Besides lectures and discussions the scientific program also includes lab visits. The conference language is English, subsequently the posters must be prepared and presented in English.
The stipend awardees will be selected by a committee of the German Neuroscience Society.
The stipend amounts to 350 Euro and can be used for travel expenses (based on receipts). In addition it includes waived registration fee, free participation in the social events and accommodation (hotel rooms will be booked by the organizers).
The Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin (ECN) is pleased to announce their involvement in the 2016 Naturejobs Career Expo. The Expo will take place on Friday 16th Septemberat the Business Design Centre, London. This event is the perfect opportunity for you to obtain more information about the ECN. Stop by at our booth we would love to talk to you about our PhD Program. At the Naturejobs Expo 2016 in London you can meet a diverse selection of national and international employers from academic institutions and scientific industries with live job vacancies and training programs.
The Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin was represented at FENS for the first time with a booth at the 10th FENS Forum in Copenhagen, July 2-6, 2016. The booth was a tremendous success, and for three days we were very busy presenting our Center and the upcoming new training program. It was exciting to see how much interest the ECN generated among FENS participants. We had many great conversations with students, scientists and exhibitors alike. The conference drew over 5800 participants from more than 76 countries around the world.
The FENS Forum 2016 facilitates and promotes the exchange of knowledge and neuroscience research.