Excellence Initiative

NeuroCure: Towards a Better Outcome of Neurological Disorders

<p><span style="" lang="EN-GB">The federal government and
the governments of the German states will support the Berlin Cluster of
Excellence “NeuroCure“ within the framework of the Excellence Initiative
competition with approximately 40 million euros up to 2012 according to an
announcement by the joint Funding Committee of the Deutsche
Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation - DFG) and the Wissenschaftsrat
(Science Council). The research application made jointly by the Charité Universitätsmedizin
Berlin, Humboldt Universität and Freie Universität has been successful in the
competition against 143 other major research institutions.<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p><span style="" lang="EN-GB">The main objective of the
“NeuroCure” initiative is the transfer of findings made in fundamental research
into clinical practice. In the initial stage research will be focussed on such
diseases as strokes, multiple sclerosis and developmental disturbances of the
brain that can lead to epileptic seizures. Currently, there is no cure for any
of these diseases, and it is merely possible to alleviate their symptoms. These
diseases share a number of underlying mechanisms, which must be understood if
an effective therapy is to be developed. Professor Dietmar Schmitz, scientific
coordinator of the cluster application, says: “It is our aim to improve substantially
the quality of life for patients with neurological diseases.” The researchers
around the core group of professors Ulrich Dirnagl, Uwe Heinemann, Robert
Nitsch, Dietmar Schmitz, and Frank Zipp at Charité intend to link up closely fundamental
and clinical research in their work at the Charité Campus Mitte. <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p><span style="" lang="EN-GB">In addition to the funding
given in the framework of the Excellence Initiative, partner organizations of
NeuroCure will contribute 4.1 million euros annually. These include, in
addition to the two universities, the Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular
Medicine (MDC), the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology, and the
Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum (German Research Centre for Rheumatic
Diseases) in Berlin. Besides, the Berlin state government is covering part of
the cost of a new research building of 4,500 square metres at Charité Campus
Mitte in the centre of Berlin. In 2008 the Charité will make additional premises
of 1,500 square metres available in the immediate vicinity of the new research
building. <o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p><span style="" lang="EN-GB">“In recent years the
Charité has created nes structures of research funding, which are exemplary for
Germany as a whole. With that great success in the Excellence Competition we
have been rewared fort the work” , says Professor Martin Paul, Dean of the
Charité. Therefore, the Medical Faculty will contribute substantial financial
means, too. Professor Paul intends to use a major part of the funding to
attract highly reputed international personalities in the field of
neuro-sciences to work with his team in Berlin. “We can now make Berlin the capital
of neuroscientific research,” he says.<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p>Prof. Dr. Dietmar Schmitz</p>
Dr. Anja Kamradt<br>Tel.: +49 (0)30 450 539 707<br>Fax: +49 (0)30 450 539 970
<a href="mailto:anja.kamradt@charite.de">anja.kamradt@charite.de</a></p>
<h3>Further Information:</h3>
<ul type="disc"><li style=""><span style="" lang="EN-GB">In the web: </span><span class="link-external"><a href="http://www.neurocure.de/"><span style="" lang="EN-GB">www.neurocure.de</span></a></span><span style="" lang="EN-GB"><o:p></o:p></span></li>
<li style="">HUMBOLDT, Edition 4,
<a href="http://www.hu-berlin.de/pr/publikationen/humboldt/200801/extra/neurocure"><span class="link-external">Gemeinsam
neurologische Erkrankungen lindern. Im Cluster NeuroCure arbeiten
Grundlagenforscher und Kliniker zusammen</span></a> (Joint Endeavours to
Alleviate Neurological Diseases. Researchers and Clinicians Collaborate)<acronym title="Portable Document Format"></acronym></li>