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Research on inflammation in the brain to improve the therapies for stroke, Alzheimer disease and multiple sclerosis

The University of Luebeck is coordinating a new Marie Curie Innovative Training Network called “ENTRAIN”. The project is being funded by the EU commission with 3.6 Mill Euro. Thirteen partner organizations from academia and industry in 9 European countries will be investigating inflammatory processes in the brain, especially those associated with stroke, Alzheimer disease and multiple sclerosis. ENTRAIN follows the project “nEUROinflammation”, which had been funded by the EU since 2013 and was successfully completed in 2017. 

The results of nEUROinflammation lead the group to investigate the interactions of specific cell types in the brain, called endothelial cells and microglia, in the current project. The outcome has the potential to improve the therapy of stroke, Alzheimer disease and multiple sclerosis. 

The international project will run for 4 years. It aims to support the education of PhD students and to strengthen scientific cooperation in Europe. All in all, 14 postgraduates will work in the research institutions of the partners and participate in workshops and trainings. They will also spend up to 6 months in other partners’ laboratories.

The consortium members of „ENTRAIN“ include the University of Luebeck (Germany), the University Bern (Switzerland), the Westfälische Wilhelms-University Münster (Germany), the University Medical Center Freiburg (Germany), the  Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (Switzerland), Stichting VUMC (Netherlands), the Hungarian Academy of Science (Hungary), the Universita Degli Studi di Brescia (Italy), the Université de Caen Normandie (France), the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri (Italy), the University of Helsinki (Finland), the Agenca Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas CSIC (Spain) as well as the company MIMETAS (Netherlands). 

The research consortium will be supported by the companies Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH & Co. KG, Brendinn Therapeutics, Dualsystems Biotech AG and Polygene AG as well as the patient organizations Incontinetia Pigmenti France und Stroke Alliance for Europe. Leading experts from these institutions will supervise the PhD students.

Prof. Dr. Markus Schwaninger, Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Luebeck, will serve as project coordinator. Susanne Zimmermeier will cover administrative aspects and Dr. Walter Häuser will organize trainings and workshops for the PhD students; both are also located at the Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Luebeck.

Overall there are 14 individual projects involving 14 postgraduates. Two of these projects are based in the Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Luebeck: „Brain macrophages in the remodelling of microvessels“ under the supervision of Markus Schwaninger and „Brain endothelial signalling and its regulation by myeloid cells“ under the supervision of Jan Wenzel. 

The has started on May 1st, 2019. The new homepage www.itn-entrain.eu will be launched soon. There you can find details of the project and candidates will have the possibility to apply online.

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions gives universities, research institutions and industrial companies the opportunity to apply for a funding to set up a European network for the structured education of young researchers to support cross-border and cross-sectoral mobility of researchers and to improve their career advancement and knowledge exchange.