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Three new collaborative research centres in Baden-Württemberg

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is set to establish 17 new collaborative research centres (SFBs) on 1st January 2010. Ten of the new SFBs will focus on life science research projects, and will initially be funded for a period of four years with a total of 78 million euros in funding. One of the SFBs will be established at the University of Freiburg. Six of the 17 new SFBs are SFB/Transregio projects involving researchers from several German research institutions, including two SFBs that are to be coordinated by the University of Heidelberg.

The objective of the SFB/Transregio 77 entitled "Liver cancer - from molecular pathogenesis to targeted therapy" is to transfer findings from biomedical basic research into new therapies for liver carcinoma, one of the most frequent and malignant human tumours. Until now, only limited therapeutic options have been available to treat these tumours. Scientists from Heidelberg, Hanover and Braunschweig are aiming to obtain detailed insights into the molecular development of liver cancer, from initial cancer development to chronic liver diseases and metastasis. The researchers hope to develop new preventive, therapeutic and diagnostic approaches. Professor Dr. med. Peter Schirmacher, Medical Director of the Institute of Pathology at the University of Heidelberg, is the spokesperson for this SFB. The Hanover Medical School is also part of the SFB, along with the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig.

The SFB/Transregio 83 entitled "Molecular architecture and cellular functions of lipid-protein complexes" brings together biophysics, biochemistry, cell biology, immunology and virology. The collaborative research centre will mainly focus on the role of lipids in biological membranes. Scientists from Heidelberg, Dresden and Bonn will analyse suitable model membrane systems using state-of-the-art methods to obtain fundamental insights into the nature, specificity and function of protein-lipid interactions. They hope to discover and characterise previously unknown mechanisms of action. Professor Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Söllner from the Centre of Biochemistry at Heidelberg University is the spokesperson for the new SFB/Transregio 83. The Technical University of Dresden and the University of Bonn, along with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden are also involved in this collaborative research centre.

In the new SFB 850 entitled "Control of cell motility in morphogenesis, tumour invasion and metastasis", developmental biologists and cancer researchers from Freiburg will pool their expertise in a scientific network designed to generate a greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms of tumour cell invasion and metastasis and to open up paths for new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. The researchers will mainly focus on understanding the control and loss of control of the physiological and pathological motility of cells in embryonic and tissue development as well as metastasis and cell invasion of tumours. The University of Freiburg (Professor Dr. Christoph Peters) is the coordinator of this SFB; the Max Planck Institute of Immunolobiology in Freiburg is also participating in the collaborative research centre.

German Research Foundation

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) is the central, self-governing research funding organisation that promotes research at universities and other publicly financed research institutions in Germany. The DFG serves all branches of science and the humanities by funding research projects and facilitating cooperation among scientists. The DFG's Grants Committee has decided to establish 17 new collaborative research centres (SFB) from 1st January 2010. The new SFBs will initially be funded for four years with a total of 132 million euros in funding, and they will also receive a 20 per cent programme allowance to cover indirect costs. The themes of the new SFBs range from innovative prostheses to political reforms and marine bacteria.

Website address: https://www.gesundheitsindustrie-bw.de/en/article/press-release/three-new-collaborative-research-centres-in-baden-wuerttemberg