New DFG Research Centre established in Dresden

09/07/05

'Regenerative therapy' receives funding of €20 million

This decision was made by the DFG's Joint Committee at its meeting on 2 September 2005. The aim is to create an internationally recognised centre for basic research on the development of regenerative therapeutic approaches for a wide variety of diseases. The centre will receive €20 million in funding over the first four years.

The Dresden centre will begin its work with comprehensive basic research in the field of cellular and developmental biology, including stem cell research. In the longer term, it is planned to build on this to develop new therapeutic approaches. Stem cell therapy is viewed as having great potential for the treatment of many diseases since it enables controlled tissue regeneration. The cellular mechanisms that control the activity of these stem cells remain largely unknown, however. This is the problem that the centre, which will involve researchers from the life sciences, natural sciences and engineering sciences, aims to address first. One particularly promising project will use model organisms to study the ability for tissue regeneration, extrapolating this information to predict the potential for clinical applications. The long-term goal of the Dresden initiative is to develop approaches for treating metabolic diseases, cancer and immunodeficiencies; diabetes; brain and spinal injuries; for bone and cartilage replacement; and for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers from the Dresden University of Technology, the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Sintered Materials, the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research and the Rossendorf Research Centre will participate in the centre.

The Dresden proposal was selected from ten applications on the topic of "Regenerative Therapy", three of which made the shortlist. The proposals were reviewed and compared by an international review panel.

DFG Research Centres are an important strategic funding instrument. They enable the bundling of research competence in particularly innovative areas of research, forming core research areas with international prominence at universities for a set time period in areas of international significance. The DFG has established five such centres in recent years: "Ocean Margins" (Bremen), "Center for Functional Nanostructures" (Karlsruhe), "Rudolf-Virchow Centre for Experimental Biomedicine" (Würzburg), "Matheon: Mathematics for Key Technologies" (Berlin) and "Molecular Physiology of the Brain" (Göttingen).

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