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17.09.2019 News, for the Public

From the biology of stem cells to mathematical modeling of brain function

Prof. Dr. Federico Calegari © CRTD

Prof. Federico Calegari receives prestigious grant of the VolkswagenStiftung

The brain is our most complex organ. Of many, learning and memory are among the most studied cognitive functions in all animals. Yet, despite the enormous progress in the study of the molecular, cellular and systemic basis of learning, a mechanistic understanding is still missing. Achieving this goal presents major challenges which require the combination of multidisciplinary approaches to first record and then interpret brain activity during behaviour from individual cells to whole networks. Prof. Federico Calegari from the Center for Regenerative Therapies at TU Dresden, Dr. Peter Dayan from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen and Dr. Kentaroh Takagaki from the Leibniz Institute of Neurobiology in Magdeburg will combine their respective expertise in basic molecular cell biology of neural stem cells, computational neuroscience and clinical physiology towards understanding, and perhaps promoting, cognitive performance.  

The Volkswagen Foundation has launched the new funding initiative "Change of Course - New Research Land between the Life Sciences and Natural or Technical Sciences". It is aimed at teams from the life sciences who wish to acquire in-depth knowledge and skills in engineering or the natural sciences, mathematics or information technology - or vice versa. The initiative aims at the interdisciplinary qualification of a working group or research group planning an interdisciplinary reorientation. Scientists are to be encouraged to gain impressions, inspiration and additional skills in previously extrinsic disciplines. In the first round of applications, 10 out of a total of 43 project proposals received were approved, including five exciting projects at Dresden University of Technology. Details are published here: https://www.volkswagenstiftung.de/kurswechsel