The Nencki Institute
Journal Club
Journal Club PL
Warsaw, Poland


Brain disorders represent an ever increasing social and economic burden, which as our population grows and ages will certainly worsen. In Europe, brain disorders are responsible for around 35% of the total disease budget and are more costly than cancer and diabetes combined. However, funding for research is substantially disproportionate in Europe (around 8% of the fifth framework funding) and is markedly lower than the US. Despite the clear short-fall of funding for brain research between the US and Europe, resulting in a brain-drain and reduced Pharmaceutical investment, many European institutes still maintain a leading edge in certain fields of brain research. Maintaining and establishing Centres of Excellence within Europe, and strengthening collaborative links, is essential for a better understanding of basic brain function and ultimately to improve treatment for this group of disorders.


Brain diseases, as defined by the European Brain Council, include all those diseases that directly affect the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. Within this framework, we have designed the International PhD Studies in Neurobiology project that addresses the fundamental mechanisms of neuronal function in health and disease that may eventually lead to improved therapeutic strategies. The project consists of seventeen 4-year brain research projects whose common goal is to understand basic brain mechanisms from health to disease. The objectives of projects 1-7 are to examine fundamental molecular mechanisms of neuronal processes. These projects will use state-of-the-art molecular and imaging techniques; molecular and neuroanatomical correlates of perception (1), development of the peripheral nervous system (2), the molecular mechanisms of the neuronal differentiation (3), mitochondrial activity and oxidative stress (4), mRNA trafficking in neurons (5), calcium-dependent catecholamine release (6), transporters and the blood brain barrier (7). Mechanisms of thalamic synaptic plasticity will be investigated in projects 8 using electrophysiolgical techniques. A more effective treatment strategy will be investigated by the development of a functional nanoparticle drug-delivery system targeted to the brain which will be tested in a rodent model of ischemia (project 9). The common objective of the remaining eight projects 10-17 is to investigate, in detail, the neuropathological mechanisms using well established animal or cellular models of disease (projects 10-16). These include brain cancer (10), inflammation (11), Alzheimer?s disease (12), schizophrenia (13), epilepsy (14), spinal cord injury (15), and neurodegeneration (17). Hippocampal neuronal activity will be investigated in project 17, using a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, although not chiefly categorized as a brain disease does have a debilitating impact on the central nervous system. These diseases are major burdens to society and for which treatments are largely ineffective and/or produce severe side effects. Together, it is expected that these projects will increase understanding of the complex mechanisms underlying healthy neuronal function that is central to understanding the basis for their dysfunction (1-8), address neuropathological mechanisms directly using models of disease (10-17). These studies, it is hoped, will ultimately contribute to the advancement of improved therapeutic intervention either through an improved understanding of the fundamental neuronal processes, the identification of clinically useful early diagnostic markers of neurological disease, or through innovative drug delivery technology (project 9).

Rekrutacja na studia doktoranckie Instytutu Nenckiego



Created by Pawel Boguszewski.