Doctoral Positions: New EU Project “ENTRAIN”

Research into inflammatory processes in the brain for improved treatment of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

The European Union is funding the new research project “ENTRAIN”, which the University of Lübeck is coordinating, to the tune of 3.6 million euros. The project, with twelve additional partners from the fields of research and industry in nine European countries, will investigate inflammatory processes in the brain. The scientists are focusing their attention on strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. The project is a continuation of the successful “nEUROinflammation” project, which was also funded by the EU and ran from 2013 to 2017.

Insights gained from the project have now led the researchers to focus attention on the processes and interactions in specific brain cells, namely endothelial cells and macrophages. The goal is for the new insights gained to improve the long-term treatment of multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and strokes.

The international project, which has a duration of four years, will also support the training of young doctoral students and promote European collaboration. A total of 14 doctoral students will work in the partners’ research institutions and participate in various workshops and training sessions. They will spend up to six months in other partner organisations of the consortium.

The partners in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) “ENTRAIN” are the University of Lübeck, the University of Bern (Switzerland), the University of Münster, the Freiburg University Medical Center, the ETH Zurich (Switzerland), the Stichting VUMC (Netherlands), the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Hungary), the University of Brescia (Italy), the University of Caen Normandy (France), the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research (Italy), the University of Helsinki (Finland), the Spanish National Research Council CSIS (Spain), and the company MIMETAS (Netherlands).

The research group will be supported by the companies Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH & Co. KG, Brendinn Therapeutics, Dualsystems Biotech AG, and Polygene AG as well as the patient organisations Incontinentia Pigmenti France and Stroke Alliance for Europe. Leading European experts from these organisations will support the project by supervising the work of the doctoral students.

The project is led by Prof. Dr. Markus Schwaninger, Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Lübeck. Susanne Zimmermeier is in charge of the consortium’s administrative side. Dr. Walter Häuser will organise and run classes for the doctoral students. Both individuals are also based at the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Lübeck.

There will be a total of 14 individual projects at the partner institutions, each of which will be worked on by one of the doctoral students. Two individual projects are based at the  Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of  Lübeck. They deal with the themes of “Brain macrophages in the remodelling of microvessels” under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Markus Schwaninger , and “Brain endothelial signalling and its regulation by myeloid cells” under the supervision of Dr. Jan Wenzel.

The project starts on 1 May 2019. The project website will soon be online. Doctoral students will be able to apply for the individual projects via the website.

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) gives universities, research institutions, and companies the opportunity to apply for funding from the European Commission to develop a network for the structured training of young scientists.

Management team: Dr. Walter Häuser, Susanne Zimmermeier, Prof. Dr. Markus Schwaninger (Photo: René Kube / University of Lübeck)