News Article | November 28, 2016
Topics range from medical imaging to analysis of authority and trust in US politics and society; €87 million in funding for an initial 4.5 years The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is establishing 20 new Research Training Groups (RTGs) to further support early career researchers in Germany. They include three International Research Training Groups (IRTGs) with partners in the UK, New Zealand and Austria. This was decided by the responsible Grants Committee during its autumn session in Bonn. The Research Training Groups will receive funding of around 87 million euros for an initial period of four and a half years. In addition to the 20 new collaborations, the Grants Committee approved the extension of seven Research Training Groups for another four and a half years. This funding instrument enables doctoral researchers to complete their theses in a structured research and qualification programme at a high academic level. In total the DFG is currently funding 206 Research Training Groups, including 41 International Research Training Groups; the 20 new groups will commence their work in 2017. The new Research Training Groups in detail (in alphabetical order by their host universities, including the name of the applicant universities): Sketches, abstracts, notes, records, excerpts, essays, articles and glosses: all these 'small forms' of writing are an essential part of the practice of research, teaching, art and the media. The Research Training Group "The Literary and Epistemic History of Small Forms" intends to study their emergence and development, with which they are also involved in the success of prose, from antiquity to the present day. The group will also seek to understand how processes of understanding are controlled, reflected and channelled in specific media using these small forms. (Host university: Humboldt University of Berlin, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Joseph Vogl) Imaging techniques such as ultrasound, X-rays and CT scans are well known. Medical findings are established on the basis of the image data produced in technically and mathematically complex processes. However, physicians' diagnoses are normally made on the basis of qualitative arguments, which do not make full use of the information content of image data and in particular the potential of imaging methods. The "BIOQIC - BIOphysical Quantitative Imaging Towards Clinical Diagnosis" Research Training Group will therefore study biophysical quantitative medical imaging to further develop these quantitative methods and apply them in clinical pilot studies to obtain more information from the imaging process. (Host universities: Humboldt University of Berlin and Free University of Berlin / Charité - University Hospital Berlin, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Ingolf Sack) The Research Training Group "World Politics: The Emergence of Political Arenas and Modes of Observation in World Society" is concerned with the emergence of world politics as a type of politics in its own right. From the perspective of the theory of global society, the group aims to investigate the extent to which the emergence of world politics represents both a consequence and a precondition of the constitution of modern states. Researchers specialising in political science, sociology, history and law will collaborate to address this question. (Host university: University of Bielefeld, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Mathias Albert) Perception, the authorship of action, emotions, and social and linguistic understanding are central cognitive phenomena. The Research Training Group "Situated Cognition - New Concepts in Investigating Core Mental Phenomena" will combine the philosophy of the mind and cognition with cognition sciences, which closely interact with cognitive neurosciences. The main aim of the group is to identify deficits in existing concepts of the human mind and further develop these concepts such as to give more attention to more recent developments in cognition sciences that are not yet adequately reflected in philosophical theory formation. (Host university: University of Bochum, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Albert Newen; Additional applicant university: University of Osnabrück) Short-term dynamic loads such as impacts, detonations or earthquakes can cause structures to collapse. The aim of the Research Training Group "Mineral-Bonded Composites for Enhanced Structural Impact Safety" is to make existing buildings and structures more resilient through the addition of thin-layer reinforcements. With the help of new mineral-bonded materials known as composites, the researchers aim to improve the safety of people and the infrastructure essential to their lives. (Host university: Technical University of Dresden, Spokesperson: Professor Dr.-Ing. Viktor Mechtcherine) According to the World Health Organization, more than 422 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, with approximately 3.7 million mortalities per year. In Germany, experts estimate the number of sufferers at 8 to 10 million. The German-British Research Training Group "Immunological and Cellular Strategies in Metabolic Disease (ICSMD)" aims to achieve a better understanding of the pathophysiology of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and develop strategies to halt the progress of the disease or even discover a cure. (Host university: Technical University of Dresden, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Stefan R. Bornstein, Cooperation partner: King's College London, Great Britain) The German-Austrian Research Training Group "Resonant Self-World Relations in Ancient and Modern Socio-Religious Practices" will investigate ritual practices which generate, determine or express meaningful relations between people and the world - to other people, things, nature, self, heaven and God or the gods. The nature of these world relations, in turn, says much about a given culture and the social or gender positions which characterise it. The establishment of the group has been approved by the DFG's Grants Committee on Research Training Groups. The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) will reach a decision on co-funding at its next meeting. (Host university: University of Erfurt, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Jörg Rüpke, Cooperation partner: University of Graz, Austria) The Research Training Group "Configurations of Cinema" understands film as a medium in constant transformation. In three working areas, 'formations', 'usages' and 'localisations', the group intends to analyse the genealogy and transformation of a wide variety of configurations of film, also in regard to the shift from cinemas to portable digital devices. The researchers will thus explore new modes of writing the history of a medium that is subject to constant change and examine film's defining features. (Host university: Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Vinzenz Hediger) How are authority and trust formed in US politics? How does this happen in American society, in religion and culture? The Research Training Group "Authority and Trust in American Culture, Society, History and Politics" intends to answer these questions. The chosen object of analysis is the USA because, due to its early democratization, egalitarian-libertarian political culture, ethnocultural heterogeneity and international hegemony, the country offers particularly fundamental insights into the problems of authority and trust in the modern age. (Host university: University of Heidelberg, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Manfred Berg) The Research Training Group "Tip- and Laser-Based 3D-Nanofabrication in Extended Macroscopic Working Areas" will develop manufacturing methods for two-dimensional and three-dimensional structures on a nanometre scale using tip-based and laser-based techniques. The research work will primarily be based on nanopositioning and nanomeasuring machines, allowing structuring and measuring to take place on the same machine. With the aid of this equipment the researchers intend to give particular attention to larger and uneven surfaces, such as optical lenses. (Host university: Technical University of Ilmenau, Spokesperson: Professor Dr.-Ing. Eberhard Manske) Batteries are seen as key components of future technologies such as electric vehicles and energy supplies. The Research Training Group "SIMET - Simulation Mechano-Electro-Thermal Processes in Lithium-Ion Batteries" will work on numerical simulation methods for lithium-ion batteries. The researchers will address the problem in a multi-scale approach in several different orders of magnitude. As well as individual particles, they will simulate the electrode pair and the complete cell. (Host university: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Spokesperson: Professor Dr.-Ing. Thomas Wetzel) Patients with chronic diseases of the brain are normally treated with medication, but this is frequently associated with side effects. Neuroimplants, on the other hand, allow localised therapy, but must satisfy many requirements. The Research Training Group "Materials for Brain (M4B): Thin Film Functional Materials for Minimally Invasive Therapy of Brain Diseases" intends to study the use of nanoscale, therapeutically active coatings for implants of this type. Its aim is to achieve the controlled release of substances into the brain by means of the coating. (Host university: University of Kiel, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Christine Selhuber-Unkel) We do not know enough about the reaction of lake ecosystems to environmental changes to be able to predict reliably whether they actually return to their original state following renaturation measures. Taking the example of Lake Constance, the Research Training Group "R3 - Responses to Biotic and Abiotic Changes, Resilience and Reversibility of Lake Ecosystems" aims to better understand the reactions of lake ecosystems to environmental changes, their resilience - the resistance of an ecosystem to disturbances - and their reversibility, in other words the ability to return to an original state following disturbance. (Host university: University of Constance, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Frank Peeters) For many mathematical questions, approximation and dimension reduction are the most important tools for achieving simplified representation and therefore saving computing time. The Research Training Group "Mathematical Complexity Reduction (CoRe)" will approach complexity reduction in a more general sense and will also investigate when problems can be made easier to solve through embedding in higher dimensional spaces ('liftings'). The group also intends to systematically examine the influence of the costs of data collection. (Host university: University of Magdeburg, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Sebastian Sager) One of the basic requirements for the economic success of a business is the efficient use of resources. In an increasingly networked world, several decision-makers are often involved in resource management and the amount of data available is growing. The Research Training Group "Advanced Optimization in a Networked Economy (AdONE)", based in the fields of operations research and management science, aims to develop models and processes and transfer these into software solutions designed to enable efficient use of resources through intelligent planning and control. (Host university: Technical University of Munich, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Stefan Minner) Rapidly increasing antibiotic resistance and the growth of so-called lifestyle diseases confront humanity with enormous challenges. In the Research Training Group "Evolutionary Processes in Adaptation and Disease (RTG EvoPAD)", doctoral researchers in biology, medicine and the philosophy of science will therefore investigate adaptations and diseases by drawing on modern evolutionary research and approaches in the philosophy of science, in order to better understand them. (Host university: University of Münster, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Joachim Kurtz) The development of metropolises prior to the age of industrialisation and globalisation has not, so far, been the subject of sufficient research. The "Pre-Modern Metropolitanism" Research Training Group intends to close this gap by investigating the establishment, impact and evolution of major urban centres from Ancient Greece and Rome to the dawn of the industrial age. (Host university: University of Regensburg, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Jörg Oberste) Until now there have been few if any approaches to the improvement of robots that work with easily modifiable materials or handle soft tissue. In a German-New Zealand Research Training Group, doctoral researchers will investigate "Soft Tissue Robotics - Simulation-Driven Concepts and Design for Control and Automation for Robotic Devices Interacting with Soft Tissues". The aim is to further develop simulation techniques and sensors in order to enable new regulation and control technology for robots that interact with soft materials. (Host university: University of Stuttgart, Spokesperson: Professor Oliver Röhrle, Ph.D., Cooperation partner: University of Auckland, New Zealand) For many tumours there are no means of prevention, which is why they are usually diagnosed in advanced stages. It is also difficult to develop efficient therapies for tumours because there are genomic differences not only between different tumours (intertumoral) but also within a single tumour (intratumoral), which contributes to therapy resistance. The Research Training Group "Heterogeneity and Evolution in Solid Tumors (HEIST): Molecular Characterization and Therapeutic Consequences" aims to understand intra- and intertumoral heterogeneity, the evolutionary history of a tumour and the genes responsible for it in order to improve the treatment of tumours even in advanced stages. (Host university: University of Ulm, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Thomas Seufferlein) Aberrations in what is known as the ubiquitin system in the body contribute to the development of a wide range of diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and infectious diseases. The aim of the Research Training Group "Understanding Ubiquitylation: From Molecular Mechanisms To Disease" is therefore to understand the biochemical and pathogenic mechanisms which underlie diseases associated with the ubiquitin system. (Host university: University of Würzburg, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Alexander Buchberger) Further information will also be provided by the spokespersons of the Research Training Groups. More details about the funding programme and the funded Research Training Groups is available at: http://www.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Banff-based world leading math institute is a joint Canada, Alberta, U.S., and Mexico initiative When mathematicians and scientists connect and collaborate, they often come up with new ideas that can help solve some of the world's most pressing environmental, health and economic issues. That's why the Government of Canada is joining the province of Alberta, along with the United States and Mexico, in an effort to fund mathematics research at the Banff International Research Station (BIRS), one of the world's leading centres of mathematical research and discovery. The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veteran Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, and Cameron Westhead, MLA for Banff-Cochrane, on behalf of the Honourable Deron Bilous, Alberta Minister of Economic Development and Trade, today announced $12.8 million in new funding for BIRS, a global hub for math research. Each year the Station gives more than 2,000 researchers from more than 60 countries an opportunity to meet with peers to share ideas on the frontiers of mathematics knowledge. The collaboration among these brilliant and creative mathematical minds leads to groundbreaking research ventures in clean energy technology, computer science, climate science, a full range of biology areas from cell biology to ecology, and the prediction and mitigation of natural disasters. Their breakthroughs and resulting applications help to create safe communities, a healthy environment and a strong, vibrant middle class. "It is incredibly exciting to have one of the world's best mathematical institutes here in Alberta. Students and mathematicians come from across the globe in order to learn new methods and participate in groundbreaking discoveries. I am excited the Government of Canada is investing in such an excellent example of Canada's research excellence." "Our government is committed to supporting the full suite of fundamental and applied research, from science and engineering to technology and mathematics. Today's announcement is a testament to our government's belief in the role that researchers, be they from Canada or abroad, play producing evidence-based solutions that will support a clean environment, a sustainable economy and a strong middle class." "Mathematics forms the basis of virtually every scientific endeavour. Experts collaborating at the Banff International Research Station are providing us with multiple, diverse points of view that will ultimately provide new tools and techniques to help tackle the world's toughest research challenges. We are proud to support such a unique, international collaboration." "Bringing thousands of the world's best researchers to Alberta has benefits for every sector in our province including energy, technology, health, agriculture, forestry and manufacturing. By supporting BIRS we are supporting research and innovation that will help create a diversified economy for the future." - The Honourable Deron Bilous, Alberta Minister of Economic Development and Trade "It's with great enthusiasm that the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the U.S. National Science Foundation continues this productive collaboration with its esteemed North American partners. This collaboration represents a unique effort aimed at bringing together mathematical scientists, fostering collaboration and advancing work on some of the most challenging scientific and mathematical problems. We value this partnership and are proud to continue our participation!" "The renewal of this unprecedented multinational funding validates the importance, and vigour of the research conducted at BIRS. It is a tremendous success for a remarkable and groundbreaking North American collaboration in support of the world's mathematical sciences and their manifestations in science, technology, and society." - Doug Mitchell, Chair of the Board of Directors, Banff International Research Station "The association of our top researchers with BIRS has given a tremendous boost to Mexico's mathematical science community. The BIRS-CMO (Casa Matemática Oaxaca) partnership, which includes the Institute of Mathematics of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and the CONACYT Centre, Centro de Investigación en Matemáticas, represents a unique joint educational and scientific research program in the NAFTA space, that we are hoping to emulate in the other sciences." Information on the Collaborative and Thematic Resources Support in Mathematics and Statistics Program Where NSERC Invests and Why NSERC invests over $1 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries-valuable world-firsts in knowledge claimed by a brain trust of over 11,000 professors. Our investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect industry with discoveries and the people behind them. Researcher-industry partnerships established by NSERC help inform R&D, solve scale-up challenges, and reduce the risks of developing high-potential technology. NSERC also provides scholarships and hands-on training experience for more than 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows. These young researchers will be the next generation of science and engineering leaders in Canada.
News Article | December 8, 2016
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) today announced the winners of the second round of an ideas competition in international research marketing. Awards will go to the Humboldt University of Berlin, Goethe University Frankfurt and the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam. The three institutions will each receive prize money of 100,000 euros to implement their research marketing actions. In addition, a special start-up prize was offered for the first time this year, designed for recipients who want to establish research marketing at their institutions. This special award, worth 75,000 euros, will go to the Technical University of Kaiserslautern. The prizes are funded from special funds of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The award ceremony will be held in Potsdam on 16 February 2017. This year 19 universities and research institutions took part in the competition. The ideas competition is designed to promote activities that enhance the visibility and attractiveness of German research abroad and attract highly qualified researchers, either to participate in collaborative projects with German researchers or to visit Germany for research purposes. "We believe that the role of international research marketing at higher education institutions is more important now than ever before and that universities must be supported in developing structures to enhance this area," said DFG Secretary General Dorothee Dzwonnek. "The competition for the best minds is getting more difficult worldwide. It is becoming increasingly important to boost Germany's visibility as an outstanding place of research in the global research system and to attract highly qualified researchers to Germany. For this reason, strategic international research marketing will become more and more significant for German research institutions," Dzwonnek continued. The winning ideas impressed the international selection panel, consisting of research managers and experts in internationalisation, communication and marketing, through their bold approaches and successful focus on individual institutional competence. The proposed activities were found to be very tangible and represent genuine partnerships between research and administration within the universities and research institutions, strongly anchored at the leadership level. In addition, the actions no longer merely focus on individual institutions, but on regions and their core research areas: The focus of the research marketing proposal submitted by the Humboldt University of Berlin is a journalist-in-residence programme. Together with the Technical University of Berlin, the Charité and the Einstein Foundation Berlin and with the support of the Wissenschaft im Dialog initiative and Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie GmbH, talented young journalists from North and South America and Asia - regions where the Humboldt University has strategically developed its international network - will be invited to visit Berlin. They will have the opportunity to get to know Berlin as a hub of research, including its clusters of excellence and graduate schools, and report on their impressions back home. The idea presented by Goethe University Frankfurt is based on the university's core research area in ubiquitin and autophagy research (UBAUT), which came about through the Collaborative Research Centre "Molecular and Functional Characterisation of Selective Autophagy". The aim is to network UBAUT research in the Rhine-Main region with leading universities in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Boston area. To this end, a fellowship programme will be established and a convention for German and US researchers will be organised on the US West Coast. The joint research marketing idea designed by the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences and the Geo.X network focuses on two regions: Russia and the Middle East. This clear regional focus is intended to help maintain bilateral dialogue through research and promote scientific collaboration in regions where little has been done to date in this area. The GFZ will organise summer schools and workshops specifically for early career researchers. Networking opportunities will also be offered through "Geoscience Days" at the German embassies in the chosen regions. The special start-up prize, offered for the first time in 2016, will go to the Technical University of Kaiserslautern. Through a proposal entitled Kaiserslautern Research Matching (KAREMA), the university is taking its first systematic steps in international research marketing. It intends to recruit international postdoctoral researchers in the following core research areas: optics and material sciences; mathematical modelling in the engineering sciences; and biology and biotechnology. In the jury's view, this project could provide inspiration for other smaller institutions. The International Research Marketing project is a joint initiative of the DFG, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (FhG). These organisations promote Germany as a place to carry out research through the "Research in Germany" brand. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the initiative "Promote innovation and Research in Germany". For more information about the DFG ideas competition "International Research Marketing", visit: http://www. (only available in German)
News Article | April 6, 2016
Fraud punished A Parkinson’s disease researcher in Australia pleaded guilty to research fraud and was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence by a court in Brisbane on 31 March. Bruce Murdoch, formerly of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, was found to have falsified results published in the European Journal of Neurology in 2011; three of his papers have been retracted. In a statement to the blog Retraction Watch, University of Queensland vice-chancellor Peter Høj said that the university had reimbursed around Aus$175,000 (US$132,000) to funding bodies associated with Murdoch’s work. Ice wall to stem Fukushima leak The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) on 31 March began freezing the soil surrounding reactors 1 to 4 of the disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. A refrigeration system (pictured) is creating a 30-metre deep, 1.5-kilometre-long wall of frozen ground that aims to stop groundwater from flowing under the plant and carrying radioactive isotopes into the sea. More than 300 tonnes of water per day are pumped into the damaged reactors to stop their cores from overheating and contributing to the radioactivity leak. TEPCO expects that it will take months for the ¥35-billion (US$316-million) project to seal the zone. Emergency over The Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 11,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone is no longer a public-health emergency, said the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, on 29 March. The WHO noted that the virus is now unlikely to spread internationally, and that the affected countries have the capacity to deal with new cases. A campaign in Guinea last month administered an experimental Ebola vaccine to nearly 800 people who may have come into contact with 8 individuals with the virus. Liberia has recorded two new cases since the announcement: a woman who died on 31 March and her five-year-old son. ET search starts The SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, has kicked off a search for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations that might be living on planets orbiting any of the 20,000 nearest red dwarf stars. Red dwarfs are dimmer and cooler than the Sun, but they make up the bulk of stars in the Galaxy, increasing the odds of finding life there. The two-year search will be conducted at the Allen Telescope Array in northern California, the institute announced on 30 March. China’s Go A team of Chinese scientists plans to challenge Google DeepMind’s Go-playing artificial-intelligence algorithm with its own program by the end of 2016, Chinese state news has reported. The DeepMind program, known as AlphaGo, beat a leading human player, South Korea’s Lee Sedol, by four games to one in March. Reporting from an event organized by the Chinese Go Association and the Chinese Association for Artificial Intelligence, Shanghai Securities News said on 31 March that a team from China will issue the challenge by the end of the year. Science in space Two scientific payloads travelled to the edge of space on 2 April in the latest test of Blue Origin’s commercial space vehicle, New Shepard. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s reusable spacecraft took off from a Texas launch site, flew to an altitude of 103 kilometres and successfully landed 11 minutes later. On board was an experiment from the University of Central Florida in Orlando investigating how dust and rubble settle in microgravity, and the ‘box of rocks experiment’ from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, to work out how regolith forms on asteroids. Nuclear security More than 50 countries, most represented by their heads of state, made a variety of commitments intended to prevent nuclear terrorism at the conclusion of a nuclear summit in Washington DC on 1 April. The meeting was the fourth biennial summit in a process initiated in 2009 by US President Barack Obama (pictured with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau). Much of the focus has been on reducing civilian stocks of highly enriched uranium at research reactors. At least 28 reactors have been shut down or converted to low-enriched uranium since 2009, but challenges remain in converting 11 high-performance research reactors. See Editorial for more. Laser beam added The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), the world’s brightest X-ray free-electron laser, began a US$1-billion construction project on 4 April to add a second beam. LCLS-II, based at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California, will accelerate electrons through superconducting niobium cavities to produce X-ray pulses 10,000 times more concentrated and firing 8,000 times faster than X-rays produced by the $414-million LCLS, which started operations in 2009. This will enable it to image processes that occur on smaller scales and faster timescales. Construction will last until the early 2020s. Crater drilling A two-month expedition to drill into the 200-kilometre-wide Chicxulub crater, which formed 66 million years ago when an enormous asteroid smashed into the planet, began on 1 April. The aftermath of the impact obliterated most life on Earth, including the dinosaurs. From a drill-ship off the coast of Yucatán, Mexico, researchers will start to penetrate one of Chicxulub’s most striking features — its ‘peak ring’, a circle of mountains within the crater floor. Scientists have yet to fully explain how peak rings form, even though they are common in big impact craters across the Solar System. See go.nature.com/pgxb18 for more. Gorilla decline Numbers of the largest primate on the planet, Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri), have plummeted since 1995, according to a report from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The report, published on 4 April, says that the numbers have dropped from an estimated 17,000 in 1995 to 3,800 today, a 77% decrease. Grauer’s gorillas live in the wild only in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the WCS report blames the decline on illegal hunting around mining sites, the civil war in the country from 1996 to 2003, and habitat loss. Patent pledge Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced plans to improve access to its medicines in the world’s poorest countries. The company said on 31 March that it would stop filing drug patents in many developing countries. That means that generic manufacturers in those nations would be able to supply copycat versions of GSK’s drugs without worrying about lawsuits. GSK also signalled that it intended to improve access to low-cost drugs that can help to address the growing burden of cancer in the developing world. Public-health advocates have embraced the news and are urging other drug companies to follow suit. See go.nature.com/nqhggj for more. Career boost Four philanthropic organizations have created an international research programme focused on early-career scientists. Announced on 29 March, the International Research Scholars Program will select up to 50 members who are not originally from one of the G7 countries, but have trained in the United States or the United Kingdom for at least one year. Awardees will each receive a total of US$650,000 over five years. The sponsors are: the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington; the London-based Wellcome Trust; and Lisbon’s Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. More of the global population is now obese than is underweight, according to a study of 186 countries from 1975 to 2014 (see Lancet 387, 1377–1396; 2016). The proportion of obese men more than tripled and that of obese women more than doubled during that period. Many people are still underweight in the world’s poorest regions, particularly in Asia and Africa. But the global average weight of a person grew by 1.5 kilograms each decade. See go.nature.com/yslifh for more. 11–13 April The 43rd session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change convenes in Nairobi. go.nature.com/bdodfh 12–15 April Water across the Universe and its origins will be discussed in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. go.nature.com/lncjsb
News Article | November 7, 2016
An Australian research team has revealed that two internal 'clocks' control the immune cells enlisted to fight infection. This discovery upends previous theories on how immune responses are regulated. The team discovered that during an immune response the clocks allocate a certain amount of time in which the cells can divide, as well as prescribing the cells' lifespan. The finding sheds new light on how the body controls immune responses, as well as explaining how immune cell cancers such as leukaemia and lymphoma maybe caused by errors in this system. Immune T cells are programmed to recognise different microbes that may cause infection. When this happens responding T cells are 'activated', and increase in number by dividing. The number of cells formed and how long they live is tightly controlled to ensure the infection can be successfully fought and any excess immune cells are cleared out of the body. Dr Susanne Heinzel and Professor Phil Hodgkin led a Walter and Eliza Hall Institute research team that investigated how these two processes - division and clearance - are controlled, in research published today in Nature Immunology. Dr Heinzel said the team discovered activated T cells in an immune response are programmed to divide for a limited time. "We had previously shown the number of cells a 'parent' T cell produces is tightly regulated," she said. "The suspicion was the T cell 'knows' how many times it can divide. We were stunned to find this wasn't the case - the T cell is given an amount of time in which it can divide, like a clock running," she said. "Once this time is up, no more divisions can happen. "Intriguingly, as well as being allocated a certain amount of time in which to divide, early in an infection, we found T cells separately set their lifespan, how long they and their offspring live. After this time expires, the cells undergo apoptosis, a form of cell suicide," Dr Heinzel said. Professor Hodgkin said the team built on their discovery of the two-clock system by pinpointing a protein called Myc that acts as the cell division clock. "At the start of an immune response, responding T cells are allocated a certain amount of Myc," he said. "This diminishes over time, and once the cell runs out of Myc, time's up and division stops. The more Myc there is, the more time the cells have to divide. "We also showed the lifespan clock is controlled by a protein called Bcl-2 - when this time runs out the cells die, whether or not they've come to the end of their division clock," he said. Dr Heinzel said the research provided new insights into how complex immune responses are controlled, and the fine balance between normal cell division and cancerous cell growth. "The two clocks are an elegant way that our body governs how many responder cells are produced in an immune response, and how long they are retained," she said. "Small changes in each clock combined to substantially alter immune cell numbers. "It has been known for many years that excess Myc and Bcl-2 are important contributors to cancer formation. Our findings explain how a small series of mutation-driven changes in healthy immune responses could lead to immune cell cancers such as leukaemia and lymphoma," she said. The research was supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, an Australian Postgraduate Award, the Edith Moffat Scholarship, Melbourne International Research and International Fee Remission Scholarships, Cancer Council Victoria, the Alan Harris Scholarship Fund, and the Victorian Government Operational Infrastructure Scheme. The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute is the research powerhouse of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, an alliance of leading Victorian hospitals and research centres committed to controlling cancer.
News Article | December 19, 2016
10th annual conference on Russian and China will be held at Kazan University 2017 is anniversary year for all Russian sinologists. In the approaching 2017 Russian academic Oriental Studies will turn 200 years, and it will be 180 years since formation of first department of Chinese verbal folklore in Kazan Imperial University; 60 years since foundation of Russian-Chinese friendship Community and 10 years since foundation of Confucius Institute of Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University (CI KFU). Prior to these events we welcome you to participate in X Anniversary International Research and Practice Conference "RUSSIA - CHINA: HISTORY AND CULTURE". First international research and practice conference "Russia-China: History and Culture" in October, 2007 was coincided with the opening of Confucius Institute in Kazan University. During this period it turned into important academic event - representatives of academic and college science of Russian Federation, China and other countries can share their opinion on questions of Russian-China cooperation. 1. Current issues of Chinese language and literature 2. Chinese language teaching methodology 3. Foreign policy of China and Russian-Chinese relations 4. Chinese economics and Russian-Chinese relation in economic sphere 5. Chinese history 6. Chinese philosophy and culture 7. Young sinologists' section 1. International economic strategy of China: "One zone - one way" 2. Ideology of Chinese state-building and future reforms 3. Classic sinology in an age of changing world Public lectures of leading scientists of Russia and China on the questions of development and cooperation of two counties are also scheduled for the conference. All participants of conference, guests and everyone interested are welcome to take part in these lectures. Lecturers, academic researchers, students of bachelor and master degrees and Ph. D. candidates are welcomed to participate in Conference. Publishing of student's articles is possible only in co-authorship with their academic advisers (materials and proposal should be signed by student and his/her academic adviser, also recommendation letter of academic adviser should be handed). General session of Conference and functioning of sections will be hold in Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University. Russian, Chinese and English are the working languages of Conference. Pre-reviewed source book will be published by the beginning of Conference. Source book is published with ISBN. In order to be published participants should provide next materials before 15 of April: * Information about author(-s) (for bachelor and master students and Ph. D. candidates information about academic adviser).
News Article | February 15, 2017
Le centre de recherche en mathématiques de calibre mondial de Banff est une initiative conjointe du gouvernement du Canada, de l'Alberta, des Etats-Unis et du Mexique CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - 10 fév. 2017) - Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada Quand les mathématiciens et les autres scientifiques échangent et collaborent entre eux, il en ressort souvent des solutions inédites qui contribuent à résoudre certains des problèmes les plus pressants en matière d'environnement, de santé et d'économie. C'est pourquoi le gouvernement du Canada fait équipe avec l'Alberta, les États-Unis et le Mexique pour appuyer la recherche en mathématiques menée à la Banff International Research Station (BIRS), un des principaux centres de recherche et de découverte dans ce domaine. L'honorable Kent Hehr, ministre des Anciens Combattants, au nom de l'honorable Kirsty Duncan, ministre des Sciences, et Cameron Westhead, député provincial de Banff-Cochrane, au nom de l'honorable Deron Bilous, ministre du Développement économique et du Commerce de l'Alberta, ont annoncé aujourd'hui un nouveau financement de 12,8 millions de dollars pour la BIRS, plaque tournante mondiale de la recherche en mathématiques. Chaque année, ce centre de recherche international offre à plus de 2 000 chercheurs de plus de 60 pays la possibilité de se réunir pour échanger des idées aux frontières des connaissances en mathématiques. La collaboration entre ces grands esprits créatifs débouche sur des projets de recherche avant-gardistes dans le domaine des technologies de l'énergie propre, de l'informatique, des sciences du climat, de la prédiction et de l'atténuation des catastrophes naturelles, ainsi que de tout un éventail de sous-domaines de la biologie allant de la biologie cellulaire à l'écologie. Les percées qu'ils réalisent et les applications concrètes de celles-ci contribuent à créer des collectivités sures, un environnement sain et une classe moyenne forte et dynamique. « Nous sommes tout à fait enchantés d'avoir ici, en Alberta, un des meilleurs centres de recherche en mathématiques du monde. Des étudiants et des mathématiciens des quatre coins de la planète y viennent pour se familiariser avec les nouvelles méthodes et participer à des découvertes révolutionnaires. Je suis ravi que le gouvernement du Canada investisse dans un si bel exemple de l'excellence en recherche au pays. » « Le gouvernement du Canada est déterminé à appuyer tous les domaines de recherche fondamentale et appliquée, qu'il s'agisse de sciences, de génie, de technologie ou de mathématiques. Avec l'annonce d'aujourd'hui, il montre qu'il croit au rôle que jouent les chercheurs d'ici et d'ailleurs pour ce qui est de trouver des solutions innovantes qui favoriseront un environnement propre, une économie durable et une classe moyenne forte. » « Les mathématiques sont à la base de pratiquement tous les travaux scientifiques. Les spécialistes réunis à la Banff International Research Station apportent des points de vue nombreux et diversifiés, ce qui en retour donnera accès à de nouvelles techniques et à de nouveaux outils pour relever les plus grands défis en recherche dans le monde. Nous sommes fiers d'appuyer une collaboration internationale aussi exceptionnelle. » - B. Mario Pinto, président du Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada « Le fait de réunir en Alberta des milliers de chercheurs parmi les meilleurs du monde procure des avantages dans tous les secteurs de la province, notamment ceux de l'énergie, des technologies, de la santé, de l'agriculture, de la foresterie et de la fabrication. En appuyant la BIRS, nous appuyons la recherche et l'innovation qui contribueront à créer une économie diversifiée pour l'avenir. » - L'honorable Deron Bilous, ministre du Développement économique et du Commerce de l'Alberta « C'est avec beaucoup d'enthousiasme que la Division des sciences mathématiques de la National Science Foundation des États-Unis poursuit sa collaboration fructueuse avec ses estimés partenaires nord-américains. Cette collaboration est unique en ce qu'elle vise à réunir des scientifiques travaillant en mathématiques, à favoriser la coopération et à avancer les travaux sur certains des problèmes mathématiques et scientifiques les plus épineux. Ce partenariat est précieux et nous sommes fiers de continuer à y participer. » - Michael Vogelius, directeur, Division des sciences mathématiques, à la National Science Foundation des États-Unis « Le renouvèlement de ce financement multinational sans précédent confirme l'importance et la vigueur de la recherche menée à la BIRS. Il s'agit d'une grande réussite pour cette collaboration nord-américaine à la fois remarquable et novatrice qui appuie la recherche en mathématiques dans le monde et ses applications dans les sciences, la technologie et la société. » - Doug Mitchell, président du conseil d'administration de la Banff International Research Station « L'association de nos meilleurs chercheurs à la BIRS a donné un essor considérable au milieu des mathématiques du Mexique. Le partenariat entre la BIRS et la Maison des mathématiques d'Oaxaca, qui inclut l'Institut de mathématiques de l'Université autonome nationale du Mexique et le Centre de recherche en mathématiques du CONACYT, représente un programme d'enseignement et de recherche scientifique mixte unique dans l'espace de l'ALENA. Nous espérons l'étendre aux autres sciences. » - Enrique Cabrero Mendoza, directeur du Conseil national des sciences et de la technologie du Mexique (CONACYT) Information sur le Programme d'appui aux ressources thématiques et collaboratives en mathématiques et en statistique Suivre la ministre Duncan dans les médias sociaux Suivre le CRSNG dans les médias sociaux Chaque année, le CRSNG investit plus d'un milliard de dollars dans la recherche en sciences naturelles et en génie au Canada. Grâce à ces fonds, plus de 11 000 professeurs, chercheurs de calibre mondial, font des découvertes et produisent des percées scientifiques. Ces fonds favorisent également les partenariats et les collaborations qui rapprochent les entreprises des découvertes et des découvreurs. Les partenariats que le CRSNG permet d'établir entre les chercheurs et les entreprises contribuent à orienter la R et D, à relever les défis que pose le passage du laboratoire au marché et à réduire les risques associés au développement de technologies à fort potentiel. Le CRSNG offre également des bourses et de la formation pratique à plus de 30 000 étudiants de niveau postsecondaire et stagiaires postdoctoraux. Ces jeunes chercheurs forment la prochaine génération de chefs de file en sciences et en génie au Canada.
News Article | February 21, 2017
WALTHAM, Mass., Feb. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Minerva Neurosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:NERV), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapies to treat central nervous system (CNS) disorders, will host a Research and Development Day to highlight unmet needs, including negative symptoms and cognitive impairment, and emerging treatment strategies in schizophrenia in New York City on March 2, 2017 from 8:00 am to 9:30 am Eastern Time. The meeting will feature presentations by key opinion leaders Philip Harvey, PhD (University of Miami) and René Kahn, MD, PhD (Mount Sinai), who will discuss the current treatment landscape for schizophrenia. Dr. Remy Luthringer, president and chief executive officer of Minerva, will provide an overview of the Company’s ongoing clinical development work with MIN-101, including the Company’s clinical strategy moving forward. The presenters will be available to answer questions following the breakfast. Philip D. Harvey, PhD is Leonard M. Miller Professor of Psychiatry and director of the Division of Psychology at the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine and a VA Senior Health Scientist. Dr. Harvey’s research has focused on cognition and functioning, and he has written extensively on aging in schizophrenia, negative symptoms in schizophrenia, functional impairments in severe mental illness, the cognitive effects of typical and atypical antipsychotics, and the effects of cognitive enhancing agents and cognitive training in various conditions. Dr. Harvey is a widely cited author who was repeatedly designated by Thomson-Reuters as being in the top 1% of all researchers in citations in mental health each year since 2010. He has received numerous awards for his research in schizophrenia. Dr. René Kahn is the Esther and Joseph Klingenstein Professor and System Chair of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Over the last 30 years, Dr. Kahn and his research group have been instrumental in showing that brain changes in schizophrenia are progressive over time and have helped educate the medical community on the clinical relevance of these changes on cognitive function. He has served as principal investigator on several clinical trials for schizophrenia and has published over 800 research papers. He was Treasurer and Vice President of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology and is currently past-President of The Schizophrenia International Research Society. He is a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. This event is intended for institutional investors, sell-side analysts, investment bankers and business development professionals only. Please RSVP in advance if you plan to attend, as space is limited. To reserve a spot, please reply to this email or contact LifeSci Advisors, LLC at Mac@LifeSciAdvisors.com. A live and archived webcast of the event, with slides, will be available at http://lifesci.rampard.com/20170302/reg.jsp and on the Investors section of the Company’s website at http://ir.minervaneurosciences.com. MIN-101 is a drug candidate with equipotent affinities for sigma 2 and 5‑hydroxytryptamine-2A (5-HT ) and lower affinity at α1-adrenergic receptors. MIN-101 has no direct dopaminergic post-synaptic blocking effects, known to be involved in some side effects like extrapyramidal symptoms, sedation, prolactin increases and weight gain. As described by the National Institute of Mental Health, schizophrenia is a chronic and severe disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels and acts1. In 2015 approximately 3.2 million people suffered from schizophrenia in the U.S., Japan and the five major European markets. Schizophrenic patients suffer from positive, negative and cognitive symptoms. Negative symptoms are disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors that may signal social withdrawal. Patients may be socially inhibited, lack the ability to begin and sustain planned activities, or speak little even when forced to interact. Negative symptoms account for a substantial portion of the morbidity associated with schizophrenia2. They persist chronically throughout an individual patient’s lifetime and increase with severity over time. Similar to negative symptoms, cognitive symptoms may be difficult to recognize and often are detected only when specific testing is performed. Cognitive symptoms include: poor “executive functioning,” or the ability to understand information and use it to make decisions; trouble focusing or paying attention; problems with “working memory,” or the ability to use information immediately after learning it. Poor cognition is related to worse employment and social outcomes for patients with schizophrenia. Minerva Neurosciences, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of a portfolio of product candidates to treat CNS diseases. Minerva’s proprietary compounds include: MIN-101, in clinical development for schizophrenia; MIN-117, in clinical development for major depressive disorder (MDD); MIN-202 (JNJ-42847922), in clinical development for insomnia and MDD; and MIN-301, in pre-clinical development for Parkinson’s disease. Minerva’s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “NERV.” For more information, please visit www.minervaneurosciences.com. 2 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, American Psychiatric Association.
News Article | February 22, 2017
Cecilia Lanny Winata knew almost nothing about Poland before she was invited to move there from Singapore. At a 2013 zebrafish conference in Barcelona, Spain — where she presented her work on developmental genomics — she was approached by Jacek Kuznicki, director of the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IIMCB) in Warsaw, who asked if she might like to do science at his institute. The first thing she did was to look Poland up on a map. A visit to the institute three months later persuaded her that the Polish capital is as good a place to start a lab as any better-known science hub in Asia, Europe or North America. Impressed by the IIMCB's state-of-the-art labs, and by the spirit of optimism and enthusiasm among its staff, she decided to take a chance. “Frankly, I was scared about exploring the possibility of moving to a country I knew so little about,” she says. “But I find Warsaw to be a great place to do science, and I feel that as a young group leader I can establish myself in Poland for at least a couple of years.” Stretching from the Baltic Sea in the north to the wild Tatra Mountains in the south, Poland is larger than Italy or the United Kingdom. Like most European countries, it has a long and noble tradition of science and scholarship, epitomized by the likes of Nicolaus Copernicus and Marie Curie. But Polish science, like its national history, has been turbulent. During more than four decades of communist rule, when the country was effectively a satellite state of the Soviet Union, Polish scientists were largely isolated from the rest of the world. Communist regimes generously supported scientific research that was often conducted in secrecy. But when communism imploded around 1990, science in Poland (and throughout Eastern Europe) suffered a dramatic financial collapse and an exodus of researchers. Those days of hardship are over. Poland's research intensity — the percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) spent on science — almost doubled between 2005 and 2015, to 1%. Its GDP grew even faster, so overall public and private science spending more than tripled, to €4.3 billion (US$4.6 billion). And since 2004, when the country was one of several from the former Eastern bloc to join the European Union, about €100 billion in EU infrastructure funding has been spent on modernizing roads, hospitals — and scientific facilities. Economically, Poland is already the most successful transition country in Eastern Europe. As for its standing in science, it seems to be en route to regaining lost strength and talent. Poland is already taking the lion's share of scientific publications produced in Eastern Europe. An influx of foreign researchers such as Winata and the creation of international centres and research facilities add a cosmopolitan touch to the country's science. And the proportion of funding through competitive grants is sharply rising. As a result, Poland's contribution to 68 leading science journals examined for Nature's 2016 rising-stars index leapt by 12.7% between 2014 and 2015 (see Nature 535, S56–S61; 2016). But although the brain drain is abating, the European Research Council is still awarding few of its prestigious grants to Polish science institutions — just 3 last year and 16 since 2007 — far fewer than have gone to the United Kingdom, Germany or Hungary. An ambitious scheme, launched last year, aims to create a network of independent research centres that will lure more top scientists. The IIMCB, established in 1999, is emblematic of the country's upswing. In line with international practice, group leaders are selected in open competition and employed on fixed-term contracts. Their research performance is regularly evaluated by an international advisory board. Thanks to the institute's reputation, Winata found it much easier than she had expected to quickly establish a competitive multinational group that includes Polish and Indian PhD students, two postdocs who have returned from abroad and one postdoc from Pakistan. Her exploratory visit had already convinced her that the institute's zebrafish facilities and experimental equipment are top-notch. Salaries, although on average about one-third of those in Western Europe, were no hindrance, she say. The IIMCB leads the EU-funded FishMed project — aimed at establishing zebrafish models for human diseases — which allows her to offer her lab members more money than universities and institutes that rely solely on Polish funding sources. The €3.6-million project also involves elite centres in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. “Being able to closely collaborate and exchange staff and students with leading groups in other countries is a big plus,” she says. EU infrastructure funding has helped to refurbish existing labs and create new campuses and science parks across Poland. Warsaw is the country's main research hub, but other cities have benefited as well. The Małopolskie Centre of Biotechnology in Krakow, which received €24 million in structural funds, and the EIT+ science campus in Wrocław, which got more than €200 million, boast ample lab space and research equipment. But the international success of the IIMCB, whose researchers have published in Nature and other high-impact journals, isn't easily replicated (see 'In Pole position'). Poland needs brainpower to establish itself as a scientific nation of international rank, says Maciej Żylicz, president of the Foundation for Polish Science, the country's biggest independent research-funding agency. “We have fantastic labs by now, but we're lacking enough scientists,” he says. “We must attract more foreign talent.” Persuading aspiring foreign scientists to come and do science in Poland hasn't been easy. Some among the country's traditionally conservative academic community are suspicious of attempts to make science more international, more competitive and less hierarchical. At universities, the power over money, research directions and publications often still resides with established professors, who tend to resist change. Early-stage independence, which is crucial for a young scientist looking for a professional career in international science, is rare. “Any progress in science depends on courage to try new things, something that has been missing in Poland in the past,” says Olga Malinkiewicz, founder of the Wrocław-based Saule Technologies, a privately backed solar-energy company. “And if you never were in touch with good scientists abroad you can't really change things at home.” No one was studying photonics seriously in Poland in 2006, when Malinkiewicz left for graduate studies in Spain. While at the University of Valencia, she developed a type of efficient solar cell based on a promising material called perovskite (see Nature 513, 470; 2014). Potential investors began to line up before she finished her PhD, and when the opportunity arose in 2014 to start her own company in premises rented from the EIT+, she didn't think twice. Her expanding company has since moved to the Wrocław Technology Park, where commercialization of perovskite-based solar cells is set to start this year. Although no official figures have been made public, a Japanese investor is said to have provided $5.3 million. Meanwhile, the Foundation for Polish Science has launched an ambitious attempt to create a network of independent basic-research institutes run by international-calibre researchers. Ten planned centres will each operate in strategic partnership with an existing institute abroad, and will focus on emerging fields. The government has earmarked €126 million in EU structural funds for this International Research Agendas programme. What's new, says Żylicz, is that the centres will be built up around individual scientists who will have maximum freedom to define research directions and hire staff — a principle adopted from the German Max Planck Society, which has successfully applied it for decades. “An empty lab is not a good starting point for science,” he says. “That's why we will look for strong leaders first and then apply a tailor-made research structure around them.” Tomasz Dietl and Tomasz Wojtowicz, two Polish semiconductor physicists who last June won the first round of competition for funding, have received 40 million złoty ($9.8 million) for research on topological phases of matter and new classes of exotic materials. The windfall, says Dietl, will allow him to hire some 40 scientists and set up 6 groups at an international centre in Warsaw, hosted by the Polish Academy of Science's Institute of Physics. “We're not the centre of the universe,” he says. “But we can offer a great deal of scientific freedom, excellent research conditions, nice salaries and good connections with top institutes abroad.” Researchers at the institute will be able to rely on experimental facilities, such as equipment for crystal growth and low-temperature physics, that are on a par with the best centres in Western Europe, says solid-state physicist Laurens Molenkamp of the University of Würzburg in Germany. He has a long-standing collaboration with Dietl and will serve as an adviser to the new centre. “The molecular-beam facilities they now have in Warsaw are pretty unique in Europe,” he says. Winners of the second open call will be announced in April, and two more calls will follow. Żylicz hopes that the programme will eventually draw a few dozen principal investigators and hundreds of international postdocs to do science in Poland. Funding for each centre is limited to five years. “But as they learn to swim in Polish waters I hope that many newcomers will opt to stay longer,” he says. Competition for funds is much less fierce in Poland than in Germany and many other countries, says Austrian-born structural biologist Sebastian Glatt, who leads an independent research group funded by the Max Planck Society at the Małopolskie Centre of Biotechnology. Things there have turned out so well for him that he is considering extending his stay in Poland beyond the envisaged five years. Within a year of starting, his lab had grown to 16 members — including postdocs from Austria, Spain, Taiwan and Ukraine — and it is set to keep expanding. He has no teaching obligations and is pleased with his success in attracting foreign talent and securing grant money from Polish and European sources. “There is abundant grant money available in Poland now and it is easy for junior scientists with a good track record to get funded here,” he says. “That's a huge advantage — and from the large number of job applications I receive, I can see that many people are aware of it.” Scientists who consider moving to Poland, says Winata, should make sure that their host institute is prepared to help foreigners to acclimatize, for example by supporting them in dealing with authorities and landlords. They should also choose institutes that adopt an open-minded and communicative research culture. Glatt is keen for students to openly discuss their work in department seminars and for scientists to exchange ideas while meeting in core research facilities or during social events. “Office doors at our institutes are wide open all the time,” he says. The government is set to continue to enlarge and modernize Poland's research base. Teaming up with high-profile institutes in Western Europe will assist that effort, and will also help Polish science to get international recognition, says Żylicz. The Max Planck Society plans to expand its collaboration with Poland, and France, Switzerland and Spain are also potential partners. Outside the new labs and campuses, Poland has turned into a colourful place with liberal cities brimming with restaurants, bars and theatres. “Poland has become a much different country to the one I had left ten years ago,” says Malinkiewicz. “Something is happening here, and now is a perfect moment for scientists to come and grab their piece of cake.”
News Article | March 2, 2017
MILAN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Newron Pharmaceuticals S.p.A. (“Newron”), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapies for patients with diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) and pain, today announces its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2016, and reiterates material events with the outlook for 2017. In addition, Newron presents the approved agenda for the 2017 AGM. Xadago® launched in ten additional European countries Following the 2015 European approval and the launch in Germany, 2016 saw the launch of Xadago® in ten further European markets by Newron’s partner Zambon. The launch in, among others, Italy, Spain, the UK and Switzerland, means that a large and increasing number of patients across Europe can now be treated using Xadago®, the first New Chemical Entity in ten years to receive Marketing Authorization from the EU Commission for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. From the initial launch of Xadago® in Germany in May 2015, Newron has generated cumulated royalty revenues of EUR 2.2 million on product sales by its partner Zambon. Post-period, Zambon and Seqirus announced that they have entered a partnership for the registration and commercialisation of Xadago® in Australia and New Zealand. Following the news in March 2016 that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had issued a CRL for Xadago®, Newron announced, in July 2016, alongside its partners U.S. WorldMeds and Zambon, that the FDA no longer required the Company to perform any studies to clinically evaluate the potential abuse liability or dependence/withdrawal effects of Xadago®, the key subject of the CRL. In October 2016, Newron welcomed the FDA’s announcement that it considered the September 2016 re-submission of the U.S. NDA by the Company to be a complete Class 2 response. “We are hopeful that Xadago® will be approved in the U.S. on or before its PDUFA date of March 21 and that it will become available to U.S. patients, in the near future,” comments Ravi Anand, Newron’s Chief Medical Officer. Progress with Evenamide In April 2016, Newron presented a poster at the 5th Biennial Schizophrenia International Research Society Conference titled “Evenamide (NW–3509), a Putative Antipsychotic, Targets Abnormal Electrical Activity and Glutamatergic Abnormalities in Improving Psychotic Symptoms in Patients with Schizophrenia in a Phase II, Placebo-controlled Trial”. The encouraging results of this Phase IIa study were announced post period in January 2017. Evenamide met the study objectives of good tolerability, safety, and preliminary evidence of efficacy as an add-on therapy for the treatment of schizophrenia. Detailed results of the study will be presented at the 16th International Congress on Schizophrenia Research (ICOSR), in March, in San Diego (CA), USA. Studies initiated with Sarizotan In May 2016, the FDA approved Newron’s Investigational New Drug (IND) application for the evaluation of sarizotan for the treatment of patients with Rett syndrome. Following this approval, in July the Company initiated its potentially pivotal clinical STARS study that will evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of sarizotan in patients with Rett syndrome suffering from respiratory symptoms. The initiation of the STARS study is an important milestone within the development program for sarizotan. As of December 31, 2016, the study is enrolling patients in both the USA and Europe. As part of Newron’s wider commitment to addressing the needs of Rett syndrome patients, the Company is currently sponsoring a study to evaluate the burden of disease experienced by patients with this debilitating condition and their families. The study will be comprised of two global surveys, one to be completed by at least 750 caregivers and the other by at least 210 healthcare providers(HCP). The surveys have been developed in accordance with regulatory guidance, with the final versions being used for data collection in the USA, the UK, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. Financial Summary (IFRS) In thousand EUR (except per share information) Newron’s 2016 Annual Report is available on http://www.newron.com/financial-report. Outlook for 2017 “We look forward to the decision on the forthcoming PDUFA date for Xadago® on or around March 21 and are confident that in 2017, we will see Xadago® become available to patients in the USA and additional European territories. We are highly encouraged by the potential of both sarizotan and Evenamide and we look forward to continuing the development of both in the ongoing year. Our innovative pipeline is progressing well and we will strengthen our position as a leading player in the CNS disease area. We started 2017 with funds totalling EUR 46.5 million, which we anticipate will take our Company towards the end of 2018, beyond expected key value inflexion points”, comments Newron’s Chief Executive Officer Stefan Weber. AGM 2017 Agenda Newron’s Board of Directors has approved the agenda below for the March 28, 2017, 10:30 am CET, ordinary Shareholders’ meeting, which will take place at the Company’s registered office in Bresso (Mi), Italy. The formal invitation to shareholders will be issued and disclosed in the statutory papers on or about March 2. The full invitation and supporting material will be made available on the Company’s website on the same date. The agenda is as follows: Dial-in to media/analyst conference on March 2, 2017, 9:15-10:15 am CET The Newron management team will present the 2016 full year results and provide an update and guidance for 2017. The conference call can be accessed via the following dial-in numbers: The slide deck used in the call is available at http://www.newron.com/downloads About Newron Pharmaceuticals Newron (SIX: NWRN) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapies for patients with diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) and pain. The Company is headquartered in Bresso near Milan, Italy, with a subsidiary in Morristown, NJ, U.S.A. Xadago® (safinamide) has received marketing authorization for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease in the European Union and Switzerland and is commercialized by Newron’s partner Zambon. US WorldMeds holds the commercialization rights in the US. Meiji Seika has the rights to develop and commercialize the compound in Japan and other key Asian territories. In addition to Xadago® for Parkinson’s disease, Newron has a strong pipeline of promising treatments for rare disease patients at various stages of clinical development, including sarizotan for patients with Rett syndrome and ralfinamide for patients with specific rare pain indications. Newron is also developing Evenamide as the potential first add-on therapy for the treatment of patients with positive symptoms of schizophrenia. www.newron.com Important Notices This document contains forward-looking statements, including (without limitation) about (1) Newron’ s ability to develop and expand its business, successfully complete development of its current product candidates and current and future collaborations for the development and commercialisation of its product candidates and reduce costs (including staff costs), (2) the market for drugs to treat CNS diseases and pain conditions, (3) Newron’s anticipated future revenues, capital expenditures and financial resources, and (4) assumptions underlying any such statements. In some cases these statements and assumptions can be identified by the fact that they use words such as “ will”, anticipate”, “ estimate”, “ expect”, “ project”, “intend”, “ plan”, “believe”, “ target”, and other words and terms of similar meaning. All statements, other than historical facts, contained herein regarding Newron's strategy, goals, plans, future financial position, projected revenues and costs and prospects are forward-looking statements. By their very nature, such statements and assumptions involve inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, and risks exist that predictions, forecasts, projections and other outcomes described, assumed or implied therein will not be achieved. Future events and actual results could differ materially from those set out in, contemplated by or underlying the forward-looking statements due to a number of important factors. These factors include (without limitation) (1) uncertainties in the discovery, development or marketing of products, including without limitation negative results of clinical trials or research projects or unexpected side effects, (2) delay or inability in obtaining regulatory approvals or bringing products to market, (3) future market acceptance of products, (4) loss of or inability to obtain adequate protection for intellectual property rights, (5) inability to raise additional funds, (6) success of existing and entry into future collaborations and licensing agreements, (7) litigation, (8) loss of key executive or other employees, (9) adverse publicity and news coverage, and (10) competition, regulatory, legislative and judicial developments or changes in market and/or overall economic conditions. Newron may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in forward-looking statements and assumptions underlying any such statements may prove wrong. Investors should therefore not place undue reliance on them. There can be no assurance that actual results of Newron's research programmes, development activities, commercialisation plans, collaborations and operations will not differ materially from the expectations set out in such forward-looking statements or underlying assumptions. Newron does not undertake any obligation to publicly up-date or revise forward looking statements except as may be required by applicable regulations of the SIX Swiss Exchange where the shares of Newron are listed. This document does not contain or constitute an offer or invitation to purchase or subscribe for any securities of Newron and no part of it shall form the basis of or be relied upon in connection with any contract or commitment whatsoever.