Two research groups from CNC gained financing for the study of brain disorders and cardiovascular. The projects DYNABrain and RESETageing received, respectively 2,5 million euros and 900 thousand euros from the European program Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation, promoted by Horizon 2020.
TheDYNABrain project, an ERA Chair, aims to recruit for CNC of an excellent research group in the field of Systems and Computational Neuroscience. Applied to the study of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Additionally, it also aims to create a PhD program in Integrative Neuroscience to train cutting edge researchers in this research area. This project is coordinated by Ana Luísa Carvalho, CNC group leader and Professor at the Life Sciences Department of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra.
“The DYNABrain project will recruit an excellent research group in the field of System Neuroscience, and will capitalize in the excellent research capacity in the University of Coimbra and CNC in the field of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, and the study of brain disorders”, refers Ana Luísa Carvalho.
“The System Neuroscience area takes advantage of recente technological advances that allow the identification of neuronal circuits and networks that underlie behaviour, as well as what kind of alterations on their activity may be related to neuropsychiatric disorders or early stages of neurodegenerative diseases. The DYNABrain will also allow to optimize the advanced formation in the Neuroscience field at the University of Coimbra”, highlights.
The RESETageing project, with CNC researcher and group leader Lino Ferreira as the national coordinator, was financed in the Twinning category, allowing several institutions, with diferente skills and performance indicators, to share the best practices among them.
This project has the main goal to potentiate the scientific and innovation competences of the University of Coimbra in the field of cardiovascular aging, since cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of mortality in Portugal. Within this project, three international partners with high knowledge in the field of aging will be collaborators: the Newcastle upon Tyne University (United Kingdom), the Maastricht University (Netherlands), and the Leibniz Institute on Aging - Fritz Lipman Institute (Germany).
Lino Ferreira denotes that “European demographic aging, particularly in Portugal, has been increasing over the latest years. In Portugal, for every 100 young people there are 154 elderly people (in 1960 there were only 27), and on the other hand, the mean life span has increased nearly 7 years in the same time span. Today, a 65-year old person lives, on average, more 20 years. However, only 7 of those years are considered healthy. The remaining years, people often suffer from multiple diseases and incapacities, which have a significant impact on their well-being, as well as the economies from different societies
“This is the second project of the Twinning category in the Horizon2020 program that the University of Coimbra wins, both in the cardiovascular diseases field”, concludes the researcher.
According to Cláudia Cavadas, vice-rector of the University of Coimbra, “these two projects will allow to potentiate excellent research at the University of Coimbra, namley in the neuroscience and cardiovascular aging areas. This financing will also contribute to train a new generation of young researchers in these two áreas, with na advanced formation component in innovation and entrepreneurship”.