New funding for international collaborations between Centres of Excellence in neurodegenerative disease research

The Centres of Excellence in Neurodegenerative disease (CoEN) initiative, launched in 2010, funds collaborative research in the field of neurodegenerative disease, spanning age-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease. Under the fourth CoEN funding call, £4m (€4.6m, CA$6.6m) has been awarded for 9 ‘Pathfinder’ projects, constituting innovative and creative proof of principle studies which, if successful, will provide a step change in neurodegeneration research.

The awarded projects take a ‘high risk, high pay-off’ approach to identify and validate new potential drugs and develop innovative therapeutic approaches for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. These projects bring together a wealth of resources and expertise from a number of research centres of excellence in different countries to tackle scientific questions that are vital to advancement within the field.

The funded projects are:

  • Glypican4 as a target for innovative cell-based replacement therapy and as a biomarker in Parkinson’s disease Rosanna Dono (France), Mathias Bähr (Germany)
  • Carbon-Model: Carbon metabolism systems analysis for the identification of disease and patient-specific metabolic and energetic defects in neurodegenerative diseases Jochen Prehn (Republic of Ireland), Daniele Bano (Germany)
  • Neuropathological and Amyloid peptides differences between Down syndrome and familial Alzheimer’s disease with duplications and missense mutations in APP gene Marie-Claude Potier (France), Andre Strydom (UK), Henrik Zetterberg (UK)
  • Gut microbes, Neuroinflammation and Alzheimer’s disease: determining the immunoregulatory role of gut microbiota on brain and behaviour Yvonne Nolan (Republic of Ireland), Annamaria Cattaneo (Italy), Sandrine Thuret (UK)
  • Developing preclinical and clinical biomarkers of NRF2 pathway activation for therapeutic application in neurodegenerative diseases Pamela Shaw (UK), Antonio Cuadrado (Spain)
  • Investigating chromatin landscapes in neurodegenerative disease models Paola Salomoni (Germany), Giovanna Mallucci (UK)
  • Is prion like propagation of alpha synuclein aggregation associated with a ferroptotic cell death David Devos (France), Alexander Storch (Germany), Nicola Pavese (UK)
  • Investigating the interaction between ageing and immune dysfunction in LRRK2 Parkinson's disease Michela Deleidi (Germany), Francesca L’Episcopo (Italy)
  • Focused ultrasound modulation of neuromelanin accumulation in a humanized rat model of Parkinson’s disease Miquel Vila (Spain), Stéphane Lehericy (France)

CoEN is an international initiative involving research funders in Flanders (Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie, Flanders),  Canada (Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CHIR)), France (Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)), Germany (Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE)), Republic of Ireland (Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)), Italy (Ministry of Health), Slovakia (Slovak Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport), Spain (Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) and the UK (Medical Research Council (MRC)). The aim of the initiative is to encourage collaborative research between recognised national centres of excellence in neurodegeneration research.

Seven of the CoEN funding partners participated in this fourth call for proposals: ANR (France), CIHR (Canada), DZNE (Germany), ISCIII (Spain), MDS (Spain), MRC (UK) and SFI (Republic of Ireland). 

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Information about the CoEN funding partners: