The DZNE cooperates closely with universities, their hospitals and other research institutions. In addition, we have established partnerships with pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies which are coordinated by the Technology Transfer Office. Nationally and internationally, the DZNE wants to break new ground in the development of therapies and drugs.
In addition to individual project collaborations, the DZNE is involved in noteworthy European and global consortia, including:
- Centers of Excellence in Neurodegeneration initiative (CoEN): The CoEN Initiative was founded in June 2010 by the DZNE, the Medical Research Council, UK, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada, as a joint funding program to catalyze translational research in the field. The consortium was soon expanded and currently has nine member countries (Germany, UK, Canada, Italy, Belgium, Ireland, Slovakia, Spain, France).
- Joint Programme Neurodegenerative Disease (JPND) is an EU member-state led initiative to tackle the “grand challenge” of neurodegenerative disease.
- Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN): Germany has recently joined this international network, which is determined to understand a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease that is caused by a gene mutation. Understanding of this form of Alzheimer's disease may provide clues to decoding other dementias and developing dementia treatments.
- Helmholtz-Alberta Initiative: This long-term and highly successful partnership between the Helmholtz Association and the University of Alberta was originally created to find solutions to pressing issues in the area of energy and environment. In 2011 both partners agreed the collaboration should be extended to the health area, with an initial focus on infectious and neurodegenerative disease research. As of 2014, investigators at the DZNE sites Bonn and Göttingen are actively collaborating with scientists at the University of Alberta Center for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases on projects related to prion diseases
- Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease (GIND): The DZNE and the GIND co-organize an annual workshop addressing the latest developments, controversies and most critical unresolved issues in areas of common interest.
Based on its organizational structure, the DZNE also benefits from ample opportunities to network with the expertise and resources of its affiliated local universities. Indeed, such collaboration is crucial for clinical research work, since the DZNE does not provide direct patient care services.
Close collaboration with local partners is exhibited in the participation of the DZNE in four Excellence Clusters which were recently selected for funding by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, Germany’s largest funding organization):
- ImmunoSensation (Immuno Sensory System; new excellence cluster) in Bonn
- SyNergy (Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology; new excellence cluster) in Munich
- CECAD (Cellular Stress responses in ageing-associated diseases; prolonged excellence cluster) in Cologne
- Werner Reichardt Centre for Neuroscience (Interdisciplinary Center for Integrative Neuroscience; prolonged excellence cluster) in Tübingen
The DZNE extended its close collaboration with university clinics by successfully applying for a Helmholtz Virtual Institute on "RNA dysmetabolism in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia" together with the Universities of Ulm (Germany), Strasbourg (France) and Umeå (Sweden).
Moreover, the DZNE has created links with individual Helmholtz centers, including the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) and the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI). In addition, the DZNE is partners of the Helmholtz Drug Discovery, an initiative for joint discovery and development of drugs.
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