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FWF "Emerging Fields" Grant for Brain Resilience


F.l.t.r.: Jürgen A. Knoblich (IMBA), Gaia Novarino (ISTA), Christoph Bock (CeMM), Igor Igorevich Adameyko (MedUni Vienna), Roman A. Romanov (MedUni Vienna), Daniela D. Pollak-Monje Quiroga (MedUni Vienna) © FWF/Klaus Ranger

We congratulate the Consortium of the newly funded "Brain Resilience" grant! CeMM PI Christoph Bock is part of a team of world-renowned scientists that received one of the first "Emerging Fields" grants of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). Over five years, the research groups coordinated by Igor Adameyko, MedUni Vienna will receive up to 6 million Euro to investigate brain resilience against disease.  

The brain of mammals is formed through highly complex developmental processes, controlled by thousands of genes and their interaction with the prenatal environment. Mutations in the underlying genes can predispose individuals to various neurological developmental disorders. However, many people with a genetic predisposition for neurological developmental disorders lead healthy lives.

The project "Brain Resilience" is an interdisciplinary collaboration of a team of scientists with expertise in diverse and complementary fields including cutting edge genetics and bioinformatics (Christoph Bock, CeMM), cognitive neurobiology (Gaia Novarino, ISTA), modeling of brain disorders (Jürgen Knoblich, IMBA), fundamental developmental biology (Igor Adameyko, Coordinator, MedUni Vienna), brain structure and function (Roman Romanov, MedUni Vienna) and maternal-to-progeny communication (Daniela Pollak, MedUni Vienna). They aim to decipher the molecular processes through which a favorable prenatal environment can override a genetic predisposition for neurological developmental disorders by enhancing brain resilience, thus enabling the development of a healthy brain.

The scientific board of the FWF selected five Emerging Fields after a multi-stage decision-making process, including a jury hearing. The selection was primarily based on the recommendations of the international jury, which evaluated the groundbreaking innovation potential and scientific excellence based on worldwide peer reviews. In total, the FWF will invest around 31 million euros over the next five years in five consortia from Vienna to Innsbruck, where researchers from 13 universities and non-university research institutions collaborate. Learn more about the Emerging Fields of the FWF: