Brussels, 16 Apr 2004
The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science in Germany has announced its decision to open a new institute on the biology of ageing.
The planned institute will be the first of its kind in Europe and will be based on the Buck institute for advancing age research in the US.
'The biology of ageing is an upcoming and rapidly expanding area of research that is currently not being adequately covered at German universities or private research institutes,' said Ulrich Hartl of the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry.
The plan is for the new institute to conduct research on whether basic cellular mechanisms of ageing are determined by genetic programmes and to what extent they are affected by environmental influences, explained Professor Hartl. Research will also focus on methods for defining ageing at the biochemical level.
Where the new institute will be based, how it will be structured and how it will be financed remain to be determined.
'We believe the institute should be embedded in a strong, pre-existing research structure,' Professor Hartl said. This means it will probably be formed within a German university or within the Max Planck organisation. The institute is likely to be divided into three or four departments, with around 40 scientists and technicians in each.
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