Brussels, 31 Mar 2004
A research centre dedicated to infectious diseases is set to open at Greifswald University in Northern Germany.
The centre for functional genomics, which will open at the end of 2004, will focus on research integrating computational and biological sciences.
'The centre is unique in Germany because faculty and participants drawn from the departments of mathematics, science, and medicine will be working closely together for the first time,' said Uwe Volker, the principal investigator at Greifswald's functional genomics laboratory.
Broad research on the molecular causes of infectious diseases will be developed and coordinated by the microbiological institute, while the new research centre will focus on the biomathematical analysis of proteins and their subcellular localisation.
'With the help of functional genomics, we want to find out how bacterial pathogens interact with the host cell. If we can identify the key proteins that allow pathogenic bacteria to communicate with the host cells, then we will be able to target those proteins with antibiotics,' explained Mr Volker.
The centre will offer research training opportunities for 12 postdoctoral and doctoral candidates. 'This centre will cater for the needs of young scientists. We hope to recruit two leading young internationally known researchers to lead the teams there,' said Mr Volker.
The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research will fund the teams with an initial budget of nine million euro.
'We hope that the establishment of the functional genomics centre will help Greifswald build on its reputation as one of the leaders for functional genomics in Germany and even in the world,' said Rainer Westermann, the rector of Greifswald University.