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Eurico Cabrita, leader of the (Bio)Molecular Structure & Interactions by NMR Lab at UCIBIO and Professor at FCT NOVA, is part of the European consortium  that was awarded with an EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ETN) grant for the project “NEUROtransmitter TRANSporters: from single molecules to human pathologies”.

 

The research project has a total funding of aprox. 4.0 million euros and will run for three years. The NeuroTrans network will train 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in a strong interdisciplinary consortium of twelve academic and industrial partners (information bellow) from eight EU countries: Austria, Germany, Portugal, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, United Kingdom and France.

 

The vision of NeuroTrans is to establish a framework for understanding neurotransmitter:sodium symporters (NSS) that creates a direct link between the fundamental structural, biochemical and biophysical principles at the molecular level and the mode(s) of action of novel psychoactive substances and disease causing mutations. NeuroTrans will : (i) enable an improved understanding of how dysfunction of neurotransmitter:sodium symporters (NSS) contributes to neuropsychiatric disease pathobiology and how psychoactive substances target NSS and (ii) to establish a robust framework for comprehending these pathologies through changes in transporter function at the molecular level. For this purpose, NeuroTrans will establish a highly interdisciplinary doctoral training program, which include most important subdisciplines in quantitative biology, including molecular modelling, computer simulations, biophysics, biochemistry, neurobiology, molecular and structural biology.

 

“The mission for our NeuroTrans research project is to develop a solid model that can predict changes in neurotransmitter:sodium symporters (NSS) function using fundamental principles obtained from quantitative experiments using an interdisciplinary approach”, says Eurico Cabrita, the responsible of the project at UCIBIO-FCT NOVA.

 

The portuguese institution, UCIBIO-FCT NOVA, will host 1 ESRs that will investigate the structural and dynamic aspects of the NSS transport cycle using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR). UCIBIO-FCT NOVA will also be responsible for the training of all ESRs in NMR.

 

NEUROTRANS ETN Consortium:

- Medizinische Universitaet Wien (AT)

- Universitaet Regensburg (DE)

- Universidade Nova De Lisboa (PT)

- Kobenhavns Universitet (DK)

- Nanion Technologies GmbH (DE)

- Universita Degli Studi Dell'insubria (IT)

- Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (NL)

- Nanotemper Technologies GmbH (DE)

- Universitaet Hamburg (DE)

- Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen (DE)

- University Of East Anglia (UK)

- Elvesys SAS (FR)