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Getting at Parasites

German Research Foundation Funds New Research Training Group at Freie Universität

№ 392/2014 from Nov 10, 2014

A new Research Training Group to study parasitic infections in humans and animals is being set up at Freie Universität Berlin. On Monday the German Research Foundation (DFG) approved funding for the Research Training Group "Parasite Infections: From Experimental Models to Natural Systems." Within this group doctoral researchers will analyze the interactions of selected parasites with their hosts. Specific examples are the causative agents of malaria, toxoplasma, giardia, and various other worm infections. The researchers will take up their work on April 15, 2015, and will initially be funded for four and a half years. The coordinator is Prof. Dr. Susanne Hartmann from the Institute of Immunology at Freie Universität. Research Training Groups offer doctoral researchers an opportunity to earn their doctorate within a structured research and qualification program with a high degree of professional credibility.

Worldwide, there is an increase of parasitic infections in humans and animals. Numerous factors contribute to this situation, such as increasing immunity to drugs, global warming, and an increased volume of cross-border travel. The Research Training Group aims to intensify both research in the field of parasitology and improve the level of science education in the field. The program aims to explore equally the biological, medical, and veterinary aspects of parasite infections. The research program aims to address three levels: the molecular, cellular, and organismic level.

This is one of 14 new Research Training Groups that the DFG is setting up. They will receive a total of 60 million euros. In addition to the 14 new training groups, funding has been approved to extend seven of the previous groups for another four and one half years. Overall, the DFG is currently funding 207 Research Training Groups, including 45 international ones.

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