On Sep 2nd, 2011, the COEN initiative announced investment in eight exciting new international research projects which will address key issues in neurodegenerative disease research.

Under a call for proposals for collaborative research that will serve to underpin future studies, €3.7m  has been awarded to eight new projects spanning the development of new disease models, the identification of biomarkers and the harmonisation of methodologies for clinical studies. These projects bring together a wealth of resources and expertise from a number of large research institutes in different countries to tackle scientific questions that are key to the advancement within the field of neurodegenerative diseases.

The funded projects are:

1. Standards for determining the vascular contribution to neurodegeneration
Joanna Wardlaw (MRC), Martin Dichgans (DZNE), Eric Smith (CIHR)

2. Integrated approach to identify novel genes for frontotemporal lobar degeneration
Marc Cruts (VIB), Christian Haass (DZNE), Dieter Edbauer (DZNE)

3. Mitochondrial dysfunction and susceptibility to Parkinson’s disease: New models of pathogenetic interactions
Donato A. Di Monte (DZNE), David S. Park (CIHR), Fabio Blandini (MDS), Anthony H.V. Schapira (MRC)

4. Early synaptic plasticity and network dysfunction in transgenic (tg) rat models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
Michael Rowan (HRB/SFI), Claudio Cuello (CIHR), Martin Fuhrmann (DZNE)

5. Immune subtype in Parkinson disease
Thomas Gasser (DZNE), Antonio P. Strafella (CIHR)

6. C. elegans models of mitochondrial deficiency in the nervous system
Daniele Bano (DZNE), Siegfried Hekimi (CIHR), Mario de Bono (MRC)

7. The GENetic Frontotemporal Dementia Initiative (GENFI): a new multi-centre platform for the study of frontotemporal lobar degeneration
Martin Rossor (MRC), Giovanni B. Frisoni (MDS), Torik Ayoubi (VIB), Mario Masellis (CIHR)

8. Identification of generic supressors of proteinopathies
David Rubinsztein (MRC), Joerg Gsponer (CIHR)

More information can be obtained at www.coen.org