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Mediterranean Neurosciences Network

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A Mediterranean network in neuroscience

A European network with countries around the Mediterranean sea set out to strengthen the technological infrastructure and improve neuroscience research in the area.

Health

Neurological diseases pose a great socioeconomic burden to societies worldwide. To address this challenge, a better understanding of disease aetiology should be coupled to improved diagnostic tools and novel therapeutic interventions. This necessitates a collaborative approach for promoting and improving the quality of neuroscience research and identifying potential gaps in research. The EU-funded 'Mediterranean neurosciences network' (N€UROMED) network worked to foster collaborations among EU and Mediterranean partner countries (MPCs) in the field of neuroscience. The network encompassed 26 universities and research centres in Algeria, Egypt, France, Morocco, Spain and Turkey. The scientific interests of the implicated teams focused on the normal and pathological functioning of the brain including cognition, memory, language, and emotion. Network research activities concentrated around four main themes, namely on neurodegenerative and mental disorders, neuronal plasticity, adaptation to environmental stress and new technologies. The main objective of the N€UROMED network was to reinforce the research capabilities of the MPCs in this fundamental and highly dynamic field. To further sustain this effort, the consortium actively engaged in applications for funding from national and international bodies. Significant part of the work was also devoted to strengthening the infrastructure of MPCs available for neuroscience research. Additional N€UROMED activities included the support of an exchange programme for PhD students in participating EU laboratories. Young researchers were recruited in MPC centres or were given the chance to train abroad in collaborating EU partners. The training scheme also entailed local and network-wide workshops, lectures, training conferences, as well as four international events. All these activities ensured that appropriate expertise was transferred to local researchers. Taken together, N€UROMED had significant scientific impact and results have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Importantly, project activities facilitated a full research and development partnership between the participating centres and others working in the Framework Program, ensuring future funding to advance brain research.

Keywords

Network, infrastructure, neuroscience, Mediterranean partner , funding, exchange programme, research and development

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