The Neuroscience Research Center (NWFZ) - Interdisciplinary science on functional units of nervous systems
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The NWFZ as structure enhancer in the field of neuroscientific research
The Neuroscience Research Center was established in 1999 to give junior research groups an opportunity to advance their career through independent neuroscience research projects. The groups received support in the form of lab space, funding for instruments and consumables, and yearly consultations with an external expert panel over a period of three to six years. Many former junior research group leaders of the NWFZ have since been appointed as professors internationally.
Since its founding, the Neuroscience Research Center has helped establish the neurosciences as a scientific focus area and strengthened the profile of the Charité externally. Its members, through their initiatives and participation in collaborative projects such as the Bernstein Center, Bernstein Focus, Excellence Graduate School 'Mind & Brain', and collaborative Research centers GRK1123, SFB665, SFB618, and SFB958, have created lasting structures for the neurosciences in Berlin.
Special mention should be made of the close connection between the NWFZ and the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure, particularly as many former and current members of the NWFZ have played a key role in NeuroCure's success. In the foundation phase of the Cluster, the NWFZ provided lab space to accommodate newly recruited NeuroCure research groups. At the same time, costly instruments such as 2-photon microscopes and an MRI scanner were purchased through funding for the Cluster and are now available to all scientists at the Charité.
In addition to the research networks mentioned above, scientists of the NWFZ have also been involved in establishing the Berlin site of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and were recently successful in acquiring funding for the Einstein Center for Neurosciences Berlin (ECN).