Lund University

Bagadilico – a joint initiative for the development of novel therapies for basal ganglia disorders

Granted: 75 MSEK
Contact: Patrik Brundin
Website: Bagadilicoexternal link, opens in new window

Parkinson´s and Huntington´s disease, and a family of closely related disorders, primarily affect the basal ganglia. They are chronic, severely disabling, lead to severe motor and cognitive impairments, and lack curative treatments. The research program at this center will impact the quality of life of patients suffering these disorders by improving diagnosis and generating effective therapies.

The researchers will use modern cell imaging, bioenergetics and cell- and molecular biology to identify of cell death mechanisms and molecular events underlying neuronal dysfunction. This is crucial for the development of new therapies.

They shall develop ways to follow disease progression and treatment efficacy by combining nanobiotechnology and bioimaging. We will use novel and relevant outcome measures to assess treatment effects and cultural analyses to examine their impact on the lives of the patients and families.

The aim is also to improve treatments based on brain cell transplantation and gene therapy, making them safer and more reliable, with the help of stem cells and novel viral vectors. The researchers will evaluate the program from the ethical and societal standpoints to facilitate the transfer of our findings to clinical applications.

The intention is to renew and enhance the research environment with frontline technologies and recruitment of novel talented scientists.

The research environment will also strengthen the existing collaborative networks in Lund and abroad, and enhance collaborations with clinical research and industry.

Centre for Animal Movement Research (CAnMove)

Granted: 50 MSEK
Contact: Susanne Åkesson
Website: CAnMoveexternal link, opens in new window

For an evolutionary understanding of migration behavior the researchers at this center will search for ‘migration´ genes. A common database will be created where animal tracking data, as well as experimental data, can be organized and analyzed efficiently.

All organisms depend on the ability to disperse or migrate over short or long distances. While they differ in many respects, such as body size and mode of locomotion, the evolutionary and ecological causes and consequences of mobility are likely to be similar.

Theory predicts when and how an animal should disperse or migrate, and these predictions can be tested in certain animal groups where the animals are large enough to carry satellite transmitters.

In many smaller animal groups, such as microscopic zooplankton and even passerine birds, technology prevents the tracking of whole migratory journeys at the individual level. A unified understanding of animal movements requires that we can obtain comparable data across a wide range of animals.

In this Linnaeus effort we intend to develop new technology allowing us to collect such data, and then use this information for comparative studies across the whole range of animal sizes and locomotion modes.

The success of this long term program is ensured by the group´s mixture of competences, including theoreticians, experimentalists and applied ecologists, and by the new input from young researchers.

Thinking in Time: Cognition, Communication and learning

Granted: 75 MSEK
Contact: Peter Gärdenfors
Website: LUCSexternal link, opens in new window

The research concerns the interplay between cognition, communication and learning. The research will focus on temporal aspects since they can inform us about causal relations. The temporal processes will be studied at different levels of brain and behaviour modelling and the long term goal is to bridge the different levels.

Modern brain imaging techniques have provided extensive knowledge about where different processes take place, but we know less about the temporal side of the processes. For example, we only have limited knowledge about the fast processes behind language understanding during a dialogue.

The following subareas will be studied within the environment:

  • How humans, in particular children, learn concepts and to understand the words of a language – and also how the concepts of an individual change over time.
  • How the structure of language and the surrounding culture affect learning and attention – and how this is manifested in speech and writing.
  • How the ability to read the thought and emotions of others, for example during a conversation, affects communication and learning.
  • How different kinds of disabilities and language disturbances influence the timing of communication and how this can be tied to memory capacities.
  • How temporal processes operate in neurons during different forms of learning.
  • How the capacity of the brain to simulate actions and utterances, before they are performed, influences the ability to plan and communicate.

LUCID – Lund University Centre of Excellence for integration of social and natural dimensions of sustainability

Granted: 75 MSEK
Contact: Lennart Olsson
Website: LUCIDexternal link, opens in new window

Organised in a three-dimensional matrix structure composed of: four sustainability challenges, three generic core themes, and two cross cutting research approaches, LUCID will develop a generic approach to the study of and solutions to sustainability problems.

Meeting global sustainability issues such as climate change, water scarcity, biodiversity loss and land use change, is an urgent challenge for society. Yet, the divide between natural and social sciences represents an obstacle to new creative solutions to such problems.

First, while pursuing critical and problem-solving research strategies, LUCID aims at creating completely new and unique synergies across natural and social sciences in order to develop new integrated theories and methods for addressing complex sustainability issues.

Secondly, making the faculty independent centre of LUCSUS a focal meeting point in research, LUCID participants, from seven disciplines in four faculties, will strengthen their co-operation in research and master education.

Thirdly, LUCID will further develop and expand global networks of outstanding partners on sustainability research in order to provide a range of stimulating and challenging career opportunities for both young and senior researchers.

Finally, LUCID will participate actively in national and international assessment processes on sustainability and become a strong collaborator in international research enterprises.

Lund Centre for studies of Carbon Cycle and Climate Interaction (LUCCI)

Granted: 50 MSEK
Contact: Anders Lindroth
Website: LUCCIexternal link, opens in new window

The aims of the Centre is to develop a better understanding of the processes governing the carbon cycle and the climate system in the past, the present and the future, by developing interdisciplinary research of the highest international standard, and, to foster a new generation of excellent scientist within this field.

Catastrophic extinctions in the past are good examples on how fragile life on earth is, and therefore recent floodings, storms, droughts, observed and predicted sea level and temperature rises are topics of concern for today´s global environment. Furthermore, abrupt climatic changes, commonly found in geologic records, all point to a sensitive climate system, which is triggered by so far partly unknown processes.

In this perspective the climatic effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are considered a major threat to a prosperous future for mankind. The climate system is very complex and much remains to be learnt about the multitude of processes and feedback mechanisms that shape climate and drive the carbon cycle.

An understanding of these processes is crucial for providing better future predictions and implementing realistic and cost-effective mitigation actions.

This proposal brings together top researchers with diverse but complementing expertise within Lund University to an integrated approach to the study of geosphere-biosphere-atmosphere-ocean interactions and in particular, the relationship between the carbon cycle and climate change.

Lund Center for Control of Complex Engineering Systems (LCCC)

Granted: 75 MSEK
Contact: Anders Rantzer
Website: LCCCexternal link, opens in new window

One of the greatest challenges of our society is the sustainable and safe operation of large-scale technical systems and their interaction with people and environment. The research of this proposal will contribute to a new framework for analysis and control of such interacting systems and a methodology for design and operation that scales well with size.

The rapid development of cheap sensors, actuators, and microcomputers facilitate new solutions for communication, energy distribution, transportation and manufacturing.

However, the solutions often come at the price of increasing complexity. Numerous sub-systems are designed by specialists in different fields with limited objectives in mind.

The classical idea of feedback control as a means to achieve robustness in complex systems is central also for the future. In combination with modern ideas of modularization and scalable protocols, there is much to gain in terms of efficiency and predictability for large and complex applications. A promising direction is the systematic introduction of price mechanisms for distributed control synthesis.

The research environment includes the entire Department of Automatic Control at Lund University, complemented by competence from Telecommunications. There is also active collaboration with many other departments and faculties.

Relevance and feasibility of the theory and methodology is ensured by close interaction with companies and international colleagues.

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Updated: 2014-05-06