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Droscreeneuro

A drug screen for enhancers of adult neurogenesis in ageing: Drosophila as a new translationally-relevant platform
Funder: European CommissionProject code: 101107384 Call for proposal: HORIZON-MSCA-2022-PF-01
Funded under: HE | HORIZON-AG-UN Funder Contribution: 237,109 EUR

Droscreeneuro

Description

Ensuring a healthy lifespan in an increasingly ageing society represents a priority and a challenge for research and innovation. Particularly, irreversible neurodegenerative conditions are becoming hallmarks in the elderly, imposing a severe socioeconomic burden and ultimately threatening quality of life. Promoting adult neurogenesis has the potential to rejuvenate neural circuits restoring cognitive functions. High-throughput models of adult neurogenesis can expedite the identification of mechanisms and compounds for the development of neuro-regenerative therapies. I have evidence for physiologic and drug-induced adult neurogenesis in the genetically conserved and highly tractable model Drosophila melanogaster. Here, I aim to i) characterize adult neurogenesis across Drosophila’s lifespan; ii) identify drugs promoting neurogenesis in ageing in vivo, using the Drosophila olfactory circuit as an experimental platform; iii) test primary drug hits for their potential to promote neurogenesis on hiPSC-NSC in vitro (Host: UGOE, DE; Secondments: MPI-CE, DE; Weizmann, IL; DZNE, DE). Next, during a Non-academic placement in a translational drug discovery company, I aim to profile prioritized hits promoting neuronal regeneration (LDC, DE). My unique background in chemical engineering and biosciences will be pivotal to successfully complete this project. By leveraging state-of-the-art tools and support from experts in the field, Droscreeneuro represents an innovative, ambitious, and translationally-relevant approach towards the development of regenerative therapies aimed at counteracting age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Dissemination of results between specialized and general audiences will make science open to all. Ultimately, exposure to high-quality training in the academic and non-academic sectors will substantially enhance my skills and career perspectives, to conduct research in academia and industry to promote society's wellbeing.

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