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Synapses: from molecules to higher brain function and diseases (SYMBAD)
Start date: Dec 1, 2009, End date: Feb 28, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

SyMBaD aims to move forward our knowledge on synapse structure and function in the normal and pathological brain. Brain diseases represent a considerable social and economic burden in Europe. Emerging evidence indicates that synaptic dysfunction is associated with a majority of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Novel therapeutical approaches relie on a better knowledge of the synapse and its pathologies. The network comprises 23 teams from 6 academic centres (Bordeaux, Alicante, Milan, Geneva, Göttingen, Bristol) representing an important fraction of the leading European researchers in the field. Synergies and complementarities between the research teams exist and should develop with the activities of the SyMBaD network. The participants are already well integrated in European scientific collaborative networks, and have an outstanding track-record of training young researchers. Industrial partners (6) will take part as full partners in training by an obligatory placement from 6 to 12 months of 16 ESR among the 26 recruited. The other ESR will be fully integrated into collaborative projects between academic teams. The private sector comprises companies involved in the development of new therapeutical strategies to combat brain diseases (GSK, Neurosearch, Xygen, and Noscira) and companies involved in technical development to be used in synaptic research and beyond (Bioxtal, Amplitude Systems, Explora Nova). The SYMBAD network aims to: • Teach a number of increasingly sophisticated techniques required in neuroscience and to advance towards novel therapies. • Focus on technological innovation and on interweaving of multilevel approaches. • Facilitate future constructive dialogue between academia and industry in the field by involving SMEs in the training of PhD students through collaborative research projects. SyMBaD will make European Neuroscience more attractive to young scientists, it will catalyze multi-level collaborations and foster intersectorial exchanges to advance in the study of some of the foremost Health issues of the European Community.

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