AIAS Fellow Magnus Kjærgaard part of new Centre of Excellence at Aarhus University
The new center entitled ‘Centre for PROteins in MEMOry’, PROMEMO, has today received a DKK 62 mill grant from the Danish National Research Foundation.
More than 15 years have passed since two planes flew into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre. However, most people can still remember where they were on 11 September 2001. Whereas hardly anyone remembers where they were on the same date the following year.
The degree of emotional impact has been shown to have a major influence on how well we remember events. But how does the brain remember? Research has shown that long-term memory is dependent on protein synthesis. The new basic research centre ‘Centre for PROteins in MEMOry’ will attempt to uncover precisely which proteins play a role in long-term memory, and how they interact.
Today the Danish National Research Foundation has announced that it will fund a new Centre of Excellence at Aarhus University to perform state-of-the-art research into molecular mechanisms of memory. The ‘Centre for PROteins in MEMOry (PROMEMO) will receive DKK 62 million in research funding over the next six years, with the possibility for a 4-year extension.
Multidisciplinary research in the molecular mechanisms of memory
PROMEMO is headed by Professor Anders Nykjær (Dept. of Biomedicin, Aarhus University) and involves a core team of five Aarhus University researchers, who will perform multi-disciplinary research in neuroscience, molecular and structural biology. AIAS Fellow Magnus Kjærgaard is a member of the core team. His prime focus within the Centre of Excellence will be to elucidate how emotions strengthen memories, and on characterizing the functions of newly characterized plasticity related proteins using integrative structural biology. This will build on and extend his AIAS project.
"With the help of different techniques, we can turn the emotional memory in mice on and off. This gives us the opportunity to study the molecular mechanisms that underlie them. By understanding how the brain functions in this area, we can hopefully improve the treatment of psychiatric disorders in the future," explains Professor Anders Nykjær from the Department of Biomedicine, who will head the centre.
Magnus Kjærgaard, Assistant Prof., AIAS Fellow
Phone: + 4587153773
Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies
Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B Building 1630, 310
8000 Aarhus C