Nordic networks to explore Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, stroke, migraine, epilepsy, cancer and autoimmune and metabolic disorders

Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, stroke, migraine, epilepsy, cancer and autoimmune and metabolic disorders – these are examples of diseases that will be explored by the three Nordic networks that have been granted financial support from the joint Nordic venture ”Nordic Centre of Excellence Programme in Molecular Medicine”.

During 2004-2009 the three Centres of Excellence coordinated from Norway, Sweden, and Finland, respectively, will receive approximately 2 million EURO each, funding that will mainly be used for promoting researcher mobility, education, and exchange between Nordic research teams. Despite different topics, approaches and methods, the networks have a common goal: to expand the genetic and molecular knowledge about common diseases that are causing an increasing burden on the society, thereby creating improved conditions for better treatments.

Nordic added value

Molecular medicine is a research field where the Nordic countries have a unique advantage with assets such as extensive and reliable patient and epidemiological registries, biobanks, uniform high-level health care systems, as well as a strong tradition in genetic and biomedical research. An increased collaboration between the countries represents a joining of forces, contributing to an efficient use of the Nordic resources in order to increase the scientific quality and extent of the Nordic research and to make it more visible and attractive.

Centres of Excellence

The three Nordic Centres of Excellence (NCoEs) granted funding are:

  • Nordic Centre of Excellence for Research in Water Imbalance Related Disorders (WIRED). Co-ordinator is professor Ole Petter Ottersen who is active at Institute of basic medical sciences at Oslo University. The NCoE is composed of four research teams from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.
  • Nordic Centre of Excellence in Neurodegeneration, co-ordinated by professor Patrik Brundin, Wallenberg Neuroscience Centre at Lund University. A total of 12 teams from Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway are included.
  • Nordic Network of Excellence in Disease Genetics (NoNEDG). Professor Leena Peltonen at Biomedicum, University of Helsinki co-ordinates the NCoE which comprises six research teams from Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.

Financiers

The initiators and financiers of the Programme are the Joint Committee of the Nordic Medical Research Councils (NOS-M), the Nordic Council of Ministers, and the Nordic Academy for Advanced Study (NorFA). NOS-M is composed of representatives of the Nordic medical/health research councils: the Scientific Council for Medicine (the Swedish Research Council), the Danish Medical Research Council, the Research Council for Health (Academy of Finland), the Research Council of Norway, and the Icelandic Centre for Research.

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