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Freie Universität Berlin
Country: Germany
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268 Projects, page 1 of 54
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101097053
    Overall Budget: 2,242,580 EURFunder Contribution: 2,242,580 EUR

    Resilience designates the ability of the brain to cope with and adapt to stressful situations. Sleep homeostasis is tightly linked to resilience, and the sleep deficits observed alongside neurodegeneration probably operate as direct “drivers” of neurodegeneration. However, the knowledge gaps still remain huge and causally bridging the molecular/cellular with the behavioral and organismic level remains a challenge, hampering progress equally for biomedical and basic research. Our recent data suggest that a form of presynaptic active zone plasticity (“PreScale”), widely triggered in sleep-deprived Drosophila brains, can enhance the brain resilience to cope with the adverse effects of sleep deprivation. Concretely, genetically fostering PreScale in sleepless mutants rescued them from their reduced lifetime, stress sensitivity, cognitive deficits and hyperexcitability due to too low levels of voltage-gated potassium channels. In SynProtect, we seek to test our hypothesis that PreScale constitutes a globally-operating homeostatic plasticity mechanism remodeling presynaptic terminals comprehensively to tune resilience states. In order to test this idea, we will elucidate the core molecular scenario executing and bidirectionally regulating PreScale and, consequently, decipher how exactly the remodeling of the mere presynaptic active zones and local excitability tuning via potassium channels intersect at the presynaptic terminal. In parallel, we will test whether PreScale is needed to enhance resilience in a brainwide fashion or if its modus operandi is more local. Genetic manipulation of PreScale will allow us to define brain states of high and low resilience, which we will dissect combining super-resolution and in vivo activity imaging and proteomic tools. Thus, we will open the way towards a comprehensive insight into the activity, signaling and metabolic profile of brain resilience.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 653188
    Overall Budget: 159,461 EURFunder Contribution: 159,461 EUR

    This project aims to establish an in-depth understanding of the administration and control of high-temperature industries on an urban level and the socio-economic relationship between the elite and the non-elite members of society in Late Bronze Age (LBA) Egypt and Mesopotamia (c. 1650-1050 BC). It has been recognised in the past that within the urban settlements of Egypt and Mesopotamia the production of basic faience- and glass-objects frequently occurred in the same urban domestic context as that of foodstuffs, using the same tools and firing structures. This analysis will particularly highlight how elite control influenced these domestic industries in an urban setting, and to what extent this influenced the role of the members of a non-elite population and the urban infrastructure. The project will examine the following aspects: (1) The spatial analysis of the relationship between the production of glass artefacts and that of faience goods and foodstuffs using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology: Concentrating on the New Kingdom Egyptian settlement of Amarna, domestic and administrative archaeological contexts containing a combination of glass-working, faience manufacture and food production will be identified, documented and analysed in detail. (2) The organisation of workshops and areas of industrial activity throughout the urban sites and their infrastructures, within both LBA Egypt and Mesopotamia: This will also be done using GIS, but will also include published and unpublished materials and contemporary textual sources providing knowledge about urban workshops and domestic industrial settings. (3) A comparison of industrial activities within ancient Egyptian settlements and those taking place in contemporary ancient Mesopotamian settlement and palace sites. (4) Export and trade facilities and networks, in order to demonstrate how the produce of these industries was consumed, transported and, possibly, traded.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 742470
    Overall Budget: 243,353 EURFunder Contribution: 243,353 EUR

    IDEM analyses the didactic strategies of the medical establishment in Germany, the UK and North America in educating the public about the benefits of experimental medicine. The period of focus is from 1870 to 1914: the key expansion phase for experimental medicine in physiology, toxicology, surgery and immunology. Educational strategies were important for ensuring the on-going freedom of medical research in the face of opposition from the lay public on ethical, moral and aesthetic grounds. Potential legal checks on medical practice motivated doctors to change anti-scientific opinion through informal educational strategies, involving the dissemination of knowledge, the disparagement of opponents of experimentation, and influence over popular emotional reactions to medical science. IDEM probes the internal politics of the medical establishments of each area and the ways in which they learnt from each other through networks of exchange and experience. IDEM’s objectives are: 1. To explore the pedagogical techniques and strategies of the medical establishment in their efforts to “sell” experimental medicine to the lay public, in England, Germany and North America, c. 1870-1914. 2. To reveal the ways in which these techniques and strategies involved transnational networks and exchanges among these countries that worked to represent an orthodoxy of medical endeavour. 3. To interpret how far medical didacticism in this period depended upon affective appeals, either instead of or embedded into the dissemination of medical knowledge, and the extent to which such appeals were gendered. 4. To analyse the extent to which the defence of medical experimentation transformed both medical institutions and medical personalities into a) political agents and b) public bodies. 5. To assess the extent to which affective didacticism sought to change the emotional responses of both the public and of medical practitioners to the sights, practices and results of experimental medicine.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 101087755
    Overall Budget: 1,993,270 EURFunder Contribution: 1,993,270 EUR

    New observational capabilities with the JWST and ARIEL space telescopes will strongly advance our ability to characterize exoplanetary atmospheres. While the community focusses mainly on biosignatures, in DIVERSE I will search for signatures of geophysical factors that influence habitability, specifically the diversity of planetary redox states. The redox state is of major importance for habitability, since reducing conditions favour prebiotic chemistry for life as we know it. Atmospheres of rocky planets are typically divided into two distinct classes – H2/He-dominated (reduced) atmospheres of primordial origin – here denoted as Class I planets – or secondary (more oxidized) atmospheres of volcanic origin – here named Class II planets. In the Solar System, observations are limited to old, evolved atmospheres that became oxidized over time and do not allow to directly constrain the planets’ interior redox states. Furthermore, detection of reduced species such as CO or CH4 does not unambiguously link back to the interior redox state. In contrast, if we were able to detect H2-dominated atmospheres lacking He – here called Class X planets – the most likely explanation would be strongly reduced degassing from the magma ocean or subsequent volcanism. Distinguishing Class I and X planets would truly allow to constrain the planetary redox state and indicate how it depends on observables such as stellar composition or planetary mass. Estimates on the distribution and observability of Class X planets are yet missing but became recently possible. DIVERSE will build strong predictive, theoretical models, linking the interior evolution including core formation with atmospheric abundance and erosion models including the observability potential, to determine the diverse evolution pathways of reducing atmospheres of primary, secondary or hybrid origin. I will thus address whether (and for which planet classes) the atmosphere could indeed serve as a window into the interior.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 844271
    Overall Budget: 246,669 EURFunder Contribution: 246,669 EUR

    Fundamental properties of 2D materials are dramatically modified when they are brought next to each other to form a vertical heterostructure. Then, the combination of the 2D layers as well as the relative orientation between them ultimately determines the performance of the new hybrid material. This presents tremendous new opportunities for manipulating the behaviour of 2D layered materials and ultimately achieving unprecedented control over their performance when integrated into highly specific functional devices. However, research in this field is in its nascent stage and many exciting phenomena remain to be discovered. The main objective of TWISTM is to unravel the most fundamental properties of unexplored graphene- and transition metal dichalcogenide-based bilayers arising from many-body interactions. Progress here requires of a comprehensive microscopic picture of the fundamental properties of the heterostructures in clear connection to their macroscopic behaviour. TWISTM will tackle this challenge by using local probe techniques (STM and s-SNOM) with sub-nm resolution combined with mesoscopic electron transport measurements on in-house engineered twisted bilayers with accurate misalignment angles. TWISTM comprises three goals: i) to develop and optimize a fabrication method towards the achievement of high-quality twisted bilayers, ii) a multiscale search for collective electronic and optical phenomena arising from the coupling between the layers; iii) A full characterization of the superconducting and magnetic properties as a function of the chosen materials combination and twist angle. Overall the project aims at acquiring fundamental scientific knowledge with potential for technological applications that will be useful in both academia and industry. Furthermore, TWISTM will offer high-quality interdisciplinary training to a young researcher helping her to develop a promising independent scientific research career as well as her own scientific network.

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