This special offer aims at young Berlin scientists from the eight institutions participating in the EC3R. With this call, the EC3R gives them the opportunity to learn about innovative technologies and applications of 3R research that complement the methodological competencies within Berlin, referring to all three Rs - not only to the replacement of animal models or the use of alternative methods. Travel and accommodation costs of up to 3.000 € per person can be reimbursed. All applications will be reviewed by members of the EC3R according to transparent and strict criteria.
The call for proposals for 2023 has already expired. Morris Baumgardt (Charité), Sijie Liu (FU Berlin) and Sunhild Hartmann (Charité/ECRC) are funded. The call for 2024 will be released as early as late summer 2023 through numerous channels - websites, Twitter, within participating institutions.
As part of the EC3R Outgoing Lab Visit Program, Sarah Schmerbeck, PhD student in the group of PD Dr. Mergenthaler, visited the group of Prof. Alastair Buchan at Oxford University, and collaborated with Dr. Paul Holloway. The research of Prof. Buchan and Dr. Holloway combines multicellular 3D models with advanced microfluidic organ-on-chip systems. Dr. Holloway has successfully established several organ-on-chip platforms that reproduce various key aspects of pathophysiological stroke mechanisms. The system used for this project comprises of a 3D neuro-glial-vascular-unit-on-chip that combines three main cell types of the blood brain barrier (BBB): endothelial cells, pericytes and astrocytes. Ultimately, this chip system will be tested as a complementary approach to the PhD project of Sarah Schmerbeck to study neuroinflammation after stroke.
"The research and advanced training experience at the Institute of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) was excellent. I had the rare opportunity to study pressure and volume overload in human engineered heart tissue using the well-built infrastructure. I was given the opportunity to present my work to the experts at UKE and received valuable feedback and encouragement. The dynamic research environment fosters active discussions and challenges young investigators to think out of the box. The insights and connections I gained at UKE will remain valuable for life."
"With generous financial support provided by the Einstein Centre 3R Berlin I was given the chance to visit the lab of Dr. Henri Xhaard at the university of Helsinki between August and November 2022. I’m a computational scientist conducting research into disease-related proteins employing in silico modelling techniques with the overarching aim of designing innovative and highly selective disease-modifying small molecules. Computational research is fit to cut down on the number of animal sacrifices necessary for sufficient testing of novel chemical entities to enable market authorisation. My PhD project is concerned with the investigation of orphan cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes such as CYP4A11, which is suspected to be implicated in the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). I received valuable training in computational techniques for modelling protein structures and ligand binding behaviour complementary to those established in my home lab in Berlin. Consequently, I was able to obtain a set of promising hit compounds with potential to inhibit CYP4A11 currently undergoing final selection ultimately leading up to in vitro testing by our collaborators. Taken together, the research visit both equipped me with an incredibly rewarding opportunity to foster mutual intercultural understanding and took my research an enormous step forward."