Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Money for a risky idea

06.08.2014

Daring research projects are supported by the Volkswagen Foundation with a funding format known as “Experiment!”. Now, Würzburg scientist Dr. Bhupesh Prusty has received one of the coveted grants. Prusty believes that a virus is the trigger for a series of diseases affecting the nervous system.

Scientists with extremely unusual and risky research ideas that may also run counter to conventional thinking struggle these days to obtain money for their projects from the usual funding institutions, such as the German Research Foundation (DFG). So, last year, the Volkswagen Foundation established the funding initiative “Experiment!”.

Since then, the foundation has received 700 applications; only 13 have been approved to date. Now, in the second round, in 2014, a scientist has been awarded one of the few grants. Dr. Bhupesh Prusty is a research associate working under Professor Thomas Rudel, who runs the Department of Microbiology.

Bacteria activate a virus

Prusty believes that he has found a mechanism that might be responsible for the onset of a whole series of disorders of the nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease. In Prusty’s opinion, human herpesvirus 6 might play a key role in this.

According to the normal school of thought, this virus is integrated in the human genome in an inactive state; however, it may be that this is not entirely true. For example, an additional infection with chlamydia, common bacterial pathogens in humans, is enough to activate the virus, as Prusty’s work shows.

Bhupesh Prusty is set to receive EUR 100,000 to spend on substantiating his current initial hypotheses over the coming 18 months to see whether these can be developed into a viable research concept. After that, ideally, he will be able to receive regular funding from the Volkswagen Foundation.

Personal profile

Bhupesh Prusty was born in India, in Raisungura in the state of Odisha, in 1976. He obtained a bachelor’s degree (1996) and master’s degree (1998) from Sambalpur University. He earned a doctorate at Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, before joining Professor Harald zur Hausen’s team at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg as a post-doctoral researcher from January 2006 to December 2008. Since January 2009, he has been conducting research under Professor Thomas Rudel at the Department of Microbiology at the University of Würzburg’s Biocenter.

The funding initiative

The funding initiative entitled “Experiment!” supports research projects in science and engineering as well as in the life sciences, including behavioral biology and experimental psychology. It targets “radically new research ideas that fundamentally challenge established knowledge, seek to establish unconventional hypotheses, methodologies, or technologies, or focus on entirely new research approaches,” as the Volkswagen Foundation writes. The initiative funds “fundamentally new research topics with an indefinite outcome” over a limited period of time.

Gunnar Bartsch | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>