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New Research Training Group to investigate novel treatment approaches for brain diseases approved


Once again Schleswig-Holstein demonstrates its success as a research location: the German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved the new Kiel-based Research Training Group (RTG) 2154 “Materials for Brain: Thin film functional materials for minimally invasive therapy of brain diseases”. This will enable Kiel University to combine the fields of medicine and materials science further in the future, both in research and in doctoral training. In the new RTG, highly complex functional materials will be investigated to create neurological implants and to identify new treatment strategies for brain diseases. The RTG will receive around 4.1 million Euros over the period of four and a half years.

Patients with brain diseases such as epilepsy, tumours or vascular diseases are usually treated with high doses of medication, which often have major side-effects. As an alternative, neurological implants can offer a localised, individualised and low-dosage treatment.

A modern stent retriever for the treatment of strokes is an example for the functional materials, that will be researched in the new RTG.

Olav Jansen

These functional materials must be compact, biologically compatible, durable and highly flexible – i.e. they must fulfil extremely complex requirements. Therefore, investigating such materials require the combined expertise of medical and materials science.

“In this interdisciplinary Research Training Group, we can connect our existing world-class research in the fields of medicine and materials science even better. In Kiel, we are able to offer ideal conditions to train highly qualified young scientists in highly promising future areas of medicine.

I would like to congratulate everyone involved!” the delighted President of Kiel University, Professor Lutz Kipp, commented on the success. Both the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Medicine at Kiel University are involved.

Central aspects of the doctoral training in the RTG “Materials for Brain” are interdisciplinarity and internationality. Each doctoral candidate will be supervised by members of both faculties, attend joint seminars, and take part in interdisciplinary coaching programmes. In addition, the structured research and qualification programme should serve as a platform for international exchange. This is facilitated by internationally advertising the doctoral positions, a compulsory stay abroad, and an international symposium, amongst other things.

“Nationally and internationally, there will be a rapidly growing need for specially trained scientists to carry out complex research tasks combining medicine and materials science,” said Christine Selhuber-Unkel, spokesperson for the RTG and Professor for Biocompatible Nanomaterials at Kiel University. “We want to train these interdisciplinary specialists in our Research Training Group. As such, we value and promote high qualification, starting with the selection procedure of our doctoral candidates.”

Photos are available for download under:
The project leaders of the new Research Training Group 2154 „Materials for Brain: Thin film functional materials for minimally invasive therapy of brain
diseases“ are very delighted about the grant. First line, from the left: Eckard Quandt, Olav Jansen, Christine Selhuber-Unkel, Ulrich Stephani, Franz Faupel. Second line, from the left: Rainer Adelung, Janka Held-Feindt, Regine Willumeit-Römer, Peer Wulff, Kirsten Hattermann.
Foto/Copyright: Research Training Group Materials for Brain
A modern stent retriever for the treatment of strokes from a cooperation project of the working groups from Professor Eckhard Quandt (Faculty of Engineering) und Professor Olav Jansen (Faculty of Medicine) is an example for the functional materials, that will be researched in the new RTG.
Foto/Copyright: Olav Jansen

Prof. Dr Christine Selhuber-Unkel
Spokesperson for the “Materials for Brain” Research Training Group
Institute for Materials Science
Biocompatible nanomaterials
Tel.: +49 431 880 6198

Kiel University
Press, Communication and Marketing, Dr Boris Pawlowski, Editing: Julia Siekmann
Postal address: D-24098 Kiel, Germany,
Telephone: +49 (0)431 880-2104, Fax: +49 (0)431 880-1355
E-mail:, Internet: 

Dr. Boris Pawlowski | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

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