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 New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

nachricht Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another
12.12.2018 | Technische Universität München

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: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magic number colloidal clusters

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Live from the ocean research vessel Atlantis

13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>