Published: 23-09-2011 00:00 | Updated: 26-11-2013 10:29

Top talents at KI receive ERC grant

[News 13 Sep. 2011] Three researchers at Karolinska Institutet are to receive a Starting Independent Researcher Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). The highly prestigious Starting Grant is awarded to particularly outstanding junior researchers.

This year the ERC received over four thousand applications, and expects to provide up to two million euro a year in financing for some 480 researchers in Europe.

The following researchers at Karolinska Institutet have been awarded a grant:

Andreas Olsson, Department of Clinical Neuroscience

Project: Emotional learning in social interaction

How do we learn to dislike or fear other people? Social interaction is often decided by the values we place on each other: we cooperate with those we like and avoid or are aggressive towards those we dislike or are afraid of.

Andreas Olsson's study examines how such emotional values are created, upheld and changed, and aims to use experimental methods to describe the cerebral basis of these learning processes and how they are manifested in our social behaviour.

Gilad Silberberg, Department of Neuroscience

Project: Sensory integration in the Striatal microcircuit.

When our sensory organs are stimulated, the information they receive is transmitted up to the brain. The signals are then processed and then sent on to the muscles. The control of movement and the learning of motor patterns are largely determined by a part of the brain called the basal ganglia. Lesions in this area cause a range of diseases, such as Parkinson's and ADHD.

The goal of this project is to find out how signals and connections in this network are made, which will provide new knowledge on how movement is controlled in both healthy and diseased individuals.

András Simon, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology

Project: Novel strategies for brain regeneration

András Simon's study uses salamanders to study regeneration, a research field that deals with replacing lost cells or body parts with new ones. The salamander is unique in its ability to regenerate lost body parts, such as legs, tail and heart muscles; other vertebrates can only regenerate certain kinds of tissue.

András Simon has previously produced new experimental models to compare regeneration processes in salamanders and mammals. The objective of this project is to examine how neurons can be regenerated in the human brain by applying knowledge of the process in the salamander.

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