Senator for Science visits Charité Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure


Understanding the disease mechanisms of neurological and psychiatric disorders better and developing new therapeutic approaches—these are the goals of the Berlin-based NeuroCure Excellence Cluster at Charité. The cluster has brought many excellent scientists to Berlin and established important platforms and structures. Today, Dr. Ina Czyborra, Berlin's Senator for Science, Health, and Care, visited the site to learn about their work.

Excellence clusters represent cutting-edge research, extending far beyond their location boundaries. For 16 years, the NeuroCure Excellence Cluster has been dedicated to intensive research on the nervous system and its disorders—supported by federal and state funding, initially through the Excellence Initiative and later the Excellence Strategy. This interdisciplinary research consortium fosters networking among outstanding scientists and their activities. The close collaboration between fundamental research and clinical studies results in the swift application of new treatment or diagnostic approaches.

During the Senator's visit to the Charité Campus Mitte, topics discussed included current research findings, career advancement, gender equality, and science communication, involving Charité Dean Prof. Joachim Spranger, the spokesperson for the Excellence Cluster Prof. Dietmar Schmitz, Managing Director Dr. Claudia Mahlke, and the Equality and Diversity Officer, Kimberly Mason.

One focus of the discussion was on diversity and equal opportunities, particularly regarding a special funding initiative for postdoctoral researchers in neuroscience—the NeuroCure Research Fellow Program. These two-year research fellowships support women during their critical career phase, offering extensive, flexible support for their projects, childcare, mentoring, courses, and a network of former fellows and established female scientists. With success: Half of the supported graduates can now pursue independent positions. In the current funding period, NeuroCure has awarded eleven more fellowships to young women.

Science Senator Dr. Czyborra gains insights into a NeuroCure laboratory and engages in conversation with young female researchers. © NeuroCure | Claudia Kunze

Dr. Lisa Scheunemann and Dr. Rosanna Sammons are currently researching the rules by which our brain stores experiences in long-term memory and how individual and small groups of human neurons respond to altered activities within the network, as part of their fellowship. Dr. Czyborra met them in the laboratory while they were engaged in their work and discussed their future prospects in the field of science.

Today's visit is part of a series in which the Science Senator visits all seven excellence clusters in Berlin, aiming to gain insight into their research achievements and significance for the city. She's learning about future plans and understanding what is essential to maintain excellence in science in Berlin.


Excellence Clusters
The Excellence Strategy is an ongoing federal and state funding program for outstanding research. In the 2019 nationwide research competition, a total of 57 concepts successfully secured funding as excellence clusters—seven of them located at Berlin's universities. These clusters receive annual funding for seven years, each receiving up to ten million euros, implementing projects in internationally significant research fields. One-quarter of the costs are covered by the state of Berlin, which additionally supports each cluster with a professorship.

More information
NeuroCure Research Fellowships for Female Postdocs in the Neurosciences

Berlin University Alliance

Berlin Senator for Science, Health and Care, Dr. Ina Czyborra visits the Berlin Clusters of Excellence


Go back