EU funding for NRU

Congratulations to Gitte Moos Knudsen and Vibe Frøkjær for being co-PIs on the EU funded Innovative Training Network Serotonin and Beyond: Brain development research Excelling Young Ones in Neurotechnologies and Discoveries. The ITN is coordinated from Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, NL and NRU receives funding for a full PhD stipend (3 years).

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter playing a crucial in the onset and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Most of the drugs
currently used in psychiatry target serotonin (neuro)transmission. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the efficacy
of these drugs is suboptimal. As a result, the prevalence and burden of these disorders remain high. A new wave of research
revealed that serotonin plays important role in neurodevelopment. Changes in serotonin levels lead to changes in
developmental processes with consequences for the serotonin system and beyond. This makes it plausible that the origins
of these disorders do not per se lie in disturbed serotonin neurotransmission, but rather in serotonin-mediated
neurodevelopmental changes. This would require a radical different view on disease burden reduction. We hypothesize that
it are the serotonin-mediated non-serotonergic downstream changes in neurodevelopment that are at the basis of serotoninrelated
neuropsychiatric disorders. SEROTONIN and BEYOND will establish an interdisciplinary, intersectoral and
international scientific network to test this hypothesis. It will enable paradigm shifts in the understanding of vulnerability to
neuropsychiatric disorders, and provide groundwork for critical windows in development for future interventions. To achieve
these goals, top-class academic and industrial scientists will train Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in the full spectrum of
state-of-the-art neuroscientific technical approaches. We will also equip these ESRs with translational and entrepreneurial
thinking by providing intersectoral and transferable skills training. In summary, we will train a new generation of ESRs in the
integrated field of serotonin, neurodevelopment and psychiatry to deliver 15 excellent young researchers who are optimally
prepared for their future academic and industrial careers.