Areas of research
Magdeburg enjoys an outstanding reputation in the academic world as a top-tier neuroscience research site with researchers of world renown. Additional impulses are given through the Excellence Initiative of the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt.
Neuroscience has traditionally been an integral part and profile-defining aspect of the Medical Academy of Magdeburg (founded in 1954) in which the study of learning and memory processes played a prominent role. After the founding of the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology (LIN) in Magdeburg in the eighties, and the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg (OVGU) in the nineties, a cross-faculty cooperation emerged that led Magdeburg towards a center of competence for neuroscientific research. To improve networking and synergies within this diverse research landscape the Center for Behavioral Brain Sciences (CBBS) was founded in February 2007. The CBBS organizes the interdisciplinary work of research-intensive groups in experimental and clinical neurosciences and related fields. It supports the next generation of scientists, sources external funding and coordinates the transfer of research.
The CBBS is equipped at the highest level. A special mention deserves the inauguration the first 7-Tesla MRI scanner and associated department in Europe in 2005. To further the technological development of the location, there have been investments in MR-PET, small animal imaging and micro-imaging with the world's first commercial 2-channel STED. In the development of new neuroimaging and visualization techniques and multimodal imaging in various fields of cognitive neuroscience, the Cobinatorial Neuroimaging (CNI) Core Facility provides groundbreaking research.
The neurosciences are a research focus of particular social relevance, with great potential for cross-disciplinary work. Through selective emphasis in the classic (medicine, biology, psychology) and modern areas of neurosciences (e.g. neuro-economics, theory of mind philosophy, technical cognitive systems, medical technology, visual computing) a unifying momentum was established, which has resulted in now four DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centres (SFB). In addition to the local neuro-SFB 779 these are the two transregional SFB TRR 31 with the University of Oldenburg, TRR 62 together with the University of Ulm, and the SFB 854. The Collaborative Research Centres are defining elements in university research and teaching, as they support not only the research work, but also young scientists through integrated graduate programs and they represent the neuro-location Magdeburg at international meetings and put it on the scientific world map.
The research focus on neuroscience (CBBS) maintains close partnerships with application-oriented approaches in the field of mind-machine interfaces, and supports the further development of human imaging (MRI, PET, CT, SPECT) in health care. In this area, medical technology plays a key role. From the collaboration of engineering, natural science, medicine, Siemens Healthcare AG, and regional business enterprises, the research campus STIMULATE (Solution Centre for Image Guided Local Therapies) for innovative medical technology was established in early 2013. At the STIMULATE campus, technologies for image-guided minimally invasive methods in medicine are being developed to improve both medical treatment methods as well as to curb the exploding health care costs. The focus is on the most common diseases in the areas of oncology, neurology and vascular disease.
Another important partner of CBBS-organized neuroscience research is the German center for neurodegenerative diseases (DZNE) founded in 2009. This research center of the Helmholtz Association focuses on research on dementia and examines its causes and risk factors, to derive from these findings new strategies for therapy and care.