Partners and Contact Details

Partner 1
Eleanor Coffey, Turku Centre for Biotechnology, Åbo Akademi Univers
ity. (Network Coordinator) Web page.

Coffey-new-cropEleanor Coffey graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 1990 and received her PhD in 1994 from the University of Dundee where she studied molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission. She was awarded a Wellcome Trust Fellowship and thereafter an Academy of Finland Fellowship to work on protein kinase function in brain, from 1994-1997. She founded the Neuronal Signalling Lab in 1997 and is a Research Director at Turku Centre for Biotechnology  since 2000. The Center is an independent research and service unit of the two universities in Turku that hosts state-of-the-art national infrastructures for imaging, next generation sequencing and proteomics. Her lab investigates the molecular mechanisms of kinase function in physiology and disease with a special focus on JNK and LRRK2. Her group is particularly interested in the relevance of JNK function in psychiatric disorders. Her group has contributed new knowledge on the molecular action of JNK in normal brain physiology and more recently in anxiety and depression. They have highlighted the significance of spatial segregation of JNK signalling in neurons. Their methods include high-end imaging, development of optogenetic and viral tools, phospho-proteomics, genetic engineering, biochemistry and animal models and behavior.

Details on projects in Eleanor’s group can be found here.
Contact: Eleanor Coffey

Partner 2
Thomas Frodl, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
Frodl-finalThomas Frodl is Professor (Chair) of Integrated Neuroimaging at Trinity College Dublin and a Principal Investigator in the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. His research integrates neuroimaging, neurophysiology and genetics/epigenetics in order to gain inside into the pathophysiology of disease, vulnerability and resilience. The research group located within the Department of Psychiatry and the Institute of Neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin investigates the effects of stress and of peripheral stress blood markers and the impact of functional genetics, e.g. epigenetics on brain structure and function. Moreover, additional aims are to examine disease courses and to identify biomarkers that are useful for therapy evaluation and prediction of therapy response. Diseases under investigation are affective disorders, schizophrenia and ADHD.See http://people.tcd.ie/frodlt

Prof. Frodl is now also located at Otto Von Guericke University of Magdeburg, Germany.


Anrew Harkin,
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

andrewharkin_cropAndrew Harkin is Associate Professor in Pharmacology in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Trinity College Dublin and a Principal Investigator in the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. His research is focused on the development of biomarkers and antidepressant drug candidates targeting the glutamate-nitric oxide signalling system in the central nervous system employing preclinical models and MR neuroimaging. He is also actively working in the areas of bidirectional nervous system –immune interactions, the role of inflammation in pathogenesis and the potential of anti-inflammatory agents in treating psychiatric disorders. He leads the Neuropsychopharmacology research group comprising 8 PhD students at Trinity College currently funded by EU-FP7, the Health Research Board and Higher Education Authority of Ireland. To date he has published over 60 original research papers in international journals.

Contact: Thomas Frodl

Partner 3
Michael Courtney, Turku Centre for Biotechnology, University of Turku, Finland. Web page.

Courtney-new-cropMichael Courtney graduated from the University of Cambridge (1988) and completed his PhD (1991) at the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Dundee. Fellowships from the Royal Society, Wellcome Trust, Academy of Finland and Sigrid Jusélius Foundation supported his activities in development and application of quantitative imaging approaches in Åbo Akademi, Turku (1992-). He initiated research activities on neuronal stress-activated protein kinase signaling in 1995, with group leader positions at BTK from 1998, and from 2000 at the A.I. Virtanen Institute, Kuopio where he was appointed Professor of Cell Signalling in 2008. This institute has a focus on translational neuroscience and cardiovascular research with high end facilities for MRI, virus production and high-throughput microscopy. His lab continues to investigate mechanisms regulating stress-activated protein kinase signaling in physiological and pathological neuronal functions. Current methods include the application and development of imaging-based signaling reporters and high-throughput imaging-based methods, as well as the development and subcellular targeting of inhibitors. The group recently reported that the adaptor protein NOS1AP acts as a scaffold for the nNOS-p38MAPK pathway, recruiting MKK3 to nNOS and thereby contributing to neurodegenerative signaling. This and more recent nNOS/SAPK research from the group are key findings underlying several of the projects of the reBIRTH programme.

Details on projects in Michael’s group can be found here.
Contact: Michael Courtney

Partner 4
Peter James, Prof. Protein Technology, Lund University, Sweden. Web page

James-cropPeter James graduated from Oxford University and completed his PhD at the ETH in Zurich in 1990. After a two year post-doc in USCF, San Francisco and in ThermoFinnigan, San Jose he returned to the ETH.  He moved to take the chair in Proteomics at Lund University in 2001. He is a member of Founding Board of the Human Proteome Organisation, HUPO and is chairman of the European proteomics association education committee and is on the editorial Boards of the four leading Proteomics journals.  Dr. James is currently Professor of Protein Technology at Lund University and SWEGENE Director of Proteomics.  He has published over 150 peer reviewed articles and reviews in the field of protein chemistry and proteomics and holds 7 patents in proteomics methodologies.  His research field is protein analysis with a focus on protein-protein interaction, membrane proteins and methods development for clinical proteomics. The main focus currently is on diagnosis and therapy outcome prediction for breast cancer and on defining plasma membrane protein targets for directed antibody therapy. Together with Carl Borrebaeck, he is a founding member of CREATE Health, a Stategic Centre for Translational Cancer Research located in the Medicon Village in Lund. By integrating clinicians and researchers from Lund University Hospital with researchers from the Faculties of Medicine, Natural Sciences and Engineering, using a superbly equipped and integrated “omics” platform, concentrated in a single area, a centre uniqu in its kind has been created. The vision of CREATE Health is to use an integrative approach to develop novel diagnostics and therapeutics, based on identified markers and molecular signatures and to create a substantial social impact for the patient..

Details on projects in Peter’s group can be found here.
Contact: Peter James

Partner 5
Martin Walter, Leibnitz Institute for Neurobiology. Web page. Details on projects in Martin’s group can be found here.
Walter-cropMartin Walter studied medicine and philosophy in Magdeburg and Lyon and received his board certification and habilitation in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Department of Psychiatry, Magdeburg. He obtained his PhD at the local graduate school on the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders. In 2008 he founded the CANLAB at the school of medicine after working as a staff physician and postdoc in experimental psychiatry. International appointments include visiting professorships in Beijing and Newark as well as research fellowships and clinical training in Boston, Kansas City and Zürich. Since 2011 he leads the research group on neuropsychiatry at the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology and he coordinates the “cognitive neuroimaging” module at the Integrative Neuroscience Programme of the Otto von Guericke University.


Contact: Martin Walter

Partner 6
Carl Borrebaeck, Immunovia. Web page.Details on projects in Immunovia can be found here.

Borrebaeck-cropImmunovia is a spin-off company run by Prof. Carl Borrebaeck at Lund University. Carl also serves as the Chairman and President of Lund University Innovation System and as Chief Scientific Officer of BioInvent International AB. He is the Chairman of Forskarpatent i Syd AB and the Director of Teknikbrostiftelsen in Lund AB, Teknoseed AB, WntResearch AB, Nordic Vaccine A/S, Alligator Bioscience AB, and other life science companies. Dr. Borrebaeck also serves as a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board at Innovations Kapital and is a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is Assistant Vice-Chancellor at Lund University and Professor at the Department of Immunotechnology at Lund University, Sweden since 1990. His scientific focus is biomedical applications of molecules of the immune system, mainly antibodies, and he has more than 220 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Bioinvent and Immunovia have discovered 20 biomarkers and focus on molecular diagnostics of disease using their proprietary recombinant antibody library (Soderlind et al, Nat. Biotech. 2000). They are experts on single chain Fv antibody engineering and for the reBIRTH project, will engineer affi-bodies recognizing membrane markers of neurogenic cells. Their patented proprietary brain tag-peptide technology will be used to promote high titre affi-body uptake into brain, thereby enabling administration by intra-peritoneal injection.

Contact: Carl Borrebaeck

Partner 7
Raf Berghmans, Advanced Practical Diagnostics N.V. Web page.

Advanced Practical Diagnostics (APD) is a start-up enterprise that produces and markets diagnostic tests as well as carrying out biomarker validation as a service. For this project, APD will optimize kit assays for cytokine and kynurenine measurements as indicators of major depressive disorder, and run a two-day educational workshop on psychoneuroimmunology. The laboratories of APD operate according to good laboratory practice (GLP) with strict quality control through the TUV (Technischer Überwachungs Verein).

Details on projects in Raf Berghman’s group can be found here.
Contact: Raf Berghmans

Partner 8
Kevin Fone,  The University of Notthingam. Web page.

Fone-cropKevin Fone graduated from Liverpool University in 1980 with a BSc in Pharmacology and continued in the same department to obtain a PhD on the central control of respiration in 1984. He then moved to the University of Nottingham and commenced an MRC post doctoral research fellowship with Professor CA Marsden and Dr GW Bennett, examining the role of serotonin (5-HT) in bulbospinal raphe neurones controlling motor function. This established my long-standing interest in the mechanism of action of 5-HT in the CNS and Nottingham has since been home for his research. In 1988 he was appointed to the position of Lecturer in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and I became a Senior lecturer in 1996, a Reader in 2003, and obtained a personal Chair in 2006 in what was then the School of Biomedical Sciences. He was elected a fellow of the British Pharmacological Society in 2012.
His  work continues to take a whole animal integrated physiological approach to investigate the functional role of 5-HT and dopamine in the CNS and to evaluate the impact of early-life interventions on brain development and behaviour. A particular interest is trying to develop and validate rodent models that help improve our understanding of the neurobiological basis of common neurodevelopmental disorders. He lead a team of postgraduate research students, post doctoral research fellows and a senior research fellow working on preclinical models of common CNS disorders. He also headed the CNS disorders research group of academics within the School of Life Science which has extensive research collaboration with pharmaceutical companies around the world.

Details of projects in Kevin’s group can be found here.
Contact: Kevin Fone

Partner 9
Bejing Genomics Institute –  Europe.  Web page.
BGI Europe Institute (BGI www.genomics.cn) is the European headquarter of BGI (formerly known as Beijing Genomics Institute). It was established in 2010 in Copenhagen, Denmark. BGI Europe promotes excellence in genomics and proteomics research. Meanwhile, human health and disease research is one of the main research directions. In the past 3years, many remarkable achievements are gained at BGI Europe, and further more exciting projects are currently in progress with promising milestone results.

Contact: Ryan Liu

Associated Partner

Otto Von Guericke University of Magdeburg, Web page.

Advisory Board

Niels Plath, Head of Department on Synaptic Transmission, H. Lundbeck A/S, Denmark.

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Ivan Galimberti, Developmental Molecular Pathways, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Novartis Pharma A.G. Basel, Swizerland.

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