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Research

Research Training Groups

Research Training Groups at FAU

Research Training Groups (RTG) support young researchers. They give doctoral candidates the opportunity to carry out their work within the framework of a co-ordinated research programme supported by senior researchers and professors. FAU is currently involved in ten Research Training Groups for which it is the co-ordinating university.

Research Training Groups co-ordinated by FAU

The main goal of this Research Training Group is to train and support young researchers working in the field of adaptive immunity. The research programme will make fundamental contributions to the understanding of adaptive immune response under physiological and pathophysiological conditions through molecular analysis of three key cell populations (dendritic cells, B cells and T cells).
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Until now, in debates within the context of international research, temporal and spatial presence has been discussed within the confines of the European history of ideas, with a particular focus on aesthetic discourses. In contrast to these debates, the Research Training Group ‘Presence and tacit knowledge’ adopts a comparative approach and examines culturally divergent forms of the discursification of presence in different social fields.
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This project aims to develop global illumination processes for heterogeneous image systems. The first step is to create a base algorithm which can be used to enable different illumination processes to run on a wide range of hardware, from mobile phones to high-end desktop computers, in variable quality. In the next stage, the project intends to produce middleware for global illumination on heterogeneous architectures.
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Nanotechnology provides methods of structuring materials on the smallest level which lead to new properties and functions. However, this requires modern forms of nanocharacterisation, and new and improved in situ procedures. This Research Training Group is studying these topics. The in situ methods make it possible to investigate the formation, stability and mechanical integrity of nanostructures directly on the nanoscopic and microscopic scale and uncover the relationships between structure and functionality.
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The young researchers in this Research Training Group aim to find substances which interact with G protein-coupled receptors which can be used to treat diseases of the central nervous system with minimal side effects. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are proteins which play an important role in the human body in the transmission of sensory data and communication between cells and their environment. They are involved in a wide range of essential processes in the body. Serious diseases can be caused if GPCRs malfunction. New findings about these proteins could lead to promising new forms of treatment.
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Cell membranes, the thin barriers which surround animal and plant cells, are the main focus of this Research Training Group’s research. They consist largely of lipids and proteins, which cells use to communicate with each other and which play an important role in transport and growth processes. New findings could lead to a better molecular understanding of many diseases and therefore contribute to new treatments in the future.
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How is the development of the central nervous system (CNS) related to the occurrence of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases in late adulthood? To what extent do development processes influence resistance to CNS diseases in adulthood? What are the most important factors here? These are just some of the fundamental questions that the doctoral candidates in RTG 2162 are investigating using methods such as animal models and induced pluripotent stem cells developed from patients’ cells.

How do diseases develop due to viruses and bacteria? CRC 796 and the integrated Research Training Group aim to acquire new fundamental knowledge which will help answer this key biological question. As part of this work, the researchers are considering the molecular mechanisms behind the development of disease. Their main focus is on the structural and molecular bases and mechanisms of the interaction between factors which enable pathogens to intervene in the host organism and factors in the host cells which provide favourable conditions for disease.
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Inflammation is the key response strategy of the body to react to tissue stress and damage. The activation of the immune system related to inflammatory reaction needs closer attention. In this context particular importance is attached to the molecular checkpoints, which are responsible for stopping inflammatory reaction in time and finally for its resolution. In fact, there is still very limited knowledge on the mechanisms of resolution, however they are of central relevance for pathogenesis and therapy of chronic inflammatory diseases. Internal diseases in humans of the joints (arthritis), gut (colitis) and lung (asthma), are characterised by chronification of inflammatory reaction. The collaborative research centre ‘Checkpoints for Resolution of Inflammation’ aims to investigate the molecular mechanisms which cause the chronification or resolution of inflammation. The SFB 1181 initiative is a collaboration between the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen. It includes 19 research projects which aim to investigate the molecular checkpoints which cause the chronification or resolution of inflammation as well as innovative instruments for equal opportunities, the promotion of young researchers and networking.

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CRC/Transregio 130 contributes to the fundamental understanding of autoimmune diseases by carrying out research into why the immune system turns on the body in certain diseases. As B cells are often the root cause in diseases which are based on autoimmune reactions, CRC/Transregio 130 is focusing its research on the antibody response to foreign bodies triggered by B cells and what goes wrong in this process in autoimmune diseases.
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Gas will play an important role as an energy source during the energy reform that is due to take place in the coming decades as Germany moves away from nuclear energy in favour of more environmentally friendly energy sources. There is sufficient gas available and it can be easily sourced and stored. However, ensuring efficient gas supply involves dealing with issues related to transport, network technology, market regulations and using gas in conjunction with other energy sources. The goal of CRC/Transregio 154 is to meet these challenges using mathematical modelling, simulation and optimisation in order to provide solutions which set a new quality standard. New knowledge of various fields of mathematics, such as mathematical modelling, numerical analysis and simulation, or integer, continuous and stochastic optimisation are required to achieve this.
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Research Training Groups involving FAU

FAU is not currently involved in any Research Training Groups co-ordinated by other universities.