The ENC-Network

ENC-Network is a network organization of Neuroscience Centers in Europe (and Canada) with the aim to organize – and formalize – research collaborations, to collaborate on grant acquisition strategies and to create exchange opportunities at all levels of education and professional work.

PEN speaks to the co-ordinator of the ENC Network, Professor Arjen Bussaard, about the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in training the next generation of brain disease researchers.Many leading research-institutes in Europe in the field of Neurosciences are currently facing globalization issues which can no longer be solved through individual initiatives or focus on (inter-)national funding strategies in a reactive manner. In order to be able to face all new challenges that come with nowadays leadership, we have created an endurable network of Neuroscience Centers focusing on creating new opportunities for brain research, from molecule to bedside.

The major partner-institutes in this new European network organization have been selected on quality, ambition and capicity. The ENC-home institutes all have a long and established track record in MSc and PhD training in the field of Integrative Neuroscience.

ENC partners have discovered novel principles of how neurons pass information onto other neurons, and how the genetics of the brain directly determines neuronal connectivity up to the level of individual synapses, i.e. the connections between individual neurons. Also by working from bedside-to-bench we have found novel genetic variations of genes in particular patient cohorts. The coupling between the genetic makeup and the study of the function of the brain creates new insights in how prevalent brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are caused, how these diseases can be diagnosed early-on and how therapies varying from immunization, genetic stem cell therapy and/or deep brain electrical stimulation may provide elevation of the disease symptoms.

It is essential that these novel insights in the basic elements of brain function and the causal mechanisms of brain diseases are passed on to new generations of neuroscientists, neurologists and psychiatrists in a timely fashion. The ENC-Network provides graduate training through original research in high profile research laboratories and bringing together the EU top seniors and younger generations in a stimulating and accredited network.