Developing neuroscience in Romania and in Eastern Europe

The Transylvanian Institute of Neuroscience - TINS - is pleased to announce the launch of the NEUROTWIN project, a scientific collaboration and institution building endeavor, funded through the Twinning instrument, call H2020-WIDESPREAD-2020-5, of the European Union.

Neuroscience is a cutting-edge, multidisciplinary field of science, which seeks to unravel the mysteries of the brain. It has a strong impact on the understanding of healthy and pathological brain functions and inspires novel computational principles for artificial intelligence. Neuroscience is less represented in Eastern Europe compared to other countries. One effort aimed at changing this is linked to TINS. The EU-funded NEUROTWIN project will organize a twinning opportunity between TINS and three internationally acclaimed European institutions that will advance its neuroscientific research, increase its international visibility, and develop its intellectual property and technology transfer procedures. Overall, the project will consolidate a pole for neuroscience development in Eastern Europe by providing increased capacity to perform cutting-edge research.

NEUROTWIN means the collaboration of the young institute from Cluj, for three years, with three research institutes of international prestige:

  • Ernst Strungmann Institute for Neuroscience (ESI), Frankfurt am Main, Germany;
  • Imagine Institut des Maladies Genetiques (Imagine), Paris, France;
  • Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, University College London (UCL), London, United Kingdom.

NEUROTWIN objectives are:

  • to increase the scientific competence of TINS researchers;
  • to increase the innovation capacity of TINS;
  • to enhance the international visibility and prestige of TINS;
  • to improve TINS' capacity to compete for research funding;
  • to promote the involvement of early stage researchers at TINS.

NEUROTWIN will organize:

  • visits of TINS early-stage researchers to partners' research institutes;
  • on-line seminars held by top researchers in the field of neuroscience to attract young Romanian researchers to this field – please follow us on our Facebook page for details;
  • lectures by senior TINS researchers at partner institutes;
  • TENSS - Transylvanian Experimental Neuroscience Summer School.

Who is TINS, the coordinator of the NEUROTWIN?

The Transylvanian Institute of Neuroscience is a private, non-profit research institute founded by neuroscientists. Its main mission is to further neuroscientific research by studying the dynamics of neural circuits in health and disease. TINS also focuses on research in cognitive sciences and brain-inspired artificial intelligence.

Who are the researchers involved in the project?

  • TINS is honored by the participation of an international team of top-level researchers:

    Prof. Dr. Wolf Singer, ESI – "There is probably no research field comprising as many different disciplines as brain research. Genetic and molecular methods are as indispensable as behavioural, psychological and computational approaches. It is thus imperative that neuroscientists team up with colleagues who have complementary expertise in different domains. Twinning grants are an ideal instrument to foster such cooperation across national boundaries. In the present case the grant ties together labs from three European countries with electrophysiological and computational expertise that have the common goal to decipher principles of information processing. A special feature if this twinning consortium is its competence in the analysis of the complex dynamics emerging from neuronal interactions in recurrent networks."

    Dr. Edor Kabashi, Imagine – "For me NEUROTWIN is truly a multidisciplinary project going from fundamental and theoretical neuroscience to translational research in this vast domain. I am truly thrilled to participate to this initiative that will certainly promote young researchers from different areas of Europe to share their experience and to learn new skills. Obviously, it is not the ideal moment for travel, but the initial Zoom meetings have been great to learn more about our current topics and remain convinced that research and science is the way forward from pandemics and similar calamities."

    Prof. Dr. Thomas Mrsic-Flogel, UCL – "Communication between brain areas underpins a diversity of cognitive processes and behaviours. A major challenge has been to understand the principles of communication between neuronal populations. NEUROTWIN is an exciting opportunity to developed interdisciplinary collaborations and methodologies that address this challenge."

  • The TINS team participating in the NEUROTWIN project has a rich theoretical and experimental experience in the field of neuroscience:

    Dr. Ing. Raul C. Mureșan; dr. Maria M. Ercsey-Ravasz; dr. ing. Vlad V. Moca; dr. ing. Adriana Nagy-Dăbâcan; Harald Bârzan, PhD fellow; Andrei Ciuparu, PhD fellow; Loredana Dan, PhD fellow; ing. Medorian Gheorghiu, PhD fellow; Ana Maria Ichim, PhD fellow.

NEUROTWIN at a glance:

Title in full: Promoting S&T excellence and increasing the innovation capacity of the Transylvanian Institute of Neuroscience;
Grant agreement #952096; Start date: January 1, 2021; Duration: 36 months;
Maximum project value: 799,425 Euro;
Program: H2020-EU.4.b. - Twinning of research institutions; Call for projects: H2020-WIDESPREAD-2020-5