Münster (upm/kk).
Boost for excellent research: from 1 October, the German Research Foundation will be funding two research alliances at the University of Münster.<address>© Uni MS - Robert Matzke</address>
Boost for excellent research: from 1 October, the German Research Foundation will be funding two research alliances at the University of Münster.
© Uni MS - Robert Matzke

German Research Foundation to fund two research alliances

New Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) in Medicine / CRC in Mathematics extended

The University of Münster is delighted at approvals given for two large-scale projects. Firstly, the German Research Foundation (DFG) is setting up a new Collaborative Research Centre (CRC)/Transregio in Medicine, in which researchers from Münster will be working on “Trajectories of Affective Disorders” with experts from the University of Marburg and the Technical University of Dresden. And secondly, the CRC at Münster entitled “Geometry: Deformations and Rigidity” impressed the assessors with the research work it has done over the past four years, with the result that the DFG has decided on a further period of funding. “This vote represents an enormous success for the University of Münster,” says Rector Prof. Johannes Wessels. “It confirms the excellent work being done by our researchers, and I congratulate the spokespersons and all the institutions involved, both in Münster and at other locations. The projects underline yet again the importance of basic research in mathematics and medicine for coming up with new results in the long term to drive innovation in many fields of application.”

CRC/TRR “Trajectories of Affective Disorders

Prof. Udo Dannlowski<address>© privat</address>
Prof. Udo Dannlowski
© privat
In the course of their lives, 20 to 30 percent of the world’s population suffer from affective disorders, for example depression and bipolar disorder. Such illnesses are therefore among the greatest challenges for health policy in the 21st century, as they have a considerable detrimental effect on patients’ quality of life, as well as having far-reaching consequences for the economic aspects of healthcare. For these reasons, funding for this research programme has enormous social significance.

While our knowledge is increasing as regards not only the risk factors which can lead to the outbreak of affective disorders but also the neurobiological processes involved, there are still large gaps in our knowledge of the mechanisms and the factors influencing the ways the illnesses can develop, as well as of relapses, recovery phases, durations and loss of functions. “In the coming four years we want to fill these gaps by focusing on the cognitive-emotional mechanisms and the neurobiological details of acute changes in symptoms and by developing suitable options for intervention,” says Prof. Udo Dannlowski, Director of the Institute of Translational Psychiatry at the University of Münster and Coordinator at Münster for the new Collaborative Research Centre. The CRC spokesperson is Prof. Tilo Kircher from the University of Marburg,

CRC “Geometry: Deformations and Rigidity”

Prof. Eugen Hellmann<address>© Uni MS - Peter Leßmann</address>
Prof. Eugen Hellmann
© Uni MS - Peter Leßmann
In its second funding phase, the CRC will be continuing to develop geometry as a discipline in its own right and as a tool for other areas of mathematics. The CRC’s spokesperson is Prof. Eugen Hellmann from the Institute of Mathematics, and his deputies are Prof. Burkhard Wilking and Prof. Wilhelm Winter.

The common approach taken by all 18 research projects in the CRC is to study mathematical problems by means of the opposing geometrical concepts of deformations and rigidity. These can be used in many different situations; this means that, with regard to method transfer, they are particularly productive. “This overarching approach has led to some excellent scientific results since the CRC started its work in 2020,” says Eugen Hellmann, “for example in the Langlands programme and in the research fields of manifolds with positive curvatures, K-theory, group theory and C*-algebras. Working in this way also led to some fruitful interactions between various projects.”

Background: What is a CRC/TRR?

A CRC/TRR – which is a variation of the classic Collaborative Research Centre – is applied for and managed jointly by two or three universities. It enables close cooperation between these universities and the researchers involved, including the joint use of resources. The projects are designed to run for a period of up to twelve years and are funded by the German Research Foundation. Currently, a total of ten CRCs and CRC/TRRs are being coordinated at Münster University. Researchers from Münster are also involved in numerous other cross-university programmes.

Further information