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Medical Faculty at Lund University (Lund, Sweden)
Laboratory for Experimental Brain Research at the Wallenberg Neuroscience Centre

The Lab:
The Laboratory for Experimental Brain Research is part of a Nordic Centre of Excellence and was, together with 5 groups at Lund University, elected a Strong Environment on Brain Damage and Plasticity by the Swedish Research Council. The Laboratory has extensive expertise and a long tradition in the field of brain ischemia research.

The projects concerned are centred on (a) cellular mechanisms relevant to brain damage (stroke, and traumatic brain injury) involving protein processing and calcium storage in the endoplasmic reticulum, or (b) post-injury cellular plasticity, in particular processes involving subcellular structures in dendritic spines, including the ER.

Stroke is caused by occlusion of major brain vessels leading to a dangerous decrease in cerebral blood flow, ischemia. It is a devastating condition and the third cause of death and disability in the European Union. Stroke causes death to all brain cells but neurons are particularly sensitive. Following transient circulatory arrest, such as cardiac arrest, neurons are particularly affected. At present there are no available neuroprotective treatments against ischemic brain damage. Neurological disability following stroke is partly caused by cell death and partly by dysfunction of surviving tissue. Hence in the aftermath of a stroke, neurological function can recover slowly over a period of 2-6 months, a process that involves brain plasticity, i.e., remodelling of neuronal networks and cell genesis.

These questions will be addressed by using a combination of techniques including live cell imaging of primary cultures and organotypic slices, ultrastructural analysis by electron microscopy, molecular biology and biochemistry.

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