Biomedical research infrastructure goes global: EU consortium Infrafrontier has new partners

March 26, 2010

Helmholtz Zentrum München today announced that the Infrafrontier project, funded by the European Union, has been expanded to include six partners from Canada, the Czech Republic, Austria, France and Italy. The new partners will join the effort of the other 22 members of Infrafrontier in building up an international research infrastructure to improve open access to high-quality mouse models. Animal models have become an important tool in the study of complex human diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, asthma and depression, but also in the study of fundamental mechanisms such as speech development in humans. Colin McKerlie, spokesman of the Canadian partner, views the partnership as a "crucial step to successfully face one of the most interesting scientific challenges of the 21st century; to understand the function of every gene in the genome."

Professor Martin Hrabé de Angelis is director of the Institute of Experimental Genetics at Helmholtz Zentrum München and coordinates the EU Project Infrafrontier. "The international expansion facilitates the networking of the best scientists across the globe," Martin Hrabé de Angelis said. This opportunity is especially important to the Czech partners, as Prof. Radislav Sedlacek, programme coordinator for the Czech Center for Phenogenomics, stressed.

"We know that in the coming years we will be confronted with scientific tasks that cannot be solved with the infrastructure we currently have in Europe," Hrabé de Angelis went on to say. Infrafrontier will close this gap by expanding existing facilities and building new ones. A central coordination unit shall also be established. These endeavors will provide biomedical research with an international, open-access research infrastructure.

Further information

The partners in the Infrafrontier Consortium are the leading European systemic phenotyping centers (mouse clinics), the members of EMMA (European Mouse Mutant Archive) and research ministries and major funding agencies. New to Infrafrontier are the Czech Center for Phenogenomics and the Czech Republic's Ministry for Education, Youth and Sport, the Veterinary University of Vienna, the French institute INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale), the Italian Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Sciences and the Toronto Center for Phenogenomics. Altogether, 12 European countries and Canada now participate in Infrafrontier.

Infrafrontier is part of the ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) roadmap, which outlines a plan to create research infrastructures of great scientific importance and pan-European interest, and which is therefore funded by the European Union.
-end-
Homepage: http://www.infrafrontier.eu/

Press Contact:

Sven Winkler
Head, Communications Department
Helmholtz Zentrum München, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 89 3187 - 3946, Fax +49 (0) 89 3187 - 3324, e-mail: presse@helmholtz-muenchen.de

Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health

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