Organizational structure of the
center for neuronal regeneration
The CNR combines three functional units specialized to enhance workflow efficacy for clinical translation of neuroregenerative therapies: the information center, the research center and the transfer center.
These three CNR units work together in order to enhance clinical translation of therapeutic strategies.
Data of diverse sources, mainly from published scientific articles will be extraced and structured in a knowledge base. In the first phase, this database will comprise knowledge about spinal cord injury and therapeutic strategies for paraplegia, later on the spectrum will be expanded to other neurodegenerative diseases. State of the art techniques of automated text processing and information extraction will be used in collaboration with IT experts and adapted to the demands of the CNR mission. Information extraction from published preclinical therapies and import into the structured knowledge base will be done in a computer-assisted automatic process.
The virtual lab is a patented IT concept for simulation of new experiments on the basis of already gained experience (here: published studies). The virtual lab will be developed together with IT experts and will help to save resources during the development of new hypothesis.
The CNR Research Center will recruit excellent neuroscientists in the field of neuronal regeneration for conducting preclinical experiments for therapy development. Teams of outstanding basic and clinical neuroscientists in the CNR Research Center will provide independent and objective proof of feasibility, reproducibility and efficacy of the most promising experimental therapeutic approaches in neurorepair. Only after validating the quality of a therapeutic strategy it can enter the Transfer Center for planning a clinical trial. The close vicinity to the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory and the Life Science Center (www.lscdus.de) offers an excellent opportunity for intellectual exchange between experts of preclinical research on damage to the central nervous system.
Moreover, excellent graduate students of neurosciences from the graduate school iBrain, supported by the German Excellence Initiative, will be trained at the CNR to join the research team in the future. The CNR Research Unit validates those therapeutic strategies which were selected in the Information Center and shares it’s findings again with the Information Center as well as the virtual laboratory. This strategy minimizes resources in preclinical research.
The Coordination Center for Clinical Trials of the University Clinics Düsseldorf is collaborator of the CNR in the transfer process of selected therapies to the clinics. It will support the preparation and organization of clinical trials for candidate therapies in close dialogue with participating clinics and aid in the recruitment of patients. The activity of these centers will be intertwined and neuroscientists acquired for the wet lab experiments in the Research Center will as well aid the further development and refinement of the knowledge database in the Information Center.
Furthermore, the CNR “Communication Platform” in the internet will be the basis for exchange with external partners and scientific collaborators to ensure transparency towards patients, and enhance qualified patient recruitment for clinical trials.