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Over 7.5 million euros for new research training groups

The German Research Foundation is funding two collaborative projects at the University of Freiburg

Freiburg, Jul 08, 2020

Giving a boost to junior researchers, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved new research training groups. ‘Imperien: Dynamischer Wandel, Temporalität und nachimperiale Ordnungen’ (Empires: Dynamic Change, Temporality and Post-Imperial Orders) and ‘Understanding protease functions in cellular pathways through discovery and analysis of protease substrates’ are being set up at the University of Freiburg. The DFG will be providing them with 3 million euros and 4.6 million euros respectively over four and a half years.

From January 2021 thirteen PhD students will start working on their dissertations in science and medicine in the ‘Understanding protease functions in cellular pathways through discovery and analysis of protease substrates’ research training group. Their work will focus on proteases: enzymes that split other proteins as what are known as substrates. It is already known that the human genome encodes roughly 500 proteases. Although the first protease was identified more than 100 years ago, researchers still only know relatively few of the relevant protease substrates. The research training group is taking an interdisciplinary approach in order to discover new protease substrates and find out the significance of their division to human health. Each of the scientists involved in the group brings with them complementary and diverse scientific knowledge on model systems and techniques. The PhD-related courses will contribute to a sustainable solution to the hotly discussed problem of replication in biomedicine. The coordinator is Prof. Dr. Thomas Reinheckel from the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Cell Research.

In the Humanities Research Training Group ‘Imperien: Dynamischer Wandel, Temporalität und nachimperiale Ordnungen’ fourteen junior researchers will investigate the transformation of empires from antiquity to the present. The interdisciplinary group involves History, English and French literary studies, Sociology, Political Science and — through the Eucor collaboration — Islamic Studies. From November 2020 the first six PhD students will set out finding answers to the largely unchartered question of the temporal regimes of empires: how do empires change over time? How does their collapse affect the politics, economies and societies of the states and regions emerging out of them? How do media like films, novels or journals respond to the dissolution of empires? How do they shape post-imperial traditions? Imperial pasts strongly affect contemporary politics and public discourse, as the history of post-Soviet nation states or the conflicts in post-colonial Africa show. Eleven professors whose research has revolved around these questions over many years will supervise several innovative research projects of the junior researchers. The principal investigator is Prof. Dr. Peter Eich from the Department of Ancient History.


GRK 2606 - ProtPath



Prof. Dr. Thomas Reinheckel
Institute of Molecular Medicine and Cell Research
University of Freiburg
Tel.: +49 761 203-9606

Prof. Dr. Peter Eich
Department of Ancient History
University Freiburg
Tel.: +49 761 203-3391