BioMed X Institute and Boehringer Ingelheim Successfully Complete Schizophrenia Research Project

The research of BioMed X team EPD – Early Intervention in Psychiatric Diseases – has shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying white matter deficits in schizophrenia.

HEIDELBERG, GERMANY / ACCESSWIRE / May 28, 2024 / German independent research institute BioMed X announces the successful completion of its second neuroscience project in partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim in the field of psychiatric disorders. The data resulting from this project have been acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim, where this research will be continued, potentially paving the way for novel therapies.

This research project was launched in 2020 at the BioMed X Institute in Heidelberg and led by Dr. Ebru Ercan Herbst, now a professor at Reutlingen University, Germany. Her team has created both in vivo and in vitro platforms to study myelination of neurons and the development of oligodendrocytes – a subtype of glial cells – in the context of schizophrenia. Their novel in vitro platform for studying myelination was published last year in Cell Press – STAR Protocols (PMID: 36933222). Dr. Ercan Herbst’s team has also identified a relevant mouse model exhibiting the hypomyelination pathology associated with schizophrenia to be used for future research. In addition to the cell and mouse models, the BioMed X neuroscientists have analyzed the RNA expression of different human brain regions in post-mortem samples from schizophrenia patients and controls. Their soon-to-be-published findings reveal that there are differentially expressed genes and pathways in schizophrenia brains, particularly in oligodendrocytes, when compared to control brains, which could have significant implications for designing new therapies, not only for schizophrenia but also for other neurological disorders like major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder, which share a common hypomyelination pathology.

Dr. Christian Tidona, Managing Director & Founder of the BioMed X Institute: "This is already our second successfully completed project with Boehringer Ingelheim in the field of psychiatry. We are looking forward to continuing our successful collaboration with our ongoing research projects in brain sensor development in Heidelberg and in the field of wound healing and fibrosis at our new joint XSeed Labs on the U.S. campus of Boehringer Ingelheim in Ridgefield, CT."

"Together with partners from across the global neuroscience community, we are constantly exploring new scientific avenues to address the huge unmet need of those living with mental health conditions," Hugh Marston, Global Head CNS Discovery Research at Boehringer Ingelheim, stated. "The partnership with BioMed X and the fruitful collaboration with Dr. Ercan Herbst’s team has yielded exciting insights that will help us initiate projects to further progress our precision psychiatry approach to transform patients’ lives."

About BioMed X

BioMed X is an independent research institute with sites in Heidelberg, Germany, New Haven, Connecticut, XSeed Labs in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and a worldwide network of partner locations. Together with our partners, we identify big biomedical research challenges and provide creative solutions by combining global crowdsourcing with local incubation of the world’s brightest early-career research talents. Each of the highly diverse research teams at BioMed X has access to state-of-the-art research infrastructure and is continuously guided by experienced mentors from academia and industry. At BioMed X, we combine the best of two worlds – academia and industry – and enable breakthrough innovation by making biomedical research more efficient, more agile, and more fun.

Contact Information

Flavia-Bianca Cristian
Recruiting & Communications Manager
+49 6221 426 11 706

Swathi Lingam
Scientific Communication & Editorial Associate
+49 6221 426 11 27

SOURCE: BioMed X Institute


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President meets with children of police martyrs, academic award winners

President To Lam held the first-ever meeting in Hanoi on May 28 with and presented gifts to children of police martyrs, foster children of the Police Women’s Union and communal police, and children of officers and soldiers who won national and international awards during the 2023-2024 academic year. The event was part of the “Summer of Love” programme held by the Ministry of Public Security to mark the Action Month for Children, International Children’s Day (June 1), and in the lead-up to the Vietnamese Family Day (June 28).

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Marcos to Sultan Bolkiah: Nations must unite vs. tensions, global woes

MANILA: President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., in his bilateral meeting with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah of Brunei on Tuesday, emphasized the need for nations to stand united in the face of global challenges, such as climate change and geopolitical tensions.

During the meeting, Marcos cited the need for the two countries to unite amid the changing regional and global landscape.

‘The landscape of our region and of the world is changing in fundamental ways. The challenges brought by climate change, environmental degradation, and geopolitical tensions find it necessary for nation-states to cooperate more closely and more effectively,’ Marcos said during the meeting, as quoted by a Presidential Communications Office (PCO) news release.

‘I am therefore honored to discuss the state of our countries’ relations, as well as exchange views on regional and international developments with the world’s longest-reigning current monarch and the longest-serving current head of state.’

is visiting Brunei upon Sultan Bolkiah’s invitation.

Also on Tuesday, the two leaders witnessed the signing of agreements on key areas, such as tourism, agriculture, and maritime cooperation to further strengthen the four-decade-old ties of the two countries.

During his meeting with the Sultan, the President fondly recalled the time when his father, the late President E. Marcos Sr., visited Brunei in the early days of the bilateral relationship with the Sultanate in 1984.

He also thanked the Sultan for the warm welcome accorded to him and the Philippine delegation.

Marcos also acknowledged Brunei’s assistance to the Philippines, especially during the early days of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic when it donated test kits and vaccines to the country, and the help it extended to the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda and Typhoon Odette.

Likewise, the President also thanked Brunei for its help to the Philippines during the oil crisis in the 1970s.

Sultan Bolkiah, meanwhile, thanked Marcos fo
r accepting his invitation to visit Brunei, noting that the latter’s state visit is customary to both countries in strengthening their friendship and ties.

‘I’m looking forward to further enhancing our friendship in areas of future interest, which I believe will greatly benefit our countries and people,’ the Sultan said.

On the second and last day of Marcos’ state visit to Brunei on Wednesday, he will meet with the Sultanate’s energy sector.

He will cap his visit with a state banquet at the Istana Nurul Iman, the official residence of the Sultan of Brunei.

Source: Philippines News Agency

DPWH plants 344K replacement trees cut due to road projects in Leyte

PALO: Over 344,000 seedlings meant to replace trees cut and uprooted for a road opening and widening project have survived this year in different parts of Leyte province after a three-year care program, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) reported on Tuesday.

Forest restoration and tree planting activities were undertaken by people’s organizations (POs) consisting of farmers in Ormoc City, Baybay City, and the towns of Albuera, Kananga, and Capoocan in Leyte province, DPWH Eastern Visayas Regional Director Edgar Tabacon said during the Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas press briefing led by the Presidential Communications Office.

‘DPWH regional office replaced 50 trees for each felled tree grown in private or forest land and 100 trees for each naturally grown tree affected by our projects,’ Tabacon added.

Under the tree replacement program, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) identifies areas for the plantation and deputizes POs in covered locations.

The POs plant the seedl
ings, maintain and monitor their growth for three years, and ensure an 85 percent survival rate.

Villagers receive incentives for nurturing the newly planted trees.

The DPWH is tasked with financing the whole process and assisting in monitoring activities. In recent years, the DPWH has allotted PHP130 million for the tree replacement project.

The DENR identified some 200,84 hectares in Leyte province for the tree replacement program. These sites are in Mahayag village in Ormoc City, Poblacion and Tabgas village in Albuera town, Mahawan village in Kananga town, Sto. Niño village in Capoocan town, and Patag village in Baybay City.

The recommended tree species by the DENR are all indigenous species to ensure higher survival rate, considering the weather conditions and soil quality of the region.

‘As support in preserving and protecting the environment from degradation, the DPWH is committed to complying with the DENR’s directive and planting the required number of trees as replacement. But the DPWH is only
an expert on infrastructure projects, and we need DENR’s help to make sure that the planted seedlings survive for three years,’ Tabacon said.

Under this initiative, the DPWH sends to DENR its funds for environmental protection and conservation intended for every infrastructure project funded by the national government.

Source: Philippines News Agency

DPWH on track with key Calabarzon infra projects

CALAMBA: The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Region 4A (Calabarzon) is on track with projects aimed at easing traffic congestion and enhancing road access to various parts of the region under the Marcos administration’s Build Better More program.

During the “Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas” media forum, DPWH-4A Regional Director Jovel Mendoza said the rehabilitation of the portion of Maharlika Highway within their jurisdiction, which spans 231 kilometers from Calamba City to Tagkawayan in Quezon, is being diligently pursued by the incumbent administration.

‘Maharlika Highway is the major thoroughfare of motorists (travelling) from Calamba City to Tagkawayan, Quezon in the region… linking Bicol up to Visayas and Mindanao,’ he told reporters during the forum that took place at the DPWH regional office in this city.

The DPWH official did not specify the target completion date of the highway rehabilitation project but called it ‘a top priority.’

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. last week said t
he reconstruction of this key highway has been ongoing for 12 years, but this is the only government that has put serious attention to its completion.

‘All those rehabilitations, you know, we only really started two years ago. Because nothing was done in the previous administration, nothing was done in the administration before that,’ Marcos said about his administration’s infrastructure initiatives.

Meanwhile, Mendoza also underscored the significance of the South Luzon Expressway TR4, a 48-kilometer bypass road from Santo Tomas in Batangas to Lucena City, Quezon, which is envisioned to alleviate congestion in San Pablo City.

This ongoing infrastructure project is intended to significantly reduce travel time in the region from four hours to one hour, making it a more convenient alternative to the congested Daang Maharlika.

Barring any unforeseen delays, the road is expected to be partially passable by 2025.

In Cavite, Mendoza said the 40-kilometer East Lateral Road from Aguinaldo Highway to Nasugbu, Bat
angas, once complete, will ease traffic in Tagaytay City, particularly on weekends when tourist traffic peaks.

Additionally, the flyover in Mendez town, Cavite, is expected to alleviate congestion at the Mendez junction leading to Nasugbu, Batangas.

Mendoza also highlighted the construction of a 1.42-kilometer bridge linking Lopez in the mainland to Perez in Alabat Island, providing a faster alternative to boat or barge travel.

‘This locally funded project enhances connectivity to remote areas,’ Mendoza said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

PH extends P1.15-M to boost ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly

MANILA: The Philippines has contributed USD20,000 (approximately PHP1.15 million) to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), reaffirming its support to inter-parliamentary cooperation across ASEAN, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday.

The contribution was turned over by Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN Ambassador Hjayceelyn Quintana at the ASEAN Headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia on May 13.

‘The voluntary contribution reflects the Philippines’ confidence in the invaluable role that parliamentary diplomacy plays in advancing the ASEAN goal of creating a people-centered ASEAN,’ the DFA said.

In her speech, Quintana recalled that it was the Philippines that initiated the establishment of an ASEAN Parliament in 1980 to strengthen regional cooperation by providing a platform for parliamentary dialogue and collaboration among ASEAN member-states.

That same visionary initiative, the DFA said, sparked important discussions and laid the g
roundwork for future efforts to enhance parliamentary diplomacy within ASEAN.

AIPA Secretary General Rozaimeriyanty Dato Haji Abdul Rahman, during the turnover, hailed Manila’s contribution which she said would significantly enhance AIPA’s efforts to ‘foster parliamentary cooperation in the region and beyond’.

The AIPA General Assembly convenes once a year, with the 44th session held in August 2023 in Jakarta.

Source: Philippines News Agency