Promising research: From employment issues to virology

The twelve new Priority Programmes to be funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) from the beginning of 2005 onwards cover such topics as the use of concrete, cultures in the Middle Ages, astrophysics and the kinships of animals. The Senate of the DFG selected them from among 80 applications and will provide a total of 32.6 million to support them during the first two years. This raises the number of Priority Programmes funded in the year 2005 to a total of 109. The DFG uses Priority Programmes to bring together researchers from different research institutions on certain projects in develop-ing fields of research. As a rule, Priority Programmes run for six years.

The new Priority Programmes are:

Life Sciences

The Priority Programme "Membranes Enveloping Virus Particles and Cellular Struc-tures" unites the fields of cell biology and virology. It deals with viruses and cell organelles and examines the joint mechanisms that cause organelles and viruses to be enveloped by membranes. The basic researchers also focus on the application. Understanding the principles of envelopment could lead to the development of new intervention strategies. This priority is meant to unite virologists, cell biologists, biochemists, structural biologists and biophysicists. The viruses being examined include important aetiological agents that infest humans, such as HI, Ebola, hepatitis C or herpes viruses.
(Coordinator: Professor Dr. Hans-Georg Krulich, University of Heidelberg)

The aim of the Priority Programme "Phylogeny of Animals Deep Metazoan Phylogeny" is to clarify whether the classification of animals, including sea sponges and arthropods, such as insects, and coelom animals, was previously misguided because the only possible means of sorting them was according to the shape of their body and their internal characteristics. It could be that a methodically critical view of both morphological as well

Contact: Dr. Cornelia Pretzer
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

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