STARDUST partner introductions are a series of interviews profiling each partner in our Project. Today, the first spotlight is shed on our Project Coordinator Aarhus University.
Aarhus University (AU) is a top ten university among universities founded within the past 100 years. It has a long tradition of partnerships with some of the world's best research institutions and university networks. AU has a strong commitment to the development of society that is realised through its collaboration with government agencies and institutions and the business community.
Tell us briefly about STARDUST team and expertise.
STARDUST is an interdisciplinary team of different expertise going from very basic science in biology to applied advanced technology. STARDUST team as a complementary team to achieve the smallest and the most efficient device targeting small area of the brain (GPe) includes scientists from different fields from molecular bioscience, optogenetics, engineering, nanoelectronics, photonics, material science and neuroscience. These teams in a regular basis do not collaborate with each other. STARDUST brings them together for a better understanding of the challenges for finding solutions to cure Parkinson’s Disease. For this perspective, STARDUST consortium is unique.
Could you tell in a few words what exactly STARDUST is? Where does the idea for this project come from?
The original idea for building such a device for optogenetics comes from Farshad Moradi’s research within integrated chip design for neurological disorders. Targeting Parkinson’s Disease comes from Lane Krejčová as she was working in this area.
What is your role in the STARDUST project? What is the most exciting thing for you in this project?
Obviously Aarhus is coordinating the project and we would say this is not the most exciting task for us, but rather working with these great people within STARDUST’s consortium with years of experience within their field. From a scientific point of view, of course, we would like to see that the idea works at the end. Fingers crossed.
What do you hope to achieve with the project? What impact would you like to see?
Definitely, neurological disorders are affecting our society badly. Taking the total years of disability for such patients into account we are talking about millions of years of disability. Finding a solution for curing Parkinson’s Disease and probably in a later stage other disease, if the idea works, will be an amazing outcome to see.
What are your results so far?
So far, from both biology side and technology side we have made good progress. At the moment the first version of the implantable device is ready for integration and hopefully we will get to try the device on mice soon.