Faculty of Science

The CIN: Success in the Excellence Initiative

The Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN) is the University of Tübingen’s excellence cluster dedicated to interdisciplinary brain research. It has twice successfully bid for funding from the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). This funding has been provided within the framework of its Excellence Initiative program, sponsored by the German federal and state governments. In June 2012 the CIN, which was officially launched in December 2008, had its funding renewed by the DFG.

Integrative neuroscience investigates how nerve cells create a broad spectrum of brain functions in a complex process of interaction. CIN scientists carry out research into topics ranging all the way from the genetic basis to processing functions in neuronal networks, in order to discover how perception, memory, communication and active behavior are all made possible in the brain. A better understanding of brain functions and how they are disrupted will promote the development of new approaches to therapy and new technical applications, with the aim of benefitting patients who suffer from sensory defects or diseases of the brain.

A Wide Range of Partners

The CIN comprises working groups from three faculties of the University, and works in association with the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research and the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation in Stuttgart, and with several other internal and external partners. The CIN is headed by Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Thier from the Department of Cognitive Neurology at the Tübingen University Hospitals.

In its first funding period the CIN recruited high-quality scientists to fill all of its posts, and today the interdisciplinary research environment at the CIN includes 23 group leaders – five of whom are professors – sixteen junior group leaders, and two senior professors, as well as their staff. Altogether some 200 new scientific jobs have been created.

Junior Researchers in Neuroscience

The CIN features three graduate schools dedicated to the training of internationals students and Ph.D. candidates:

  • The Graduate School of Neural and Behavioural Sciences / International Max Planck Research School
  • The Graduate School of Neural Information Processing / International Max Planck Research School
  • The Graduate School of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

The curricula of the schools are integrated and complementary. The CIN also funds the Schülerlabor Neurowissenschaften, whose aim is to encourage talented school pupils’ interest in the field – and potentially study – of neuroscience.

Since April 2012, the CIN has been based in its new home, situated next to the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, as part of the neuroscience campus near the University Hospitals. Most CIN research groups are accommodated in the new building funded by the German government, the state of Baden-Württemberg, the University of Tübingen and its Faculty of Medicine.

Prof. Dr. Werner Reichardt (1924 - 1992)

The CIN is named after Prof. Dr. Werner Reichardt, founder of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen. His work on information processing in insects led to the development of a general theory of motion perception and had a notable impact on the development of neuroscience in Germany after World War II.