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The University of Oxford is part of a new international research network to investigate the interactions between the biology of the body's internal clock and the disordered physiological processes associated with stroke.

The five-year funding, totalling US$7M, has been awarded by the Leducq Foundation as part of its International Networks of Excellence Programme. The aim of this programme is to bring together teams of researchers from around the world with complementary expertise and resources. They will work to generate new knowledge with the potential to advance the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cardiovascular and neurovascular disease.

The work is due to start on 1 January 2022, with the European part of the network coordinated by Professor Alastair Buchan from the University of Oxford's Radcliffe Department of Medicine (RDM). He will work closely with Professor Russell Foster from the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Professor David Ray from the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (RDM). Other participating institutions include the University of Munich, Stanford University, Harvard University, University of California, Los Angeles, and the Carlos III Health Institute and Hosptial 12 Octubre in Madrid.

The network aims to identify novel targets for stroke therapy based on circadian biology. Researchers will achieve this by defining circadian mechanisms at the brain-vascular interface, and immune, cardiovascular and metabolic systems in experimental stroke models. They will confirm and extend findings in cell and animal models with genetic, imaging, outcome, and biomarker analyses in stroke patients.

This trans-Atlantic network brings together basic, translational and clinical scientists with inter-disciplinary expertise in molecular biology, neurobiology, immunology, cardiovascular biology, circadian biology, imaging, genetics, biomarkers and clinical trials. The network will mentor and develop early career scientists through an exchange of Leducq fellows between labs, a journal club and annual summer schools. This network is uniquely positioned to discover new science, change the way stroke research is conducted, and train the next generation of stroke scientists for inter-disciplinary and translational research.