Croatian Institute for Brain Research (CIBR) is a major research and teaching unit of the University of
Zagreb School of Medicine, founded in early 1990’s as one of priority projects in developing national
research infrastructure. Over the past 25 years, research at the CIBR has been continuously focused on
normal development and aging of the human brain as well as neurobiological basis of major
neurological, cognitive and mental disorders. The CIBR has established productive international
cooperation and international visibility in several fields of research: human brain development,
experimental analysis of CSF pathophysiology, regulatory mechanisms of cell cycle & differentiation,
stem cells research, structural and molecular markers of the aging brain, and genomic approach to
pharmacological treatment of mental disorders. In this proposal, we present our new research program
aimed to establish national Centre of Excellence – “Centre for basic, clinical and translational
neuroscience” – with the CIBR serving as the hub of national network for integrating, focusing and
advancing an innovative and translational approach to early detection, treatment, evaluation of
outcome, and rehabilitation of patients suffering from hypoxic/ischaemic and haemorrhagic cerebral
lesions. This research program combines basic and clinical investigations, with hypoxic/ischaemic &
haemorrhagic cerebral lesions as an underlying topic in connecting various lines of research. We
present six main lines of research (conducted by six major research groups): 1) The developmental
origin of neuropediatric disorders after perinatal hypoxic/ischaemic brain lesion (Group 1); 2) New
biomarkers of ageing, Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and insulin resistant brain state (Group
2); 3) Clinical & experimental studies of cerebral hypoxic/ischaemic & haemorrhagic lesions and their
relation to alterations in movement and pressure of intracranial fluids (Group 3); 4) Preclinical studies
of hypoxic/ischaemic lesions in experimental rodent models (Group 4); 5) Cognitive & linguistic
analysis of language changes & recovery after stroke (Group 5); and 6) Innovative markers in
treatment response of patients with mental disorders. We will use a common information platform and
matrix system (constructs & variables grid) to elucidate which of our previously discovered and
described biomarkers of brain development, structure and function can be successfully used for
improving diagnosis, prognosis and rehabilitation of brain disorders.
The neuroscience has been designated as one of research priorities in Croatian national smart
specialization strategy, as well as in research strategies of School of Medicine and University of
Zagreb. Our main goal is to bridge the gap between basic and clinical neuroscience by introducing
new translational approaches, and thus directly contribute to health system improvements related to
neurodevelopmental, neurological, cognitive and mental disorders. Our competitive edge in proposing
and realizing these aims rests on several important pillars: 1) combining 50 individual research teams
from 10 leading academic institutions to perform interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and crossdisciplinary
research; 2) enriching previously existing network with several new expert teams,
including those from humanities and social sciences; 3) excellent publication record and extensive
network of international collaboration – 50 scientists included in the Centre have total WoS Core
Collection output of 1.394 publications and 18.359 heterocitations (group h-index = 60), and in last 5
years they published 250 Q1/Q2 papers which already received 2.290 heterocitations; 4) we will
introduce innovative research methods and technologies as well as several new experimental models;
5) we will secure involvement and training of young investigators through our PhD program in
Neuroscience, collaboration with leading clinical institutions, and extensive network of foreign
collaborating laboratories; 6) we will secure dissemination and public outreach using existing
mechanisms and facilities (Croatian Society for Neuroscience, Croatian Brain Council, Brain Awareness Week etc.).