LMU acquires DFG grants for research on family in world literature and on targets in toxicology

14 Nov 2022

The DFG is funding a new Research Training Group at LMU that will examine the image of family in different periods of world literature. Funding is also being prolonged for the existing Research Training Group on lung toxicology in the Faculty of Medicine.

Children of a Berlin family during their summer vacation

Photograph, 1868, (Wilhelm Mayr). Berlin, Sammlung Archiv für Kunst und Geschichte. | © akg-images

In its latest funding round, the German Research Foundation (DFG) approved funding for the new Research Training Group (RTG) Family Matters. Figures of Allegiance and Release at LMU Munich. The Group will be funded for five years initially, starting in the spring of 2023, and will systematically examine the literary traditions and discourses relating to the family.

The DFG also extended the funding of the RTG Targets in Toxicology — Deciphering Therapeutic Targets in Lung Toxicology for an additional 4.5-year period.

The new RTG Family Matters. Figures of Allegiance and Release will explore the changing understanding of family in literature through the ages. “From the sagas of the gods and heroes of antiquity to the current renaissance of the family novel, world literature offers an inexhaustible archive of family matters,” says the RTG’s spokesperson Professor Susanne Lüdemann, who holds the chair in Modern German Literature and General Literary Studies at LMU. That is because the image of family is often negotiated through cultural lead narratives and iconic images.

Doctoral students in the new RTG will systematically examine literary traditions and discourses on the theme of family. This will include critiquing cultural-historical narratives that continue to shape the myth of the bourgeois nuclear family to this day. Professor Susanne Lüdemann explains that work on this myth also has topical relevance in view of the fact that new forms of social parenthood are currently challenging society to redefine what ‘family’ means. The RTG includes representatives from the fields of General and Comparative Literature, German Studies, Classical Philology, Nordic Philology, Romance Studies and Slavic Philology.

Research Training Group on lung toxicology prolonged for five years

Additionally, the DFG approved the continued funding of the RTG Targets in Toxicology — Deciphering Therapeutic Targets in Lung Toxicology at LMU, started in 2018, for another period of 4.5 years. “We are delighted that our DFG funding has been extended. Our Research Training Group has PhD students from the life sciences and medicine investigating the mechanisms of severe toxic lung damage and identifying targets that can lead to innovative therapies,” explains Professor Thomas Gudermann, Dean of the Faculty of Human Medicine at LMU and the Group’s spokesperson.

Toxic lung damage occurs when toxic gases such as cigarette smoke, fine dust particles, diesel exhaust, and certain chemical weapons are absorbed through the respiratory tract. In addition to LMU, which heads the Group, the Helmholtz Zentrum München with deputy spokesperson PD Dr. Claudia Staab-Weijnitz is also involved in the research, alongside the German Armed Forces’ Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology and the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

Research Training Groups offer doctoral students the opportunity to complete a doctorate within a structured program of research and academic skill building at a high level. The aim is to give junior researchers the scope to work independently at an early stage in their career. The DFG’s objective with its funding is to further support the building of academic skills through doctoral programs.

More information is available here: DFG

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