The aim of the stress network at Aarhus University (AU) is to expand and improve the infrastructure for stress research. Researchers from the faculties of natural sciences and health, the new faculty of agricultural sciences, as well as from the new Environmental Institute at AU intend with this network to support interdisciplinary research and to develop graduate courses for students from different institutes and faculties (PhD courses etc.).
Stress is a growing research area with strong scientific visions. With the support of the Research Foundation at AU to infrastructure and graduate courses we wish to create a leading interdisciplinary field of research and research education with many participants with a strong research profile. Stress has large and important implications for research on environmental change (e.g. global warming), maintenance of biodiversity, for animal and plant breeding, animal welfare, drug development with respect to genetic and life style related diseases, the health of the elderly and the population in general. At the same time the stress initiative creates a unique chance to integrate the new faculty of agriculture and the Institute of Environmental Research into AU, with focus on a timely topic of large importance for society.
Research on stress will inspire interdisciplinary collaboration among many disciplines as molecular biology, molecular medicine, eco-physiology, evolutionary biology, ethology, animal and plant breeding, cell biology, molecular gerontology, public health, clinical psychology as well as on cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, stress research has implications for and can benefit from fields like biophysics, analytical chemistry, social sciences and other topics. Over the last few years the Aarhus Stress Group has held seven scientific one day workshops, with participation of many scientists from different disciplines/faculties as well as a couple of meetings between subgroups to initiate common research projects.
The support from the Aarhus Research Foundation allows the Aarhus Stress Group to strengthen the infrastructure for stress related research at Aarhus University and allows the single groups to maintain their leading international position within stress related research through interdisciplinary collaboration and the use of each others facilities and expertise. One of the goals is to develop a "stressometer", i.e. a way of quantifying the level that a single organism perceives - from model organisms as Drosophila to humans.