.MolFun has 13 academic staff from the School of Biological Sciences (SBS) who have a substantial track record in research, European collaboration and training early stage researchers. MolFun provides both 3 year doctoral and short-term training for EST fe llows in the application of post-genome technologies to the elucidation of molecular functions of proteins and secondary gene products in model organisms. Each doctoral MolFun research project combines at least 4 of 6 major post-genomic technologies: micro array; proteomics; protein chemistry, expression and molecular interactions; bioinformatics and modelling; model organisms; cell imaging. The short-term Fellowships will use at least one of these technologies. Research projects are primarily in the area of cell signalling systems, which provide a multitude of targets for exploitation in the biotech, pharma and agrochemical industries. Generic transferable skills, e.g, research skills, presentation, patenting, ethics, are provided centrally by the University Graduate School and by SBS. Practical scientific project management training occurs through the research project itself. An extensive workshop programme provides access to the best industrial and European expertise for high level training and provides a u nique set of skills in exploitation of results. The workshops and links with industry provide a European dimension to this host-driven EST proposal. Europe has a substantial deficit when compared to the USA in the life sciences and biotech sector of the kn owledge-based economy. MolFun brings together an integrated application of post-genomic commercial exploitation of results. This area of science will be at the cutting edge for the next 2-3 decades. Thus, MolFun addresses a crucial skills shortage for the economic development of Merseyside, an objective 1 region and of Europe as a whole.
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