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Nucleosome Structure & Function across Biological Scales and Biological Function

Final Report Summary - NUCLEOSOME4D (Nucleosome Structure & Function across Biological Scales and Biological Function)

The Nucleosome4D Marie Curie Initial Training Network ran from November 1st 2009 to 31st October 2013, and trained young researchers in nucleosome biology. Nucleosomes are the cell’s answer to a packaging problem. These histone-DNA assemblies allow every cell to package it’s meters of DNA into a nucleus only a few microns wide. We aimed to train our researchers in how nucleosome structure and function change across space and time – in four dimensions.

During the four-year lifetime, we employed over 30 “early-stage” researchers, from 15 nationalities, and enrolled each one in a PhD programme. Each trainee worked on a focused and well-defined research project, with close supervision from a direct supervisor, and regular meetings with another Network scientist acting as mentor. We followed our comprehensive training plan for both the scientific and complementary skill development, by utilizing the best available local knowledge and equipment, together with Network-wide training events. Our Visiting Researchers attended meetings and held training sessions, giving invaluable advice on emerging research trends. Our Associated Partners also contributed to training sessions at meetings, and advised trainees on industrial perspectives and opportunities. As a group, our trainees have attended yearly Network meetings to develop their research projects, two Network-organized Summer Schools, and Network courses on Planning, Communication, Writing Skills, Career Development, and Management. Individually, the trainees also attended many other conferences, workshops, and courses that were relevant for their unique projects – totaling an additional 152 training events.

The results of the research projects were presented at many scientific meetings, and have been published in peer-reviewed academic journals. Our interdisciplinary and collaborative approach proved invaluable to the success of these projects, and we foresee that all researchers will adopt this approach throughout their careers. With this approach, we aimed to ensure the multidisciplinary and intersectorial training of a new cohort of young European researchers. We believe that our young researchers are now in a good position to be well equipped for a modern career in the life sciences.