Movement is vital to all living organisms, from the transport of single molecules in cells to the movement of entire organisms. Sarcomeres are the smallest cellular unit behind the operation of skeletal and heart muscles. Furthermore, dysfunctional sarcomeres are responsible for a long list of diseases that reduce the quality of life and burden the health care sector throughout the world. Understanding the function of sarcomere Z-disk – the focus of MUZIC - requires knowledge ranging from cellular dynamics to structural details of individual molecules and complexes. Such knowledge of molecular and cellular mechanisms, in healthy and diseased muscle cells, should lead to novel treatments of muscle diseases. Generating such knowledge - at the interface between cellular and structural biology - requires research workers with a much broader training than is currently available. To provide this, a unique blend of cellular and structural biology laboratories with a focus on muscle research, united in the MUZIC network, will aim to: • Bridge the gap between cellular and structural biology by training young researchers as “Cellular Structural Biologists”. A training program will be created that meshes these disciplines and provides young researchers with a unique set of skills in methods, management and communication. Mentoring will play a crucial role in the training process • Critically advance knowledge of the molecular components and the cellular mechanisms involved in the function, dynamics and regulation of the muscle Z-disk. This will be achieved by studying the Z-disk at different levels of complexity, from atomic structure to physiological function, by combining molecular and cell biology approaches, together with investigation of the molecular structures Through training a new type of scientist with a unique set of skills, and through studies on muscles in both health and disease, this network shall have a profound impact on and future research in this area.
Fields of science
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