The rapid advance of biology is providing new insights into the causes of some of today’s most pressing medical problems as well as huge opportunities to develop and evaluate novel and more effective treatments. The challenge is to exploit these advances effectively and this will require a new breed of translational scientist with expertise in a specific discipline coupled with a broad understanding of disease processes. We aim to address this need by creating an Initial Training Network (ITN) to provide Early Career Researchers (ECR) with the required skill-set. The ITN has clear scientific focus on endothelium and its interaction with leucocytes as a therapeutic target for severe disease. It has been designed around four internationally recognized academic partners and three Level 1 Industry partners - one an SME. They are: Medical University of Vienna, Austria (Rees/Kain/Kerjaschki); University of Cambridge, UK (Smith); Leiden University Medical Centre, Netherlands (Daha/van Kooten); and Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (O’Neill). The Industry partners are Astra Zeneca, UK (Jürgensmeier), Baxter Austria (Kirschbaumer) and Hbt Netherlands (Rutjes). A second SME, Biolution, Vienna (Grünert) will contribute to training as a Level 2 partner. The training program will equip 11 ECR and 1 ER with considerable expertise in an aspect of translational science and an understanding of how to use it in academia or industry. It has five elements: (i) rigorous research training in a specific translational discipline in one of the partner’s laboratories but with attachments to others; (ii) broader training in of translational science through taught courses, regular scientific meetings and secondments to industry; (iii) a training program in the generic skills for scientists; (iv) specific training in the particular skills required by scientists working in industry; and (v) a unique program to facilitate mobility of scientists within Europe.
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