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Content archived on 2024-05-28

DIAbetes Trans-national Research Advancement for INvestigators

Final Report Summary - DIATRAIN (DIAbetes Trans-national Research Advancement for INvestigators)

Today, diabetes represents a real epidemic all over the world. As stated by the “IDF Diabetes Atlas – 7th Edition” published in 2015 by the International Diabetes Federation, it is estimated that more than 415 million people worldwide, including about 60 million Europeans, have diabetes. There is a need to overcome this health and socioeconomic problem and great efforts need to be done to foster diabetes awareness and prevention across society and also to improve the quality of biomedical research in this field. As part of these efforts, the Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red (CIBER), especially the area of diabetes and associated metabolic disorders (CIBERDEM), has created the DIAbetes Trans-national Research Advancement for Investigators programme (DIATRAIN), a European Commission FP7 Marie Curie - COFUND mobility programme coordinated by Dr. Ramon Gomis. This program aims to provide experienced researchers, including both CIBER staff members and researchers working at foreign institutions, with unique career development opportunities. This will foster international research collaborations and new research opportunities in the field of diabetes and associated metabolic diseases.

DIATRAIN is structured into two mobility schemes:

- COMP - CIBERDEM Outgoing Mobility Programme: CIBER staff with a permanent position is eligible (non-permanent positions are also eligible if a return phase is foreseen); the fellowship duration is from six months to one year; the destination is any non-Spanish research organisation (EU and Third countries).
- CIMP - CIBERDEM Incoming Mobility Programme: Experienced researchers with a doctoral degree and fulfilling the selection criteria are eligible researchers; the fellowship duration is two years; any CIBERDEM research group is the destination, depending on the availability of the group.

DIATRAIN objectives are to offer a total of nine fellowships for the COMP and four fellowships for the CIMP. With these research fellowships, DIATRAIN gives the resources that fellows need to have a successful research experience abroad that will later serve as a tool for personal and professional enrichment. Also, it contributes to achieve the main objectives of CIBER which are to lead the way in research of excellence into diabetes and associated metabolic disorders and to accelerate the transfer of scientific results to clinical practice.

DIATRAIN started on 4 September, 2011 and ended on 3 September, 2015. During the project, a total of six calls of the COMP programme and three calls of the CIMP programme were executed, awarding eight and four fellowships respectively. Candidates were selected on a basis of scientific merits and experience, so an equal opportunity policy was followed, without gender discrimination.

The DIATRAIN programme awarded eight researchers with the COMP fellowship, which allowed them to carry out a research stay in the following Host Institutions:

- Centre de Pharmacologie & Innovation dans le Diabète (CPID), Montpellier, France
- Institut de Génétique Moléculaire de Montpellier (IGMM), Montpellier, France.
- Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA
- University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
- Columbia University, New York, USA
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
- The Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Oxford, UK
- University of Padova, Padova, Italy

The DIATRAIN programme awarded four researchers with the CIMP fellowship, which allowed them to carry out a research stay at CIBER, in the following research groups:

- Dr. Jorge Ferrer at CIBERDEM – Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas August PI I Sunyer, Barcelona, Spain
- Dr. Luis Castaño at CIBERDEM - Asociación Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Biocruces, Barakaldo, Spain
- Dr. Ramon Gomis at CIBERDEM - Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas August PI I Sunyer, Barcelona, Spain
- Dr. Héctor Escobar at CIBERDEM – Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain

DIATRAIN has given researchers the possibility to improve their skills, knowledge and competences by participating in international events, courses and workshops related to their work. The stays in some of the best international research institutions, has given them the chance to carry out their own projects in Diabetes, working in different aspects such as, epidemiology, genetics and epigenetics of diabetes mellitus, chronic complications, molecular and cellular determinants of pancreatic islets function, damage and protection, regenerative medicine and advanced therapies, cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the development and progression of type 2 diabetes and identification of novel therapeutic targets. As a result of these fellowships, new strategic alliances between research groups with similar interests in the field of diabetes have been forged, and the scientific impact and quality of their research has increased, which will be translated in the future in better scientific results and the obtaining of competitive funding. Thanks to the experience gained by researchers during their fellowships, new techniques, ideas and collaborations have been introduced in CIBERDEM.

Both programmes have achieved high quality scientific outcomes and scientific impact with several publications published in peer-reviewed journals such as Cell Reports, Cell Metabolism, Frontiers in Neuroscience, Journal of Reproductive Immunology, Methods in Molecular Biology, Diabetologia... and it is expected to continue in the future.

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The DIATRAIN Management Team can be reached at