"The herein proposed International Fellowship Program will be integrated into the recently funded Swiss translational research program, the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) TransCure, a joint research effort of 28 academic research groups located in major Swiss universities. The aim of the NCCR TransCure is to improve prevention and treatment of chronic diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative diseases, heart diseases, etc. Recent progresses in biomedical research have revealed that the dysfunction of specific membrane proteins contributes to the pathogenesis of these diseases. NCCR TransCure aims at studying the function of implicated membrane proteins and developing innovative drugs that control them in the diseased state.
Membrane transport proteins and ion channels are particularly important pharmaceutical targets as they are the gatekeepers of the membranes of cells and cell organelles. In particular, they control the uptake and efflux of vital substances such as sugars, vitamins, trace elements, signal molecules and drugs. Targeting these proteins has been rather neglected yet by the pharmaceutical industry due to their structural complexity and hydrophobic nature. Thus, these proteins represent a large and unexplored pharmaceutical wealth. The TransCure premise is that integration of medicine, structural biology and chemistry will be tremendously beneficial in accelerating the translational avenue from ""gene to drug"".
The future success of translational research in Europe depends on well-trained and multidisciplinary-oriented young researchers. The Swiss interdisciplinary TransCure research network represents the ideal platform for the training of such researchers from Europe and all over the world. Therefore, an integration of this COFUND IFP into TransCure will provide Europe with the long-sought ""next generation biomedical scientists"", necessary for the development of the ""next generation therapeutic drugs"" in the future."
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