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Nucleic Acid Based Drug Design Training Center

Final Activity Report Summary - NAC-DRUG (Nucleic acid based drug design training centre)

The general objective of 'Nucleic acid chemistry in drug design' (NAC-DRUG) was to educate PhD students in multidisciplinary research with focus on diagnostic and drug applications of nucleic acids. Core disciplines were selected from chemistry and molecular biology to train students in the design, synthesis and characterisation of new nucleic acids constructs; the properties of the constructs were evaluated in biochemical/molecular biological systems to ascertain their potential functions as drugs.

All planned activities have been carried out successfully and within the planned schedule. 28 Early stage researcher (ESR) have been employed during the four years divided almost equally between female researchers (50.3% of all delivered person months - corresponding to 149.5 research months) and male researchers (49.7%, corresponding to 147.5 research months). During the whole project period 73% of the research months were used for PhD students from EU and associated countries. Three researchers with partner and children also participated successfully in the NAC-DRUG project as well.

Meetings: The NAC-DRUG held several scientific meetings during the four-year period divided on: two summer schools, two symposium, 30 seminar lectures, 12 center meetings with 35 lectures.

For cumulative reporting of publication, approximately 135 publications have been published in international journals by the supervisors of NAC-DRUG during 2004-2008. At this stage 18 joint publications, four conference proceedings and two patent applications have been published including the early-stage researcher as co-author. Two publications are in press and seven publications have been submitted and six manuscripts are in preparation. The number of publications achieved was, unsurprisingly, linked to the duration of the fellowship and the level of experience of the fellows.

At the present time ten fellows have received their PhD degree from their home university and seven former ESRs are employed as postdocs at universities around the world and two are employed in the pharmaceutical industry.