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Fellowship Programme supporting Career Development and Interdisciplinary Training in Omics driven Personalised Medicine

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - TOPMed10 (Fellowship Programme supporting Career Development and Interdisciplinary Training in Omics driven Personalised Medicine)

Reporting period: 2019-07-01 to 2021-06-30

An important part of the H2020 vision is the provision of multidisciplinary education and training at all levels across relevant sectors and disciplines in order to overcome the existing bottlenecks in knowledge, skills, technological expertise and cross-disciplinary flow of information necessary to deliver on personalised medicine. For successful integration of omics-based personalised medicine into clinical applications it is necessary for cross-disciplinary scientists to learn one another’s languages, to work together effectively and to engage with the clinical community on research projects that translate omics technologies and associated computational analysis into the clinic including the design and execution of clinical trials in personalised medicine.

The objective of TOPMed10 is to offer prestigious fellowships to the coming generation of researchers and clinicians, to prepare them for the challenges and opportunities of personalised medicine and to equip them with new skills, interdisciplinary and intersectoral experience, and a wider range of competencies to enhance their career. development prospects. This is in line with the main objective for the Individual Fellowships Action from the MSCA Work Programme 2014 – 2015, which is to “enhance the creative and innovative potential of Experienced Researchers who wish to diversify their individual competence in terms of skill acquisition through advanced training, international and intersectoral mobility.
In the first period of the programme, TOPMed10 put in place its management structure, selection and recruitment processes, a call dissemination strategy as well as ethics review procedures. 9 fellows were recruited on fellowships of 2-3 years in duration, across two calls. Fellowships are based across five UCD Research Institutes: Systems Biology Ireland, UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology, UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, the UCD Clinical Research Centre, the UCD Institute of Food and Health; with seven fellows located on site at the UCD Belfield Campus and two located at affiliated university hospitals. Fellows are supervised by world-leading researchers in the biomedical sciences, and together are forming a cohort of early career leaders in personalised medicine.

In the second period of the programme, TOPMed10 focused on providing the necessary supports to fellows to implement their research projects and to facilitate their personal development plans. Supports are in place for training, career coaching and professional development, secondment, research dissemination and public engagement. To date, fellows have disseminated their research across 28 posters, 18 oral presentations and 3 publications. Further articles are pending publication. Fellows have participated in 29 training events in addition to 18 public engagement events. Two fellows have departed the programme to take up research positions in both the academic and industry sector.
TOPMed10 fellows are working on a range of application areas including colorectal and skin cancer, dermatology, HIV, rheumatoid arthritis, personalised nutrition, drug delivery and visual impairment, bringing advances in omics driven technologies to these fields to develop personalised therapies for these challenging conditions. It is hoped that the projects will result in a range of impacts from new understanding of basic biology and improved outcomes for patients. By developing a cohort of early career leaders in personalised medicine with an emphasis on interdisciplinary training and career support, TOPMed10 aims to serve as a blueprint for what biomedical training can look like in the future.
TOPMed10 - New leaders in omics driven personalised medicine