Skip to main content

Genomics and Mechanisms in Translational Medicine Doctoral Programme

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GenomMed (Genomics and Mechanisms in Translational Medicine Doctoral Programme)

Reporting period: 2017-04-01 to 2019-03-31

European and global health care is faced with a growing burden of major age-associated diseases such as cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (including type 2 diabetes and obesity) and neurological diseases (including Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic epilepsy). The objective of research in this doctoral program is to produce internationally significant findings which affect the prevention, diagnostics and treatment of the diseases studied, and which support cooperation between the university and businesses and the emergence of new companies.
New means of diagnosis and treatment are needed to survive the challenges in health care. Genomics focuses on utilizing –“omics” technologies, such as genetics, transcriptomics, epigenetics, proteomics and metabolomics approaches to study genomics in an integrative manner. These methods are used to perform target and pathway analysis to identify key genomic mechanisms relevant to cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and neurosciences.
The objective of the GenomMed doctoral program is to train international experts
• who aim to solve health care -related questions in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and neurosciences,
• who are wanted in the European job market, and
• who are future research leaders in translational genomics.

The aim of the program is that the graduates are wanted employees in Europe at all career stages, thereby strengthening the human capital in Europe and increasing its competiveness and attractiveness as a business location on global scale.
1. Management
Steering group oversees the implementation, monitoring, quality control, dissemination and reporting of the program and makes the strategic decisions. The steering group was formed of the participating Principal Investigators (PIs) and an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) and the program manager. The ESRs selected themselves a member and a vice member for the steering group. The steering group meetings were arranged to evaluate the status of the doctoral programme, to discuss about on-going research projects results and advice on the dissemination and exploitation potential and on ethical issues review and as well address matters raised by partners or by ESRs.
Each ESR is a part of one local research group, and each ESR has at least two supervisors. The main supervisor, who is the PI of the research group, has a full responsibility for the overall management of the ESRs training and research project. Additional supervisors guide the ESR related to their own scientific expertise. The main supervisor together with co-supervisors offer advice and guidance to the ESR towards the completion of the PhD degree. Working with the ESRs, they help them to prepare appropriate ambitious personal career development plans and provide feedback on the research work progress, on the writing of scientific research articles and on presentations of the research results in seminars. The quality and efficacy of the supervision and progress of each ESRs is monitored and assessed annually by a follow-up query. The main supervisor and ESR are required to discuss the results together.

2. Selection and evaluation
The recruitment process targeted talented and highly motivated ESRs from all over the world. GenomMed selected the researchers following open, merit-based, transparent, impartial and equitable selection procedures. The recruitment of 12 ESRs was done in two calls with identical processes.

3. Training and dissemination
GenomMed offers research-oriented PhD training in genomics, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, neurosciences, and clinical adaptation of research results. The transferable skills curriculum provides ESRs an opportunity to acquire skills needed in changing career paths after their initial researcher training. The ESRs have been encouraged to have at least one secondment/internship to another organization and/or private sector collaborator.
All publications made in the GenomMed doctoral program are open access. During the first two years of the program, one article has been submitted (please note: the article was accepted for publication).
ESRs have attended numerous conferences, seminars and workshops during the program. They have held 20 poster presentations and one oral presentation.
For dissemination purposes, GenomMed uses mainly the Twitter account (https://twitter.com/genommed) and the webpage (www.uef.fi/genommed).

4. Ethics
Ethical principles are followed in all activities of the GenomMed doctoral program starting with launching the call, evaluation, recruitment, training, supervision, conducting research, management, and graduation. The steering group is responsible for ensuring that ethical demands are met in each project.
ESRs respect the fundamental ethical principles, scientific practice and national and international regulations concerning ethical issues in research. ESRs are also obliged to include research ethics course in their curriculum.
The GenomMed program trains international experts who are wanted in the European job market and future research leaders in translational genomics. These experts aim to solve health care -related questions in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and neurosciences. They will have skills to create solutions and innovations to develop novel treatments in the European and global environment. Career development is a built-in feature of the training leading to increased employability of graduates in and outside academia and enhanced R&I input for the European economy and society.