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RNA in disease

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RiboMed (RNA in disease)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2020-11-30

The RiboMed twinning project aims to boost RNA research at Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM) in Lisbon, Portugal. There are four pillars in our RiboMed networking strategy: 1) Promoting scientific excellence through the implementation of joint research projects between iMM and the partner institutions; 2) Nurturing a community of self-challenging and ambitious students and earlystage researchers at iMM through ensuring the early integration of Master and PhD students in international training and mentoring networks, facilitating conference attendance, and organizing summer schools, thematic courses and on-site training; 3) Raising international awareness of iMM human capital and high-quality research teams through mobility of researchers, targeted dissemination and communication activities, and onsite organization of workshops and a major international conference; 4) Consolidating the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem at iMM through translation of basic findings into potential novel RNA biomarkers, RNA-based diagnostic assays and RNA therapeutic targets.
Since the beginning of the RiboMed project in the first of September 2019, there are 5 ongoing collaborative research efforts involving 3 staff exchanges. Two external RNA experts visited and lectured at iMM and one on-site training workshop was organized. A total of 7 early stage researchers at iMM presented their work in international conferences and attended specialized training courses. 8 grant applications to national and international funding programmes have been approved and are being closely monitored in terms of IP management and exploitation. 9 new inventions have already been identified and 4 PCT patent applications have been filed. The identification of research results and research capacities has generated 14 formal partnerships with industry, including some of the major biopharma companies.
The RiboMed twinning project is contributing to place iMM in Lisbon within the core of European laboratories that are producing frontier research on how transcription and RNA processing shape and define the complexity of human disease.