Mission Statement: "To enhance the knowledge base and mobility of researchers in biomembranes so as to generate effective, motivated and ambitious scientists with the skills to significantly improve out understanding of biological systems and through this, facilitate the development of innovative technologies and novel therapies". The biological membrane is the gateway and principal organisational element of the cell. Its evolution was a key step in the development of "Life". Thus, determining the structural and functional features of biomembranes will provide the essential platform for understanding cellular activity and regulation, for positive therapeutic intervention and for stimulating new scientific developments involving fundamental chemistry, physics and mathematics. The biomembrane typifies the integrated nature of biological sciences in that accurate, comprehensive knowledge of its individual components requires a thorough appreciation of the intact entity. The consortium which constitutes this training site is taking, therefore, a holistic view of this central element in biology, by studying the relationships and fundamental features of proteins and their lipid environment in the context, where appropriate, of high quality projects. The various experts are grouped into co-ordinated clusters each of which is charged with delivering a training programme, integrated at Executive level. The scientific areas to be covered range from biochemistry to biophysics and encompass a variety of horizontal skills such as Bioinformatics. The core components of the training site are designed to be complementary and addictive, thereby contributing to an accurate and meaningful description of the intact biological membrane. Finally, careful attention will be paid to the development of personal skills and individual monitoring, the overall object being the generation of multi-skilled flexible researchers equipped to meet the challenges that beckon.
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