Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - TAF CHROMATIN (Study the ordered interactions of different transcription factors that generate an infinite potential to regulate gene expression)

This Marie Curie RTN, called TAF-Chromatin, was a very successful research and training network. The network has recruited all planed ESRs (except one, because at the University of Athens PhD courses are exclusively in Greek and, PhD thesises have to be written in Greek) and all of them started their PhD thesises at the different European Universities. Four of the recruited ESRs will defend their thesises at the end of 2008. The other recruited ESRs will defend their thesis in either 2009 or later. The network has recruited all the promised ERs (except one, because the Israeli partner could not recruit an ER) and they were fully involved in the different activities of the network. The encountered problems have been largely discussed during the mid term and the third year's network meetings and solutions have been found to distribute the remaining person/months to other members of the network. The network has exposed the researchers to different "schools of thoughts" in terms of disciplines, approaches, culture and techniques. The network has well co-ordinated its activities to ensure that co-operation and communication between the different participants were as open and efficient as possible. One of the unique features of this RTN was that it combined laboratories using important independent experimental systems (Drosophila and mammalian) and expertise from different disciplines (biochemistry, molecular biology, developmental biology, genetics and biophysics). This provided an excellent opportunity for high level training and transfer of knowledge of the appointed researchers to acquire broad skills in the field. The research activities of this network resulted in the publication of seven high impact joint scientific publications amongst different teams of the network. In addition the network published 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals of which the recruited researchers have co-signed 15.

Training was mainly carried out through research activities under the supervision of experienced researchers of the different teams. ESRs and ERs participated in structured training courses (e.g. tutoring, lecture courses, teaching) that were available in general locally, at the different research institutes or at the universities. We have organised FIVE network meetings, where all the recruited researchers participated together with all PIs at every occasion. At these meetings we have exploited the multidisciplinary aspects of the project and exposed the recruited ESRs and ERs to different "schools of thoughts". At networks meetings all the recruited ESRs and ERs have presented seminars and their results have been discussed. The ESRs and ERs have participated in courses, which provided complementary training normally outside of the network. Additional topics of interest have been included, such as presentation skills and language courses.

The ESRs and ERs participated in specialised network-wide events that enabled them to transfer their knowledge to other members of the research teams. They have exchanged knowledge with the members of other teams in the network through undertaking visits and secondments. Many of the ESRs and ERs visited other labs and participated in many different meetings and workshops out side of the network. Mentoring of early-stage researchers within the network was carried out by the corresponding PIs in order to pass on expertise and specialised knowledge. Development of complementary skills was reached by research management via the possible involvement of ESRs and ERs in the organisation of network activities and other aspects such as manuscript and proposal writings.

Our network was so successful and well known that several other European and American groups wanted to participate in our network activities. In the fourth year we have organised an "open" Chromatin network meeting in Szeged (Hungary), where additional groups from Europe, USA and Russia were invited.

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