Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - FUNGEN (Introduction of modern functional genomics methods)

The FUNGEN project was implemented at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland for three years from 1 October 2005 to 30 September 2008. The main objective of the project was to introduce the latest methods in genomics related to transcriptome analysis, modern methods of protein targeting and function studies by means of international exchange of experienced personnel that would help us restore our international level in research. The project would contribute to the speeding-up process of restoring the reputation and scope of international collaboration.

The specific objectives were:
Specific objective 1: Introduction of the latest methods of transcriptome analysis: mass scale cDNA sequencing, gene silencing techniques, microarray techniques, latest methods concerning DNA and microarray databases analysis using bioinformatic tools.
Specific objective 2: Introduction of the latest methods of protein targeting and functional studies: analysis of protein interactions and functions, advanced techniques in studying protein subcellular localisation, latest methods concerning protein databases analysis using structural bioinformatic tools. This was achieved through the secondment of our staff to our eight partner institutions in the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

10 of our experienced and more experienced researchers learned new techniques, established international cooperation and increased their mobility, amounting in total for 41 person-months. We have also hosted 4 scientists experienced in modern, relevant molecular biology techniques - 2 from the Netherlands and two from India for a period of 41 person-months. The Dutch scientists have decided to stay and joined our institute as full-time faculty members. They have set up a laboratory of human molecular genetics and now they actively participate in the life of the Institute providing expertise and training both to our staff and students. They also successfully apply for research grants that contribute to the growth of the Institute. Within the FUNGEN project each year we organised a workshop for young Polish and European scientists that gave them the opportunity to learn from the best European researchers.

The following workshops were organised:
1st year: Poznan summer school of bioinformatics
2nd year: Poznan summer school of bioinformatics; microarray workshop
3rd year: Poznan summer school of bioinformatics and systems biology. Information on all the workshops can be found at

The project has been very successful; we hosted very skilled researchers and our scientists were able to visit European labs, which resulted in good scientific results and international cooperation that will continue beyond the duration of the project. It has visibly changed the work environment at our institute. English has become a commonly used language in our labs. Also all the seminars are now held in English, which leads to improved ability to present scientific results in public in a foreign language. This will be very helpful for our youngest researchers who will later participate in international conferences and work in other European labs. Also our students have benefited from that. They have been able to participate in lectures conducted in English, which will help them expand their scientific vocabulary and they have also been able to establish international contacts if they ever wish to pursue a scientific career. The visit of scientists of different cultural backgrounds has given us the opportunity to make our Institute truly international and open to various work styles and cultural diversity. This made our institute ready for international cooperation and as a result we now host two Masters students from Turkey as a part of an international student exchange program, who study and conduct experiments at our labs alongside Polish students.

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