Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - UBIREGULATORS (Signal Transduction by Ubiquitination, a Matter of Location)

The objective of the Network was to train 12 young European scientists in one of the most exciting areas of cell signalling using advanced techniques in molecular and cell biology, and to attain the highest standards of intellectual independence and responsibility. As coordinator one knows from the beginning that recruitment of 12 young people from another country is not an easy task. Young European scientists in their twenties dream of training in top European research institutes in cities like Cambridge, London and Paris, but less of devoting 2-4 years of their lives to science in European universities in countries with languages they have not learned at school. Thus, it required courage and perseverance to work as a PhD or post-doc project in a foreign country at an age at which their colleagues and friends train and live in a familiar environment. To meet the high expectations of the training network the task of the 12 principle investigators was to find and convince candidates of the opportunities and challenges to join their groups and contribute to their successes. Thanks to their experience and devotion it worked very well.

We recruited the fellows well within the time limits, the projects started as planned and all 12 people completed their task. No one left early. In the past 4 years, UbiRegulators worked very well: the research projects were performed as planned, the fellows have developed into mature scientists, and, most importantly, the European spirit became part of their lives.

The most important part of the training program were the UbiRegulator courses. Each of them was special; together, they covered most of the science of the Network. In the five courses the most prominent scientists acted as teachers and not only reported the state-of-the art of their science, they also demonstrated how their own careers evolved to the levels of leaders in their fields. It was clear that our fellows started to take (some of) them as their role-models. Among them was the Nobel prize winner 2004, Aaron Ciechanover, who received the Nobel prize for "the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation".

In addition, the course in Lauterbad (Freudenstadt) dealt in part with entrepreneurial and intellectual property issues. The closing meeting was held, 23. - 26.09.2010 in Hirschegg, Kleinwalsertal, Austria and organised by Dieter Wolf, USTUTT: "Ubiquitin and Ubiquitin-Like modifiers in cellular regulation and quality control". Seven fellows presented their projects in style for an international audience of ubiquitin experts. They showed that their training really worked and that they are ready for the next step in their careers. In addition they had the opportunity to get to know new groups in the ubiquitin field enabling them to widen their knowledge and contacts. Extensive discussions on walks in the alpine environment made this meeting very informative and special. Training courses were organised in Utrecht (2007), Stockholm (2007), Amsterdam (2008), Freudenstadt (2008), Cracow (MidTerm, 2008), Jerusalem (with RUBICON, 2010, and the closing meeting in Hirschegg, Kleinwalsertal, Austria.

Frequent personal contact between the coordinator and the principal investigators occurred not only during the regular meetings of UbiRegulators, also within the context of the Network of Excellence Rubicon and on other international conferences. This resulted in a smoothly acting network that was able to meet all contract obligations. Altogether, all 8 PhD students are currently working on the final stages of their theses, while three of the four post-docs are still employed by their initial research institute. For the excellent organisation of the MidTerm Review Meeting in Cracow we owe Dr Teresa Zoladek (IBB PAS). Special thanks also goes to Prof. Dieter Wolf (Stuttgart University) for organising two great meetings: the Freudenstadt meeting and the closing meeting at Soellerhaus. We are very grateful for the excellent administrative work of Marion Bleeker and Joost Warsanis.

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