REcreating the ideal Niche: environmental control Of cell Identity in Regenerating and diseased muscles
RENOIR is a European Training Network that aims to develop and implement a PhD programme in the field of muscle regeneration and aging.
Indeed, one of the major challenges in Europe for the coming decades is to have an ageing population, which is healthy and active, and to improve the quality of life of people affected by chronic diseases, ultimately providing a positive impact in productivity and competitiveness.
The major objective of RENOIR research programme is to ultimately unravel, using novel and integrated biotechnological tools, the progressive decline in skeletal and cardiac muscle mass and functionality, that represents the most critical and complex features associated with human ageing and disease.
Many of the pathological features of muscle degenerative diseases and aging are not only caused by the loss of function of structural proteins and/or the failure of muscle stem cells.
They are also due to the complex interactions of these cells with the surrounding environment that, when altered, can delay muscle repair and regeneration, modulate the inflammatory response, thus leading to disease exacerbation and fibrosis development.
A critical role in controlling these processes has been revealed also for physical and mechanical factors. Hence being such a multi-disciplinary endeavour, how the overall process is regulated is far from being fully elucidated, thus hampering therapeutic strategies.
RENOIR is a European Training Network that brings together 11 academic and 4 non-academic participants.
The multi-disciplinary research approach of RENOIR include both academic and industrial experts in the field of muscle regeneration, stem cells, aging and bioengeneering.
University of Milano – Bicocca
University of Milano – Bicocca UNIMIB
UNIMIB was ranked 51st in the world and 2nd in Italy in the Times Higher Education, rankings 2016, dedicated to the best hundred universities with less than 50 years, UNIMIB has extensive experience in managing EC grants. UNIMIB has a great experience in managing national, international and European projects.
Under the Horizon 2020 programme, UNIMIB won 43 projects: it hosts 2 MSCA-IF, is coordinator of 4 MSCA-ITN and beneficiary in 5 actions; it is coordinator of one MSCA-RISE, partner in 4 actions, and coordinates 5 ERC grants.
Therefore, UNIMIB is fully versed in financial management and general administration of these grants.
Furthermore, UNIMIB promotes the translation of research results through technology transfer operations (124 patents). Among its spin-offs, 14 are ready to capture the most promising opportunities from a broad range of technology sectors, with particular expertise in nanomedicine and biotechnology, therapeutic and diagnostic, energy and environment, smart materials and ICT.
At the present, UNIMIB has 69 active agreements with Universities and Research Centres all over the world (16 EU, 15 in the Americas – incl. USA and Canada – and 38 outside EU – including China, Japan, Australia, India). The School of Medicine and Surgery (SMS-UNIMIB) is located in the new Biomedical Campus of UNIMIB and covers various basic and clinical research areas: Biochemistry, Genetics, Immunology, Oncology and Hematology, Clinical Sciences. Activities involve also teaching at Bachelor, Master and PhD level, including the PhD program in Translational and Molecular Medicine, DIMET. DMC members are involved in national and international research programs. Funding is provided by the University, regional and national sources, EU research programmes, research contracts and private foundations.
The ESR will be enrolled in the Ph.D. Programme in Translational and Molecular Medicine (DIMET), University of Milano Bicocca (www.dimet.org).
IGB-CNR Institute of Genetics and Biophysics, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Institute of Genetics and Biophysics (CNR)
The CNR-IGB is located in an international research campus (Naples 1) that includes private and public Research Institutions dedicated to fundamental and translational research on human diseases.
The IGB is participating in different projects within the education and research program of the EU. In particular, the Institute has participated in several EU projects and has already coordinated two ITNs within FP7 (DISCHROM and INGENIUM) and is currently the Coordinator of a COFUND project (INCIPIT) within H2020.
The Institute is strong of 47 Scientists and 50 administrative and technical staff. IGB organizes and sponsors workshops, seminars and courses. The research groups host approximately 150 research trainees (undergraduate and graduate students, and post-docs). Funding is provided by CNR, regional and national sources, EU research programs, research contracts and private foundations. The involvement in training programmes is part of the activities of the CNR-IGB researchers, who actively participate in academic PhD programs of the Universities of Naples.
The ESR will be enrolled in the PhD programme in Biology (http://www.dipartimentodibiologia.unina.it/en/phd/) University of Naples “Federico II
University Claude Bernard Lyon 1
University Claude Bernard Lyon1 (UCBL)
The University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (UCBL) is the fifth largest French university, and the 1st one in the field of health, taking into account the number of students.
The UCBL student population is nearly 40 000, and it employs 2900 teachers/researchers and teachers, of which 700 are also hospital practitioners, as well as 1800 technical and administrative staff. The University has 73 state-funded research units working in three fields; health, the environment and material technologies. It is a multidisciplinary university specializing in both fundamental and applied research and as such it can boast more than 4415 internationally published articles and 44 patents per year. UCBL currently hosts 11 ERCs, 48 FP7-H2020 programs among which 21 in Biology and Health Sciences.
The Institut NeuroMyoGene (INMG) is located in the School of Medicine, nearby the biggest Hospitals of Lyon. This institute is a new research centre, opening on January 1rst 2016 and belonging to University Lyon1. This centre is in large part dedicated to neuromuscular physiology and pathology and gather basis scientists and clinicians to develop translational and preclinincal research. INMG includes 14 research teams, among which 4 ERCs, that actively participate in teaching and mentoring predoctoral and doctoral programmes at University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 in the two life sciences doctoral schools of the university.
The ESR will be enrolled in the PhD programme from EDISS School in Biology and Health in biology and health (http://www.ediss-lyon.fr/), at University of Lyon.
University of Manchester
University of Manchester (UNIMAN)
The UNIMAN offers world-leading multidisciplinary biomedical science and clinical translational strengths, all integrated within one single-site campus. UoM is a partner on all three funded UKRMP hubs: ‘Engineering and exploiting the stem cell niche’, ‘Acellular technologies, ‘Safety and efficacy’, and Immunomodulation. The MRC awarded UoM RM capital funding (07/2013, £694K) for stem cell analysis facilities. The TSB Cell Therapy Catapult supports UoM cell translational activities. The UoM possesses the necessary clinical infrastructure and associated support services to deliver a translational agenda to advance discovery science into new therapeutic approaches. Exceptional strengths in clinical and non-clinical graduate training will guarantee the highest level of education to trainees.
The ESR will be enrolled in the PhD Faculty of Medical & Human Sciences (http://www.mhs.manchester.ac.uk/) programme, University of Manchester.
University of Debrecen
University of Debrecen (UNIDEB)
University of Debrecen is one of the top three research universities in Hungary and a University of National Excellence.
The Faculty of Medicine has 23 clinical departments and 20 departments of basic sciences including Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Laszlo Nagy’s research group is part of RCMM (Research Centre for Molecular Medicine) research institute. The research groups of RCMM work in close collaboration with European and International partner institutions. In 2002, the research, training and networking activities of RCMM have been recognized by the European Commission and the “Centre of Excellence” title was awarded to the Centre. It hosts 28 research groups and 8 Core facilities and represents internationally recognized excellence in biomedical research. Its main research focus includes gene expression, nuclear receptors, clinical genomics, imaging, apoptosis, inflammation biology.
The ESR will be enrolled in the PhD program in Molecular and cellular immune biology at the Medical and Health Science Center at the University of Debrecen (https://www.edu.unideb.hu/)
Fondazione Santa Lucia
Fondazione Santa Lucia (FSL)
Fondazione Santa Lucia is a research institute associated with an internal clinic dedicated to patients with neuromuscular disorders. As such, there is a strong focus on research on neuromuscular disorders.
The Clinical Institute has an outstanding rehabilitation service. The research Institute is endowed with state-of-the-art services, including animal facility, FACS facility, and laboratories specialized in molecular biology and epigenetics to provide the optimal environment for pre-clinical studies and the investigations of muscle-derived cell types of interest. Funding is provided by national and international agencies, and includes the Epigen platform for next-generation sequencing.
ESR will be enrolled in PhD programmes from Universities of Milano Bicocca (www.dimet.org)
University of Naples
University of Naples (UNINA)
UNINA includes 10 Departments of the University of Naples Federico II, which belong to different scientific and technological areas such as engineering, biology, physics, and medicine. UNINA has been involved in several national and EU research projects in the last decade and has acquired a remarkable expertise in different scientific areas like materials science, polymer processing, implant design, cardiovascular surgery, tissue reconstruction and regeneration.
The activities cover all aspects of the entire design/production process of biomedical devices. Research is focused on Tissue Engineering applications, design and production of bioactive scaffolds, developing techniques for surface functionalization, engineering novel strategies for drug delivery, studying molecular transport in biological networks, bioreactors and processing of tissue engineered constructs. UNINA develops its activities in a dynamic environment allowing a fast information exchange, an efficient technological transfer among centers with highly specialized, but complementary, expertise.
The ESR will be enrolled in the PhD Programme in “Industrial product and process engineering” (http://www.dicmapi.unina.it/phd-programs/) of the University of Naples Federico II.
King’s College London
King’s College London (KCL)
King’s College London is one of the top 20 universities in the world (2015/16 QS international World University Rankings) and the fourth oldest in England. King’s has nearly 26,500 students (of whom more than 10,400 are graduate students) from some 150 countries worldwide, and more than 7,000 staff. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) King’s was ranked 6th nationally in the ‘power’ ranking, which takes into account both the quality and quantity of research activity, and 7th for quality according to Times Higher Education rankings. Eighty-four per cent of research at King’s was deemed ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (3* and 4*).
Dr. Ellison-Hughes’ lab focuses on understanding the role of tissue-specific stem cells in the homeostasis and regeneration of striated (skeletal and cardiac) muscle, for repair and maintenance of muscle tissue, particularly preventing and treating a loss of muscle mass (i.e. with ageing and/or disease). She is part of the Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine at KCL and the BHF National Centre for Regenerative Medicine.
The ESR will be enrolled in PhD programme in Basic and Medical Biosciences
Eden Tech is a new start-up in Paris, member of the NBIC Valley consortium, on advanced polymers solutions and low-cost and ultra-compact microfabrication systems for microfluidics.
The NBIC Valley is a SME consortium specialized in microfluidics that supports each other through facility sharing, administrative support, and general mentoring. The NBIC valley includes a wide range of entities, including Black Hole Labs, Elvesys, Darwin Microfluidics and 4D cell.
The IP-protected technology of Eden Microfluidics stems from a decade of research on nanoblocks chemistry and polymer formulation for microfluidic applications.
Research-wise, EM develops materials for demanding applications, such as fluoro-elastomers for organ-on-chip and complex liquids (oils, corrosives solutions). It also develops simple, low-cost and easy to use microfabrication units that can be deployed in every lab to almost any public. Our vision is to spread microfluidics beyond its current niches, with compact, plug-and-play systems and versatile polymers. Within this context, we welcome researchers of all fields to train them in microfluidics in a dynamic entrepreneurship environment.
The ESR will be enrolled in the Ph.D. Programme in Translational and Molecular Medicine (DIMET), University of Milano Bicocca (www.dimet.org)
Technion Research & Development Foundation Ltd.
Technion Research & Development Foundation Ltd. (TRDF)
Linked Entity: Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (TECHNION)
TRDF is the administrative arm of the Technion responsible for handling financial and administrative aspects of the involvement of Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in research projects including HR management, concluding the employment contracts and paying the fellows.
TRDF Ltd. will involve Technion – Israel Institute of Technology as an Entity with a capital or legal link responsible for Hosting and implementing the research training activities.
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
For more than a century, the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology has been Israel’s primary technological university and the largest centre of applied research in Israel.
The Technion is currently the highest ranked university in Israel according to The Shanghai Ranking Consultancy’s Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016 where it placed 69th out of 500 universities around the world. 61 experts from 20 different countries ranked the Technion 6th in The MIT Skoltech Initiative, and 1st for innovation in a challenging environment.
Many innovations in all fields of science, technology, engineering and life sciences have their origins in research conducted at the Technion.
In 2004, Distinguished Professors Avram Hershko and Aaron Ceichanover received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, for their pioneering research on degradation of intracellular proteins. In 2011, Distinguished Professor Dan Shechtman received the Nobel prize in Chemistry for his pioneering research on quasi-crystals, thus making the Technion one of a handful of universities world-wide housing multiple Nobel-laureates simultaneously.
More than 82,000 students have graduated from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, the oldest university in Israel. These graduates play leading roles in Israeli and international high tech industry, including 58 spin-off companies.
The Technion maintains close contacts with the industrial sector through the Technion Technology Transfer Office, Division for Continuing Education, The Israeli Institute of Metals, The Grand Water Research Institute and the Transportation Research Institute.
The Technion encourages scientific participation at a national and international level. The Technion invest considerable resources to promoting women in science as well as the integration of minorities through equal opportunity programs. Technion footsteps are imprinted in collaborative scientific research and outreach projects worldwide, making it a powerhouse of collaborative thought, blending inspiration and expertise from across the disciplines, with numerous international conferences and symposia each year. Bridging the gap between science and society, the Technion run numerous courses in entrepreneurship, innovation and scientific communication. The Entrepreneurship Center at Technion sponsors many and varied activities designed to take advantage of Technion’s outstanding capabilities in innovative technologies and applications.
HMGBiotech S.r.l. (HMGB)
HMGBiotech is a biotech company founded in 2005 by Pr. Bianchi, a leading scientist in HMGB field.
HMGBiotech provides reagents, services and ideas to other researchers and companies active in this promising field. HMGBiotech is participating in different research programs, such as Counterstroke project supported by the 7th framework program.
HMGBiotech has one site for offices (piazzale Gorini 8, 20133 Milano, Italy) and one for labs (within San Raffaele Science Park, via Olgettina 58, 20132 Milano, Italy). The labs are physically within one of the leading biomedical research institutes in Italy, San Raffaele, and HMGBiotech personnel has unrestricted access to facilities and services (including seminars, library and computer network). HMGBiotech sells materials and services for research, and has internal research and development programs.
HMGBiotech holds key patents and patent applications on the use of HMGB1 and/or fragments in muscle regeneration, immunity and autoimmunity. Current expertise of HMGBiotech is in biochemistry, purification of proteins, generation of constructs for new proteins, assays for inflammation and for cell migration.
The ESR will be enrolled in the Ph.D. Programme in Translational and Molecular Medicine (DIMET), University of Milano Bicocca (www.dimet.org).
Université Paris-Est Créteil
Université Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne (UPEC)
UPEC is one of the major multidisciplinary and vocational universities within the Paris area.
With 19 sites and its main campus only 20 minutes from the heart of the French capital by subway, its serves a population of over 38,000 students.
A public university, UPEC enjoys governmental and European support. Its diverse partnerships with business organizations enhance its local presence while favoring career opportunities for its students.
In direct contact with its socioeconomic environment, UPEC successfully combines academic and scientific excellence in a spirit of openness.
Italfarmaco SpA (ITF)
Italfarmaco is one of the leading Italian pharmaceutical groups with an increasing presence on international markets. The company has a strong internal research effort that includes the first clinical trials with epigenetic drugs in Duchenne Dystrophy
Parent Project aps
Parent Project aps is a nonprofit patient’s organization focused on Duchenne (DMD) and Becker (BMD) Muscular Dystrophy.
The organization take a comprehensive approach: funding research, raising awareness, promoting advocacy, connecting the community and broadening treatment options. Starting from 1999, Parent Project onlus organizes every year an international conference on Duchenne and Becker Muscular Dystrophy. The annual conference is a unique convergence of people living with Duchenne and their families, industry partners, scientific leaders, medical providers.
Pompeu Fabra University
Pompeu Fabra University (UPF)
The UPF stands out among Spanish universities in its commitment to pedagogy and training: it received the International Excellence Campus distinction (Spanish Ministry of Education, 2010) and it is the only Spanish university in the Times Higher Education Top 200 (THE Ranking, 2011).
The Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS) has a dedicated strategy of internationalisation of research lines, facilities and activities, as well as an accredited high quality of postgraduate training, that allow attracting and supporting foreign students and staff. The effort of attracting non-nationals is directly aligned with the DCEXS policy of internationalisation and attracting the most talented researchers. At least 15% of the teaching and research staff and 25% of DCEXS research assistants are foreign nationals, and about 40% of the teaching and research staff have experience or have earned their education overseas. 30% of official master’s students and 49% of doctoral students are international (2010-11).
The core facilities associated to the UPF are prepared to offer the services required to achieve the project goals, in particular to generate and house transgenic mice to study muscle inflammation and fibrosis during aging and disease.
The ESR will be enrolled in the PhD programme in Biomedicine, at the Pompeu Fabra University (http://www.upf.edu/phd-biomedicine/)
Only by combining different and complementary competences, bridging biological science and engineering we will be able to shed light on the multi-layered connections occurring during tissue remodelling in the healthy, pathological and aging muscle.
This will lead to new and successful approaches to modulate the host microenvironment to finally optimize tissue regeneration