"It really was a group effort and I am delighted to be able to train the next generation of PhDs with these excellent scientists", says Manuela Baccarini, scientific coordinator of the program. The FWF will fund the program with €2.2 million for a period of four years, starting on May 1st 2017. The aim of SMICH is to understand how cells and organisms maintain their internal stability (called "homeostasis") when environmental conditions around them change. This adaptation process depends on intracellular cascades of hierarchically organized proteins which transmit signals leading to changes in the cell’s gene expression pattern as well as to proteome remodeling by protein degradation pathways, specifically by autophagy.
SMICH students and PIs will work together to investigate how homeostasis is regulated by signaling mechanisms in a variety of biological processes at the cellular, tissue, organ and organismal stage. Through lecture series, advanced methods workshops, and most of all through multidisciplinary projects, the PhD students will train in cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, immunology, structural biology, mathematical modeling and bioinformatics. "This broadening of the students’ horizon will be the most valuable contribution to their professional profiles. Being able to understand and deploy multidisciplinary approaches to answer complex scientific questions will promote flexibility and creativity and prepare these young scientists for the increasingly interdisciplinary field of biological research", says Manuela Baccarini.
Further details on the program and a list of the participating groups can be found here.