Tuesday, 27 October 2020

ROPES: a European consortium coordinated by CIBIO to train young researchers in epitranscriptomics

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The Department CIBIO at UniTrento will coordinate the European Training Network named ROPES (ROle of EPitranscriptomics in DiseasES) granted in the framework of the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action for Innovative Training Network (ITN).

The project aims to unravel the role of epitranscriptomics in diseases and to exploit it for novel therapies. ROPES, awarded with 3M € from the European Commission, will start on next December and will recruit Early Stage Researchers to perform innovative research projects in cooperation with leading universities in Europe and the United States of America.

Epitranscriptomics is an emergent field of research, studying more than 100 types of chemical RNA modifications. These chemical marks impact many aspects of cellular physiology and pathology by mechanisms which are still barely understood. Its far-reaching implications promise to yield paradigm-shift approaches for the development of novel therapies for severe diseases.

The project involves ten European laboratories and one biotech company from nine different countries, including: the Medical University of Wien (Austria), the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (Poland), the Umea University (Sweden), the German Cancer Research Center DKFZ (Germany), il Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy), the Centre for Genomic Regulation (Spain), CEITEC- University of Masaryk (Czech Republic), Immagina Biotechnology Srl (Italy), Free University of Bruxelles (Belgium).

The ROPES consortium was born from a previous collaboration of participants within the COST Action EPITRAN (https://epitran.eu/), coordinated by Prof. Quattrone at the Department CIBIO on the same topic. The networking activities allowed to build a critical mass of European scientists working on epitranscriptomics. In this respect, ROPES is the natural continuation of EPITRAN, with a fundamental focus on bringing epitranscriptomics to the pre-clinics.

ROPES will recruit twelve early-stage researchers, two of which at the Department CIBIO within the Laboratory of Translational Genomics led by Prof. Alessandro Quattrone (coordinator of the project) and the Laboratory of RNA Regulatory Networks led by Dr. Erik Dassi.

The ROPES project will be a unique opportunity for their career development of the fellows that will be recruited in the academy and industry. These young researchers will be exposed to research and innovation activities through the supervision of a European top-class network of researchers in the field of epitranscriptomics to become the next generation of scientists and innovators in the field.