The Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway is at the core of multiple fundamental biological processes controlling metabolism, protein synthesis, cell growth, survival, and migration. This inevitably leads to the involvement of the PI3K signalling pathway in a number of different diseases, ranging from inflammation and diabetes to cancer, with PI3K pathway alterations present in almost 80% of human cancers. Therefore, PI3Ks have emerged as important targets for drug discovery.
A complete spectrum of scientific and technological capabilities is needed to decipher in detail how PI3K functions. To this end, European academic, clinical and industrial units in PI3K signalling have gathered to compose the training network “Phd: Deciphering PI3K biology in health and disease“. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 675392. The Phd network has the ultimate aim to bring together complementary expertise, added value, unique tools and excellence knowledge in a common effort to train a new generation of early stage researchers (ESRs), and prepare them for leading roles in research and drug discovery in European industry and academia. 15 highly motivated ESRs will participate in the multidisciplinary and inter-sectorial research training program that will cover innovative and state-of-the-art approaches for exploring PI3K family members and signalling pathways in physiology and disease.
Mariona Graupera, head of the Angiogenesis Signaling Pathways research group at
the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), is the coordinator of the project. The consortium is formed by 10 beneficiaries from 6 different European countries: IDIBELL, Spain; University College London (UCL), United Kingdom; Forschungsverbund Berlin E.V (FVB-FMP), Germany; The Babraham Institute (BI), United Kingdom; Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), France; Centre Européen de Recherche en Biologie et Médecine (CERBM-GIE), France; Fundació Privada Institut d’Investigació Oncològica Vall d’Hebron (VHIO), Spain; Università degli Studi di Torino (UNITO), Italy; Universität Basel (UNIBASEL), Switzerland; and ARIVIS AG, Germany.
The project started on the 1st November 2015 and on the 13th of January 2016, the first Phd Network meeting took place. The meeting was held at the Institut d’Estudis Catalans in Barcelona. The goals of the meeting were to initiate the project, to ensure that all participants had a complete overview of the aims and structure of the project, and to establish good working relationships between the project partners.