Epigenetics in complex traits and diseases, is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded by the European Commission. Altogether 10 PhD posts and 6 Post-doc posts are available within the network to begin between March and October 2013.
EpiTrain consists of six host partners and five associate partners that form a group of world leading scientists with cross-disciplinary expertise and research capacities. The group integrates academic and private institutions with specializations in technological, analytical and computational aspects of genetic epidemiology and epigenetics.
The goal of the EpiTrain network is to provide open training facilities for the next generation of researchers in the field of medical epigenetic research. By training a new generation of researchers across the whole spectrum of research that takes place in the context of this training program, synergies between the different research components is created. Importantly, this EpiTrain training program has a strong impact on European Research allowing researchers to cross the borders between different disciplines. EpiTrain applies and integrates existing epidemiological, genetic and molecular techniques to investigate the molecular consequences of the gene-environment interactions on a large scale across a range of common diseases, such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and neuropsychiatric illnesses (autism, substance dependence, etc.) but also to develop and test novel tools for epigenetic analyses. Our efforts focus on the following broad thematic areas of research:
A Systems Biology Approach: Integrating epigenetic and genetic whole genome information to understand the aetiology of common diseases.
Epigenetic Epidemiology: The use of disease-discordant identical twins as a tool for evaluating the influence of epigenetics on common disease phenotypes.
Epigenetic Technologies: Development and application of novel biological assays to characterize the epigenome
Computational Epigenomics: Development of novel analytical approaches to quantify and analyze epigenetic variation.
To address these aims the EpiTrain ITN has assembled a group of world leading scientists with cross-disciplinary expertise and research capabilities. The group integrates academic and private institutions with specializations in technological, analytical and computational aspects of genetic epidemiologic and epigenetic research. By promoting integrative training-through-research the network offers the EpiTrain ITN students, at both pre- and post-doctoral level, a very high-level of training within the multidisciplinary framework of the high quality international collaborations and cutting-edge methodologies of this project. Overall, the training program will not only provide insights into research techniques and paradigms complementary to the individual projects, but will also strengthen professional skills and enhance the career prospects of the fellows.
Integration with small and medium-sized enterprises
EpiTrain recognizes the importance and value of integrated training involving both academic and industrial settings. By inclusion of industrial partners, the EpiTrain projects offer the exciting opportunity for students to experience and benefit from cutting-edge research currently not found in academia or industry alone. In particular, the three major benefits are:
- The integrated academic-industrial projects of EpiTrain enable students to conduct highly competitive and original research, using the latest technologies that would not be possible otherwise.
- The increased multi-disciplinary of EpiTrain over standard studentships will result in much broader research training for the student.
- Experience of academic and industrial research environments provide the students with a more balanced career prospective and improve future employability.
To achieve this balance, the two participating SMEs (Diagenode and TATAA) are fully integrated into the training program. In addition the network has the advantage of a large Pharma partner in Pfizer (based in Cambridge, UK) – who will offer another perspective – that of pharmaceutical development in a range of diseases.
Map of the EpiTrain network The EpiTrain program combines Europe’s top academic teams (backed by US and Australian world leaders) together with industry to produce an unparalleled and multi-faceted European training program for exploring the epigenetics of common disease in the future.
Visit EpiTrain webpage for more information.