Testimonial Our project organization including the management structure was adapted to the needs of an FP7 Initial Training Network.
Prof. Ariel Ruiz i Altaba
HEALING Project Coordinator,
University of Geneva, Switzerland

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HEALING

Joint training and research on Hedhehog-Gli signalling and its pharmacological modulation for regenerative medicine

Debilitating degenerative diseases such as non-healing wounds and neurodegeneration do not yet have a cure. They represent a huge unmet medical need worldwide, especially in the aging European population. To reduce the incidence and improve recovery from such epithelial diseases there is a major need to understand molecular signaling in order to promote stem cell behavior and enhance regeneration and healing. The key objectives of the HEALING network are 1) to train researchers in the fields of molecular signaling, developmental genetics, stem cell biology, and small molecule chemistry; 2) to elucidate the mechanisms regulating one of the most promising pathways, Hedgehog-Gli (Hh-Gli) signaling; 3) to manipulate it by the development of specific small molecule agonists for future therapeutic use. Specifically, our research will (a) analyze the basic molecular mechanisms of Hh-Gli signaling in two model organisms and in human cells using leading technologies. In particular, (b) address the mechanisms that ensure controlled Hh-Gli function during skin wound healing and brain repair. (c) develop new small molecule Hh-Gli agonists for use as tools to be used as future therapeutics to enhance wound healing, regeneration and repair in a controlled manner. This network consists of 7 leading academic and research institutions, and 2 biotech companies from 8 European countries. It strengthens existing scientific collaboration, provides complementary expertise and brings together a critical mass for training and research. Additionally, it includes experts from Europe, Canada and Singapore, notably a pioneer in Hh-Gli signaling. HEALING will greatly enhance the training of the next generation of leading scientists in Hh-Gli signaling, stem cells and regenerative medicine. Thus, it will increase the competitiveness of highly skilled staff and of the European biotech industry, which has just recently discovered the role of Hh-Gli signaling in human disease and lags behind the US.

Coordinator:
Université de Genève, CH

Partners:

Project




AreaMaterials
ProgrammeFP7-NMP
Duration01.02.2013 - 31.01.2016
Budget5.2 million euro
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