Testimonial accelopment challenged us, as scientists, to identify why our idea really mattered and required fine detail in every aspect of our proposal. It is in these margins that success can be achieved.
Prof. Andrew Kellett
ClickGene Project Coordinator, NATURE-ETN Project Coordinator
Dublin City University, Ireland

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Nucleic Acids for Future Gene Editing, Immunotherapy and Epigenetic Sequence Modification

Nucleic acid (NA) therapeutics are expected to yield major advances in the treatment of human diseases, especially cancer. As NAs behave in a fundamentally different way than the small molecules traditionally forming the backbone of drug formulation, recent advances, such as gene editing, cancer immunotherapy, and epigenetic base manipulation overcome the limitations otherwise inherent to NAs. This new and fast growing field underpins Europe’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries and requires highly qualified experts in nucleic acid chemistry, biomaterials development and chemical biology.

NATURE-ETN is a European Training Network (ETN) project funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. With a multisectoral consortium focused on nucleic acid immunotherapy, gene editing, DNA crystallography, and epigenetic DNA sequencing technology, it aims to train 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to help fulfil the need for highly qualified experts in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries.

The ETN will leverage recent breakthrough discoveries in epigenetic manipulation, gene editing, small molecule DNA targeting, and rapid gene/transgene detection to extend the boundaries of molecular medicine and provide new tools for treating cancer and monogenetic diseases. The ESRs trained within NATURE-ETN will acquire the necessary knowledge and skillset to fill high-functioning industry jobs, but also to maintain and advance Europe’s competitiveness and innovation capacity.

This project contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3, 4 and 9.

Dublin City University, IE


Funded Project

Duration01.08.2012 - 31.07.2014
Budget1.14 million euro


We are happy to share our experience through transferable skills training for early-career researchers in ongoing MSCA-DNs. Pick and choose from six interactive, hands-on modules.



Learning about nucleic acid therapeutics during proposal writing and in the coming years is a fantastic opportunity for our company and me personally.

Dr. Marco Cavallaro
Research & Innovation Project Manager