The recent explosion of next generation sequencing (NGS) data has caught Europe unprepared and led to a critical shortage of computational biology expertise. As NGS methods are expected to become pervasive from basic science to personalized medicine there is an urgent need for highly skilled young scientists trained in both computational biology and experimental wet lab biology.
Our network addresses this important problem of the post-genomic era. We aim to provide multi-disciplinary skills for a solid foundation in computational biology and developmental genomics. Developmental genomics is central to understanding of ontogeny and many genetic and congenital anomalies, but was outside the scope of the landmark ENCODE and FANTOM projects.
ENCODE highlighted the need for an in vivo vertebrate model that enables high throughput in vivo functional testing of hypotheses generated from genome scale annotation. Zebrafish is an ideal model for extending the scope of genomics to vertebrate development. We aim to comprehensively annotate functional elements, decipher genomic codes of transcription, as well as coding and non-coding gene function during development and enhance zebrafish as an attractive developmental, comparative and disease model.
The participants include 7 non-academic members (2 of which are beneficiaries), major zebrafish genomics laboratories, eminent computational biologists and world class genomics technology experts active in FANTOM and ENCODE. The training program involves 15 ESRs, more than 40 intersectoral and interdisciplinary secondments totalling 19 months, 7 training courses and 2 workshops/conferences. The main outcome of this programme is a cohort of researchers with computational, experimental laboratory and transferable skills ready to further their career in academia, public health and the private sector.
EU-Japan aspect in ZENCODE-ITN:
RIKEN has collaborated with some EU groups in the past on genomics of Zebrafish, a great model for many aspects of biology, in particular gene regulation, development, and even diseases.
ZENCODE gives us the possibility to contribute to the formation to a large genome resource and to continue to work with brilliant researchers in the EU.
Participating in such consortia gives access to (1) information and all the data-sets generated in the consortium, (2) expertise, (3) novel technologies developed in the consortium. This will help much in cross-validating genes between projects in Japan. There is also a very strong synergism with the RIKEN project called FANTOM (http://fantom.gsc.riken.jp/).
Period: From From 2015-01-01 to 2018-12-31
Total cost: EUR 3,948,843.96
EU contribution: EUR 3,948,843.96
Project information: http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/193984_en.html
Project website: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/generic/zencode-itn/index.aspx
The Japanese partner in this project used EU funds (EUR 268,361.64).
THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM (United Kingdom)
Members of the consortium:
IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE (United Kingdom)
MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN EV (Germany)
KAROLINSKA INSTITUTET (Sweden)
KING'S COLLEGE LONDON (United Kingdom)
UNIVERSITE DE LIEGE (Belgium)
GENOME RESEARCH LIMITED (United Kingdom)
KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FUER TECHNOLOGIE (Germany)
RIKEN THE INSTITUTE OF PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL RESEARCH (Japan)
CONSORCI INSTITUT D'INVESTIGACIONS BIOMEDIQUES AUGUST PI I SUNYER (Spain)
BGI EUROPE INSTITUTE FOND (Denmark)