For the past four years, five Programme Leaders in the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit (Dario Alessi, Simon Arthur, Philip Cohen, Carol MacKintosh and Kei Sakamoto) and four cell signalling laboratories at the College of Life Sciences in Dundee (Doreen Cantrell, Nick Leslie, Calum Sutherland and Colin Watts) have participated in a Research Training Group with 16 research laboratories at the University of Tübingen. The research into “The PI 3-kinase Pathway in Tumour Growth and Diabetes” is coordinated by Florian Lang and Sebastian Wesselborg and funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the German equivalent of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council in the UK.
The aim of the collaboration is to provide the Ph.D. students in this programme with a multidisciplinary training that will enable them to advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which the PI 3-kinase pathway contributes to tumour progression and diabetes in the future. The Tubingen researchers provide considerable expertise in the fields of apoptosis, oncology and diabetes that combines basic research in cellular and animal models with clinical research on large patient cohorts. Researchers in Dundee are well known internationally for their expertise in the biochemistry and molecular biology of the PI 3-kinase signalling pathway.
The success of the programme has recently led the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft to renew the Research Training Group for another four and a half years until March 2015. The Council particularly noted the excellence of the individual partners in Dundee, the unique international reputation of the University of Dundee in signalling biochemistry and the enthusiastic feedback of the German students after spending six months in the Dundee laboratories. The MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit is looking forward to another period of interaction with Tubingen and to welcoming the next cohort of students to Scotland for their research projects.