Training Program

SPHINGONET offers twelve incoming young researchers a highly versatile and research-oriented training program at the interface of medical, chemical and systems biology. Its primary aim is to educate a future generation of visionary scientists and entrepreneurs capable of developing their own strong programs in Europe’s academia, industry and other vital sectors.

The fellows will benefit from exposure to a closely-knit network of eleven international teams - 2 from industry and 9 from academia - all at top-ranked institutions. Each team was selected according to criteria of scientific excellence, experience with training, and well organized research and teaching facilities. All have strong individual track records in innovative research and in the development of groundbreaking technologies.

The fellows recruited by SPHINGONET will explore a broad range of training activities. These include:

  • Individual ‘hands-on’ research projects at the interface of two disciplines.
  • Personal mentoring by two network partners.
  • Joint projects with industry and research visits to network associated laboratories.
  • Regular network meetings, summer school and international conference with invited distinguished experts.
  • Network-wide training through lectures, tutorials, courses and career development workshops.
  • Training in entrepreneurship and technology transfer between academia and industry.
  • Membership Young Researchers Council involved in organization of international meetings and outreach activities.
  • Writing annual progress reports, a grant application and a business plan.
  • Presentation techniques for international conferences, patient organizations and the business world.

An overview of SPHINGONET’s specialized courses and career development workshops follows below.

Module Title Organizer Objective
Summer School Sphingolipid biology
and disease
To familiarize fellows with basic concepts in sphingolipid biology and the molecular and cellular pathogenesis of sphingolipid-related disorders
Course (C1) Development of therapeutic peptides Theoretical and practical training in the development of therapeutic peptides
Course (C2) to be announced to be announced to be announced
Course (C3) Design and application
of semi-synthetic protein-based sensors
Introduction to the use of semi-synthetic protein sensors for measuring the concentration of lipids with temporal and spatial resolution in live cells
Course (C4) Photoactivatable proteins
and lipids
Introduction to the chemistry and biophysics of photoacti- vatable protecting groups, their chemical introduction into lipids & proteins, and application of caged biomolecules
Course (C5) Membrane and phospho- proteomics Theoretical and practical principles of mass spectrometry based proteomics and how these can be applied to address a wide variety of biological processes
Course (C6) Systems biology of organelle function and homeostasis Theoretical background and practical know-how on systems biology approaches in different model systems by leading experts
Workshop (W1) Preclinical research: from bench to bedside To familiarize fellows with all aspects of pre-clinical research by some of the pioneers in the elucidations and treatment of sphingolipid-related disorders
Workshop (W2) Starting up a biotech company: the founder’s perspective To sensitize fellows to the opportunities and challenges of starting a biotech company and working in start-up companies
Workshop (W3) Starting up an independent research group To prepare fellows for running an independent academic group