EPITRAN COST Action CA16120 aims at building a synergistic network of researchers actively working on all aspects of epitranscriptomics, thus assembling a critical mass to effectively address the key questions and compete with non-European groups in the field. Extensive collaboration on these questions will foster the creation of a high-impact European research hub on epitranscriptomics, able to drive discovery and indicate future avenues to be pursued. Furthermore, the Action will aid the incorporation of the European biomedical industry in this process, facilitating the translation of discoveries into applications for health-improvement.
EPITRAN networking activity will deliver to the EU scientific community:
- Action’s position paper(s) describing the state of the art and detailing key issues related to epitranscriptomics.
- A platform for joint grant applications that will increase collaboration within the Action and yield stronger, more successful grant applications both for national and EU funding schemes.
- Annual short-time workshops to share results, identify new collaborations and strengthen networking between the participants.
- Annual think-tank meetings between academics’ and biotech companies’ representatives to constitute a European Epitranscriptomics Observatory.
- Short Term Scientific Missions (STMSs) to promote the exchange of complementary expertises of young scientists in collaborating participant laboratories.
- University-level short courses for MSc students at some of the university locations of the network, to familiarize them with the results and the concepts of epitranscriptomics and stimulate their future research interested in the field.
- Advanced and practical courses for early-stage researchers to acquire working knowledge of experimental and computational approaches to the study of epitranscriptomics.
- A dedicated big data platform consisting of a database specialized for epitranscriptomics datasets.
The EPITRAN Action is aimed at building and consolidating in the medium-long term the capacity and leadership of the European scientific community in this field, and to foster the trans-sectoral transfer of knowledge. This will be realized by:
- mapping epitranscriptome research throughout the world;
- increasing the scientific production on epitranscriptomics and its impact in the EU;
- boosting inclusiveness of RNA researchers from emerging COST countries;
- sharing data, as well as standardization procedures to adopt common ones;
- training young researchers on this topic through mobility and top-level research;
- identify putative new biomarkers with possible innovation to be transferred to or co-created with EU R&D companies;
- develop chemical probes and molecular hits for drug discovery with EU R&D companies;
- provide effective dissemination for the growing epitranscriptome community;
- provide adequate outreach to the larger European research community and to the public about possibilities and limitations of research on the epitranscriptome.
EPITRAN Work Plan
The EPITRAN Action will be implemented through 5 Working Groups (WGs), 4 of which focus on the different approaches to developing epitranscriptomics research and on promoting its links with medicine and business. While WG1 and WG3 will assess and explore the mechanisms of epitranscriptomics and their role in disease onset and progression, WG2 will provide a core computational and methodological layer for hypothesis generation, data analysis streamlining and analytical protocols. WG4 tackles the translation of knowledge to industrial application in biomarker and drug development through active dissemination and exploitation actions. A fifth, transversal WG5 will provide extensive training opportunities and tools to the Action participants. The objectives and tasks of each working group combine the various skills and expertises of the participants, by maximizing the coherence of each group while promoting interdisciplinarity through the tight connections between them.