The mission of circRTrain is to provide cross-disciplinary training in experimental and computational biology for a new generation of researchers who will exploit the power of emerging technological platforms to decipher the biology of circular RNAs.
circRTrain is a Marie Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Union within the H2020 Programme. The programme will start on January 1, 2017 and will be carried out over a period of four years. circRTrain is a consortium of several universities, research institutions and companies located in Germany, Italy, Spain, Israel, Denmark and in the Netherlands. This European Training Network is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Rajewsky at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin and will involve the doctoral training of 15 young scientists.
circRTrain seeks to understand the origin, function and application of circular RNAs and educate interdisciplinary experts who will develop and employ the experimental and computational tools necessary to make important contributions to circRNA biology and who will be aware of the scientific, clinical and industrial implications of this research.
The research programme of circRTrain focuses on circular RNAs (circRNAs), a new large class of non-coding RNAs, which only in very recent years has attracted high general interest. CircRNAs are unique because of their circular structure and, as a consequence, their unusually high stability. Only recent breakthoughs in sequencing technology and computational analyses revealed the widespread existence of circRNAs in animal cells, particularly in neural tissues. Understanding circRNAs and exploring their clinical relevance will require to integrate various technologies (sequencing, single-molecule, whole-organism imaging, RNA knockdown/delivery, CRISPR/CAS9), disciplines (biochemistry, computational biology, genetics), model systems (worm, fly, mouse, human) and medical applications (biomarkers and new therapeutic targets and strategies).