Phylogenetic exploration of medicinal plant divers.. (MedPlant)
Phylogenetic exploration of medicinal plant diversity
Start date: Oct 1, 2013,
End date: Sep 30, 2017
The MedPlant network will train young researchers in career enhancing approaches and techniques in biodiversity driven drug lead discovery, complimentary and entrepreneurial skills relevant for work in the pharmaceutical industry, regulatory bodies, NGOs and academia. The aim is to improve the students’ chances of employment and to strengthen Europe's research base through a collaborative training network, whose capacities greatly exceed those of each individual partner institution. MedPlant will familiarise the students with a range of state-of-the-art methodologies in biodiversity driven lead discovery, and provide cross-disciplinary and intersectorial training through network-wide training activities, collaborations and secondments. Researchers will also learn to address scientific and non-scientific audiences by dissemination and outreach activities. The scientific aim of MedPlant is to develop new approaches and technologies for selection and sustainable use of biodiversity resources for lead discovery and to develop new plant derived leads. MedPlant consists of leading European research groups, private companies, and public and non-public organisations with complimentary knowledge in this area. Collectively the partners posess critical mass of expertise needed to provide excellent training in biodiversity driven lead discovery. The number of new drugs coming to the market is declining and interest in lead discovery from natural resources is seeing a revival. However, although methods for isolation and identification of natural products have advanced explosively in recent decades, methods for selection of potential leads have hardly developed. Hence, training of a new generation of researchers in the proposed innovative field of biodiversity driven lead discovery is both timely and relevant, as it will contribute directly to the economic development and future welfare of Europe and will significantly enhance the employment prospects of the participants.
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