Marie Curie Research Training Networks, an initiative of the EU, provide training and research experiences for researchers of any age or nationality by giving them the opportunity to spend up to three years in another country as part of an international, high-quality research project. These training networks contribute to knowledge transfer through the promotion of multidisciplinary research and the interaction of researchers on all levels working within a specific project. FightingDrugFailure, a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) within the framework of life sciences has been running between 1 October 2009 and 30 September 2013. It is coordinated by the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, (IKP) a research department within the prestigious "Robert-Bosch-Stiftung" (Robert Bosch Gesellschaft fuer Medizinische Forschung RBMF), in Stuttgart, Germany. Its focus has been on Pharmacogenomics and its goal, to award 13 PhDs to 13 Early Stage Researchers (ESR) in this research area and the advanced training of two Experienced Researchers (ER-post doctoral fellows) is now being completed.
Pharmacogenomics deals with the influence of genetic variation on drug response in patients by correlating gene expression or single-nucleotide polymorphisms with a drug's efficacy or toxicity.
The goal of Pharmacogenomics is to optimize personalized treatments, with respect to the patients' genotype, to ensure maximum drug efficacy with minimal adverse effects.
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Career Opportunities for Researchers
Our Initial Training Networks (ITN) offer early-stage researchers the opportunity to improve their research skills, join established research teams and enhance their career prospects.
The Fighting Drug Failure Initial Training Networks (ITN) offered researchers in the first steps of their career the opportunity to improve their research skills, join established research teams and enhance their career prospects.
This ITN, "FightingDrugFailure: Priorities and Standards in Phamacogenomic Research: Opportunities for a Safer and More Efficient Pharmacotherapy", aimed at providing specialized training for future health care professionals through the development and implementation of a pharmacogenomics curriculum in medical research. The main goal of this program has been to improve the career perspectives of researchers and to provide specifically trained scientists in adequate numbers for future competitive research in this exciting new field.
This was achieved by
- Providing the scientific basis to overcome current limitations in the prediction of adverse drug reactions and drug treatment outcomes
- Addressing state-of-the-art and emerging examples of pharmacogenomics to set the stage for direct translation into the clinical setting
The program has produced investigators with the capacity and orientation to combine basic and applied research as well as translate and implement findings into clinical practice. As highly qualified professionals, they will be able to take on future leadership roles in this cutting-edge research field.
Pharmacogenomics is currently not part of standard clinical care. Rather, doctors prescribe medications to treat and/or cure patients’ conditions based on general population responses to the various treatment options available. However, this treatment plan frequently fails.
Hypothesis: Genomic information will allow doctors to more accurately predict an individual’s drug response, allowing the selection of the most appropriate drug and dosage and, thereby, avoiding therapeutic failure and minimizing adverse drug effects.
Hypothesis: The understanding of both the genetic and environmental basis of the variability in drug response and the interaction between these two factors will aid in the development of personalized therapies.