Join forces to expand research
EMBL and the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Technology, IIT) have shared more than a decade of joint activities. Their collaborations in the fields of systems neuroscience, genomics and structural biology have been based on common research interests and complementary expertise. The IIT’s stronger emphasis on applied research and new technologies in neurosciences, robotics and nanotechnologies is part of the EMBL’s missions of promoting fundamental research and supporting its applications in industry. .
“Today more than ever, the EMBL believes that it is essential to build bridges in order to ensure the availability of scientific data, the use of shared resources and the circulation of talent”, declares the Director General of the ‘EMBL, Edith Heard. “EMBL and IIT have been collaborating successfully for many years now, and this agreement will allow us to extend and further develop our ties in many areas of mutual research interest and at various EMBL sites. . “
EMBL and IIT also share a strong commitment to training the next generation of scientists. For this reason, EMBL Rome, the European Institute of Bioinformatics of EMBL (EMBL-EBI), and the IIT have launched the ETPOD postdoctoral program in 2019. This program draws on the complementary expertise of the three institutes in the fields of neurosciences, epigenetics, genomics and nanotechnologies.
“The collaboration with EMBL confirms the importance of research networks within excellent institutions, in order to contribute to the same quest for innovation and to share resources,” says Giorgio Metta, Scientific Director of IIT. “We have recently invested more in advanced laboratory technologies for advanced genome sequencing and big data analysis, to address present and future challenges to human health, such as neurodegenerative diseases, neurodevelopmental disorders and Cancer.
IIT recently launched the RNA initiative, focusing on non-coding RNAs (cRNAs). The initiative takes an integrated approach that brings together basic research and its translation into pharmaceutically usable technologies. The initiative involves a broad spectrum of expertise in cRNA biology in health and disease, including neuroscience, oncology, computational biology, synthetic biology, imaging and drug delivery .
RNA technologies have been the basis for the development of RNA vaccines for COVID-19 infections, demonstrating that RNAs are an important new class of therapeutics. The collaboration between IIT and EMBL will allow new explorations in the context of this RNA revolution, including studies of fundamental molecular mechanisms that are currently not well understood.
Further strengthening the connection between the two institutes, the IIT will host the next “EMBL in Italy” event – in a virtual format – from May 20-21. With a focus on RNA technologies, the meeting will bring together EMBL staff, alumni and other scientists from around the world, and will include presentations by biotechnology companies working in the field of RNA technology.
By signing this agreement, EMBL and IIT confirm their interest in further uniting their complementary strengths and advancing their collaboration in areas of mutual interest, including structural, infectious and computational biology; neuroscience; and RNA biology.
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