QuantFung represents the first European training platform for the production of novel bioactive compounds based on fungal synthetic biology. The ITN will train 11 early-stage (ESR) and 4 experienced researchers (ER) as new problem-solving, creative European scientists in interdisciplinary and intersectorial biotechnological research ranging from modelling, network analysis, systems biology (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics), and molecular biology (fungal genetics and biochemistry) to synthetic biology methods. To bridge the gap between science education and industry, industrial partners provide secondments and training modules to share their industry experience with the trainees. The driving force is a collaboration of 8 academic and 5 industrial partners to expedite the application of new secondary metabolites in health, nutrition or agriculture. The objective is to find novel bioactive molecules by exploiting the wealth offungal biodiversity and to translate these into useful products. Work packages structure training through research focussed on discovery of secondary metabolite gene clusters, targeted activation of gene clusters, quantification of secondary metabolites in industrial hosts, and bioactivity testing to identify their mode of action. These multidisciplinary projects require physical and intellectual mobility and are organised as a structured training program where ESRs/ERs work for defined periods in different QuantFung laboratories and attend local and network training events to broaden their technical knowledge and acquire transferable skills to optimize career options. 46 secondments representing 19 new collaborations between the public and private sector will lead to new avenues of research. The broad spectrum of expertises of QuantFung covers numerous cross sector elements leading to researchers with significant translational and entrepreneurial skills to strengthen European research.
Professor at Chemical and Biological Engineering, Systems Biology
Funding years 2013–2017