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New international Ph.D. program on 'Dynamics of Gene Regulation, Epigenetics and DNA Damage Response'

The Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) can establish a new International PhD Program in the Life Sciences with the support of the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation. The program will allow innovative research at the highest international level. In addition to the education of talented young scientists, this initiative improves the integration of institutions in Mainz that conduct research within the field of molecular biology. "The new initiative will help to create synergies between the participating groups. The program will also increase the visibility and international attractiveness of life science research here in Mainz," says Professor Dr. Georg Krausch, President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

One of the program's key features is the education of doctoral students. "We not only want to attract the best international talents to Mainz, but we also want to offer them opportunities that most institutions cannot offer," states Professor Dr. Christof Niehrs, Founding Director of IMB. Moreover, "we offer our young scientists opportunities to address cutting-edge scientific questions and to work with first-class resources while receiving advanced training." The training program comprises a broad range of lectures and practical courses and is tailored to the specific needs of PhD students. Besides training in up-to-date methods and knowledge, students will be trained in soft-skills such as project management, communication skills, and grant writing to prepare them for a successful career after having finished their doctoral thesis.

The organizers of the program hope this concept will lead to exciting research results and, when combined with very high educational standards, will create the next generation of leading scientists. "This program will set new standards in modern molecular research. Our most sincere thanks go to the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation. Their further commitment to IMB allows us to attract young and talented scientists to Mainz and also guarantees that our students receive the best possible education," says Gtz Scholz, Chancellor of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and Managing Director of IMB.

Research within the program focuses on three cutting-edge areas: Dynamics of Gene Regulation, Epigenetics, and DNA Damage Response. These emerging fields of modern biomedical research are of great significance for basic biological processes and are also linked to diseases such as cancer. For example, the dynamics of gene regulation and epigenetics play an essential role during embryonic development, the adaption of organisms to its environment as well as during ageing, and are of high importance in many diseases. Moreover, the program offers research projects on stem cell biology, which forms the basis for regenerative medicine. The third research focus centers on DNA Damage Response. DNA repair is a key mechanism that protects cells from damage and keeps us healthy. Defects in the DNA repair machinery cause a number of diseases, including cancer.

Contact: Dr. Ralf Dahm
Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz

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