Advanced Training

Throughout 2013, the International PhD Programme has continued to attract many young talents from all over the world, supported both by internal and external competitive funds and the “la Caixa” International PhD Fellowship Programme. This year, 11 students were selected in the “la Caixa” call (funded by “la Caixa”, Severo Ochoa and CRG funds) after a highly competitive selection process (321 candidates from over 70 different countries). The specific training offered in 2013 to PhD students includes 6 Advanced Seminars in Biomedical Research, in partnership with the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, as well as 17 practical scientific and technical courses organised by the CRG faculty and core facilities. The CRG PhD community has actively promoted a number of initiatives, such as the 7th annual PhD symposium (13-14 November), the PhD retreat in Amposta (22-23 November), and the 3rd joint retreat, this year with Curie Institute, in Cadaqués (6-9 June). During the PhD Symposium the Eppendorf prize for the best CRG Thesis project 2012-2013 was awarded to Caroline Bruns.

The International Postdoctoral Programme at the CRG currently hosts around 100 postdocs supported by internal and competitive funding from highly prestigious institutions. This year, the Ramón Areces foundation funded one postdoctoral position, which was chosen in a competitive selection process that attracted 20 candidates. CRG has successfully obtained a new COFUND grant to continue the Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme to recruit 12 new postdocs over 2 calls in 2014 and 2015. Finally, a new CRG Summer Internship Programme for undergraduate students has been launched with great success (8 students were selected from 80 applications).

A highlight of the CRG Advanced Training Programme is the new series of high-level international courses, Courses@CRG, initiated in 2012. Courses@CRG are open to the scientific community, deliver high quality training (including lectures and hands-on sessions) on the latest scientific breakthroughs and technologies, gathering together the expertise of CRG faculty, well-known experts and skilled instructors. In 2013, highly successful courses were developed, which were attended by internal and external participants. One course, on exome sequencing, was specifically designed for training medical doctors without IT skills.

The Teaching and Training Labs, established in 2012 with support from private sponsors, have been used for several CRG training activities for scientists at all stages of their careers, courses and workshops within the PhD Programme and Courses@CRG, and activities for school children.

In November 2013, the CRG created a new Training unit to coordinate and boost training activities and facilitate the career development (in scientific and technological disciplines as well as entrepreneurship and complementary skills) of all the CRG staff.

Advanced training figures

PhD students: 104 (78% foreign)
External fellowships obtained by PhD Students: 13+11 selected in “la Caixa” call
Advanced Seminars offered to Master and PhD Students: 6
Practical courses offered to PhD Students: 17
PhD theses defended: 21
Postdoc researchers: 100 (68% foreign)
External fellowships obtained by postdoctoral researchers: 7+ 1 Ramón Areces Fellowship
Courses@CRG: 6, 83 participants

PhD Theses Defended in 2013

Name Programme Date University Thesis  Project
Michael Wierer Miguel Beato 21/01/2013 UPF Role of PLK1 in steroid hormone signaling in breast cancer cells
Giovanni Bussotti Cédric Notredame 23/01/2013 UPF Detecting and comparing non-coding RNAs
Sophia Teichman Luciano Di Croce 4/02/2013 UPF Characterization of BEND3, a novel interactor of deubiquitinase USP21
Elisa Docampo Xavier Estivill 16/04/2013 UB Identification of genetic susceptibility factors for fibromyalgia
Caroline Bruns Vivek Malhotra 30/04/2013 UPF Grh1-dependent Unconventional Protein Secretion
Julia Rield Mattheiu Louis 17/07/2013 UPF Identification of neurons controlling orientation behavior in the Drosophila melanogaster larva
Jia-Ming Chang Cédric Notredame 25/07/2013 UPF Influence of alignment uncertainty on homology and phylogenetic modeling
Cristina Militti Fátima Gebauer 26/07/2013 UPF Drosophila UNR regulates dosage compensation through modulation of RNA-protein interactions
Stefania Mejetta Salvador Aznar-Benitah 12/09/2013 UPF 1) characterization of cancer stem cell heterogeneity and metastasis-initiation in human squamous cell carcinoma2) jarid2 regulates mouse epidermal stem cell activation and differentiation
Chiara Di Vona Susana de la Luna 20/09/2013 UPF Nuclear DYRK1A: new insights into its role within the nucleus
Laia Bassaganyas Xavier Estivill 20/09/2013 UPF Characterization of simple and complex genomic structural variation: a study of human populations and leukaemia
Meritxell Pons Mara Dierssen 18/10/2013 UPF Role of DYRK 1A in hippocampal neuroplasticity:implications for Down Syndrome
Iris Titos Manuel Mendoza 25/10/2013 UPF Topoisomerase II and dynamic microtubules solve sister  chromatid intertiwinings in anaphase
Luciano Marcon James Sharpe 05/11/2013 UPF A dynamic Turing model of digit
Elisabet Mateu Xavier Estivill 15/11/2013 UB Insight into the Disease Processes of Fragile X Premutation Carriers Associated Pathologies
Davide D’Amico Mara Dierssen 22/11/2013 UPF Fear memories in TgNTRK3 mice, a model of panic disorder: definition of mechanism and search for new therapeutic targets
Johanna Aigner Xavier Estivill 25/11/2013 UPF Genetical, structural and functional characterization of the human BTNL gene cluster
Bernhard Paetzol Luis Serrano 02/12/2013 UPF Synthetic biology in Mycoplasma pneumoniae
Francesca Rapino Thomas Graf 02/12/2013 UPF Induced transdifferentiation of human B- leukemia/lymphoma cell lines and inhibition of leukemiogenicity
Daniel Trujillano Xavier Estivill 05/12/2013 UPF Mendelian Disease Gene Identification and Diagnosis using Targeted Next Generation Sequencing
Marco Mariotti Roderic Guigó 13/12/2013 UPF Computational genomics of
Poster: ''la Caixa''/CRG International PhD Programme Fellowships
Poster: ''la Caixa''/CRG International PhD Programme Fellowships
Poster: Fundación Ramón Areces/CRG Postdoctoral Fellowship
Poster: Fundación Ramón Areces/CRG Postdoctoral Fellowship