PDZ domain containing proteins are abundant protein and lipid recognizing modules that play a central role in trafficking and organizing cell signaling assemblies. In conjunction with cell membrane receptors, ion channels and transporters they facilitate transmission of extracellular information into intracellular signaling event. PDZ domains are emerging as conceptually novel and promising drug targets with exciting opportunities for the development of novel therapies.
The research within PDZnet is focused on advancing our understanding of the cellular signaling pathways and therapeutic potential of PDZ domain proteins in healthy and pathological conditions such as cancer and neurological diseases. The overarching goal of PDZnet is to advance the exploitation of PDZ domains as relevant therapeutic intervention points.
The 14 individual PhD projects are distributed across four complementary and integrated research work packages (WP) that relates the following questions:
Can we discover and map internal peptide epitopes of PDZ interactions?
Can we develop peptide therapeutics targeting PDZ domain proteins?
How do associated protein domains influence the structure and function of PDZ domains in multidomain proteins?
Can we unravel inherently intricate PDZ mediated signaling networks with relevance for cancer and neurological diseases, and thereby provide new therapeutic targets?
The PDZnet network includes 11 academic research groups and 3 industrial partners distributed across 6 European countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Sweden). The network provides an international and multidisciplinary PhD training platform for 14 next-generation researchers (PhD students).
We train 14 PhD fellows to become independent, creative and innovative scientist by providing cutting-edge knowledge, a diverse and comprehensive technology platform, and transferable skills training making the young researchers attractive candidates for research positions in academia or industry.