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Doctoral Programme Ageing, Regeneration, and Drug Research 

Background: Challenges associated with ageing

As life expectancy and the proportion of elderly people increase, our societies need to rise to the challenges accompanying this demographic shift. In the European Union, the segment of those aged 80 years or over is projected to more than double between 2017 and 2080, from 5.5 % to 12.7 % (WHO, Eurostat). Similar trends are observed for industrialised countries globally. For the ageing individual, healthy ageing is a foremost goal. As yet, our health systems, public and private institutions caring for the elderly are not sufficiently prepared, and the costs for treating age-related diseases are predicted to be huge. Therefore, effective measures to promote healthy ageing are urgently needed.

The ARDRE consortium

ARDRE is an inter- and multidisciplinary consortium comprising scientists from the Faculty of Biology and the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy of the University of Innsbruck, Austria. They committed to establish a doctoral programme (DP) for 12 early stage researchers (ESR) with the aim to transfer their knowledge of ageing and regeneration mechanisms and drug research to the next generation of scientists. Scientifically, ARDRE will make a step change in our knowledge of 1) cellular and organismal ageing mechanisms, 2) stem cell and regeneration biology and 3) drug discovery, in a well-coordinated network structure.

Abbildung 1These three research pillars of ARDRE will be supported by collaborations with academic and non-academic partner organisations, providing complementary tools and expertise plus international and inter-sectoral teaching and training opportunities for the ESR. Doctoral students trained by ARDRE will represent a new generation of biologists, chemists, and pharmacists with unique knowledge of modern developments in ageing and regeneration research alongside a solid understanding of state-of-the-art drug research and drug discovery.

ARDRE Training

The ARDRE faculty will train their PhD students at the highest possible level. The students will acquire advanced research skills and the required soft skills tailored to meet the professional requirements of top-level researchers in ageing, regeneration, and drug research, preparing the next generation of scientists to contribute urgently needed knowledge to combat one of the most pressing issues of our societies.

The environment

Universität_ibkThe University of Innsbruck (UIBK) was founded in 1669, and today comprises 16 faculties. In 2011, the UIBK was Austria's best university with an overall worldwide rank of 187 according to the Times Higher Education World University Ranking, and has since maintained good rankings within the top 350 universities as the best or second-best ranking among Austrian universities. Notably, the UIBK receives far above-average ratings regarding the research impact of its scientists, and also excels by its highly supportive and successful research and teaching environment.

 

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