Excellence of the ARDRE research programme

The ARDRE-DP is based on the unique combination of complementary expertise of three different groups of researchers working at the UIBK. Firstly, renown scientists from the Faculty of Biology have long-standing track records in ageing research, with the Institute for Biomedical Aging Research (IBA) at the forefront for over 25 years, complemented by research into ageing mechanisms of other life forms, including plants. Secondly, stem cell research was strongly developed over the last 15 years and world class expertise on stem cells and regeneration across the animal kingdom is available in the Faculty of Biology. Thirdly, scientists in the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy are highly reputed experts in drug research - comprising natural products and synthetic drugs alike. High-end technologies for the identification, characterisation and targeted modification of drug candidates are available.

In recent years, close interactions were developed between these three areas of research, providing a profound and robust basis for the ARDRE training and research. Scientists from both Faculties have ample experience with supervising staff and students; they also lead and collaborate in numerous national and international research projects. At the forefront of science, ARDRE will i) elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms of ageing in various phyla across the kingdom of life, ii) work towards the identification of drug targets in cellular models, iii) validate these using state-of-the art mouse models and reprogrammed human cells and iv) screen natural plant products for their potential use, also benefitting from existing expertise with enhancing the therapeutic quality of natural products by an outstanding (semi-) synthetic approach, in combination with state-of-the-art technology for characterising pharmacologically active molecules and modelling their interaction with biological targets.

Fig. 3Fig. 1: Scientific framework of ARDRE, offering a plethora of training opportunities

The figure shows the plethora of research skills that can be acquired by the ARDRE PhD students. Collaborations established between ARDRE FMs form a robust basis for the identification of new natural or synthetic molecules and their testing in biological and pharmacological assays related to ageing and regeneration processes. ARDRE PhD students will undergo a solid training and career development programme and will benefit from secondments in academic and non-academic organisations.


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