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Concept of iGRASPseed

iGRASPseed is the launch of an interdisciplinary graduate school of protein science and technology based on a completely novel concept that will, for the first time, allow full satisfaction of two major needs in the life sciences.

Need number 1 arises from research and development in academia and companies urgently seeking scientist who are well-educated and extensively trained in all-embracing methods of protein science. iGRASPseed will satisfy this need by training graduates in a carefully designed, well-balanced and qualitatively outstanding education program. The individual research projects are embedded in the research environment offering a unique range of infrastructure, expertise and cutting-edge methods in structural biology and biotechnology, reaching from protein and enzyme production and purification, via characterization and functional analysis to high-resolution static as well as dynamic 3D structure determination.

Need number 2 arises from the complexity of preparing, designing and producing functional proteins as well as investigating their structure, function and dynamics. The general demand for cutting-edge methods and high-end equipment required to study protein molecules thus cannot be covered by a single group. iGRASPseed, with its unparalleled high-end infrastructure (including neutron scattering, liquid and solid state NMR, X-ray crystallography, fluorescence, molecular modeling and de novo design of optimized proteins) as well as the unique concept of core research groups interacting with each other and with associated research groups, provides an innovative umbrella structure for exchanging knowledge and fostering collaborations. As the same time, the innovative network guarantees that all research projects, groups, and collaborative networks at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) will have all their protein technology needs satisfied in a demand-oriented way.

iGRASPseed’s unique concept of combining research topics and demands from both core and associated groups fosters excellence in protein science and will support outstanding scientific projects in the life sciences. The unparalleled broadness of projects and methods offered by iGRASPseed including key research topics and proteins from (bio)chemistry, biology, biotechnology, medicine and pharmacy will undoubtedly boost existing and planned research centers, graduate schools, and cluster initiatives at HHU and FZJ. iGRASPseed will thus sharpen the profile of HHU as an internationally leading graduate training center in protein science and technology.