Joint Programme of Activities

How the EURASNET network is organised

To meet the ambitious objectives of the network, EURASNET is organised into a Joint Programme of Activities (JPA) covering research, integration and dissemination. These three main activities are divided into 22 work packages (WP) in an overarching management structure. The 40 EURASNET member groups all contribute to multiple work packages.

The JPA is described briefly below. 

1. Integrating activities (WP 1-5)

Work packages 1-5 include the establishment of a EURASNET interactive website, the creation of a web-managed resource centre, the continuation of the “alternative splicing database” and efforts to secure further funding for the network beyond the five years of EU support. These activities support many of the collaborative research activities among the EURASNET research groups. An important and central integrative activity of EURASNET is the Young Investigator Programme to attract and integrate talented scientists at an early stage of their career into alternative splicing research.

2. Joint research activities (WP 6-15)

The research programme of the network is organised into 10 research activities described under work packages 6–15. Each research activity has its own co-ordinator to provide leadership and ensure interactions. The scientific programme addresses questions that span issues from molecular structure of the components of the spliceosome that determine splicing patterns to looking at therapies for diseases involving splicing or alternative splicing defects. The research also includes the important question of the relationship between the splicing pathway and other fundamental processes of gene expression. The research programme emphasises the development and application of new or adapted technologies, and greatest possible use will be made of databases and the interaction between bioinformatics and laboratory biology. Finally, the link between the science and technology and human disease is at the forefront of the EURASNET research objectives.

3. Disseminating activities (WP 16-21)

The major objective of raising awareness and spreading knowledge about alternative splicing is addressed by various activities.

  • Support of technology transfer by giving travel and residence grants to scientists within the network for residence at other network institutions.
  • Organisation of the main network progress meetings and biennial international meetings.
  • Establishing a website in the public domain, designed to inform the general scientific community, RNA and expression biologists, clinicians and the lay public about alternative splicing its importance in modern genetics, medicine and general biology.

4. Management activities (WP 22)

To co-ordinate and oversee the activities described above and to monitor progress, a management structure has been designed. Ultimate responsibility for the Network rests with the Steering Committee (Reinhard Lührmann, Stefan Stamm, Juan Valcárcel, Jean Beggs, Javier Caceres, Maria Carmo-Fonseca and Angus Lamond) which liaises with the external Scientific Advisory Board.

A Co-ordination Team, headed by Reinhard Lührmann (Göttingen) and assisted by two deputy coordinators, Stefan Stamm (Erlangen) and Juan Valcárcel (Barcelona), is responsible for monitoring the progress for the Joint Programme of Activities.

Overall management, communication with the European Commission and financial/audit management is centralised in Göttingen.