We would like to introduce our activities and collaborative research platform. The intention is to promote scientific cooperation and exchange, improving Medicinal Chemistry PhD students' skills and background. Our aim is to support excellence in PhD programmes, by means of a) the creation of new knowledge through the promotion of research across a broad front, b) the development of international relationships skills, c) the release of internationally accepted Paul Ehrlich PhD awards. The ultimate Network goals are to influence policy in Europe toward the pivotal role of Medicinal Chemistry and to define best practice through mutual exchange of experience among the adhering Institutions.
Why did we name our Network after Paul Ehrlich?
Paul Ehrlich was a German medical scientist known for his pioneering work in hematology, immunology, and chemotherapy and for his discovery of the first effective treatment for syphilis.
He was a Nobel Prize-winning German Jewish scientist and founder of the research institute entitled his memory, specialized in vaccines and other biomedicines. Two main discoveries deserving to be mentioned are: Ehrlichia, a genus of Rickettsiales bacteria and Arsphenamine (Salvarsan), the first chemotherapy agent against syphilis. Moreover, Ehrlich made a decisive contribution to the development of an antiserum to combat diphtheria and conceived a method for standardizing therapeutic serums.
He popularized the concept of the He popularized the concept of the "magic bullet", a therapeutic agent for selectively killing targeted organisms. From this concept, that reminds the chemical paradigm: "one ligand, one target, one disease", we are now moving forward, recalling a new Medicinal Chemistry challenge, which leads with polypharmacology and/or multi-targeting approaches.
Paul Ehrlich was a luminary, a revolutionary, capable of thinking outside the box, thirsting for novelty and challenges.
In virtue of his mindset, his innovative thinking and his studies, we have intended to give his name to our international network of scientific research. We focus our attention on the whole Medicinal Chemistry disciplines, from synthetic Organic Chemistry to Pharmacology, passing through Natural Products, Computational Chemistry and Structural Biology. All them strongly synergize to each other in the modern Drug Discovery and Development process.
The MISSION of PE MedChem Euro PhD Network is to create interchanging programs among students from all over the world belonging to Universities having PhD programs of Medicinal Chemistry, with the purpose to collaborate and generate activities which would improve the standard of their research and training activities.
The VISION and willingness of PE MedChem Euro PhD Network are to create the workforce required by today's Pharma Industry and develop new knowledge with the aim of healing or improving the patient's life. Today the industrial sector sees a high percentage of its investments in research and development, focused mainly on the efforts required to bring new active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to market. We want to promote research and study in this sense. We believe collaboration among institutions is pivotal for a research with fewer limits, more far-sighted, efficient, and consistent.
The website of the network was launched in 2013, thanks to engagement of the past coordinator, Julio Alvarez-Builla, University of Alcala' (Spain). In 2021, restyling and maintenance of the website are offered by the academic spin-off Net4Science, Catanzaro (Italy).
Greetings from the current coordinator of the network, Prof. Serge Van Calenbergh (January 2022).
"Following up Prof. Stefano Alcaro as a coordinator of this network for the coming three years implies that I have big shoes to fill.
Despite unforeseen global circumstances, Stefano was really successful in consolidating the cohesion among network members, amongst others by organizing an exemplary virtual meeting.
The Paul Ehrlich MedChem Euro-PhD Network was established in 2009 as a collaborative initiative of 25 European universities. Its original ambition remains valid today, i.e. to promote cooperation and networking between the member institutions and to expose PhD students to a multidisciplinary and intercultural environment. The latter is realized by stimulating these students to disseminate their research work at one of the annual PE meetings and to encourage them to perform a part of their PhD training abroad.
Today, the network comprises 70 institutions from 24 countries and applications from new partners keep coming. Network membership is open to all European Union universities, provided they demonstrate regular output in the broad field of medchem and that they provide a Letter of intent for participation and accept the Rules and Conditions for awarding the Paul Ehrlich MedChem Euro-PhD Label to Doctors in Medicinal Chemistry (See PE-Criteria). Industrial partners and non-EU academic institutions can be accepted as associate members.
Medicinal Chemistry and drug discovery is a collaborative endeavor par excellence and the Paul Ehrlich Network aims at transcending national and disciplinary borders through collaboration and dissemination of research.
As a Network coordinator, I will do my best to consolidate the cohesion of this network and to improve its quality, impact and visibility."