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).
Brief greetings from the current coordinator of the network, Prof. Stefano Alcaro (January 2019).
"During the Paul Ehrlich MedChem Euro-PhD Network Meeting Porto in 2018, my candidature as elected coordinator was confirmed for the period 1st January 2019 to 31st December 2021. Our previous coordinators Julio Alvarez-Builla and Danijel Kikelj strongly expanded the quantity and quality of our network, now counting a relevant number of academic partners. 53 are from Europe, belonging to 19 different nations, and two as associate members from Singapore and Israel.
To be as much as possible effective in my three-years coordination it will be essential to keep the cohesion among all members by means of improved scientific and cooperation actions, possibly getting additional resources for research and mobility activities of our PhD students.
The Paul Ehrlich MedChem Euro-PhD Network was established in Palermo (Italy) in November 2009 as a collaborative platform of an initial group of 25 European universities, to promote cooperation between the member institutions in order to deepen contacts and exchanges between scientists and improve the background received by our PhD students in Medicinal Chemistry, thus promoting excellence of our PhD programs. From the initial group of institutions, in 2015 the numbers have reached 55 universities from 21 countries.
Network membership is open, in principle, to all European Union universities, provided they sign the 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 is today a broad discipline resting at the intersection of mainly organic and computing chemistry, biotechnology, biochemistry, and pharmacology, and focuses on the design, synthesis and development of improved active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). And such a complicated field requires more and more a collaborative approach. Thus, the Paul Ehrlich Network tries through its activities, as the meetings or the PhD certificate, to overpass national frontiers through collaboration between our universities and staff within the EU territory.
As a Network coordinator in charge from 1st January 2019, I will do my best to perform this prestigious role and to drive cooperative actions with the goal to improve the Medicinal Chemistry scientific impact of the network at international level".