Brief History of the Paul Ehrlich MedChem Euro-PhD Network
Upon initiations of the Semmelweis University (Budapest), bilateral Erasmus agreements had been signed for students and teachers' mobilities in the field of Medicinal Chemistry with each of the following Universities: Milano, Catania, Palermo, Granada, San Pablo CEU (Madrid) (in the end of 90s and in the first decade of 2000s). The basis of the PE network started from multilateral cooperation and regular meetings among some European universities active in the field of Medicinal Chemistry. Several meetings of PhD students and their mentors from these universities were organized in the next years. It was then in Budapest, at the Hungarian-Austrian-Czech-German-Greek-Italian-Polish-Slovak-Slovenian 6th Joint Meeting on Medicinal Chemistry, when a section was devoted to the network topic, where the chair of the conference, suggested to establish a kind of PhD Medicinal Chemistry network among European Universities. Most of the participants (among others, G. Cirrincione, D. Kikelj, G. Ronsisvalle, K. Kiec-Kononowicz, B. Pascual-Teresa, N. Haider, J. Visnova, A. Tsantili Kakoulidou) were supportive and it was decided that a preliminary document should be elaborated. D. Kikelj, P. Matyus, G. Ronsisvalle, and G. Cirrincione prepared then a draft version of the Rules.
Palermo 2009 Meeting.
Profs. Ramos, Cirrincione, Pascual-Teresa and Alvarez-Builla.
The Paul Ehrlich MedChem Euro-PhD Network, was established at the 6th Meeting of the European Network of Doctoral Studies in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Palermo, Italy, November 16-18, 2009, organized by G. Cirrincione. It was a collaboration among 25 European universities, with the aim of fostering education and research training of post-graduate students in Medicinal Chemistry, towards PhD degree.
All members agreed on the rules and conditions for awarding the Paul Ehrlich European PhD in Medicinal Chemistry Label to PhD graduates in Medicinal Chemistry, which became active on 1 January 2010. Membership in the network is open to all European universities, if they accept rules and sign the accession letter. Industrial partners and non-EU academic institutions may join as associate members.
The structure of the network and the rules were defined by generous aid of Professor Klaus Lehr, University of Saarbrucken, coordinator of the EU project Galenos Network. However, there is a substantial difference between both networks - whereas Galenos Network received EU funding for the duration of the project, the Paul Ehrlich Network started and survived without any funding, relying only on motivation of its members.
After a successful 1st Meeting of the Paul Ehrlich MedChem Euro-PhD Network (13-15 July 2011) hosted by three Madrid universities (Universidad de Alcala, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Universidad San Pablo CEU) and the 2nd Meeting (9-11 September 2012) at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, the network has grown to 30 member institutions from 15 European countries. The 3rd Meeting was organized in Cagliari, Italy, (27-29 september 2013) (3 new member institutions accepted, 1 University terminated its membership).
The 4th Meeting (20-22 June 2014) was held in Hradec Kralove', Prague, and 5 new member institutions were accepted. The 5th Meeting (3-5 July 2015) took place in Kracow, Poland and 6 new member institutions were inserted in the Paul Ehrlich MedChem Euro-PhD Network. The 6th Meeting (18-20 November 2016) in Budapest, Hungary saw the inclusion of 2 new member institutions. An important step towards more tight collaboration in the Paul Ehrlich Network was achieved in the same year with the start of COST action CA 15135 Multi-target paradigm for innovative ligand identification in the drug discovery process (MuTaLig), coordinated by Stefano Alcaro, from the Universita' "Magna Graecia" di Catanzaro, in which several Network members are actively involved. After the 7th Meeting (25-27 August 2017) of the Paul Ehrlich MedChem EuroPhD Network in Vienna, Austria, the network expanded to 50 members from 19 European countries and 1 associate member institution from Asia.
The 8th Meeting (12-14 July 2018) was organized in Porto, Portugal, and the 9th Meeting (13-15 June 2019) was hosted by Catanzaro, Italy. After this last live event before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the network was composed by 60 European institutions from 22 countries.
- As coordinators of the Paul Ehrlich Network served Giuseppe Ronsisvalle, University of Catania (Italy) (2010-2012), Danijel Kikelj, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) (2013-2015), Julio Alvarez-Builla, University of Alcala' (Spain) (2016-2018) and Stefano Alcaro, Universita' Magna Graecia di Catanzaro (Italy) (2019-2021). Serge Van Calenbergh, University of Ghent (Belgium), is the "coordinator elect" for the period 2022-2024.
- The logo of the Network was agreed upon at the Network meeting in Ljubljana in 2012 and the network website was launched in 2013, both thanks to engagement of the third coordinator, Julio Alvarez-Builla.