Our scientific strategy

PEP-NET unites highly successful teachers in a new endeavor: we will train a new cohort of early stage researchers (ESRs) with a full range of interdisciplinary research and transferable skills in to study epigenetic questions in academic and industrial settings.

The combination of theoretical and experimental approaches to answer deep questions in epigenetics is immensely powerful but surprisingly rare. PEP-NET aims to change this. We will train a cohort of European early stage researchers for whom the combination of predictive modelling and quantitative experimentation in epigenetics is second nature. We will break the barriers for experimentalists to understand and practice theoretical epigenetics, and for theoreticians to understand and practice experimental epigenetics.

Since PEP-NET research is a truly interdisciplinary combination of experimental and mathematical modelling approaches, it is essential for ESRs to develop strong research skills in both disciplines. Every ESR will attend every interdisciplinary module, either as a ‘pupil’ or as a teacher. We will be using the principles of the “inverted classroom”. A key feature of this concept is that “what the student does is actually more important in determining what is learned than what the teacher does”. The PEP-NET training programme contains six training modules for transferable skills in industry and academia. These modules will be taught by experts from our participating academic and non- academic organisations and by external experts and companies.

Events

Experimental Epigenetics

Module E1: 5 half days (mornings)

Basic molecular biology techniques

DNA/RNA work, gels, PCR, cloning

Modelling Epigenetics

Module M1: 5 half days (afternoons)

Basic modelling techniques

ODEs stochastic models, network models, machine learning

Transferable skills

Module T1: 1 Day

Research Integrity

and Responsible Research

Gender Equality

in STEM following Athena Swan Charter

IPR I

Intro: Technology transfer, Patenting

Public Engagement

Experimental Epigenetics

Module E2: 5 half days (mornings)

Microscopy & Image Analysis

Wide-field & confocal, live-cell fluorescence, FISH, single-molecule tracking

Modelling Epigenetics

Module M2: 5 half days (afternoons)

Biological Network Dynamics

Gene regulation physics, models for cellular decision processes, bi-stability

Transferable skills

Module T2: 4 days

Scientific Thinking & Experimental Design

Scientific Presentation Skills

Experimental Epigenetics

Module E3: 4 days

Quantitative Molecular Biology

Gene expression analysis, ChIP, qPCR

Transferable skills

Module T3: 2 days

Drug Safety and ADME testing

Entrepreneurship

Case-study of an SME

An Oxford Spin-out

Starting a Start-up

Modelling Epigenetics

Module M3: 4 days

Stochastic modelling

Probability theory, Bayesian statistics, stochastic simulations

Transferable skills

Module T4: 2 days

Open Science

EC policy and FAIR principles

Open access publishing

IPR II

in STEM following Athena Swan Charter

IPR I

Patenting

Commercialisation

IPR protection

Experimental Epigenetics

Module E4: half day (morning)

Experimental Epigenetics I-III: Review

ESR-led session

Modelling Epigenetics

Module M4: half day (afternoon)

Modelling Epigenetics I-III: Review

ESR-led session

Transferable skills

Module T5: 3 days

Scientific Paper Writing

Experimental Epigenetics

Module E5:

Short report on Experimental Epigenetics training

Given by theoretical ESRs

Benefits and suggestions for improvement

Modelling Epigenetics

Module M6:

Short report on Modelling Epigenetics training

Given by experimental ESRs

Benefits and suggestions for improvement

Transferable skills

Module T6: 3 days

Job Applications

Workshop

Job talks and feedback

Career Paths

In academia

In industry