Training network for Research on molecUlar and Biomechanical Interactions in CONnective tissue disorders
RUBICON, a Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) network was supported during 2016-2019 with funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 690850.
The project focused on connective tissue disorders (CTDs) research, forming a new generation of young researchers through a series of staff exchanges, with the aim of sharing knowledge and technical skills among the partners involved and generating new knowledge on the biological mechanisms of CTDs. RUBICON results will ultimately lead to improvements in healthcare for patients affected by these disorders.
Over 4 years, RUBICON organised staff exchanges by 21 early stage researchers and 15 experienced researchers (17 female and 19 male), between 5 EU and 5 non-EU countries.
Our overall conclusions
• Circadian rhythm as controlled by clock genes is important for the health of many connective tissues, including tendon and cartilage.
• RUBICON research has identified potential new therapeutic approaches or drug targets for tendon and ligament injury.
• Research in RUBICON has expanded our knowledge of the mechanisms of rare CTDs that have been studied and has further characterised mouse models of these diseases.
• Lipocalin 2 (Lcn2) is expressed by osteoblasts under unloading conditions but has no role in tendons, while it is confirmed to have an important role in the interactions between bone and vascular system.
• Bone regenerative approaches in vitro have provided novel insights in the role of the extracellular matrix, oxygen tension and the protein Mucin 1 in the fracture healing process.
• RUBICON has demonstrated how international staff exchanges enable researchers to gain experience of novel scientific approaches and different working environments, and establish new research collaborations across the world.
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