PhasAGE – Excellence Hub on Phase Transitions in Aging and Age-Related Disorders
Image by José António Manso (IBMC/i3S)
Currently, the cell biology field is undergoing a revolutionary change with exciting advances in the cellular physiology field. Apart from the well-described membrane-bound organelles, a new paradigm has been brought to light, with biomolecular phase separation leading to the assembly of molecules into membrane-less organelles. These droplets-like condensates are dynamic clusters of proteins and nucleic acids. Changes in the morphological and physical properties of these structures disturb their biological behaviour with implications on cellular normal functioning. The percentage of the elderly population is in rapid expansion, raising concerns for the increase of late-onset diseases.
Credits to Sára Varga and Zsuzsa Sárkány.
The complexity of the aging process is driven by alterations in multiple molecular mechanisms, including protein assembly and function. Alterations in the properties of the biomolecular condensates underlie the formation of toxic protein aggregates – a hallmark of several late-onset diseases.
PhasAGE aims to establish a research and innovation hub in the emerging field of biomolecular phase transitions in aging and age-related disorders, placing IBMC/i3S at the forefront of this field.
A cross-disciplinary team with top-edge leading partners is committed to advance the roadmap of R&I in phase transitions.
The main goal of the PhasAGE project is to implement a European Hub of Excellence in research and training on biomolecular phase transitions in aging and age-related disorders. PhasAGE activities are structured into work packages that were settled on four scientific and technological objectives:
- Improve the research capacity and training quality at IBMC/i3S on computational and experimental analysis of phase separations
- Design and implement a workflow with novel technologies and tools at IBMC/i3S
- Establish collaborations within and beyond partners sustaining an open research network and supporting funding competitiveness with strategic partnerships
- Extend scientific knowledge through dissemination and outreach activities to national and international academic community, while promoting activities directed to the general public.
Progress within core work packages
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT – INFORMATION ON EU FUNDING
All major results, communication and dissemination activities carried under PhasAGE funding must include the following acknowledgement:
- For communication activities: “This project has received funding from European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952334.”
- For infrastructure, equipment and major results: “This [infrastructure][equipment][insert type of result] is part of a project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952334.”