COLOTAN – A new ULLA-based ETN

COLOTAN is a new Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network for Boosting advanced doctoral training in innovative colon targeting drugs. The network is based on an initiative of the ULLA partners KU Leuven (coordinator), Uppsala University, University College London, University of Copenhagen and University of Parma, who joined forces with University College Cork, National And Kapodistrian University Of Athens, and several industrial partners.

COLOTAN will train 13 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in (bio)pharmaceutical sciences to improve targeting of oral drugs to the colon. Oral formulations that release the drug in a pH- or time-dependent manner in the colon have been developed for local treatment of colonic diseases. However, the available colon-targeting formulations suffer from an inconsistent performance and lack of efficiency due to intra- and interindividual (patho)physiological variability. Moreover, current tools to predict drug absorption mainly focus on the upper gastrointestinal tract and fail to recapitulate events occurring in the colon, resulting in a lack of validated models to predict drug and formulation behaviour in the colon.

To meet these challenges, we must move beyond traditional, mainly monodisciplinary education and train a new generation of pharmaceutical scientists in diverse disciplines ranging from drug delivery to chemistry, cell biology, microbiology and gastroenterology. In an ambitious intersectoral environment, COLOTAN will deliver this new generation via an advanced research and training program with a total value of 180 ECTS comprising challenging Individual Research Projects, workshops with joint training in scientific and transferable skills, online training, individual training, dissemination, outreach and career development activities. At the end of the project, all ESRs will obtain a doctoral degree. This new generation of ESRs will become future leaders in academia and industry and will be at the forefront of developing a new generation of innovative colon targeting drugs.

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