The Challenge

Neurodegenerative diseases present a particularly important challenge for translational medicine due to their slow progression, the growing therapy needs of ageing populations, and the enormous complexity of the central nervous system (CNS). transMed takes on this challenge by centring on the retina, a self-contained, and directly accessible part of the CNS. Blinding retinal degenerations (RD), including common diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and macular oedema, but also rare hereditary diseases such as Retinitis Pigmentosa, still lack sufficient treatment options or are untreatable. Yet, in the last 20 years causative genetic mutations, biochemical pathways, and potential pharmacological targets have been increasingly identified. We now need qualified translational researchers to delve into existing RD research data, to develop and push it to the next levels, and in reality, go "from bench to bedside".

By taking part in the advanced research programmes of the transMed partners, supported by an extensive training module, transMed PhD students will obtain an outstanding competence portfolio. This encompasses basic research into disease mechanisms and target definition, drug design and development, in vitro test systems and in vivo disease models, drug delivery systems (DDS), good manufacturing practice (GMP) production, toxicological testing and pharmacokinetics, regulatory affairs and good clinical practice (GCP), patenting and other intellectual property (IP)-issues, all the way to clinical trials and commercialisation.

Figure 1: Challenges in translational research
The transMed consortium has scientific and practical knowledge of all levels in the chain from idea to product. By engaging in research projects and education initiatives, the transMed “translational researchers” will experience all of the various phases of drug development that convert scientific ideas into new treatments.