Marpipe is a consortium of 11 partners (IBP-CNR, SZN, UiT, UNIABDN, GEOMAR, Ku Leuven, UCC, eCoast, MEDINA, MicroDish, Italbiotech) based in 8 countries (I, N, UK, D, B, IRL, E, NL), including 3 from the non-academic sector. We will train 11 ESRs in the field of marine drug-discovery, providing these researchers with unique skills to be world leaders in this research field as well as to advance their careers in academia or industry. MarPipe PhDs will be trained in a programme including training-by-research, joint courses of technical, scientific and transferrable skills, active participation to public scientific events, and an intense inter-sectoral networking exchange plan. Marine organisms have the capacity to produce a variety of biologically potent natural products, including antimicrobial and anticancer compounds. MarPipe will study the further development of antimicrobial and anticancer lead compounds originating from a previous EU project (PharmaSea), and will also explore the bioactivity of deep-sea samples (5000m) collected during the recent Eurofleet2 project in the sub-Antarctic. The PhD students will thus be involved in all phases of the drug discovery pipeline (from isolation of new species to pre-clinical development of lead compounds) and will trained to overcome existing bottlenecks in this field (low yields of bioactive compounds, early dereplication, toxicity of compounds).
The feasibility of finding new bioactive antimicrobial and anticancer compounds will be increased through 11 PhD projects that cover all of the phases of the biodiscovery pipeline. As a final outcome of the project, we envisage the creation of a start-up company in the field of Marine Biodiscovery which will include most of the MarPipe partners. The scientists of the future will also be conscious of the socio-economic and policy context of their work, since MarPipe also has specific PhD projects in legal, policy, innovation and entrepreneurship issues.