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WP 3: Co-operation and personnel exchange with excellent European research entities



• Technology and know-how transfer from world-leading laboratories
• Offering potential for new collaborations in the frame of the exchange program


Description of work

This WP includes personnel mutual exchanges with world-class centres, including Greek key research institutions, comprising mainly short-term visits (from two weeks to two months) in order to be get hold of specific knowledge and bioinformatic skills needed in different biological aspects . This WP will give the opportunity for

  • (a) training in marine biodiversity, data management and 3D microtomography, integrating molecular and phenotypic approaches, and
  • (b) acquaintance of methods in bioinformatics and computational biology for the analysis of DNA sequences.

The exchanges beyond offering training and know-how in the above advanced fields, will also offer the chance to access advanced technological infrastructure in terms of expertise, software and hardware. To this end, IMBG will capitalise on its already established collaboration with many top-ranking research and academic establishments throughout Europe, including other Greek research Institutions. These collaborations have been built around complementary expertise and will be strengthened and become more fruitful by well designed systematic two-way exchanges, in order to increase the potential for multidisciplinary research. Foreseen visits of IMBG personnel to each of the partnering organisations (outgoing) and visits of scientists from these organisations to IMBG are given below:


Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Molecular Genetics, Berlin

Year 1: Outgoing: Two researchers experienced in advanced pyrosequencing applications and genomic data analysis (e.g. Dr. Elena Sarropoulou and Dr. P. Kasapidis) will perform a 2-month visit. Training of genome data will be made in a comparative way on the genomes of Mediterranean fish species, jointly produced by IMBG and the MPI, the gilthead seabream, Sparus aurata and the European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax. A major effort will be put on training for genome annotation; training will be transmitted within each institute to groups of pre- and post-graduate students, in order to increase knowledge and efficiency of this very time consuming work of high quality, manual genome annotation.


Technische Universität München (TUM)

Year 1: Outgoing: Two IMBG scientists to be defined with expertise in phylo-bioinformatics, 2-week visits, to be trained in phylogenomics analysis methods with large quantities of data.

Year 2. Incoming: One researcher experienced in computational biology (e.g. Dr. Alexis Stamatakis), will stay 1 month at IMBG, to support training and optimising parallelisation of computation and training in phylogenomics.

Flanders Marine Institute, (VLIZ), Ostend, Belgium

Year 1. Incoming: A scientist to be defined with expertise in the marine biodiversity data management, 1 month visit, to train IMBG personnel.


Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML)Marine Biological Association (MBA), Plymouth, UK

Year 1. Incoming: One senior researcher with experience in marine biodiversity analysis methods (e.g.Dr. Paul Somerfield) will spend a 1- month visit to train IMBG personnel in marine biodiversity analysis methods.

Year 2, Outgoing: Two researchers with experience in taxonomy and biodiversity informatics (e.g. Dr.  C. Arvanitidis and Mrs Sarah Faulwetter) will pay a 2-weeks visit for training in marine biodiversity analysis methods, while one PML member will visit IMBG for the same purpose.


Natural History Museum (NHM), London

Year 1, Outgoing: Two IMBG scientists with experience in morphological data recording will be trained in  3D microtomography during a 1 month visit at NHM. In this manner data will obtained for common research.

Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie, (IZE), Jena, Germany

Year 1. Incoming: A specialist in 3D microtomograph, 2-weeks visit, to train IMBG scientists;  


Banyuls Oceanological Observatory (BOO), France

Year 2. Incoming: One researcher experienced in microbial diversity (e.g Dr. Marcelino Suzuki) will visit for 1-2 months IMBG to train its personnel on approaches to study microbial diversity. This will serve the better coordination of activities in the two centres.

Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), Faro, Portugal

Year 2. Incoming: One senior researcher experienced molecular endocrinology (e.g. Prof. Deborah Power) will have an 1-month visit, to IMBG to transfer expertise on comparative molecular physiology.

University of Athens (UoA), Greece

Year 1, Outgoing: One scientist to be defined with expertise in microbiology methods, like bacterial cultivation and characterization, will pay a 1-month visit to the laboratory of Professor Amalia Karagouni (Dept of Biology) to get training on methods of environmental bacterial cultivation and on bioreactors.

Year 2. Incoming: One researcher with basic knowledge in bioinformatics (e.g. Ass. Professor Dr. Dimitris Xatzinikolaou) will pay a 1-month visit, to get training in bioinformatics.

University of Ioannina (UoI), Greece

Year 1, Outgoing: A scientist from IMBG with experience with analysis of bacterial genomes and bioinformatics, 1-month visit to the laboratory of Prof. C. Bourtzis, at the Department of Environment and Management of Natural Resources, to apply phylochip Affymetrix microarray technology in order to assess microbial diversity.

Year 2. Incoming: One researcher with experience in high throughput sequence analysis and phylogenetic tree construction (e.g Ass. Prof. G. Tsiamis) will pay a 2- week visit to analyse the samples analysed by microarray technology using 16S rRNA pyrosequencing, in order to compare the two methods.


All visiting IMBG scientists will transfer their acquired knowledge to other members of the institute by  giving seminars, delivering reports containing description of the methods and laboratory protocols. As indicators to measure the efficiency of secondments will be use criteria such as, publications in international peer-reviewed journals, participation in new research projects, incorporation of visiting personnel in running projects, new collaborations with research teams in Greece and abroad.