FinGerDevNet is an international doctoral training network in developmental biology established on 1.9.2007 between Viikki Doctoral Programme in Molecular Biosciences (VGSB), University of Helsinki, Finland, Biocenter Oulu Doctoral Programme, University of Oulu, Finland, and the Graduate Program in Organogenesis (Research training group 1104), Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany. The network is funded by the Academy of Finland and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG). University of Helsinki and Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg are members of the League of European Research Universities (LERU).
FinGerDevNet joins the forces and builds on the infrastructure of the above-mentioned doctoral training programs
to create a structured international training network
. The aim is to train highly qualified European scientists and increase the research output in the field. The network expands the training offered in the individual doctoral programs in FinGerDevNet, and includes practical and lecture courses, joint international symposia, as well as student exchange between the research groups of the training network. This provides the young researchers with good theoretical and technical skills, and encourages them to pursue a career in research. The network provides the participating students with opportunities to gain experience in international collaboration and increases their mobility, two aspects crucial for a research career.
The major scientific goal of all the research groups in the network is to understand the genetic regulation of development. This is approached via studying the mechanisms controlling the development of animal embryos at the gene and molecular level. Of particular interest are the signaling molecules and their receptors driving embryonic development and their modulation by transgenic technologies and other experimental methods. Also medical implications of developmental biology as well as the interface between developmental and evolutionary biology, evo-devo, are of high interest. The exploitation of different animal models and the complementary expertise of the research groups within the network make this initiative a leading developmental consortium at the European level.