ProjectSCilS – Studying Ciliary Signaling in Development and Disease

Basic data

Studying Ciliary Signaling in Development and Disease
01/01/2020 to 31/12/2023
Abstract / short description:
SCilS will create a multidisciplinary and intersectoral European training network focusing on ciliary signalling in
development and disease.
Primary cilia are microtubule-based cell surface projections that have evolved to be key signalling hubs of our cells, as they concentrate or segregate components of major cellular signalling pathways. Control of ciliary signaling output requires a high degree of regulation and critical feedback, which is needed for robustness in development and cellular homeostasis of different tissues and organs. Dysfunctional cilia can therefore lead to >35 severe human genetic traits (ciliopathies) with highly heterogeneous, overlapping phenotypes. Ciliopathies affect as many as 1 in 400 people, and
for the majority of cases efficient therapeutic interventions are currently unavailable.
SCilS research aims to uncover the multi-level organization and regulation of cilia-mediated signalling pathways in order to understand ciliopathy disease etiology and identify novel therapeutic targets. This challenging task will
be accomplished by integrating unique expertise and cutting edge technology available within the SCilS network, including structural biology, super resolution imaging and cryo-electron tomography, state-of-the-art genomics,
proteomics and bioinformatics, (stem) cell biology and biochemistry, as well as organoid technology and zebrafish models.
SCilS training will give Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) unparalleled training opportunities in outstanding academic and industrial settings through training-by-research via individual research projects, secondments, and network-wide training sessions. All individual training and research activities have been designed to provide each ESR with the necessary broad competences in state-of-the art academic and industrial research. The network will thereby make a career in both industry and academia attractive to the ESRs and improve their career prospects in both private and public sectors.
structural biology
cellular signalling
molecular disease mechanisms

Involved staff


Center for Ophthalmology
Hospitals and clinical institutes, Faculty of Medicine
Center for Ophthalmology
Hospitals and clinical institutes, Faculty of Medicine

Local organizational units

Research Center for Ophthalmology
Center for Ophthalmology
Hospitals and clinical institutes, Faculty of Medicine


Brüssel, Belgium

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