Topical Partner Clusters (TPCs) are a new DIGS-BB initiative of scientific collaboration between DIGS-BB groups and at least three independent research groups outside Dresden. The collaboration partners focus on a concise topic related to one of the DIGS-BB research fields and can be situated inside or outside Germany. With the TPCs, DIGS-BB seeks to deepen its profile by establishing strong collaborations involving additional scientific and technological expertise in highly specialized and/or newly emerging fields within the DIGS-BB.
Predoctoral students from off-site TPC groups can choose to be integrated into the DIGS-BB as Associated Predocs. While staying registered at their home university for the doctoral proceedings, they will follow the academic structure in place at DIGS-BB, for example with Thesis Advisory Committees (comprising members of group leaders from both locations) offering regular meetings following a fixed timeline scheme. Both, Associated Predocs and Dresden-based Predocs can profit from the research infrastructures of both locations, on-site research exchanges (such as specialized trainings and lab rotations), courses and lectures of the respective program partners. Thus, the TPCs will provide an expanded scientific network and increase the international visibility for the participating research groups.
The first TPC is a collaboration with selected research groups at the Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Prague on “Cytoskeletal Dynamics Across Scales: From Molecular Biophysics to Organismal Development”. Currently, the collaborators are five selected research labs from the Cytoskeleton Consortium Prague, of which three are headed by former Dresden-based and DIGS-BB-associated Predocs/Postdocs. “We are excited to start this new collaboration scheme and look forward to following up with further TPC ideas from DIGS-BB group leaders and alumni.” says Stefan Diez, one of the initiators of the first TPC. “It's an amazing networking opportunity, not only for our students, but also for other members of our labs” adds his colleague Zdenek Lansky from the Institute of Biotechnology in Prague.
The Kick-Off Meeting of the first DIGS-BB TPC on “Cytoskeletal Dynamics Across Scales” will take place March 9–10, 2023 in Dresden.