The Mobility Program is intended to encourage investigators who are within five years of their first appointment after completing their research training or graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to visit another laboratory for a short period of time, between one to six months. The visit will be to learn or provide instruction on new methods and techniques required to research prion and prion-like protein misfolding diseases or to learn new methods of socio-economic approaches that impact prion diseases.
The Mobility Program offers recipients the opportunity to travel for a short period of time for the purpose of learning and exchanging information on new techniques and to discover how other laboratories and investigators operate. The Mobility Program is open for Alberta recipients to travel within or outside of Alberta or for recipients to travel to Alberta.
- Protein folding and misfolding • Applying tools of structural biology, biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology and bio-computing to understand the mechanisms of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) and other diseases of prion-like protein misfolding. This may include prion-like human neurodegenerative diseases and dementias.
- Pathobiology of TSEs • Understanding TSE biology susceptibility, transmissibility and disease progression using genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and other innovative approaches that will contribute to the diagnosis, prevention, cure, and possible elimination of the diseases. This may include prion-like human neurodegenerative mechanisms in pathobiology.
- Surveillance and Control • Minimizing risks associated with prion exposure, including disposal of specified risk material, technologies for inactivation and decontamination of prions in water, wastewater, soil and the environment; and • Diagnosing TSEs based on prion genomics, focusing on immunologic and biomedical engineering technologies to apply, validate and improve ante-mortem tests developed elsewhere and to explore opportunities for new tests to be developed in Alberta.
- TSEs and Society • Studying policy and response modelling, assessing economic and sociological components of community impact, risk perceptions, consumer acceptance and impact on markets, and ensuring fair and accurate communication of scientific advances. This component will also provide information useful to all levels of government for the development of public policies regarding TSEs.
Applications may be submitted at any time. Applications must indicate how the knowledge and experience to be gained by training are relevant to the recipient’s specific research project, to develop practical applications of knowledge, and to strengthening the capacity of Alberta based research and development. Eligibility will be based on letters of support from the researcher at the host institution and from the researcher at the Prion Institute-supported recipient’s home institution. Applications must be submitted to the Prion Institute no less than three months prior to the scheduled start date of an exchange. Application forms are available on the Alberta Innovates application web site (https://www.fundingconsortium.gov.ab.ca/Account).