Editorial Frédéric Allain - The Messenger No. 5

Dear colleagues,

It is my pleasure to open this year’s first newsletter of the NCCR RNA & Disease. We are now finishing the third year of our 1st phase and we can be very pleased with what the NCCR has brought to our field in Switzerland. With over a dozen of associated groups and now eight junior groups (soon nine with the recruitment of a new assistant professor at the ETH Zurich), we have more than doubled the number of research groups in our network from the original sixteen groups at the start of the NCCR. Being part of a research network when starting your lab is a strong asset. I personally immensely benefited from such opportunities during my assistant professorship when after two years I could join as a junior PI the NCCR Structural Biology and one year later the European network on alternative-splicing EURASNET. Both networks helped me shape my research and were at the origin of many projects that I still pursue today. EURASNET also allowed me to meet for the first time Adrian Krainer or Jørgen Kjems, who are now among our advisory board members. The spirit we hope to bring to our NCCR is certainly inspired by the fruitful experiences I gained from these two previous networks. I certainly hope that our NCCR will be as positive for our junior groups as those two were for me. Our young colleagues are also important to increase the momentum of our NCCR as they all bring new expertise and a different angle that enrich our own research. I do have active collaborations with three of the eight junior PIs and would not be surprised if by the end of phase 2, I will have active collaborations with the remaining six, too.