The Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard (Cambridge, MA, USA) was founded in 2009 to find new ways of preventing and curing human disease through harnessing the power of the immune system. These research objectives are pursued with a focus on HIV-1, while the research programme of GRK2504 envisages multiple antiviral strategies against several, mostly persisting viruses. Therefore, the cooperation promises to enrich the research perspectives for the participating scientists of both partner organisations. Essentially, students holding a master’s degree in life sciences from FAU are eligible to apply to perform their doctoral studies abroad and finally receive their doctorates from FAU. These candidates are recruited through a procedure organised by the GRK2504 in Erlangen. Together with their advisors from Ragon Institute, they participate in the retreats of GRK2504 in Germany and organise meetings in the USA. The structured scientific exchange is beneficial for all participants: the FAU graduates conducting their doctoral projects at the Ragon Institute are supported by being embedded in GRK2504 throughout their thesis work, scientists in training at the FAU experience early exposure to an international research environment, and faculty members enjoy the enhanced international collaboration.
The Ragon Institute assembles world leading HIV researchers and immunologists. FAU graduates working at the Ragon Institute are funded by the participating researchers listed below. They work on topics defined by their Ragon supervisors, but related to the research programme of GRK2504.