Networking Drosophila research between Estonia and Germany

Duration of the project

01.02.2021. - 31.10.2021.

Countries and institutions involved in the project

University of Tartu/Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
University of Freiburg/Faculty of Biology

Project Manager

Prof. Osamu Shimmi

Project goals

The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is a widely used model organism for biomedical research. Introducing an economical, genetically highly malleable and extensively used model system will be of significant benefit to the Estonian research community. A new Drosophila lab is being established by O. Shimmi at the University of Tartu.

In this proposal we aim to further develop our knowledge and techniques used for Drosophila research in a collaboration with a research group led by Dr. Pyrowolakis, University of Freiburg. Dr. Pyrowolakis is an expert in the field of signaling and Drosophila development.

The particular aim of this project is to obtain knowledge and techniques of genome engineering using the CRISPR-Cas9 system, and generate transgenic flies. To facilitate collaborations between the two groups, research staff/students in Tartu will visit Freiburg to participate in the joint meeting. We also organize a public seminar by Dr. Pyrowolakis to introduce cutting-edge scientific research in developmental biology.

We expect that these activities will lead to further develop Drosophila research and contribute to strengthen relationship between Estonia and Germany.

Main activities and venues

Main activities of the project involve two exchanges of staff scientist/students.

First, scientists/students in Tartu will visit Freiburg spring 2021. We will organize a joint meeting with Pyrowolakis’ group to stimulate scientific discussion. Furthermore, PhD student Vi Ngan Tran will visit Pyrowolakis’ lab to learn techniques of genome engineering using the CRISPR-Cas9 system, and then start generating transgenic flies.

Second, we will organize Dr. Pyrowolakis’ research seminar in Tartu in fall 2021. His seminar will be public and a part of the PhD program. We will also have a follow-up discussion with Pyrowolakis in Tartu.

Direct and indirect target group

Direct: members of Prof. Osamu Shimmi and Dr. Pyrowolakis research groups (up to 15).

Indirect: employees of the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Institute of Genomics, and Institute of Technology (Tartu, Estonia) (around 50). Pyrowolakis’ seminar will be public and part of the PhD program of biological science.