Manipulating folding, assembly and disassembly of protein complexes - "ManiFold"
ManiFold is an Innovative Doctoral Programme organised by members of the Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research and its Graduate Research School, at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. The European Union selected the most innovative doctoral programmes in Europe for funding in the prestigious Marie-Curie Initial Training Networks scheme. ManiFold was the only Innovative Doctoral Programme in the Life Sciences funded in 2012. The project started autumn 2012 in Utrecht. EU funding ended end of 2016. 

11 Exciting PhD research projects
ManiFold offers innovative interdisciplinary training in structural biology, biochemistry, biophysics and cell biology for a selected group of 11 PhD students. ManiFold combines the PhD training programme of the Bijvoet Center with internships in industry and abroad. The PhD students have the chance to work with one of the 7 ManiFold group leaders, all of whom have a strong publication track record in high impact journals. Please check the section "Publications" for the ManiFold output so far.

High impact research topics
ManiFold research projects focus on one of the central topics in life sciences: Interactions between molecules lead to structures of increasing complexity and ultimately to living organisms and their dynamic relations. Deep understanding of these interactions is one of the most fundamental challenges in the Life Sciences. For scientific highlights of ManiFold please check the "Highlights" section.

How do large protein complexes assemble, and how do they determine our fate? – exemplified by the Interaction of the cobra venome factor (yellow) with its human target factor B (red).


Failures in folding and assembly processes lead to lethal diseases
Most fundamental processes in the cell find their basis in protein folding and misfolding events, which in turn are linked to diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and cancer. Protein folding and assembly are assisted by molecular chaperones and involve cycles of folding/unfolding and assembly/disassembly. The Manifold fellows will work on significant contributions to those fundamental questions.

How do proteins fold and unfold, assemble and disassemble? How do molecular chaperones guide these processes? How can we interfere with those processes to cure diseases caused by damaged protein interactions?


Support by the EU, Marie-Curie Actions, Utrecht University and the Bijvoet Center
ManiFold was funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the EU and Marie Curie actions with €2.6 Mio for the period 2012-2016. ManiFold is supported by the Faculty of Science, the Department of Chemistry and the Bijvoet Graduate Research School of Utrecht University. The Doctoral Programme is coordinated by Stefan Rüdiger of Cellular Protein Chemistry in the Bijvoet Center. All 11 PhD students were placed in the groups of Rolf Boelens and Hugo van Ingen, Ineke Braakman, Piet Gros, Albert Heck, Bert Janssen, Antoinette Killian and Stefan Rüdiger.

Click here for ManiFold information flyer.