The Headquarters of the Centre, located in Trieste (Italy), coordinate the research programmes of the three Components located in Trieste, Italy, New Delhi, India and Cape Town, South Africa, and provide the foundation upon which the ICGEB training and institutional activities are implemented.
The ICGEB Training programme comprises both short-term training (monothematic courses on specific subjects at the forefront of scientific research) and long-term training activities aimed at hands-on capacity-building of scientists, and which are fully incorporated within the work of the research groups. The ICGEB also operates through an international PhD programme jointly developed with academic institutions of world renown.
ICGEB Headquarters also coordinate the Collaborative Research Programme, a unique resource of funding aimed at financing research projects implemented in Member States, as well as the relationship between the Centre and its industrial partners, ensuring the transfer of technologies developed at its Components.
ICGEB fosters innovative approaches for industrial relations at a global level and enhances joint ventures and other partner-oriented approaches for the commercialisation of biotechnology. Furthermore, the Centre provides its constituency with a number of institutional activities on issues at the borderline between science and the policy of science, such as biosafety, intellectual property rights and ethics of science.
More than 200 people representing some 30 nationalities work in the laboratories in Trieste, which cover an area of 10,000 sq. metres. The ICGEB Trieste Component provides a scientific and educational environment of the highest standard and is fully equipped to undertake modern molecular and cellular biology research. Currently, 16 Research Groups operate out of ICGEB Trieste. Over two thirds of personnel hold a university degree or a PhD, and are below 40 years of age. Almost 60 graduates are currently enrolled in the international PhD course, undertaken in collaboration with high-level academic institutions, including the Open University, UK and the “Scuola Normale Superiore” in Pisa, Italy. Over 125 PhD students have completed their PhD studies since 1992, having obtained an average of over 3 publications in peer-reviewed international journals per student. The activities of the PhD course include an intense, annual, international seminar program. The movies of the seminars, courses and lessons undertaken at ICGEB Trieste are freely available for download world wide, and have been launched on iTunes U in July 2011, enjoying huge popularity.
Scientific activity at the Trieste Labs focuses on advanced projects in current biomedical research. Research programmes include basic science projects such as control of gene expression, DNA replication, DNA repair and RNA processing; studies on human viruses such as HIV, HPV and rotavirus, molecular immunology, neurobiology, molecular genetics, experimental haematology and human gene therapy. Other Groups focus on projects in the fields of bacteriology and yeast genetics, protein structure and bioinformatics. Over the past 5 years, over 400 scientific papers in high impact, international scientific journals have been published. The research programmes of each Group are periodically evaluated through site visits involving international panels of scientists with specific expertise in the respective fields, whose recommendations are reported to the ICGEB Scientific Council. The research activities of the ICGEB Trieste laboratories are also supported by a large number of grants awarded from various international funding agencies.