PRAETORIAN (EuroPean Training NetwoRks to TArget DAMPs and NETs: novel apprOaches in pRecision SepsIs pAtieNt care) is a Doctoral Network funded by the European Commission.

The goal of PRAETORIAN Doctoral Network is the establishment of a highly interdisciplinary research and educational training platform for doctoral candidates (DCs) in the (bio)medical sciences to optimally design novel therapeutics and diagnostics and to increase their employability in both academia and industry. To this end we have teamed up in a consortium comprising 5 partners from academia (Universities of Maastricht, Paris, Münster, Uppsala, and Institute for Biomedical Research Barcelona), 7 partners from industry, 4 organisations representing the perspective of patients and society and 2 organisations for international dissemination and outreach.

The scientific objective of the multi-sectorial Doctoral Network is the translation and exploitation of knowledge on damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) formation for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for sepsis, a WHO global health priority.

Sepsis remains one of the major challenges for societies worldwide, causing an estimated 11 million deaths every year. It is the leading cause of death at intensive care units in the EU. This high mortality persists because at present methods for timely diagnosis are lacking and no effective therapy is available. Therefore, there is a clear and urgent medical need to provide novel diagnostics and therapeutics for use in sepsis. The PRAETORIAN Doctoral Network has created a doctorate programme to deliver innovative training on preclinical and clinical science, business- and entrepreneurial aspects, intellectual properties and more, covering multiple aspects of the drug discovery and development process.

Recent insights have indicated a pivotal role for neutrophil activation and so-called damage associated patterns in the initiation and propagation of sepsis. However a comprehensive view on how these processes cause the onset of sepsis remains elusive and there is an urgent need to translate experimental findings into adequate diagnostic and therapeutic solutions. PRAETORIAN was designed to address this urgent need by bringing together specialists from academia and industry to shape a new generation of entrepreneurial scientists who have skills, expertise and knowhow to further our understanding of sepsis pathophysiology into tangible and effective solutions for novel diagnosis and therapy. We bring together the full breadth of the drug discovery and development process - from molecular biology, biochemistry, chemistry, drug discovery & design - to clinical research to address an unmet medical need for a disease that is neglected by many of the larger pharma companies.