i) To integrate, coordinate and facilitate innovative research programmes to build on a virtual centre of excellence in integrative ion channel research;
ii) To educate talented young scientists in a range of multidisciplinary methodologies and technologies in integrative ion channel research including channel function, structure, physiopathology and pharmacology;
iii) to foster collaborations by providing core resources, personnel and equipment for collaborative research;
iv) to bring new research groups and technologies into the field of integrative ion channel research;
v) to promote and strengthen the links between basic and clinical science, and industry.
This integrative ion channel research initiative is functionally organized into four distinct, but highly interrelated, knowledge-based working groups or nodes encompassing channel function, structure, physiopathology and pharmacology. To accomplish its goal SICI assembles a multidisciplinary team composed of physiologists, biochemists, biophysicists, structural biologists, chemists and pharmacologists. Furthermore, SICI is not envisioned as a restricted consortium, but rather it pretends to be an open programme for both academic and industrial partners that may wish to adhere to the initiative at a later stage.