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Host-microbe interactions in health and disease. Interface with the immune system

Final Report Summary - HOMIN (Host-microbe interactions in health and disease. Interface with the immune system)

HOMIN (Host-microbe interactions in health and disease. Interface with the immune system) is an advanced education and research program meant to train 10 early stage researchers, possessing medical or scientific educational backgrounds to become leading scientists in academic institutions, private companies or administration. The project gathered five research organizations in Europe, experts in the field of infectious diseases, immune responses and vaccine development, including a world-renowned industrial research center:
1. Institut Pasteur, Paris, France,
2. GSK (Previously: Novartis), Siena, Italy
3. CSIC, Madrid, Spain
4. UAM, Madrid, Spain
5. UNISI, Siena, Italy
In addition several private and academic associated partners contributed to the program, being actively involved in the training of fellows and providing secondments : Photeomix (France); Axenis (France); Diomune (Spain); University of Amsterdam (Netherlands); Statens Serum Institut (Danemark); The Leprosy Mission Nepal (Nepal); The Francis Crick Institute (UK); The San Raffaele Hospital (Italy)
HOMIN’s goal was to promote the development of the conscious identity of young scientists preparing them for a broad professional spectrum and to strengthen the ERA. For this purpose HOMIN consortium has provided to fellows: i) cutting-edge scientific projects in subjects in which the HOMIN partners are international leaders; ii) a collaborative professional environment, allowing the young researchers to appreciate research in the academic and the private sector, and their connections at the European level; iii) scientific communication and networking opportunities at the European and International levels; iv) a number of complementary skills, transferrable to a wide variety of professional environments.
The research projects were carried in the HOMIN partner institutions , but allowing the students to exchange technical and professional experience during regular meetings. The individual PhD projects are listed below:
1. HIV-1 modulation of the T cell activation molecular machinery.
2. Immunomodulatory properties of mycobacterial phenolic glycolipids.
3. Cytokine control of human innate lymphoid cell development and function.
4. Role of plasmacytoid dendritic cells in the induction and regulation of anti-tumor responses.
5. Analysis of vaccine adjuvants effects on long-term immune response.
6. Dissecting TLR7 activation cascade by low molecular weight agonists.
7. Novel delivery of vaccines: towards mucosal immunity.
8. Presentation of bacterial and viral antigens by antigen-presenting T cells.
9. Host-Trypanosoma cruzi interactions .
10. Targeting the immune synapse as a strategy of immune subversion by bacterial adenylate cyclase toxins.
All fellows were enrolled in local Universities’ doctoral programs. They have obtained, or are about to obtain a PhD degree. All fellows were well integrated into their respective research groups. The three-year training included the individual scientific projects listed above, secondments in academic or private associated partner organisations, science-related training, networking and outreach activities, such as participation to seminars, courses and congresses, common HOMIN meetings and courses in complementary and soft skills. A career development follow up with yearly common seminars was carried out. All ten fellows were actively involved in local and common training and participated to HOMIN meetings. Several articles concerning the scientific projects have been published and several are in preparation.
We believe that the HOMIN final goal to train new generation scientists, possessing knowledge that goes beyond their specific scientific fields has been reached successfully. The website of the program is Contact person: Project Coordinator Prof. Andres Alcover