ImResFun shall provide state-of-the-art training in infectious disease research and medical immunology targeting the most common human fungal pathogens, the opportunistic Candida species. The key objectives of ImResFun are: (i) to understand how immune cells and infected organs respond to invasion by Candida spp, (ii) to decipher host-defense mechanisms mediating pathogen elimination, and (iii) to identify genetic networks driving the dynamics of host-pathogen interplay. ImResFun will exploit cutting-edge technologies to unravel the basic mechanisms of fungal pathogenesis and host immunity, and to improve diagnosis and identify novel biomarkers of infection. Importantly, ImResFun will translate research into clinical practice and identify potential targets for antifungal drug discovery. ImResFun has seven WPs. In addition to coordination (WP7), research will cover molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions using dual-system infection biology in vitro and in vivo (WP1), clinical patient setting and age-related infections (WP2), chemical biology and antifungal drug development (WP3), and bioinformatics and genome-wide data analysis (WP4). A compulsory and tailor-made practical course (WP5) and complementary skills (WP6) program will boost hypothesis-driven projects. Meaningful exposure to the private sector is ensured by extensive secondments of all ESRs/ERs. The resulting reciprocal technology transfer will be beneficial for both SMEs and ESR/ER hosts and sustain collaborations among partners. ImResFun will use personalized career development plans for each ESR/ER to train entrepreneurial scientists capable of translating frontier research into clinical practice, biotechnology and drug discovery. Taken together, ImResFun offers a best-practice example for interdisciplinary, intersectorial and supradisciplinary training in understanding the immunology of microbial infectious diseases, since most approaches are amenable to other microbial pathogens.
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