The doctoral school proposed in DISCo originates from the common interest of Novartis Vaccines (NVD) and the French National Institute of Agronomical Research (INRA) in preventing E. coli infections. Both Institutes have a strong background in microbial pathogenesis, supported by a number of ongoing research programmes aimed at combating human infectious diseases. In particular, NVD, by using a high-throughput in silico genomic approach, named “Reverse Vaccinology”, has recently received approval for the first broad coverage vaccine (Bexsero®) that can help protect all age groups against meningococcal disease. Starting from this successful achievement, we now propose the application of both bioinformatic and experimental approaches (including proteomic, functional and immunological studies) to identify bacterial surface associated determinants able to induce cross-protective antibodies against different E. coli pathotypes. Recently NVD has used a subtractive Reverse Vaccinology approach to identify novel immunogenic antigens capable of inducing protection against extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli species in a mouse model of sepsis. This doctoral program aims to extend such analysis to intestinal E. coli pathotypes for which a broadly protective vaccine would aid in the control of morbidity and mortality associated to diarrheal disease. Therefore, by combining the industrial expertise developed in NVD with the academic research quality of INRA, we propose a strong training programme for young scientists who will have the unique opportunity to learn state-of-the art technologies jointly with the possibility of applying laboratory discoveries to industrial applications. The young fellows’ training path will be complemented by the transferable skills courses, organised by the SME ALTA, and will culminate with the formal obtainment of the PhD title from two well recognized European universities, such as University of Roma 3 (Italy) and University of Auvergne (France).
Fields of science
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call