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Understanding (harmful) virus-host interactions by linking virology and bioinformatics

Project description

Linking virology and bioinformatics to understand viruses and their interactions with hosts

Viruses represent one of the major potential threats for the continuously growing and ageing global population. However, despite viruses' role as human and animal pathogens, their beneficial, commensal or harmful functions have not yet been fully elucidated. The key feature of the EU-funded VIROINF project is its interdisciplinary nature, which brings together virologists and bioinformaticians to develop bioinformatics tools for application in the studies of relevant virological models. The goal is to enable a better understanding of viruses and their interaction with the hosts, giving virologists new tools to analyse emerging and known viruses. VIROINF will provide novel strategies to treat diseases and control the spread of viral infections. The research programme will include training of a new generation of scientists with advanced skills in virology and bioinformatics.


Viruses are currently at the forefront of scientific priorities of many national research councils and the EU. Viruses will remain an urgent topic given the continuously growing and aging global population, creating major challenges for health science, technology and society as a whole. Besides their important role as human and animal pathogens, the beneficial, commensal or harmful functions of viruses are poorly understood. Fundamental questions in virology can only be tackled with the help of bioinformatics. However, the required sophisticated bioinformatics tools are not readily available.

By developing and applying tailored bioinformatical tools in important virological models, this ITN, called VIROINF, will provide a better understanding of viruses and the interaction with their hosts, with the aim of giving virologists potent new `weapons' to fight against emerging and established viruses. VIROINF will open the door to develop novel strategies to better understand, treat, and control viral diseases, in addition to understanding the broader ecology and evolution of viruses. The key feature of VIROINF is its interdisciplinary nature, which brings together virologists and bioinformaticians to achieve common goals.

The research programme will train a badly needed new generation of young scientists with excellent understanding and skills in virology, cell biology and bioinformatics, to the great benefit and advancement of the field. VIROINF is unique by its special triple supervision in two distinct subjects (virology and bioinformatics) from at least two organisations. Our ESRs will be trained at the very forefront of this rapidly developing field, by gaining state-of-the-art insights into both theoretical and empirical science. The ESRs will be in an ideal position to encourage the bioinformatical development of the field in academia, or by implementing their knowledge to solve practical problems in the non-academic sector.


Net EU contribution
€ 252 788,40
07743 JENA

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Thüringen Thüringen Jena, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 252 788,40

Participants (15)