The aim of these meetings is to stimulate cross-talks between scientists involved in the molecular and cellular study of infections, now called Cellular Microbiologists and Cell Biologists to provoke creative synergies in projects which appeared previously unlinked. Indeed, the study of infectious diseases and Cell biology were separate disciplines with different backgrounds and interests. They recently found in each other important common interests and tools. Scientists involved in the study of infectious diseases are now interested, in addition to classical animal studies, in the molecular basis of the interactions between cells and bacteria, virus and parasites. Their studies highlight that pathogens exploit existing mammalian functions to establish an infection sometimes revealing pathways that were unsuspected or that could not be tackled by classical Cell Biology approaches.
Conversely, Cell biologists become aware of the variety of tools that can be used to address fundamental biological processes. Their contribution to the study of some processes used by bacteria to infect cells has recently been spectacular. A conference series on this topic is particularly timely, since the fields of Cell Biology and Cellular Microbiology are strong in Europe and rapidly expanding. It will provide the ideal forum for young scientists in both fields to meet with more senior investigator. Each of the two meetings will cover some important yet distinct, aspects of the relationships between fundamental cellular functions and infectious processes. The goal is that Cellular microbiologists and Cell Biologists will have the opportunity to focus in each meeting on some key issues, rather than trying to cover all fields involved by these disciplines. These meetings should not only contribute to answering fundamental questions but also provide unforeseen observations in our understanding of infections, and eventually contribute to the establishment of new therapeutic agents.