This proposal will allow me to advance my career as an independent researcher, to take on the leadership of a research project and to gain additional knowledge and experience of project management, identifying opportunities to innovate and engaging in trans-disciplinary research. The prevalence of allergic disease has trebled in the last 20 years and it is estimated that 1-2% of European adults [5-7% of children] suffer from food allergies. Therefore, the project is consistent with FP6 Priority Thematic Area 5-Food Quality and Safety.
The gastrointestinal tract is constantly bombarded by dietary proteins, all potential antigens. Two differing therapies against allergies have been used, a Th1 cytokine (IL-12), and a commensal bacteria inducing IL-12 at intestinal DCs level to regulate Th1-Th2 response in favour of Th1.
This innovative project will examine an additive/synergistic effect by using recombinant lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains producing IL-12. Briefly, LAB strains will be engineered to produce IL-12. In order to check a possible regulation of Th1 response at gastrointestinal DCs level, a unique peanut allergy mouse model developed at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) will be challenged with LAB strains producing IL-12. My existing skills will be extended in molecular biology and initiated in immunology areas, in which the host is globally-networked.
IFR is internationally recognized and can offer me other scientific and complementary training courses [ISO-9001 quality regulated] including presentation and communication skills, ethics, innovation, FP7 opportunities, networking, resource, project management and hosts contacts. Which research pathway I will choose will depend, in part, on the outcome of my stay at IFR. The added knowledge gained will be vital for my return to Spain, industry or academia, to lead research projects addressing allergy where it is an increasing problem into the EU, and especially fish allergy in my home European country
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