Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EDGE (Training network providing cutting-EDGE knowlEDGE on Herpes Virology and Immunology)
Reporting period: 2018-05-01 to 2020-10-31
The rationale behind this Innovative Training Network, providing cutting-EDGE knowlEDGE on herpes virology and immunology (EDGE), was the hypothesis that the gap between mechanistic knowledge and more successful treatment of herpesvirus infections can be narrowed by educating and training a new generation of scientists (early career researchers: ESRs). The EDGE consortium has now trained 15 ESRs in an interdisciplinary program, where basic virology and immunology has been integrated with pharmaceutical industry and clinical medicine. This has led to the education of PhDs who are now well prepared to take on responsibilities for development and implementation of solutions to societal challenges in infection biology and medicine.
EDGE has had extensive focus on the training of the individual ESR with respect to core skills for the specific projects. The success of this part is reflected in the outcome of the research programme, demonstrated by the excellent progress and the successful completion of the ESR’s individual research projects. Over the years, the consortium of EDGE has become a very well-functioning research team, in which an active exchange of experiences was practiced and future joint project ideas have been already developed and are in planning. This will doubtlessly continue to impact future collaborations of the ESRs, beyond their studies within this Horizon2020 programme. In addition, the training programme of EDGE has included a number of secondments - with significant inter-sector exchange and an acquisition of transferable skills. Finally, we have invested time in career development plans with the ESRs, and guidance on immediate and long-term career plans. Many of the ESRs have now successfully moved on to new positions, to further develop their careers, and as a documentation of the broad training goal of EDGE, ESRs have found employment in all sectors involved in the program, namely basic research, pharmaceutical industry and clinical medicine.
Collectively, EDGE has successfully trained 15 ESRs in the interdisciplinary field of Herpes Virology an Immunology, resulting on fundamental new discoveries, innovation activities and medical translation. The results contribute to a valuable knowledge base, which will accelerate the development of vaccines and antiviral therapies. The ESRs have acquired key skills required to develop their careers at the interdisciplinary front-line of biomedical research and adjacent disciplines. Hence, the training and research output from EDGE contribute to societal advancement in EU. It will help the EU to achieve the goal to take a globally leading position and to provide rapid translation from discovery to improved patient care, for the benefit of European citizens.