Project outline

Research project

The major research orientations of the IBEID project are:
 
Exploring microbial diversity/complexity, detecting emergences: Surveillance of emerging infections needs to be based on a broad, exhaustive and evolving knowledge of the microbial world in its taxonomical, genetic and physiological dimensions, including mechanisms of resistance to drugs.
 
Legionella interacting with macrophages
(courtesy of C. Buchrieser)
In this Labex, emphasis will be on:

·    Exploring complex flora in man and his environment.
·    Basic microbial genetics, physiology and metabolism with emphasis on the novel aspects of microbiology.
·    Diagnostic of emerging microorganisms and of the microbiological etiology of (chronic, inflammatory) diseases.
·    Resistance to anti-infectious agents

Exploring host diversity/complexity upon confrontation with microbes: Medicine of tomorrow will become increasingly «personalized»; thus, genetic, environmental and physiological (i.e. age) parameters will be incorporated in preventive and therapeutic schemes. This will be true as well for infectious diseases and for the emerging theme of diseases appearing following individuals losing tolerance to their symbiotic microflora. Some situations like aging of the immune systems might create a new reservoir for infectious emergence. In this Labex, emphasis will be on:
·    Genetics of host susceptibility to infectious agents and to severity of infections. Building a coherent and complementary approach in mice and men.
·    Age-dependent susceptibility to infections, the very young, the elderly.
·    Microbiota in health and disease.
 
Evolutionary dynamics and biological relevance of the various families of innate immunity microbial sensors in humans (courtesy of L. Quintana-Murci)
 
 
Exploring host-microbe interactions, defining the species barrier to transmission of infectious agents, vectors, finding novel targets for vaccinology and therapeutics: Understanding disease mechanismsis  key to understand « le génie des maladies infectieuses » as stated by Charles Nicolle to qualify the birth (emergence), life and death of infectious diseases.
 
Tsetse fly head (courtesy of B. Rotureau)
In this Labex, emphasis will be on:
·    Exploring the disease mechanisms of emerging viruses (HIV, HCV, Flu, Dengue).
·    Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which pathogens cross the species barrier.
·    Strengthening knowledge of insect vectors that play a major role in emergence.
·    Revisiting disease mechanisms to find novel targets for vaccinology and therapeutics.
 
Creating the epidemiological, technological and integrative environment to support major scientific advances in the field of emerging infectious diseases: None of the above domains can be addressed without an unprecedented effort to establish research in modeling of epidemics, conditions of data management and integration and state of the art technological platforms. In this Labex, emphasis will be on:
·    Developing mathematical modeling of emerging infectious diseases.
·    Strengthening and diversifying the Genopole activities.
·    Building up proteomics.
·    Developing imaging in tandem with high-throughput screening.
·    Integrating information technologies and complex systems in biology, strengthening bioinformatics.
 

Training and Recruitment

In addition to the creation of two new Units and five new 5-year groups (G5), a recruitment program for post-doctoral scientists and PhD students has been set up.
As conceived, the LabEx represents a strong potential for outstanding training of master, PhD and post-doctoral scientists, and for the generation of new knowledge that will quickly be integrated into the various courses.
 

Valorization and diffusion of knowledge

Valorization: The IBEID project aims to improve host and microbial physiology knowledge and contribute to the development of new antimicrobial strategies. An important proportion of the knowledge resulting from the IBEID LabEx will be exploited with the prospects of creating vaccines, drugs and biologics in the fields of infectious diseases and microbiology applied to healthcare. The strong partnership within the project will help to bridge the gap in translational research between Academia and Industry
 
Diffusion of knowledge: Beyond traditional scientific communication through publications and seminars, IBEID will represent a central point to generate the objective information to be disseminated to authorities and to the public. The issue of communication will be a major theme, with a group of scientists, epidemiologists, medical doctors and representatives of communication offices of partner institutions meeting regularly and during crisis periods to integrate updated information and optimize its dissemination.
 

Governance

In order to maintain its coherence and identify the new challenges in its fields of expertise, the LabEx will benefit from an International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB) chaired by the coordinators. The ISAB will be composed of outstanding experts with a good balance of scientists in basic life sciences, bioinformatics, technologies, communication and representatives of the sectors of public health, medicine, industry and major French scientific institutions. A representation of Labex partners will also participate and a Bureau will be elected. ISAB members include: Antoine Flahault (EHSP Rennes, FR), Jacques Schrenzel (Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, CH), Fernando Baquero (IRYCIS Madrid, ES), Antonio Lanzavecchia (IRB Bellinzona, CH), Ruedi Aebersold (ETH Zürich, CH), George Griffin (SGUL London, UK), Anne Fagot-Largeault (Collège de France Paris, FR), Jean-François Delfraissy (AVIESAN Paris, FR), Alain Fischer (Hôpital Necker Paris, FR), Laurent Fraisse (Sanofi Toulouse, FR), Jeff Almond (Sanofi-Pasteur Lyon, FR), Gérard Dénariaz (Danone Palaiseau, FR), Marc Mortureux (ANSES Maison-Alfort, FR), Christine Saura (InVS Saint-Maurice, FR) Vincent Deubel (Institut Pasteur du Cambodge Phnom-Penh, KH) and Christian Bréchot (Institut Mérieux Lyon, FR)