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French Parasitology Alliance For Health Care


 [Communiqué]

In September 2018, the LabEx ParaFrap applied for a 5-year renewal. At the end of the evaluation process conducted by an international jury, Frédérique VIDAL, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and the General Secretariat for Investment (SGPI) revealed the list of the 103 LabEx renewed.

The LabEx ParaFrap is thus extended for 5 years (2020-2024). The international panel recognized the excellence of research and training within the LabEx, the strength and dynamics of the established network, the international reference which now is the biennial conference of ParaFrap, and the impact of the LabEx upon the visibility of French Parasitology. 

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ParaFrap will build on the strengths of the last 8 years to develop a new, ambitious and innovative joint research program. Our network will be enriched by 8 new partners selected by our international external scientific advisory board (eSAB) following a call for applications launched at the end of 2018 (details here - deadline for applications on 8th March 2019).

The ParaFrap PhD program, of which the input, whether in training or in reinforcing the network, was stressed by the panel, will be continued: around 20 PhD students will be recruited at the international level, at the beginning of the five years of the new ParaFrap program, for research projects in collaboration between at least two ParaFrap partners.

Follow us for more details on the future of ParaFrap in the coming months.

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The call is now closed.

 

This call aims to unite the best forces of French Parasitology into ParaFrap. Candidates already members of another LabEx are eligible for membership. It is anticipated that 8 new members will be admitted. The 5-year prolongation of the LabEx ParaFrap has been accepted in February 2019. Applications are accepted now ;  deadline : March, 08, 2019 - 11h00 (Paris). All applications will be evaluated by our external Scientific Advisory Board and applicants will be ranked so as to choose the top-level candidates.

THE PARAFRAP LABEX

ParaFrap is coordinated at the University of Bordeaux and currently engages 17 teams from 14 French Universities and Institutions. It carries out research on parasitic pathogens and their interactions with both mammalian hosts and mosquito vectors. This consortium started in 2012 and is funded until end of 2019. An application of a second round of funding as LabEx for 5 additional years was submitted in September 2018, again coordinated by the ANR, and this prolongation was confirmed by the French Ministry of Research in February 2019.

The main objectives of the Network can be divided into three priority areas:

  • Collaborative infectious disease discovery research
  • Translational strategies for prevention and treatment of parasitic infections
  • Spreading of Excellence via dedicated training programs

Besides its excellent collaborative research programme, ParaFrap organises international conferences and provides high-quality training through the implementation of its PhD programme and workshops. The overall objectives of ParaFrap are to reinforce French scientific and technological excellence in Parasitology research through a long-lasting cooperation of research capacities existing in France.

Areas of research interest for applicants

The research lines of applicants must be focused on studies about parasites with an international recognition in the following research areas:

  • Post-genomic data exploration
  • Mechanisms of pathogenesis
  • Parasite molecular and cellular biology
  • Towards new intervention strategies against parasitic pathogens

For further details with respect to the research clusters, please consult the ParaFrap website.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICATION

Attention : application only in English

Criteria of evaluation :

• Scientific excellence
• Integration into consortium activities (adequacy of the activity of the applicant to the ParaFrap programme and quality of the interactions foreseen with ParaFrap partners)
• Independent group leader status (as seen from the organization chart of the research unit)

PIs heading a recognized research team in France (HCERES label, ERC or ATIP-Avenir) are eligible to apply by downloading the application form below and submit a letter of interest (maximum length 4 pages of the entire document, size A4 & minimum font size equivalent to 11pt Arial) containing the following:

• A short CV with top 10 publications of the last 5 years (max 2 pages)
• A short description of added value for ParaFrap (max 1 page).
• An outline of the research collaboration with the network, indicating preferred area of research interest and potential partners for a shared PhD student (max 1 page).

The forms and letters of interest should be submitted on https://bit.ly/2qE0VKa in one PDF file, up to 10MB.

INDICATIVE TIMELINE

March 08, 2019 - 11h00 (Paris) : Deadline for applications. The exact deadline will be announced on the ParaFrap website, as soon as the prolongation of the LabEx ParaFrap has been confirmed (early 2019).
- Evaluation and ranking of applications by external Scientific Advisory Board
- ParaFrap Executive Committee recommendations
June 2019 : Announcement of decisions and initiation of integration process of new members 

QUESTIONS ?

Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

APPLICATION KIT

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[Communiqué]

New research reveals that mammalian stages of trypanosomes can grow in the absence of glucose, if glycerol is provided. The result paves the way for understanding metabolic interactions between extravascular trypanosomes and the glycerol-producing adipocytes present in the skin and adipose tissues. This study was published by Dr Frédéric Bringaud's ParaFrap team and collaborators in November 2018 in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens.

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Trypanosomes are extracellular parasites that cause devastating neglected tropical diseases affecting humans (sleeping sickness) and domestic animals, such as cattle, horses, camels, pigs, etc. Until very recently, trypanosomes have been considered to propagate exclusively in the glucose-rich mammalian fluids, including the bloodstream. As a result, a dogmatic concept deeply rooted in our scientific community considered that glucose is the only carbon source used by the parasite to fuel its central and energy metabolism.

In the study "Glycerol supports growth of the Trypanosoma brucei bloodstream forms in the absence of glucose: analysis of metabolic adaptations on glycerol-rich conditions"the researchers show that replacing glucose by glycerol does not affect long-term growth of the mammalian-infective trypanosomes. The authors described the metabolic adjustments implemented by the parasite to adapt to this unexpected carbon source, including activation of the gluconeogenic pathway, which produces the sugar precursors necessary for essential biosynthetic pathways. These data illustrate the unexpected metabolic flexibility of this parasite highlighted a few years ago by the same research team by revisiting its glucose metabolism.

More importantly, this finding resonates with the recent discovery of extravascular trypanosomes colonizing and proliferating in the immediate vicinity of adipocytes in the skin and the adipose tissues of their mammalian hosts. Glycerol produced in abundance by tissue adipocytes can provide a rational explanation for the development of a glycerol-based metabolism in the mammalian-infective trypanosomes and open new avenues for the development of alternative therapeutic approaches.

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Congratulations to Eleonora Aquilini, ParaFrap postdoctoral researcher in Maryse Lebrun's Team, who won one of the “Best Full Length Talks” price at the 2018 (29th) Annual Molecular Parasitology Meeting, for her story on a new perspective on rhoptry secretion in Toxoplasma. She won a free trip and a talk to the ASTMH 67th Annual Meeting, October 28 - November 1, 2018 - New Orleans, USA (https://www.astmh.org/annual-meeting).

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Amandine Guerin, postdoc in Boris Striepen's lab (Philadelphia, USA - www.striepenlab.org) and former ParaFrap PhD student in Maryse Lebrun's team, received a long-term EMBO fellowship for her postdoctoral research on Cryptosporidium host cell invasion and manipulation. The EMBO Long-Term Fellowships are awarded for a period of up to two years and support post-doctoral research visits to laboratories throughout Europe and the world. International exchange is a key feature in the application process. Congratulations Amandine !

  EMBO FELLOWS