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French Parasitology Alliance For Health Care


The ParaFrap PhD international Program

Coordinator : Yvon STERKERS
Advisor for the ParaFrap PhD programmePatrick BASTIEN

ParaFrap PhD Program Assistant : Rosa-Milagros CORRALES

The ParaFrap international PhD program is an ambitious program offering 11 competitive PhD grants to high-quality students/early stage scientists. It was coordinated by Professor Patrick Bastien (University of Montpellier) from 2013 to 2021, and by Pr. Yvon Sterkers (University of Montpellier) since 2021. Three international calls for application were organised in 2013, 2016, and 2021For the first two waves, the 21 students were selected after an international call for applications totalling 300-400 candidates, and a very competitive selection process, including 2-day auditions at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. The recruitment is truly international as 14 of the 21 PhD students recruited are foreigners (including 8 from endemic countries). The students joined the laboratories in October 2013 and October 2016, with doctoral contracts established for 3 years. Following the renewal of the LabEx ParaFrap by the French government for another 5 years (2020-2024), 16 new PhD students have joined the ParaFrap network in the third wave of the PhD programme in 2021. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the selection was organised remotely in collaboration with the service provider Impulse Science, with the same modalities as for the first two waves (selection based on applications, individual interviews, etc.).

The early stage scientists joined the forces of ParaFrap focussing on (i) developing new methodologies and sharing resources to overcome current roadblocks in studies of molecular, cellular and immunological processes of parasite biology and pathology, and (ii) feeding the pipeline with strategies and molecules for novel diagnostic tools and intervention strategies. Their core research projects, managed by a main supervisor and a co-supervisor from two distinct research groups of the LabEx, focus on the use of state-of-the-art post-genomic tools to enhance knowledge of the parasites and of their interactions with their hosts, with the aim of using this knowledge to seek and implement new means of parasitic diseases control. 

The research projects of the ParaFrap PhD international programme are complemented with a comprehensive range of international training courses, covering modern aspects of molecular cell biology applied to parasitology. These start with an initial training workshop of 2 weeks duration, which is followed by focussed training workshops, implemented at the rate of one or two per annum. These workshops involve high-quality international speakers and contributors and take place in one of the following universities/institutes: University of Montpellier, Institut Pasteur (Paris) and University of Lille-North of France. Examples are the following: "Handling genomic and post-genomic databases in Parasitology", “Genetics and reverse genetics techniques for parasites", “High throughput genomics and functional genomics”, "Imaging Parasites" etc...