French Alliance for Parasitology and Health Care


Dear colleagues,

The EMBO Workshop "New frontiers in host-parasite interactions, from cell to organism", supported by ParaFrap,  is now open for registration. The deadlines for online abstract submission and registration are July 13th 2022. Please register here: 


This workshop will be held from 2-5 October 2022, at the "Île des Embiez", a French island in the Mediterranean Sea (

Parasitic infections remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide; they kill millions annually and inflict debilitating injuries on additional millions. The vast majority of parasitic infections in humans and domestic animals can be attributed to protozoan pathogens, including those causing malaria, African sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis, or toxoplasmosis. Parasitism is found throughout the tree of life and parasitic organisms have become model systems for the study of biochemistry and molecular biology. They also represent valuable systems for integrated analyses of host-pathogen interplay.

The workshop will showcase the latest breakthroughs in host-parasite interactions at the cell, tissue and organism levels, including sessions on host manipulation and avoidance strategies, host immune responses  and pathogenesis, parasite cell biology, parasite molecular biology and signaling, parasite reservoirs and niches, vaccination and control strategies. The conference will cover multiple protozoan parasites  (Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, Trypanosoma, Leishmania) and provide an outstanding opportunity to share cutting-edge science. We aim to promote interactions and discussions, especially with junior scientists. The meeting will include poster sessions and turbo talks, providing younger researchers the opportunity to present their work. It will represent a stimulating environment to exchange ideas and envisage novel approaches to deal with pathogenic parasites.

We are looking forward to meeting you at this workshop and hearing about your exciting science.

Olivier SILVIE and Nicolas BLANCHARD
Scientific organizers

ParaFrap manager

Artur SCHERF, Mohamed-Ali HAKIMI, Frederic BRINGAUD, Maria MOTA, Dominique SOLDATI-FAVRE, Elena LEVASHINA

Yasmine Belkaid, NIH, Bethesda, USA
John Boothroyd, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, USA
Michael Boshart, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany
Hernando Del Portillo, Institut de Salut Global, Barcelona, Spain
Abdoulaye Djimde, Malaria Research and Training Center, Bankoumana, Mali
Luisa Figueiredo, Institute for Molecular Medicine, Lisbon, Portugal
Eva Frickel, University of Birmingham, UK
Freddy Frischknecht, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
Mohamed-Ali Hakimi, Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Grenoble, France
Benoit Gamain, French National Institute of Blood Transfusion, Paris, France
Paul Kaye, University of York, UK
Taco Kooij, EMBO Young Investigator, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands
Maryse Lebrun, University of Montpellier, France
Elena Levashina, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany
Keith Matthews, University of Edinburgh, UK
Annette McLeod, University of Glasgow, UK
Maria Mota, Institute for Molecular Medicine, Lisbon, Portugal
Faith Osier, Imperial College London, UK
Silvia Portugal, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany
Isabel Roditi, University of Bern, Switzerland
David Sacks, NIH, Bethesda, USA
Dominique Soldati-Favre, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Boris Striepen, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
Rick L. Tarleton, University of Georgia, Athens, USA
Hedda Wardemann, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany
Maria Yazdanbakhsh, Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands


LabEx ParaFrap wishes you a happy, healthy and successful year 2022. We already have 2 exciting news to start this year:

- ParaFrap webinars will continue in 2022, will be open to all and you will soon be able to register to attend them (beginning of February)

- The Embo Workshop "New frontiers in host-parasite interactions, from cell to organism" will be held from October 2 to 5, 2022, on the Ile des Embiez. You can enter your email address on to be informed when the website is online and registration is open.



From 27 to 29 September 2021, the LabEx ParaFrap organised a PI meeting on Les Embiez Island (Var, France). The aim of this meeting was to promote exchanges and discussions between partners.

BastienP retirement 

It was also an opportunity to celebrate the retirement of Patrick Bastien, who was previously the coordinator of the PhD programme. Yvon Sterkers is taking over this function and Patrick becomes the Advisor of the PhD programme.

In addition, Maryse Lebrun joined the LabEx ParaFrap steering committee as Scientific Coordinator.






From the Robinson and Dong labs. The fellowship of the Ring has a new member: BILBO2 is a BILBO1 partner and is involved in a tripartite interaction at the Flagellar Pocket Collar in Trypanosoma brucei. Congratulation to all the authors and huge thanks for the ParaFrap financial support. This study is now published in PLoS Pathogens.

 logo plos pathogens

Isch C, Majneri P, Landrein N, Pivovarova Y, Lesigang J, Lauruol F, et al. (2021) Structural and functional studies of the first tripartite protein complex at the Trypanosoma brucei flagellar pocket collar. PLoS Pathog 17(8): e1009329.



CALL end

The notifications about invitations will only be sent on Tuesday 11th May afternoon (French time). 

The international PhD program of the French national research project 'ParaFrap' is currently open for applications for 17 Ph.D. positions to be started in October 2021.


The LabEx (Laboratory of Excellence) ParaFrap is a Health Sciences collaborative research program focusing on Molecular and Cellular Parasitology in its wider sense. The network gathers 26 French leading groups in the field and is funded by the Excellence Initiative of the French Ministry of Research. Four major research fields are investigated in protozoan models such as PlasmodiumToxoplasmaLeishmaniaTrypanosoma and Cryptosporidium:

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

The ParaFrap International Ph.D. program is an ambitious program offering competitive Ph.D. grants to high-quality students/early stage scientists. Applications are open to non-French students. The early stage scientists will be joining research projects selected by an external scientific board and managed by a main supervisor and a co-supervisor from two distinct research groups of the LabEx. These core research projects will focus on the use of state-of-the-art post-genomic tools to enhance knowledge of the parasites' biology and of their interactions with their hosts. We are committed to providing ParaFrap Ph.D. students with the best starting platform for a successful career in science. Additional information about ParaFrap can be found on


Eligibility requirements

1. Applicants must have achieved academic excellence and be highly motivated to pursue a Ph.D. project in Parasitology. They should have obtained a 'Masters 2' degree or an equivalent (5 years after high/secondary school) in science by July 2021; out of this format, only exceptional applications (upon justification) will be considered by the program director.

2. English language skills are mandatory.

3. The PhD program does not have an age restriction, but most accepted candidates are 24-26 years old and start their Ph.D. within a year of finishing their M.Sc., a few of them within 3 years.

4. Mobility between the Master's lab and the Ph.D. host lab is mandatory, meaning that the applicants must change from their present Research Director and Institute to another for the Ph. D. training.


The deadline for submitting an application is on the 10th April 2021.

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PhD research projects


How does T. gondii modulate neuronal responses and antigen presentation to evade immune recognition throughout chronic infection?


Characterization of a central transcriptional regulator for the metabolic adaptation of Toxoplasma towards its host

Cyrille BOTTÉ

Role(s) of glycerol metabolism in the biology of African trypanosomes


Role of a host peroxiredoxin in blood stage growth of malaria parasites


How do parasites manipulate the behaviour of their vectors? A comparative spatial transcriptomic study in Anopheles and Glossina sensory organs.


Optimisation of antiparasitic redox-active 3-benzylmenadiones and of drug partners for effective drug combination by oral administration



Study of in vivo P. vivax and falciparum – host bone marrow interactions


The molecular drivers of antigenic variation in African Trypanosomes


The Epigenetic Role(s) of MORC-containing Complexes Operating in the Hidden Face of the T. gondii Life Cycle or Regulating Virulence Genes in the Human Malaria Parasite

Mohamed-Ali HAKIMI

PfPP1 contribution to egress in asexual and sexual stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum


Identification of curative treatments to control cryptosporidiosis and the associated molecular mechanism


Deciphering how erythroblast infection by Plasmodium falciparum induces a delay in erythropoiesis

Catherine LAVAZEC

Studying two complementary infection models to identify common mechanisms of intracellular parasite survival: The roles of Leishmania and Eimeria exo-kinases in subversion of host cell signalling.


DevDermTryp – Development of dermal trypanosomes


Targeting a Plasmodium propeller domain protein to prevent malaria liver stage infection

Olivier SILVIE

Unravelling the role of epigenetic factors which control the DNA replication in Leishmania


How does a Toxoplasma gondii bradyzoite cope with the small intestine surface biochemical, topographical and rheological properties to colonize the enterocytes



Information about the PhD research projects, selection process, as well as the application procedure, is available at  https://parafrap.application.systemsAll applications MUST be made online on this website.

Successful applicants will be enrolled in one of the 17 research groups who were awarded a Ph.D. fellowship, distributed among diverse French Universities (see website). Each applicant will have to indicate 4 projects of interest. If selected, he/she should be enrolled in one of the four projects indicated, unless the selection committee sees a particular interest in modifying one of his/her options.


       Pre-selectionApplicants will be selected by a committee formed by group leaders of each of the participating laboratories, based on the high standards used at EMBL, including academic achievements, previous experience in research, and (blind) letters of recommendation. Each PI will rank five applicants according to his/her CV, academic records, laboratory experience and letters of recommendation from referees.

       Interviews: The ParaFrap selection committee will then invite a shortlist of 35-40 candidates for the final selection round, i.e. interviews in front of the whole panel of PIs of the programme. These interviews will take place between June 15th and June 23rd at Institut Pasteur in Paris or remotely by video, depending on the pandemic situation. If on site, travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by ParaFrap.

       Final selection: After ranking by the selection committee, letters of acceptance will be sent immediately to the top 17 candidates, who will be asked to give their approval in the following week. The remaining candidates will be informed of their ranking. Should a candidate refuse the offer, the first candidate in the waiting list will receive a letter of acceptance.


The PhD. student will be supervised by his/her thesis supervisor and the main collaborator (‘co-PI’) in the projectwho has to be from another institute. A Ph.D. thesis committee will interview the student at the end of the 1st and 2nd year and produce a mid-report to the Doctoral School of the University.


       Duration: The selected Ph.D. students will be recruited on a fixed-term contract of 36 months.

    Studentship: The maximum gross monthly salary will be 2500 €, depending on the Research Institutions. The Ph.D. students will receive private health insurance and social security entitlements.

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PhD Program provisional planning

April 10th, 2021 Application deadline
April  15th, 2021 Referees deadline (blind letters of recommendation)
May 11th 2021 Invitations for interviews sent to applicants
June 21st-23rd, 2021 Interviews  and notification of the results
June 30th, 2021 Definitive acceptance by the selected applicants
September 1st, 2021 Start of the Ph.D.



Page 3 of 11


International PhD Program


LabEx News
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Project Manager: Yoann MILLERIOUX

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