A fundamental point of any international program is to keep updated participants and members on the progress of the network. Now that all fellowships have been awarded and the students have taken up their work at the respective duty stations, we are going to issue a newsletter on a regular basis.
We aim to inform all interested consortium members about the students’ activities and progresses and about how the programme’s milestones are realized.
It has almost become a tradition for the European malaria community to meet every year during the BioMalPar conference at EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany.
This year, for the first time, all 21 EVIMalaR PhD fellows will attend the conference. On Monday morning the students of both calls will finally meet.
For this occasion an informal brunch has been organized in the Botanic Garden of Heidelberg University. PhD fellows can exchange their experiences,
talk about their projects and get to know each other before in the afternoon the conference starts.
As far as possible fellows are advised to hold their TAC during the three days of conference. This has two mayor advantages, first most PIs will be attend
the conference so it is easy to find a time that suites all and second fellows tend to proceed at a similar speed with the projects due to the fix date of this
My first experience of Italy could not have been more perfect in the warm weather of the Tuscan countryside, great people to hang out with, and of
course – a great conference. The STARS Network is an EU funded body committed to discover new drug targets and antimicrobials. Like the
EVIMalaR, they recruit 10 International PhD students and give them high quality training. I was one of the few lucky outsiders to be an invited speaker
in one of their fairly small Network Meetings in September 2011. The conference venue was a stunning 14th Century Monastery called the Certosa di Pontignano in the idyllic wine region of Tuscany in Italy. The tranquillity was broken best with PowerPoint talks. There were a lot of interesting discussions on a range of topics: Multi-resistant pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
were of major concern. A take home message was that the abuse and over-use of antibiotics needs to be stopped before it is too late. The STARS Network has an impressive collaboration for developing novel antimalarials as well.
Involved are the LIOS Riga, InhiBox Oxford and the MRCNIMR London. Oxford models potential antimalarials, Riga synthesises them, and London tests them for anti-parasite activity. There is constant feed-back between the three centres to improve on leads and find an effective anti-malarial compound. It was an excellent opportunity for me to network with the STARS students, and to get to know them. They are a fun bunch, just like us EVIMalaR Super-Stars ;-). We used to hang out in the evenings after the talks and drive down to the city centre. The Siena Town Centre is a jolly student-y place, literally lined with bars and with Italians gesticulating wildly in conversation. And conversation never dries up when there is wine!
My name is Ahmed M. Salman. I was born in Cairo the capital of Egypt the largest city in the Arab world and Africa. I am working as assistant Lecturer in the department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
I completed my studies in Biochemistry in Ain Shams University, then I honored my M.Sc. degree in (Biochemistry/Immunology) from Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt, I have tested some novel Immunodiagnostic techniques for Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Egyptian Patients. To get more experiences in infectious diseases immunology field; I attended 6 months training in the Department of Infectious
Disease Immunology at Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark. Exchange of ideas, networking and mutual cooperation with developed institutions all around the world was my target to improve my research experience.
During my studies I have been interested about the different immunological branches: diagnosis, treatment and vaccines development. I was really interested to join EVIMalar PhD program and to do researches in
liver stage malaria vaccine candidates as my PhD project at Oxford University under the supervision of Prof. Adrian V.S. Hill, Dr. Chris J. Janse & Dr. Shahid M. Khan. My interest has always been focused on studying vaccination because as we know the protection is better than cure. In my PhD project some P. falciparum antigens will be assessed as target antigens of vaccine-induced Tcells using P.berghei parasites transgenic for P. falciparum liver-stage antigens. The ability of protective vaccines to induce CD8+ T cells that kill transgenic parasites in hepatocytes will also be assessed. Away from the scientific researches, I am interested about the different kinds of sports, reading and travelling.
My name is Alexandra MARIE and I come from a small city near Versailles in France. At the moment I live in Montpellier, France, where I work on my PhD project at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement on the development of a biomarker for evaluating the human exposure to Anopheles malaria vectors. I work in the MIVEGEC Unit directed by Didier Fontenille and my research is supervised by Franck Remoue in collaboration with the Bruno Arcà laboratory from the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. I have studied in Versailles, France, where I obtained my bachelor and a MSc degree about infectious diseases. I obtained a second MSc degree about entomology at the University of Montpellier and at the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin. This allowed me to understand the reality of the field, the relationship between the vectors, the pathogens and their hosts and the interactions with the environment. It was a very good experience to live few months in Benin and Burkina Faso and to share different culture with the other student. I did several short term internships in various laboratories at the Pasteur Institute about Trypanosoma brucei and rabies virus and at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement on malaria vector.
I’m Ana Rita and I come from Portugal, where I lived all my life up to the start of my PhD. I moved to Lisbon in 2005 and completed my Microbiology degree in 2009 at Faculty of Medicine. Still during my undergrad I joined Malaria research taking part on a project supervised by Dr Gunnar Mair and Dr Céline Carret at Instituto de Medicina Molecular. The project focused on control of gene expression, by translation repression, in Plasmodium berghei and it was further developed during my Master’s in Applied Microbiology. In October 2010 I joined the Evimalar PhD programme under the supervision of DrOliver Billker and Dr Christian Doerig, at Sanger Institute. Currently, my project aims at identifying genetic interactions between Plasmodium kinases. Using the latest sequencing technology available at Sanger Institute I’ll develop a signature tagged mutagenesis approach for Plasmodium that will allow me to generate and phenotype mixed pools of tagged mutants.