ENLIGHT-TEN

June 2017

FameLab talk of our ESR Luis Almeida

Watch the FameLab talk of our ESR Luis Almeida on the immune system and autoimmune diseases.

March 2017

ESR position at MUW filled

The position for ESR4 at the Medical University Vienna has been filled. We are pleased to welcome Narendra Dhele to our consortium.

February 2017

Attractive ESR position available

Attractive ESR position as ENLIGHT-TEN PhD student available. Please go to menu item News/Events/Results

December 2016

YouTube Video

youtube video no. 1

Follicular Helper T cells have a very particular role in the immune response. Saumya Kumar explains how. Please go to menu item General Public

December 2016

ENLIGHT-TEN newsletter no. 2

newsletter no. 2

The ENLIGHT-TEN newsletter no.2 is online. Please go to menu item General Public.

June 2016

ENLIGHT-TEN newsletter no. 1

newsletter no. 1

The ENLIGHT-TEN newsletter no.1 is online. Please go to menu item General Public.

June 2016

ENLIGHT-TEN flyer no. 1

flyer no. 1

Find out what ENLIGHT-TEN has in common with football and view our new flyer here.

Our mission

The mission of ENLIGHT-TEN is to provide cross-disciplinary training in T cell immunology and big data analysis in order to train a new generation of researchers to exploit the power of emerging technological platforms.

Understanding and manipulating T cell responses is critical to therapeutic intervention in a wide-range of immune-mediated pathologies. The use of immunotherapy to increase anti-tumor responses has recently gained considerable attention, and suppressing the immune response to ameliorate autoimmunity is an equally important goal.

The growing complexity of T cell differentiation

To manipulate T cell responses in a way that brings maximum therapeutic benefit, it is necessary to generate a detailed understanding of precisely how T cells activate and differentiate following antigen encounter. Recent years have revolutionised our view on CD4+ helper T cell differentiation, with a recognition that it is far more complex and plastic than we previously appreciated1. In addition, we now realise that diverse extrinsic cues (e.g. nutrient availability, oxygen concentrations, salt balance, the microbiome) play an even bigger role than we anticipated in guiding T cell differentiation2. Thus, there are many more T cell fates that we previously realised, and many more factors that influence fate choice.

Emerging technologies in -omics/bioinformatics

At the same time, the technologies available to study cell identity have changed dramatically3,4. The new era of sequencing technologies has facilitated data gathering on an unprecedented scale and this has been accompanied by the emergence of novel gene-editing technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 developed by a member of our consortium. Thus, the tools available to apply to the understanding of biological processes have advanced significantly, and the field is embarking on a new era of high dimensional data collection and tailored gene manipulation.

The details of the specific research projects that are being offered can be found here.

The Power of Dual Training

One of the challenges created by rapid advance of sequencing technologies is the gulf between the labs that have expertise in T cell functional biology and those that are equipped to handle "big data". The aim of ENLIGHT-TEN is to train a cohort of early stage researchers (ESRs) to be comfortable in both areas: to have an in-depth understanding of functional T cell immunology alongside the capacity to generate and process large data sets. Thereto, ENLIGHT-TEN has developed a cross-disciplinary, high-quality educational programme to provide all its PhD students with specialist high-level research training, a broad scientific skill set and experience in both academic and industrial working environments. The members of our network have expertise in RNA-seq, Bi-seq, ChIP-seq, promoter capture HiC, metabolomics, genome-editing using CRISPR-Cas9 technology and bioinformatics in addition to critical mass in T cell functional assays and disease models. We are ideally placed to provide a broad cross-disciplinary training that will empower trainees to rapidly take advantage of evolving technologies and apply them to biological problems. By the end of the project, all PhD students will possess combined expertise in T cell immunology as well as acquisition and interpretation of large data sets, positioning them to take immediate advantage of new big data-generating technologies as they emerge5,6. In addition to excellent research skills, future scientific leaders and innovators require additional personal development with respect to team-leading abilities, project management and entrepreneurship. This broad spectrum of skills is difficult to teach in an exclusively academic environment. Thus, our training programme will offer these additional skills to supplement and complement the university-based PhD education. With careful attention being paid to their personal development and with the support of a network of industrial and academic mentors, ENLIGHT-TEN's PhD students will be extremely well placed to successfully compete for academic or industrial life science-related positions, and to drive research and innovation within the European Research Area.

In particular, the fellows will:

Training activities will be organized within a framework of eight training modules:

  1. University-based education, local training
  2. Research project-based training
  3. Personal career development plan
  4. Annual network meetings
  5. Annual Summer Schools
  6. International Symposium
  7. Web-based training
  8. Secondments

The details of the training modules can be found here.

Consortium members

ENLIGHT-TEN consists of ten beneficiaries and six partners from eight nations within the EU, bringing a balanced portfolio of expertise bridging in-depth knowledge of T cell differentiation and pathophysiology of autoimmune and allergic diseases, through to bioinformatic analysis of large data sets. Given the importance of bioinformatic analysis within this programme, the involvement of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) is a major strength of our network. EBI is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), an inter-governmental organisation, and is world-leading in the generation, analysis and storage of large-scale bioinformatic data.

Beneficiary Partner

The details of the consortium members can be found here.

References

1 O'Shea, J.J. & Paul, W.E. Mechanisms underlying lineage commitment and plasticity of helper CD4+ T cells. Science 327, 1098-1102 (2010).
2 Bonelli, M., et al. Helper T cell plasticity: impact of extrinsic and intrinsic signals on transcriptomes and epigenomes. Current topics in microbiology and immunology 381, 279-326 (2014).
3 Chattopadhyay, P.K., Gierahn, T.M., Roederer, M. & Love, J.C. Single-cell technologies for monitoring immune systems. Nat Immunol 15, 128-135 (2014).
4 Kidd, B.A., Peters, L.A., Schadt, E.E. & Dudley, J.T. Unifying immunology with informatics and multiscale biology. Nat Immunol 15, 118-127 (2014).
5 Spreafico, R., Mitchell, S. & Hoffmann, A. Training the 21st Century Immunologist. Trends Immunol 36, 283–285 (2015).
6 Schultze, J.L. Teaching 'big data' analysis to young immunologists. Nat Immunol 16, 902–905 (2015).