A Training Network for the Design of Synthetic Carbohydrate-Based Vaccines in the Fight against Multi-Drug Resistant Nosocomial Pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii (ACINETWORK)

Schedule for interviews to candidates admitted to the second evaluation step

ACINETWORK is a European Training Network funded in the framework of HORIZON Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Networks (DN) that aims to educate the next generation of young scientists in the rational design of innovative glycoconjugate vaccines to improve current preventive therapies and tackle unmet medical needs.

Notably, the main goal of ACINETWORK is to forge 10 young professionals (Doctoral Candidates, DCs) within an integrated research training programme in academia and industrial environments in which they can nourish their skills and the most innovative ideas in the growing fields of glycoscience and vaccinology.

Despite the impressive advances of modern medicine, bacterial infections are still a societal burden with profound medical and socio-economic impacts. Although conventional prophylactic therapies based on the use of chemotherapeutics and antibiotics can be effective, the continuous emergence of bacteria with antimicrobial resistance urgently calls for the introduction of novel treatments. The vaccination practice allowed to control many life-threatening infectious diseases, and it is considered by the WHO the most cost-effective prevention strategy. In this regard, glycoconjugate vaccines hold a prominent role. Based on the chemical conjugation of pathogen-associated saccharide antigens to immunogenic carriers, glycoconjugate vaccines lead to persistent immunological memory and long-term protective immunity for the host. ACINETWORK will focus on the development of glycoconjugate vaccine candidates against severe and life-threatening infections caused by antimicrobial resistant Acinetobacter baumannii strains, which are a major cause of nosocomial diseases and for which no vaccine exists.

In particular, ACINETWORK will innovatively use structurally-defined synthetic oligosaccharide antigens to develop glycoconjugate vaccines with well-defined composition, higher purity and better safety profiles.

ACINETWORK will pursue this ambitious goal through a collaborative effort involving seven academic groups (including two research centres), and one industrial partner as Beneficiaries, along with ten Associated Partners. The combination of the beneficiaries’expertise in carbohydrate synthesis, conjugation techniques, nanotechnology, molecular glycobiology, cell biology, immunology, toxicology and vaccinology, along with a wide experience in business and technological transfer, will create a stimulating multidisciplinary environment that will aid 10 young researchers to get new concepts and visions for translating their ideas from the bench to the manufacturing of the next generation of glycoconjugate vaccines, and will give them the opportunity to cultivate their own career ambitions both in academia and in the industrial sector.

10 young researchers

10 DC Projects

PhD apply for position

There are strict eligibility requirements for the DC positions in MSCA DNs. Please ensure to be qualified before applying, as ineligible candidates cannot be considered.

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8 Beneficiaries

AARHUS University

Denmark

Department of Biomedicine

CIC biomaGUNE

Spain

Department of Biomedicine

GlycoUniverse

Germany

Department of Biomedicine

Inserm

France

Department of Biomedicine

ISCIII

Spain

Department of Biomedicine

Max Planck Institute

Germany

Department of Biomolecular Systems

UMIL

Italy

Department of Chemistry

UNIFI

Italy

Department of Chemistry