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InfectioTron project, Laureate of the EQUIPEX national call

19 January 2021

InfectioTron project
Network of contained platforms for the integrative and multidisciplinary study of infectious diseases

Infectious diseases are recognized by the WHO as the second leading cause of mortality worldwide and the current COVID-19 crisis dramatically recalls us how devastating they can be for our societies and that one of the biggest challenges to the current and future human wellbeing is the control of harmful organisms. There are lessons to learn, even though known for long! First, our societies are not ready yet when such epidemics emerge, underlining the urgent need to prepare for the next emergence, notably regarding predictions and diagnostic. Second, health, and particularly when it calls to infectious diseases, is an ecosystemic and global problem involving multipartner interactions (natural hosts, reservoirs, vectors, pathogens, symbionts…), modulated by environmental factors and affected by globalization. These multiple interactions emerge as major elements for understanding health issues. The accessibility to a diverse array of relevant organisms to study human infectious diseases has become not only essential for basic and clinical research and for the development of innovative therapeutic approaches, but also because understanding interactions in native hosts and vectors is a prerequisite to tackle the problem before it occurs. Understanding the complexity of health issues requires consideration of multiple organization levels (from the ecosystem to the molecule and back) and the mobilization of interdisciplinarity with disciplines like evolution, epidemiology, physiology, immunology and cellular and molecular bacteriology and virology. 

InfectioTron proposes a unique line of equipment’s and complementary platforms allowing the multiscale and multimodal analysis of infectious events in living hosts in high-level biosafety containment. This will support the development of new lines of research to carry out integrative projects within the "One Health" paradigm. This will substantially strengthen the scientific community of the Rhone-Alpes region around the theme of infectiology and will, de facto, provide a unique scientific environment in France. 

InfectioTron project is co-headed by Fabrice Vavre (LBBE), Fabienne Archer (IVPC) and François-Loïc Cosset (CIRI), and coordinated by Univerisité Claude Bernard Lyon1. In total, this ambitious project will mobilize 10 research structures (IVPC, LBBE, CIRI, MMSB, RS2GP, LBTI, IGFL, LEM, MAP, BF2I), 5 academic institutions (Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, ENS Lyon, VetAgro Sup, INSA, EPHE) and 3 national research organizations (CNRS, INSERM, INRAE).