Project

CROSS-TALK (2008-2012)

The objective was to train a new generation of young scientists, to meet the growing demand for researchers with training in host-microbe interactions and metagenomics, a new supra-disciplinary calling for competencies in microbiology, cell biology, immunology, human physiology, high throughput technologies and bioinformatics, through a personal and adapted training program.

CROSS-TALK had the overall scientific objective to answer key questions on the role of the host-gut microbiota cross-talk in the development and maintenance of a healthy gut and to achieve major breakthroughs in the understanding of the mechanisms underlying the dialogue between the intestinal microbiota and hosts.

It also aimed at developing new concepts and trans-disciplinary training based on the integrated scientific programme, laboratory exchanges and dedicated training in CROSS-TALK.

In order to reach these objectives, CROSS-TALK had established a collaborative research and training network of 10 partners and 3 associated partners from 9 different European countries. This network gathered expertise in complementary disciplines and partners from both the academic and private sectors with an excellent track record of collaborative research

The CROSS-TALK network offered a complete range of theoretical, practical and complementary training as well as scientific workshops. The excellent scientific network of CROSS-TALK worked together with the young researchers to develop and implement effective training plans tailored to the requirements of individual. Regular network meetings, spring schools, and workshops together with active networking, connections with other scientific projects in the field and with industrial participants ensured the success of this project and gave the recruited researchers an excellent opportunity to reach their career objectives.

Concepts

The “Health-promoting cross-talk between intestinal microbiota and Humans” or CROSS-TALK project, had the overall objective to achieve major breakthroughs in the understanding of the mechanisms underlying the dialogue between the intestinal microbiota and hosts. To reach this aim, CROSS-TALK had to: 1) decipher the molecular mechanisms involved in the microbiota-host recognition (Work Axis-WA1); 2) reveal how the bacterial signals are integrated by the different players of the mucosal immune system (WA2); and 3) validate the cross-talk mechanisms identified in WA1 & 2 in vivo.

In parallel, CROSS-TALK was aimed at rising a new generation of young scientists, well trained to sustain the emergence of metagenomics, a new supra-discipline calling for competencies in microbiology, cell biology, immunology, human physiology, high throughput technologies and bioinformatics. To reach this overall objective, CROSS-TALK provided individual training through research projects and organised 3 types of group training events: 1) network meetings allowing scientific exchanges within the network and meeting between all ESRs and supervisors; 2) spring schools focused on the development of transferable skills with a strong involvement of the economic sector and meeting between the economic players and the ESRs; and 3) workshops, time to broaden scientific knowledge and talk with recognized scientists not only in the field of CROSS-TALK but also in cognate fields which represented other career perspectives for the ESRs. Their combination lead to young researchers who could  meet the need of the metagenomics discipline for new curricula and the requirements for European trans-sectorial careers.