In the context of global warming and globalisation, tick and tick-borne diseases (TTBD) are expected to emerge, with an increasing risk for animals and humans. It is imperative therefore to build up training capacities to improve integrated control measures, including the development of efficient and appropriate vaccines.
The POSTICK ITN aims to:
(1) design new effective control strategies for TTBD diseases through understanding the mechanisms of tick-host-pathogen interactions regarding (i) pathogen diversity, survival and transmission, modulation of host immune response and tick survival and (ii) identification of host-pathogen-tick molecules for designing anti-tick vaccine and blocking pathogen transmission;
(2) improve career perspectives of early-stage researchers (ESRs), broadening research competences through a strategic training programme consisting of (i) Research Training Packages including 14 individual PhD research projects and (ii) Complementary Training
Modules including seminars, workshops, symposiums and a conference, combining the facilities and complementary expertise of 5 universities, 1 research institute and 2 industrial participants from 5 European countries and of 2 associated partners from Brazil and Israel. This ITN will be coordinated by the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Germany, with a management structure including a steering committee and a supervisory board.
The impact of the ITN lies on (i) a complementary research programme covering different areas of tick-pathogen-host interaction, (ii) an innovative training programme of high quality, (iii) improvement of existing collaborations between industry and research centre and universities, (iv) enhancement of the career prospects of ESRs, (v) contributing to European Community policies regarding the promotion of research and technology development, scientific cooperation and capacity building. Taken together, the impact of ITN and the results to be achieved are beyond the state of the art.