Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, third INBIONET workshop

Dec ,20 2016

The third INBIONET workshop, on mucosal immunity, was held in Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne durning June 2014.

EPFL is located in Switzerland. It belongs to the INBIONET network. It is a renowned institution. The laboratory of Pr Nicola Harris was in charge of this workshop. Her research mainly focuses on mucosal immunity and helminths. She investigates the antibody-mediated immunity against intestinal helminths, the immuno-modulation by intestinal helminths as well as the interactions between intestinal helminths and commensal bacteria (http://harris-lab.epfl.ch/).

The workshop gave us an overview of the mucosal immunity. It covered specific topics from the vaccination, animal models of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, DSS-induced colitis, flow cytometry, intestinal immune homeostasis, COPD, microbiome, allergic inflammation, RSV, or the lung and gut pathology. An area quite interesting as in my group, we are interested in lung immunity.

On the other hand, the training unit was mainly about how to use a flow cytometer. This is a powerful and expensive device which allows to scatter cells regarding theirs characteristics. For instance, thanks to it, we analysed which immune cells are present and at which proportion in naïve and DSS-treated (synonym of inflammation) lung and lamina propria.

To finish, we debated on a serious topic which affects infants: the Respiratory Syncytial Virus, for which no vaccines and few treatments are available at this time. Do we need to design a vaccine targeting RSV? If so, how should it be deliver (mucosally, systemically)?

As a conclusion, this workshop was useful as it increased my scientific knowledge. I thank Marie Curie Actions for this opportunity.