The focus of ViBrANT is on the adhesion of pathogens to human cells, as we believe it is an underexplored and underexploited niche that can lead to new understanding, new diagnostics and devices and, eventually, new treatments. We want to contribute to the emerging problem in infectious diseases. We want to prevent the “antibiotic apocalypse” – when even an ear infection can be fatal.
In addition to standard work in a single laboratory, students will be part of innovative approaches to graduate school education. Each project will be multidisciplinary, international and intersectoral. They will include training in workshops, organising conferences, and the use of Blogs, Vlogs, Twitter etc to maximise scientific impact and public engagement.
Our goal in ViBrANT is to produce next-gen researchers – ones as at home in industry as in academia, as familiar with hospitals and infections as they are with high-tech and instruments, ones who can enthuse everyone from second-form students to the blogosphere to senior citizens. We envision that they will be in demand throughout Europe and the world, and their research and outreach will make a huge difference both socially and economically.
ViBrANT also plans to be a model for how to train next-gen scientists and how to run a PhD training program, one that will become part of an Europe-wide benchmark for excellence in research training, and one that our students will take with and improve upon as they move forward in their careers.