Background EUVIRNA

Introduction EUVIRNA
Virus infections remain a major cause of disease, with dramatic costs in mortality, morbidity, and economic loss worldwide. There is an unmet need for potent antiviral drugs, in particular against viruses with a (+)RNA genome which include many important pathogens of humans and animals.

Antiviral drug development requires a detailed understanding of virus replication and effective translation of this knowledge into drug discovery. Europe needs well-trained experts with multidisciplinary skills to advance this field. However, few, if any, European training institutes have the broad know-how required to provide such a comprehensive training programme. The EUVIRNA partnership aims to fill this gap with the proposed EUVIRNA training programme.

The EUVIRNA partnership consists of six outstanding European academic partners and four industrial partners (one pharmaceutical R&D company and three SMEs), and an associated partner (SME specialized in education). All EUVIRNA partners are recognized leaders in their field, ensuring state-of-the-art training possibilities, and their skills are highly complementary. Two renowned Visiting Researchers (VR) complement the expertise of the partners.

Project objectives
EUVIRNA aims to train 17 Early Stage Researchers (ESR) and 3 Experienced Researchers (ER) to become internationally-oriented, multidisciplinary experts in Molecular Virology and Antiviral Drug Development, who will become the future research leaders in European molecular virology research and antiviral drug development.

To attain this aim, EUVIRNA has the objectives to:

  • provide talented ESRs and ERs a state-of-the-art multidisciplinary and intersectoral training in molecular virology and antiviral drug discovery, leading to a PhD degree for the ESRs, and to improve their career perspectives by broad and complementary skill development.
  • advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of replication of a group of medically and economically important (+)RNA viruses, and to translate this knowledge into the identification or design of new antiviral drugs.
  • bridge the gap between academia and industry in the field of antiviral drug development.

To achieve this objectives, EUVIRNA partners will provide E(S)Rs both a Training Programme and Research Programme.

Work performed since beginning
A group of 20 talented fellows has been recruited for the project. With 14 nationalities and very different backgrounds, the group distinguishes itself by diversity. Yet, the collaboration between the different group members is excellent, thus creating a safe and inspiring learning environment. The plentiful interactions between the group members hold the promise that the relations created by EUVIRNA will create an excellent researchers network that may be crucial for the careers of the fellows.

Science: it's a girl thing!
Watch one of the EUVIRNA fellows in 'Science: it's a girl thing!'

EUVIRNA is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network that is funded under the Framework 7 PEOPLE programme of the European Commission.