The new PhD program, COmplement Regulation and Variation in Opportunistic infectionS – CORVOS starts in December 2019 at 10 European universities and will be coordinated by the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria. It is an ambitious pan-European initiative of European universities, 3 biomedical companies, 2 research institutes and 3 hospitals. The PhD will comprise an interdisciplinary doctoral program including cross-sectoral secondments and training in transferrable skills. The program will train 15 widely recruited and highly motivated ESRs, who are expected to fill the current scientific gap in the understanding of the role of complement in opportunistic infections, and translate this knowledge into clinical practice.
CORVOS enables intersectoral research together with the transfer and exploitation of knowledge required to develop diagnostic and treatment options to save millions of lives currently lost to opportunistic infections. The program will be implemented by 12 internationally renowned multidisciplinary scientists, 8 of them members of the European Complement Network. The established organization will ensure that the high quality and efficient implementation of the CORVOS training programme will sustain after its funding and will be embedded into existing doctoral and research training programmes across Europe.
ESRs will become creative alumni, all with a jointly awarded Double PhD of two European universities and equipped with entrepreneurial and clinical skills, making them attractive human resources to academia and industry alike. The program also gives rise to the cooperation between two Eurolife partners – Medical University Innsbruck (MUI), Austria and Semmelweis University (SE) Budapest, Hungary. To meet the requirements of this double degree, the selected MUI student will extend his/her studies to four years to qualify with the PhD requirements of the SE.
About opportunistic infections
These infections are defined as infections caused by pathogens primarily affecting immunocompromised subjects. Due to the immunodeficiency, they are difficult to treat and together the top 2 killer worldwide. Opportunistic pathogens comprise bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
Complement as a chief conductor of innate immunity plays a crucial role in immune defence against opportunistic pathogens. Research in this field is exploding, but also suffers from poorly coordinated intersectoral training of early stage researchers (ESRs).
Related program: HOROS – host response in opportunistic infections.