France Lille

Center of Infection and Immunity of Lille

Center of Infection and Immunity of Lille - OpInfIELD team

Brief overview

The objectives of our Center are to decipher the molecular and cellular mechanisms on infectious diseases as well as on chronic inflammation and to apply this knowledge to the development or therapeutics.

During asthma and COPD, respiratory infections markedly amplify lung inflammation, resulting in tissue damage and disease progression. Our hypothesis is that environmental factors might alter pulmonary responses by modulating the dialog between host and microbiota, favouring the development and progression of lung diseases. This project should lead to a better control of respiratory infections, particularly in chronic lung diseases such as asthma, COPD and cystic fibrosis.

Research areas

Asthma/COPD/cystic fibrosis/immunology/infection

Host centre eligibility

Global fellowships (return phase only)/European fellowships

Research infrastructure/facilities

The strength of our project is underlined by an association of complementary expertises including clinicians (respiratory diseases, infectious diseases, critical care unit), microbiologists, immunologists, physiologists with omic approaches in the context of chronic lung diseases. We have developed unique models of COPD exacerbation and acute/chronic infection by P. aeruginosa. Our Center offers a strong collaborative network, internal access to high level technical platforms (including a NSB2 and NSB3 animal facility, imagery and genomic platform) and strong interactions with clinical and microbiology (bacteriology, mycology, virology) departments. Our university has developed the administrative structure favouring the integration of young scientists.

Research funding/resources

The Center and our team benefits from recurrent funding from the INSERM and the university. Our institutions including INSERM, University of Lille and Pasteur Institute assume the salaries for the permanent researchers. In addition, we benefit from grants coming from different governmental (ANR, IREsP, Région Hauts de France) and non-governmental association/foundations (Fondation du souffle, VLM). We are developing several programmes of valorisation with the support of INSERM-Transfert and the SATT-Nord with industrial partners.

Links to non-academic sector

Our research can significantly impact public health due to the importance of respiratory diseases. For this, we frequently participate to communication towards the public such as the participation at the Science Village during the Science Week for public sensitisation to science. Furthermore, several members of the CIIL participate each year in the ‘Kid Campus’, which has the objective of introducing science to primary school children. Other activities include conferences for the general public, radio and television interviews.

We are also developing programmes of valorisation with the support of INSERM-Transfert and the SATT-Nord (several patents and one ongoing licence)

Experience hosting international researchers, career development & training programmes, outreach activities

Our team as well as the Center routinely integrate young scientists coming from several countries. In our team we have recently welcomed postdoctorants coming from India, Lebanon and Mali and we have also assumed the formation of a PhD coming from Mali. We have also welcomed a postdoctorant from the Charles University (Praha) in the context of the Operational Programme research, development and education. Our administration is organised to support the integration of young scientists as well postdoctorants. Moreover, our integration in the international network of Pasteur Institutes is also a means to enhance our international relationship.

HR Excellence in Research – EU award