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Leverage research EXCELLence and INNOVation potential of Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM) through translational biomedical research in immunity and infection.

EXCELLtoINNOV will provide iMM with the needed means to achieve excellence on a sustainable basis through the recruitment of an ERA Chair in pre-clinical molecular and imaging studies, in immunity and infection.

This goal will be strategically achieved by placing iMM in the forefront of Research, Development and Innovation (R&D+I) in immunity and infection, through the establishment of a translational biomedical research hub anchored in Lisbon that will:
  • Leverage the national potential beyond borders;
  • Act as the interface of Europe with America and Africa;
  • Effectively contribute to overcome the health and demographic change societal challenges by potentiating major scientific advancements in this research area through worldwide collaborative efforts.

The successful implementation of this strategy will be possible through specific activities, including:

  1. The development of a new research field at iMM by the ERA Chair holder, pre-clinical molecular and imaging studies, that will transversally benefit and impact all research areas at iMM;
  2. The implementation of structural changes at iMM to successfully support and comply with ERA priorities;
  3. The expansion of overseas collaborations in international collaborative R&D+I projects;
  4. An improved integration of iMM in the regional, national and international business community.

Through the completion of these activities we will achieve an improved capability to compete successfully for internationally competitive research funding, including but not limited to Horizon 2020, IMI2 and EDCTP2 as well as effectively contribute to the objectives of regional smart specialisation strategies through increased international attractiveness, competitiveness and innovation potential of iMM, Lisbon and Portugal.


Funding Agency: European Commission


Funding Programme: Horizon 2020


Call/Topic: H2020-WIDESPREAD-2014-2 / WIDESPREAD-2-2014 - ERA Chairs


Project Reference: 667824


Start Date: 2015.01.07


Duration: 66 months


Total Investment: EUR 2,777,183.15 (EU contribution EUR 2,499,465)


Project Coordinator: Maria Mota

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 667824.

Structure

EXCELLtoINNOV project has one key central Work Package, ERA Chair recruitment, supported and complemented by other five additional Work Packages, designed to achieve concrete objectives.

WP1: Project management

Ensure the proper management of EXCELLtoINNOV, in order to achieve the objectives, milestones and deliverables of the project in due time. The basis for all types of management activities, from administrative to financial, is detailed. The management team will also set-up an effective communication infrastructure with regional, national and international partners of EXCELLtoINNOV network, as well as with the EC.

WP2: ERA Chair recruitment

Recruit the ERA Chair holder as well as his/her scientific team. The successful achievement of this objective will be potentiated through a worldwide dissemination of ERA Chair recruitment call.

WP3: Capacity building

Capacitate iMM in order to allow: raising the success rate of iMM in Horizon 2020 and diversify its participation in other EU co-funded initiatives; to boost iMM research excellence; and to potentiate a better integration of iMM in the business community.

WP4: Implementation of ERA priorities

Contribute to the implementation of ERA priorities through the implementation of The European Charter for Researchers & The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, by following the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) and attainment and maintenance of the HR Excellence in Research logo.

WP5: International overseas cooperation

Establish a translational biomedical research hub anchored in Lisbon that will leverage the national potential beyond borders and act as the interface of Europe with America and Africa, through the establishment of a forum for overseas discussion in immunity and infection, the generation of a Database gathering experts in immunity and infection and the organisation of Expert visits to/from selected organisations in America and Africa.

WP6: International overseas cooperation

Ensure the proper dissemination and exploitation of the achievements of EXCELLtoINNOV project in the most efficient way. This will be achieved by: raising public and scientific awareness of the project and facilitating the interaction with scientific and non-scientific audiences, including the business community.

ERA Chair Holder and Team

Marc Veldhoen | ERA Chair Holder

ORCID

Marc Veldhoen Lab Page

Fundo iMM-Laço Project (only available in Portuguese)


  • Group Leader at iMM since 2016.
  • Group Leader (2010-2016), Laboratory of Lymphocyte Signalling and Development, at The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK.
  • Senior Investigator Scientist (2006-2010) at Division of Molecular Immunology, National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK.
  • Post-doctoral (2003-2006) research at Division of Molecular Immunology, National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK
  • PhD (2003) at Open University, National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK.

Major Interests / Objectives:

Understanding Immune homeostasis and immunity in the small and large intestine. This includes the differences between the small and large intestine with respect to inflammatory responses. The difference between the intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) and lamina propria (LP) layers, e.g. the predominant type 1 response in the IEL compartment compared with an enriched IL-17 response in the LP compartment, the maintenance and generation of intra-epithelial lymphocytes (Innate and tissue resident T cells) and the interaction between epithelial cells and lymphocytes.

Furthermore we are interested in the balance between Type 1, 2 and 3 immune responses and how this relates to aberrant immunity such as autoimmunity, allergy as well as cancer.


Team:

Madalena Reis | Technical and Financial Project Manager.

Marta Baptista | Research Assistant. Mouse genotyping, specialist in histology.

Cristina Ferreira | Senior Post-Doc. Expert in mouse experimentation and flow cytometry.

ORCID

Spela Konjar | Post-Doc.

ORCID

Birte Blankenhaus | Post-Doc.

ORCID

Database & Forum

What is EXCELLtoINNOV?

The project was envisioned to place iMM in the forefront of R&D+I in immunity and infection, through the recruitment of an ERA Chair and establishment of a translational biomedical research hub anchored in Lisbon. The successful implementation of this strategy includes:

  • The development of a new research line at iMM by the ERA Chair holder which will transversally impact other research areas at the institute;  
  • The implementation of structural changes at iMM to successfully follow the ERA Priorities Roadmap;
  • The expansion of overseas collaborations and an improved integration of iMM in the regional, national and international business community.
Why a Forum and a Database? 

To establish a translational biomedical research hub anchored in Lisbon that will leverage the national potential beyond borders and act as the interface of Europe with America and Africa, it’s key to create of a forum for overseas discussion in translational immunity and infection and a database gathering experts or companies in translational immunity and infection.

The database goal is to establishing international collaborations under EU, or other (bi-national) international collaborative networks that require the participation of both academic and industrial partners. Registered users will be able to enter the experts registry and contact individuals or companies, and potentially start new collaborations in translational immunity and infection in Europe, Africa and America.


Database

For more information check our database: https://imm.medicina.ulisboa.pt/training/excelltoinnov/


Forum

Join the experts in immunity and infection research field to create a bigger interest among stakeholders, in order to develop more interaction among them, iMM and the scientific community.

This group offers engagement activities to the scientific community through the dissemination of new scientific data and by providing a Forum for overseas discussion in translational immunity and infection.

Please feel free to share and discuss articles published in peer reviewed journals, presentations in relevant international conferences and workshops, results, doubts, among other interactions.

Access to the Forum through here and visit our LinkedIn page.

Go to our Google Drive Folder where you can find news, seminars, job opportunities, funding opportunities, entrepreneurial opportunities, regulatory news, collaboration cases, a database of experts and papers.

Papers

Patrícia Figueiredo‐Campos, Birte Blankenhaus, Catarina Mota, Andreia Gomes, Marta Serrano, Silvia Ariotti, Catarina Costa, Helena Nunes‐Cabaço, António M. Mendes, Pedro Gaspar, M. Conceição Pereira‐Santos, Fabiana Rodrigues, Jorge Condeço, M. Antonia Escoval, Matilde Santos, Mario Ramirez, José Melo‐Cristino, J. Pedro Simas, Eugenia Vasconcelos, Ângela Afonso, Marc Veldhoen (2020). Seroprevalence of anti‐SARS‐CoV‐2 antibodies in COVID‐19 patients and healthy volunteers up to 6 months post disease onset. European Journal of Immunology. DOI: 10.1002/eji.202048970


Eliseu Frank de Araújo, Nycolas Willian Preite, Marc Veldhoen, Flávio Vieira Loures, Vera Lúcia Garcia Calich (2020). Pulmonary paracoccidioidomycosis in AhR deficient hosts is severe and associated with defective Treg and Th22 responses. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-68322-6


Cristina Ferreira, Leandro Barros, Marta Baptista, Birte Blankenhaus, André Barros, Patrícia Figueiredo-Campos, Špela Konjar, Alexandra Lainé, Nadine Kamenjarin, Ana Stojanovic, Adelheid Cerwenka, Hans C. Probst, Julien C. Marie, Marc Veldhoen (2020). Type 1 Treg cells promote the generation of CD8+ 1 tissue resident memory T cells. Nature Immunology. DOI: 10.1038/s41590-020-0674-9.


Juri Kazakevych, Jérémy Denizot, Anke Liebert, Mariana Portovedo, Mia Mosavie, Payal Jain, Claudia Stellato, Claire Fraser, Renan Oliveira Corrêa, Marina Célestine, Raphaël Mattiuz, Hanneke Okkenhaug, J. Ross Miller, Marco Aurélio Ramirez Vinolo, Marc Veldhoen, Patrick Varga-Weisz (2020). Smarcad1 mediates microbiota-induced inflammation in mouse and coordinates gene expression in the intestinal epithelium. Genome Biology. DOI: 10.1186/s13059-020-01976-7.


Patricia Figueiredo-Campos, Birte Blankenhaus, Catarina Mota, Andreia Gomes, Marta Serrano, Silvia Ariotti, Catarina Costa, Helena Nunes-Cabaco, Antonio M Mendes, Pedro Gaspar, Conceicao M Pereira-Santos, Fabiana Rodrigues, Jorge Condeco, Antonia M Escoval, Matilde Santos, Mario Ramirez, Jose Melo-Cristino, Pedro J Simas, Eugenia Vasconcelos, Angela Afonso, Marc Veldhoen (2020). Seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in COVID-19 patients and healthy volunteers. medRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.30.20184309


Anne-Katrien Stark, Elizabeth C. M. Davenport, Daniel T. Patton, Cheryl L. Scudamore, Bart Vanhaesebroeck, Marc Veldhoen, Oliver A. Garden, Klaus Okkenhaug (2020). Loss of Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase Activity in Regulatory T Cells Leads to Neuronal Inflammation. The Journal of Immunology. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.2000043


Silvia Ariotti, Marc Veldhoen (2019). Immunology: Skin T Cells Switch Identity to Protect and Heal. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.01.055


Shaqiu Zhang, Tamer Al-Maghout, Hang Cao, Lisann Pelzl, Madhuri S. Salker, Marc Veldhoen, Anchun Cheng, Florian Lang, Yogesh Singh (2019). Gut Bacterial Metabolite Urolithin A (UA) Mitigates Ca2+ Entry in T Cells by Regulating miR-10a-5p. Frontiers in Immunology. DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01737


Špela Konjar, Marc Veldhoen (2019). Dynamic Metabolic State of Tissue Resident CD8 T Cells. Frontiers in Immunology. DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01683.


Patrícia Figueiredo-Campos, Cristina Ferreira, Birte Blankenhaus, Marc Veldhoen (2018). Eimeria vermiformis Infection Model of Murine Small Intestine. Bio-Protocols. DOI: 10.21769/BioProtoc.3122


Marc Veldhoen, Birte Blankenhaus, Špela Konjar, Cristina Ferreira (2018). Metabolic wiring of murine T cell and intraepithelial lymphocyte maintenance and activation. European Journal of Immunology. DOI: 10.1002/eji.201646745


Špela Konjar, Birte Blankenhaus, Marc Veldhoen (2018). Oxygen starvation during T cell priming boosts cancer-killing potential. Translational Cancer Research. DOI: 10.21037/tcr.2017.12.07


Špela Konjar, Ulrika C. Frising, Cristina Ferreira, Reinhard Hinterleitner, Toufic Mayassi, Qifeng Zhang, Birte Blankenhaus, Nejc Haberman, Yunhua Loo, Joana Guedes, Marta Baptista, Silvia Innocentin, Joerg Stange, Douglas Strathdee, Bana Jabri, Marc Veldhoen (2018). Mitochondria maintain controlled activation state of epithelial-resident T lymphocytes. Science Immunology. DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aan2543


Marc Veldhoen (2017). Guidelines for the use of flow cytometryImmunity, Inflammation and Disease. DOI: DOI:10.1002/iid3.207


Špela Konjar, Cristina Ferreira, Birte Blankenhaus, Marc Veldhoen (2017). Intestinal Barrier Interactions with Specialized CD8 T Cells. Frontiers in Immunology. DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01281


Verena Brucklacher-Waldert, Cristina Ferreira, Marisa Stebegg, Olivier Fesneau, Silvia Innocentin, Julien C. Marie, Marc Veldhoen (2017). Cellular Stress in the Context of an Inflammatory Environment Supports TGF-b-Independent T Helper17 Differentiation. Cell Reports. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.05.052


Marc Veldhoen (2017). Interleukin 17 is a chief orchestrator of immunity. Nature Immunology. DOI: 10.1038/ni.3742


Marc Veldhoen (2017). Th17 Cells Require You to Chew before You Swallow. Immunity. DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2016.12.016

News

"SARS-CoV-2 antibodies detectable up to seven months post COVID-19 onset, shows new Portuguese study"

October 23, 2020

Check the iMM News here.


"New study shows how our surveillance system is triggered inside tissues"

May 19, 2020

Check the iMM News here.


"New study shows how gut immune cells are kept in control"

June 28, 2019

Check the iMM News here.


Science Stories | "When low batteries are a good thing: New study shows how gut immune cells are kept in control"

Check the iMM Highlights 2018 here (page 52).


"Cellular Stress Increases the Probability of Developing Autoimmune Diseases"

June 14, 2017

Check the iMM News here.


Success stories from 2016 | "ERA Chair Joined iMM"

Check the iMM Highlights 2016 here (page 26).


"iMM Lisboa will receive around 2,5M€ from European Area-Chairs"

February 17, 2015

Check the iMM News here.

Media Coverage

Expresso | "COVID-19: as vacinas são a solução"

November 11, 2020

Read here (only available in Portuguese).


Público | "Sete meses após infecção, estudo português mediu anticorpos"

November 3, 2020

Read here (only available in Portuguese).


Diário de Notícias | "Anticorpos da COVID-19 ficam no organismo até sete meses após infeção"

October 23, 2020

Read here (only available in Portuguese).


Diário de Notícias | “Estudo feito em Portugal confirma que anticorpos duram até cinco meses”

September 10, 2020

Read here (only available in Portuguese).


Público | "Como se produzem células que nos protegem contra infecções?"

May 19, 2020

Read here (only available in Portuguese).


Diário de Noticias | "Descoberta abre a porta a novas terapias para doença de Crohn"

June 22, 2018

Read here (only available in Portuguese).


Diário de Notícias | "Inibição do 'stress' nas células pode reduzir risco de doenças como esclerose múltipla"

June 13, 2017

Read here (only available in Portuguese).

Events

1st Meeting Industry Advisory Board

Instituto de Medicina Molecular (Lisbon) - November 22, 2019


Tissue Immunity Symposium with a Focus on T Cells

SANA Metropolitan Hotel (Lisbon) - May 7-8, 2019

Program here.


2018 Fundo iMM-Laço Annual Grants

Instituto de Medicina Molecular (Lisbon) - March 7, 2020

Awardees: Marc Veldhoen (project fully supported by Pioneer) & Sérgio Almeida

Know more about the Marc Veldhoen's project here (only available in Portuguese).



Half-Day Course on Lab Animal Pathology

Instituto de Medicina Molecular (Lisbon) - June 8, 2018

Program here.


Gender Balance in Science

Instituto de Medicina Molecular (Lisbon) - January 16, 2017

Program here.


EXCELLtoINNOV | 1st Annual Project Meeting

Instituto de Medicina Molecular (Lisbon) - June 20-23, 2016

The first Annual Project Meeting of EXCELLtoINNOV was held at iMM, from 20-23rd of June, 2016. This was an excellent occasion for the analysis and discussion of the project progress by the Advisory Board, here represented by Maria M. Mota (Project Coordinator), Marc Veldhoen (ERA Chair), and two external members, namely Professor Herman Waldmann and Professor Artur Scherf.

In addition, highly successful Capacity Building Workshop – Leadership Course targeting the iMM postdoctoral community was integrated in this event as well as the publicly open seminar by the ERA Chair.


EXCELLtoINNOV | Kick-off Meeting: "How to Excell to Innov @ Lisbon Medical Centre"

Instituto de Medicina Molecular (Lisbon) - October 12, 2015

The kick-off meeting of EXCELLtoINNOV was held at iMM, on October 12, 2015. This meeting provided the opportunity to disseminate the project to the community as well as to promote an interactive debate with internal and external stakeholders. A panel of distinguished personalities was invited, including: the (at the time) Secretary of State for Science and Technology, Prof. Leonor Parreira; the Rector of the University of Lisbon, Prof. Cruz Serra; the Director of the Lisbon Medical School, Prof. Fausto Pinto; and Prof. Carmo-Fonseca and Prof. Maria Mota, President and Executive Director of iMM, respectively.

Kick-off Meeting Agenda here.

Press Release here (only available in Portuguese)

EXCELLtoINNOV Seminars

2019

November 14

Dietmar Martin Werner Zaiss | University of Edinburgh

“Crosstalk between EGFR and TGFbeta as a regulator of local inflammation”

September 19

Mark Andrew Travis | University of Manchester

“Regulation of mucosal immune responses by integrins and TGF-beta​”

July 4

Tim Spanwasser | University of Mainz

“Metabolic programs controlling immune cell function”

July 1

Martin Rumbo | National University of La Plata, UNLP Argentina

“Lactate, from waste metabolite to homeostatic signal in gastrointestinal tract?”

2018

July 5

Hai Qi | Tsinghua University, Beijing

“T-B interactions and the germinal center response”

Multimedia

Caption: Regulatory T cells promote the generation of tissue resident T-cells in the intestine, essential for the protection against pathogens.

Credits: Helena Pinheiro, iMM.

Cristina Ferreira, Leandro Barros, Marta Baptista, Birte Blankenhaus, André Barros, Patrícia Figueiredo-Campos, Špela Konjar, Alexandra Lainé, Nadine Kamenjarin, Ana Stojanovic, Adelheid Cerwenka, Hans C. Probst, Julien C. Marie and Marc Veldhoen (2020) Type 1 Treg cells promote the generation of CD8+ 1 tissue resident memory T cells. Nature Immunology. DOI: 10.1038/s41590-020-0674-9.

Other Info

EXCELLtoINNOV | Brochure

January 2017

Read the informative brochure here.


EXCELLtoINNOV | Newsletter #1

November 2016

Read it here.


Chair in Immunity and Infection for Outstanding Researchers

July 1, 2015

The prestigious Horizon 2020 ERA Chair project, EXCELLtoINNOV, funded by the European Commission, takes off today, July 1st, with the launch of the recruitment process for the ERA Chair position.

More informations here.

Press Release here.


Four Portuguese institutions will receive approximately 10 million euros

February 14, 2014

Press Release here (only available in Portuguese).

Contacts

For press enquiries, please contact iMM Communication: imm-communication@medicina.ulisboa.pt

For technical enquiries, please contact iMM Projects: imm-projects@medicina.ulisboa.pt


Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM)
Av. Professor Egas Moniz - Edifício Egas Moniz
1649-028 Lisboa, Portugal

Phone: (+351) 217 999 411