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    Creation of the Associated International Laboratory (LIA) "VIRHOST"

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    Cérémonie création LIANovember 1, 2016, was held at the Institut Pasteur in Shanghai (China), the official signature of the creation of the international laboratory (LIA) "VIRHOST"; The ceremony was attended by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs.Signature de la création du LIA

     

     

     

     

    Jianhua Wang, Serge Benichou, Guangxun Meng, Paul Zhou

    Initiated in 2013, the scientific collaborations established by Dr. Serge Benichou (Team Leader at the Cochin Institute) with several teams from Institut Pasteur Shanghai-Chinese Academy of Sciences (IPS-CAS) led to the recent signature of the official agreement for the founding, throughout the next 4 years (2016-2019), of the International Associated Laboratory (LIA) “VIRHOST” (Virus-Host Interactions for Therapeutic Targeting of Human Infection). This LIA is supported for the Chinese side by IPS-CAS and for the French side by the French Academic Institutions from UMR CNRS 8104 (CNRS, University Paris-Descartes, Inserm as well as Institut Pasteur Paris). Dr Serge Benichou has been appointed as the French Director of the LIA, while Pr. Jianhua Wang is the Chinese Director. The main scientific objective of the LIA VIRHOST is to develop collaborative projects regarding interactions between human disease-associated viruses, especially focusing on human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV), with essential pathways of the infected host cells to try to identify new targets for therapeutic intervention.

     

    IPS-CAS is a biomedical research Institute, consisting of 25 independent teams mainly focused on the development of research projects regarding cellular and molecular aspects of the physiopathology and immunology of infectious diseases (bacterial, parasitic and especially viral). A first collaborative project was initiated as soon as 2013 with the team of Pr. Paul Zhou from IPS-CAS.

    ThLes équipes de Paul Zhou et de Serge Benichoue projects now developed in the context of the LIA, still in collaboration with the team of Pr. P. Zhou but also with the team of Pr. Jianhua Wang, will be mainly focused on the characterization of cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in cell-to-cell transfer of HIV-1 from infected T lymphocytes toward other viral cell targets, such as macrophages and dendritic cells.

     

    The official establishment of the LIA VIRHOST will strengthen the collaborations already initiated for more efficient development of the collaborative research projects. The development of these projects will benefit from funding and exchange of PhD students between the French and Chinese teams. A French student, Lucie Bracq, already started her PhD Thesis under the supervision of Serge Benichou and Paul Zhou as co-tutors for the University Paris-Descartes and University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, respectively. A Chinese student, Maorong Xie, funded by the “Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC)”, is doing his PhD Thesis of the University Paris-Descartes under the supervision of Dr. S. Benichou.

     

    The formalization of the LIA will also increase French-Chinese people exchanges and other scientific activities, as exemplified by the first “Workshop on Host-Virus Interactions” organized in July 2016 at IPS-CAS. This Workshop, which was attended by young French and Chinese scientists, enabled the speakers to strengthen, in a friendly scientific atmosphere, the links and exchanges between the main actors involved in the collaborative projects.