Phage-Microbiome Consortium: Interplay and Modulation in Human Health and Disease

The ISM is pleased to announce the launch of The Phage-Microbiome Consortium.

Aim of the Consortium

The aim of this project is to set up a consortium of experts in the field of bacteriophages and the human microbiome, to collectively explore the potential of phages in shaping and modulating the microbiome in the context of human health and disease. The consortium will work in teams to push the boundaries of current knowledge, through collaborative research and knowledge exchange.


Objectives

1. Understand the Phage-Microbiota Interaction:
The consortium will carry out integrated studies to enhance the understanding of phage-bacteria dynamics and the role of phages in maintaining microbial diversity and stability.

2. Explore the Potential of Phage Therapy:
Teams will investigate the potential of phages as alternative therapeutic agents for various diseases, focusing particularly on conditions associated with microbiome dysbiosis and antibiotic resistance.

3. Identify Phage Biomarkers:
The consortium will work to identify specific changes in phage populations associated with different health conditions, thus facilitating disease prediction, diagnosis, and treatment.

4. Promote Phage Engineering:
With advancements in genetic engineering, the consortium will explore possibilities to create engineered phages with enhanced efficiency, broader spectrums, and other desirable properties.

5. Establish Regulatory and Safety Guidelines:
Recognizing the lack of robust regulatory guidelines for phage therapy, the consortium will also work towards proposing safe and effective guidelines.


What is expected?

The expected outcome of this project is to offer new insights into the complex interplay between phages and the human microbiome and to pave the way for innovative, effective, and personalized phage therapies. By bridging the expertise gap, we aim to leverage the immense potential of phages in treating diseases and promoting human health.


Project Modalities and Application Procedure

To contribute to this Consortium, the ISM requests interested researchers and teams to submit a proposal. Below are the guidelines to respect:

1. Team Formation:
Interested teams should consist of a diverse range of experts with substantial knowledge and experience in bacteriophages, microbiota, or related fields. Each team should ideally have at least one expert in bacteriophages and one in microbiota.

2. Proposal Submission:
Teams should submit a detailed project proposal that outlines their planned research, including objectives, methodologies, expected outcomes, and the timeline for the project. Proposals should demonstrate a clear understanding of the interplay between phages and the microbiome and should propose innovative approaches to explore and modulate this relationship in the context of human health and disease. They should also clearly state how the work contributes to the broader objectives of the consortium.

3. Review Process:
Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of experts in the field. Successful proposals will be selected based on their scientific merit, feasibility, and potential impact on our understanding of the phage-microbiome interplay.


Funding

The consortium will actively seek funding from both private and public institutions to support the selected projects. The collected funding will be distributed to all teams involved in the Consortium.


How to Submit?

Please submit your projects and details above:

- At the following email address: microbiota(at)microbiota-site.com. 

- Deadline for the submission: December 15, 2023.  

Applications will be reviewed by the Consortium Selection Committee, and successful applicants will be contacted to proceed to the next stage of the process. Please note that acceptance into the consortium is competitive, and only a select number of applicants will be chosen to join.


Role of the International Society of Microbiota

The International Society of Microbiota will act as the principal coordinator and manager of this consortium. The Society will facilitate the integration of teams and will foster the exchange of knowledge and expertise amongst the participants.

In its role as coordinator, the Society will ensure that all projects align with the consortium's overarching goals. It will provide guidance and direction to ensure that research efforts are complementary and additive. The Society will also help in harmonizing data collection and sharing across teams to promote a more comprehensive understanding of the phage-microbiome relationship.

The ISM, will supervise the allocation and utilization of consortium-provided funds, ensuring they are used effectively and efficiently. It will liaise with private and public funding institutions, advocating for the consortium's work and securing additional resources.

Through this central role, the International Society of Microbiota aims to unite global expertise and drive forward the understanding of the pivotal role of phages in modulating the microbiome and influencing human health and disease.


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