ENLIGHT-TEN+ is a European Network Linking Informatics and Genomics of Helper T cells in Tissues. This Innovative Training Network (ITN), which is based on the successfully conducted ITN ENLIGHT-TEN (2015-2019) and funded by the European Union H2020 Programme, addresses a crucial missing link in our current research environment, the lack of qualified individuals who possess the cellular immunology skills to recognize and define important scientific questions amenable to -omics approaches, and also the bioinformatic expertise to interrogate and interpret the resulting big-data appropriately. Thus, ENLIGHT-TEN+’s mission is to provide cross-disciplinary training for a new generation of enthusiastic researchers who have in-depth understanding of T cell immunology and are also capable to handle large datasets.
The network of 15 beneficiaries and 8 partner organisations from 10 European countries combines ample expertise on T cell biology with state-of-the-art technologies generating big-data, cutting-edge bioinformatic tools including artificial intelligence, preclinical models and samples from patient cohorts. ENLIGHT-TEN+ will integrate highly innovative -omics-based technologies to generate a novel view of tissue-resident T cells, understand the microenvironmental cues & molecular factorsshaping their unique functional properties with unprecedented resolution, and apply this understanding to immune-mediated pathologies, allowing us to selectively manipulate tissue-resident T cells in autoimmune diseases. ENLIGHT-TEN+ offers an outstanding programme of scientific education and doctoral training for 15 early-stage researchers (ESRs) across Europe. These ESRs will be empowered to push our knowledge of tissue-resident T cells beyond the state-of-the-art, which will enable the identification of novel biomarkers and support the development of advanced therapeutic concepts through close collaboration between academic and industrial partners.
ENLIGHT-TEN+ will empower its ESRs to take advantage of emerging technologies to uncover novel aspects of TRM cells in health and disease. The planned research projects will pave the way for the identification of novel biomarkers of immune-mediated pathologies and new therapeutic targets, enabling ENLIGHT-TEN+’s biopharmaceutical companies (Bayer AG, Miltenyi Biotec, Hycult Biotech, InSCREENeX, CRISPR Therapeutics) to develop novel diagnostic tests and therapeutic concepts, respectively. Given the importance of bioinformatic analysis within this programme, the involvement of two leading bioinformatics companies (IBM Research Zurich, QIAGEN Aarhus) is a major asset to our network and demonstrates the intersectoral strength of ENLIGHT-TEN+. Furthermore, the ESRs will benefit from the excellent training expertise and facilities of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), and all ESRs will receive training in research ethics through the involvement of the Centre for Ethics & Law in the Life Sciences (CELLS). Finally, the ESRs will learn how to actively communicate the project outcome and its impact to the general public by the making of science videos for a wider audience with professional support of the European Academy of Science Films (EURASF) and by getting involved in the ‘Artists in the lab’ initiative1 of Cultivamoscultura.
1 Ludwig & Huehn (2018) Already ENLIGHT-TENed? Equipping young immunologists with a combination of research-related and transferrable competencies. Eur J Immunol48, 1926; https://doi.org/10.1002/eji.201870145