Host-microbe symbiosis: old friends and foes – Summer School for PhD students

19 July  – 1 August, 2015, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal

In the Summer School “Host-microbe symbioses – old friends and foes” we will explore stable host-microbe interactions as a spectrum from parasitic to mutualistic. It is becoming clear that most animals and plants associate with microbes during their life and that these greatly influence host biology. The course will last two weeks and will explore this field with leading scientists that bring a broad range of expertise and approaches.

The Summer School will be targeted at second or later years PhD students (from Europe). The main aim of this meeting is to help students define their future research interests.

There is no registration fee. Lodging and meals will be covered by the Summer School. Participants can also apply for a travel grant at the time of application.


Thomas Bosch (Kiel University, Germany), Evolution and the ecology of development

Jocelyne Demengeot (Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal), Lymphocyte physiology

Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello (New York University, USA), Microbial ecology and translational medicine

Nicole Dubilier (Max-Planck-Institute for Marine Microbiology, Germany), Symbionts in marine invertebrates

Isabel Gordo (Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal), Evolutionary biology

Rob Knight (University of California-San Diego, USA), Microbial diversity and metagenomics

Éva Kondorosi (Biological Research Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary), Symbiosis and functional genomics

José Pereira Leal (Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal), Computational genomics

Bruno Lemaitre (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland), Insect-microbe interactions and immunity

Andrew Macpherson (University of Bern, Switzerland), Immunity at the mucosal surface

Nancy Moran (University of Texas-Austin, USA), Symbiosis and evolution of biological complexity

Howard Ochman (University of Texas-Austin, USA), Microbial evolution

Ned Ruby (University of Hawaii-Manoa, USA), Biology of microbial symbionts

Philippe J. Sansonetti (Pasteur Institute, France), Molecular microbial pathogenesis

Miguel Soares (Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal), Inflammation


Martin Blaser (New York University, USA), Resident microbes and the ecology of human diseases

Margaret McFall-Ngai (University of Hawaii-Manoa, USA), Invertebrate-microbe symbiotic interactions

Luis Teixeira (Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência), Host-microbe interactions

Karina Xavier, (Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência), Bacterial signaling

The course will last two weeks and will consist of general lectures, research seminars and development of a project by the students. Lectures will cover the state of the art in specific areas of the field and will give the students a broad view of that area. Lecturers will also present their own research on these topics giving the students insight on how specific problems are currently addressed. Finally, students will develop a project proposal throughout the two weeks. Students will identify important questions in the field and propose a research project to address them. The work will be based on literature research and daily discussions with the lecturers.

The Summer School will take place in Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC – in Portugal.

The IGC is located in Oeiras, by the sea, and 20 minutes away from Lisbon by train.

Online application is open from 15th January 2015 to 15th March 2015.

Please visit the website of our application system for more details:

We are looking forward to receiving your application!

If you have any questions, please write to .

This Summer School is supported by Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and  VolkswagenStiftung and is an initiative in the framework of the European Campus of Excellence (ECE).

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