French Parasitology Alliance For Health Care

The ParaFrap PhD international Program

Coordinator : Patrick BASTIEN
ParaFrap PhD Program Assistant : Rosa-Milagros CORRALES

The ParaFrap research program has been launched in 2012 as one of the French national consortia of excellence termed 'LabEx' ('Laboratory of Excellence') created by the French Ministry of Research.It was initiated by international leading groups of the French Parasitology community who decided to integrate their scientific expertise and activities to combat major protozoan parasites as a consortium named ‘French Parasitology Alliance for Health Care’ (or ParaFrap). ParaFrap is entirely devoted to modern Parasitology using state-of-the-art research tools and is driven by 21 international leading groups of the French Parasitology community.

The ParaFrap international PhD program is an ambitious program offering 11 competitive PhD grants to high-quality students/early stage scientists. It is coordinated by Professor Patrick Bastien, University of Montpellier. In 2013, after an international call and a highly selective process, 11 PhD students essentially motivated by molecular Parasitology were enrolled in the PhD programme. The ParaFrap PhD program started in October 2013 and the PhD thesis contracts were established for three years. The early stage scientists joined the forces of ParaFrap focussing on (i) developing new methodologies and sharing resources to overcome current roadblocks in studies of molecular, cellular and immunological processes of parasite biology and pathology, and (ii) feeding the pipeline with strategies and molecules for novel diagnostic tools and intervention strategies. Their core research projects, managed by a main supervisor and a co-supervisor from two distinct research groups of the LabEx, focus on the use of state-of-the-art post-genomic tools to enhance knowledge of the parasites and of their interactions with their hosts, with the aim of using this knowledge to seek and implement new means of parasitic diseases control. 

The research projects of the ParaFrap PhD international programme are complemented with a comprehensive range of international training courses, covering modern aspects of molecular cell biology applied to parasitology. These start with an initial training workshop of 2 weeks duration, which is followed by focussed training workshops, implemented at the rate of one or two per annum. These workshops involve high-quality international speakers and contributors and take place in one of the following universities/institutes: University of Montpellier, Institut Pasteur (Paris) and University of Lille-North of France. Examples are the following: "Handling genomic and post-genomic databases in Parasitology", “Genetics and reverse genetics techniques for parasites", “High throughput genomics and functional genomics”, "Imaging Parasites" etc...

The 2nd of the PhD Program has been launched on the 1st December 2015, and 11 new PhD students has been selected to start in October 2016.