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The DFG-funded Research Training Group 2771 Humans and Microbes: Reorganisation of Cell Compartments and Molecular Complexes during Infection is established since November 2022 and aims to elucidate in 9 projects how human pathogenic bacteria, viruses and parasites utilise, modulate or subdue large molecular host-pathogen complexes and membrane trafficking in host cells (projects P1 to P9, see figure). Infectious diseases cause about 20% of all deaths worldwide, and emerging infections such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can threaten public health and economic stability. We believe that a fundamental understanding of host pathogen interaction at the molecular level and its transmission to the next generation of scientists will pave the way for new treatment strategies against bacterial, viral and parasitic infectious diseases alike. In this regard, the outcomes of the Humans and Microbes projects will provide the scientific community with deeply elaborated molecular principles of unique pathogen traits and will foster a systematic and in-depth analysis of the commonalities and differences in pathogen infection strategies.

The scientific projects of Humans and Microbes will be supervised by 15 internationally recognized scientists from numerous world-class Hamburg research institutions: University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM), Centre of Structural Systems Biology (CSSB), Leibniz Institute for Virology (LIV), The Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging (CUI), Hamburg Advanced Research Centre for Bioorganic Chemistry (HARBOR) and from the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. The UKE will be the central meeting place and organisational hub for the Humans and Microbes consortium.

Humans and Microbes offers a comprehensive and international training programme that provides doctoral researchers with a timely, flexible and all-encompassing platform for their career development in- and outside academia. The three to four year curriculum – with academic and non-academic courses, lectures given by leading researchers, regular report meetings and an international symposium – ensures a broad education that will strengthen both the scientific independence and international competitiveness of its participants.