In order to become a regional leader in the analysis of human microbiome and its relationship to diseases, USFAX — through the MICAfrica Twinning project — aims to increase its staff capacities in:
The Project will focus on three specific objectives:
- Objective 1Capacity building of USFAX and its research staff in metagenomic approaches (deep 16S rRNA, shotgun sequencing, and pyrosequencing) to investigate the association of microbiota dysbiosis and diseases. ER, ESRs and technicians will be trained in human microbiome studies; support staff will also be part of the capacity building effort on transversal topics such as the project management activities.
- Objective 2Strengthening the scientific staff skills of USFAX in functional studies (metaproteomic and metabolomics). To address the microbiome -host interaction, metabolomics and metaproteomic studies are needed to get a direct insight into the phenotypes of microorganisms at the molecular level.
- Objective 3Create and coordinate the North African Human Microbiome Consortium (NAHMC) with North African partners from Morocco, Algeria and Egypt; we will draft with our partners a 5-year strategy for the consortium including an action plan for opening the centralized database and a plan of joint research projects which will include wider collaborations with EU partners too and dissemination of our results; we will apply to join International Human Microbiome Consortium (lHMC) as NAHMC within 2 years at most after the end of the project.