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From Omics to Patient: Improving Diagnostics of Pathogenic Yeasts (OPATHY)
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

OPATHY is an innovative translational research training network that will explore the potential of omics technologies, including genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics, to study the interactions of yeasts that cause disease to humans (e.g. Candida and Cryptococcus sp.) with their host, and to develop new diagnostic tools to monitor yeast infections in the clinic. Today, these infections are poorly understood, difficult to diagnose, and are becoming increasingly frequent and serious, affecting over 300 million people worldwide. OPATHY will exploit omics technologies to investigate host-pathogen interactions during yeast infection and colonization with a primary focus on their potential to develop innovative diagnostics tools to improve health care. For this proteomics, transcriptomics and genomics measurements of strains and infections will be integrated with state of the art computational analyses to identify novel biomarkers able to determine the infection stage, the infective pathogen, and the potential resistance traits. This knowledge will drive the development of diagnostic tools based on the detection of specific DNA sequences (by PCR) or antibodies (by Elisa or proteomics). These tools will be validated in a clinical study of key patient cohorts. The participation of two clinical centers and four companies is of paramount importance for the network to provide an integrative and transversal research and training environment. Importantly, the methodologies and approaches of OPATHY can be easily extended to the study and identification of other human, animal and plant microbial pathogens, or the tracing of relevant industrial organisms. Grounded on solid individual research projects, OPATHY will train Early Stage Researchers in several scientific technologies and fields and transferable skills, to boost their careers as innovative and creative researchers.
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