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24 Nov 2020

Congratulations to Sophie Valkenburg and Roman Thibeaux for receiving the Pasteur Network Talent Award 2020!

The Pasteur Network Talent Award, issued by the Institut Pasteur each year, recognizes the  achievements of two talented scientists from the Pasteur International Network who have demonstrated strong scientific or leadership potential either in public health or fundamental research, and who wish to pursue and strengthening their research within the Network.

For the 2020 edition, Dr Sophie Valkenburg at HKU-Pasteur Research Pole has received the Award for her project regarding SARS-CoV-2 second generation vaccines and their mechanism of protection. Stemming from the work achieved with her research team on immune responses to influenza viruses and SARS-CoV-2 patient serology tests, this project will focus on vaccination. Defining immune correlates from recovered patients helps to direct vaccine programs. This can determine vaccine design and expectations for protection of the individual from infection or disease and transmission.

She received this award along with Roman Thibeaux at Institut Pasteur Nouvelle-Calédonie for his project aiming at unravelling the cyclic-di-GMP network regulating biofilm formation and virulence in the zoonotic pathogen Leptospira interrogans. He is currently involved in the the SpIRAL project linked to the French National Research Agency (ANR), aiming at determining the preferred hydro-telluric habitat of virulent leptospires, not only to better understand leptospirosis epidemiology, but also to infer risk management approaches and interventions for a better control of the disease in humans. This new project aims at developing further new and existing strategic partnerships focused on one of the Priority disease of the Institut Pasteur International Network strategy.

Successful candidates have presented their work on the occasion of the Pasteur Network Talent Award Ceremony, and have received a reward to pursue their project (remittance is subject to the receipt of all necessary documents for the wire transfer- in euros).

Once again congratulations to both Sophie and Roman for this reward!