Erasmus + project "LEarning GenOmics for food safety"



The kick off meeting of the Erasmus+ funded project (Action KA2, Higher Education - Cooperation for innovation and exchange of good practices) "LEarning GenOmics for food safety" (LEGO) was held in Teramo at the International Centre for Veterinary Training and Information of the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e Molise (IZSAM) on January 22 and 23.


LEGO bridges a growing educational gap in the field of high university education by defining, training and promoting the recognition of an innovative and interdisciplinary professional curriculum, called Food Microbial Bioinformatician. The creation of this new profile will allow to meet the new research challenges in the field of genomics applied to food safety. Indeed, despite the recommendations set by the European Commission and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO, 2016), recent developments in scientific research in the field of whole genome sequencing have not been accompanied by updates of the university curricula aiming at training highly specialised professionals with transversal skills in the fields of genomics, food microbiology, statistics, epidemiology and bioinformatics.


Therefore, the main project beneficiaries will be European students enrolled in 2nd and 3rd cycle degree courses in Veterinary Medicine, Bioinformatics, (Micro) Biology and Biotechnology, Public Health, Agriculture, Biomedical Engineering and Medicine, as well as professionals willing to measure and certify their skills to increase their chances of mobility within the European area. Given the transversal nature of the proposed new profile, the project targets also students enrolled in 2nd or 3rd cycle degree courses in Statistics, Computer Science and Mathematics, having at least three years of research or professional experience in the microbiology sector.


The project will last 30 months with a total budget of approximately 350,000 euros. The partnership is composed of three universities (University of Helsinki - Finland, University of L'Aquila - Italy, University of Life Science and Technology - Poland), a Spanish research centre (Asociacion de Investigacion de la Industria Agroalimentaria - AINIA) and a Italian company specialised in new technologies applied to training and scientific communication. Other international “associate” stakeholders will support the project activities, especially for what concerns the dissemination of results and their scalability.


The IZSAM Training and Project Unit will lead the Consortium, with the scientific support of the National Reference Laboratory for Listeria monocytogenes and the Italian National Reference Centre for Whole Genomic Sequences of microbial pathogens: database and bioinformatics analysis (GENPAT).



February 5, 2019

© IZSAM February 2019
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