FEMIN – The European Mucosal Immunology Network
FEMIN is a network of European scientists and clinicians with a common interest in mucosal immunology and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We think that there is an urgent need to invest in this field, unify forces and convey expertise in Europe. Indeed, according to WHO, there is more than one million of new cases of STIs every day worldwide and women are particularly affected. This number is expected to increase, and as today only two efficient vaccines (HBV and HPV) are available. To discover new strategies of prevention we need to better understand the mechanisms of transmission and of control at mucosal sites, the mucosal immune responses, the impact of the factors present within the mucosal environment (microbiota, pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, antimicrobial peptides, antibodies… ) in appropriate preclinical and clinical models.
The founders and principal investigators of FEMIN are women from five European countries who believe in European talent and in the contribution of women to science. In the field of mucosal STI research, European female scientists are further hindered by the lack of funding and the limited number of faculty positions available. Strong networking of experienced and young scientists is FEMIN’s response to facilitate the path in research and promote excellence in science.
FEMIN’s mission is to favour:
• exchange of scientific ideas: concepts and technical expertise
• collaborations with European experts in the field with the aim of submitting strong and excellent proposals to funding bodies to address the many roadblocks that need to be overcome to decrease the fight STIs worldwide
• mentoring, specifically dedicated to young female researchers, to support female members of the network and beyond.