Project

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Biocontained Confocal Microscopy Platform Lausanne University Hospital

English title Biocontained Confocal Microscopy Platform Lausanne University Hospital
Applicant Sanglard Dominique
Number 183376
Funding scheme R'EQUIP
Research institution Institut de Microbiologie - CHUV Faculté de Biologie et Médecine Université de Lausanne
Institution of higher education University of Lausanne - LA
Main discipline Medical Microbiology
Start/End 01.10.2019 - 30.11.2020
Approved amount 198'877.00
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Keywords (6)

Imaging; Biosafety; Medical microbiology; Emerging pathogens; Biocontainment; Confocal microscopy

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
La microscopie et l’imagerie à haute résolution sont devenues des composantes importantes de la recherche en microbiologie médicale. Dans notre projet actuel, nous établirons une plateforme de microscopie confocale confinée qui permettra d’étudier en toute sécurité les agents responsables de maladies humaines.
Lay summary

Les maladies infectieuses restent des défis majeurs pour la médecine moderne et la santé publique. La recherche biomédicale sur les agents pathogènes a grandement contribué à la mise au point de méthodes de diagnostic sensibles et de thérapies efficaces contre les maladies infectieuses. L'Institut de microbiologie (IMUL) de l'Hôpital Universitaire de Lausanne (UNIL/CHUV) combine avec succès la recherche clinique et la recherche fondamentale en microbiologie médicale et possède une large expertise sur les différents microorganismes pathogènes pour l'homme. Au cours de ces dernières années, la microscopie et l’imagerie sont devenues des éléments importants en microbiologie médicale. La recherche sur l'architecture des cellules pathogènes et les interactions entre microbes et cellules hôtes nécessitent les performances technologiques de la microscopie confocale à haute résolution. Cependant, l’expérimentation utilisant des agents pathogènes humains vivants nécessite un confinement biologique strict, et ceci ne permet pas le recours aux plates-formes de microscopie existantes. Ceci est particulièrement relevant pour les travaux impliquant de nouveaux agents pathogènes émergents, qui comprennent aussi bien des bactéries ou des virus et constituent une menace potentielle pour l'environnement.

Notre projet consistera à créer une nouvelle plate-forme de microscopie confocale confinée à IMUL, située dans une zone de biosécurité spécifiquement désignée, composée d'un microscope confocal à la pointe de la technologie et d'un laboratoire de biosécurité pour la préparation d'échantillons. Cette configuration garantira un accès contrôlé et permettra aux utilisateurs d'effectuer la préparation des échantillons et la microscopie dans une zone de confinement biologique confinée, conformément aux réglementations de l'Office fédéral de la santé publique.

La mise en place de cette nouvelle plateforme de microscopie confocale confinée élargira considérablement les applications possibles de la microscopie optique à haute résolution dans la recherche en microbiologie médicale, et ceci dans le respect des règles et réglementations en matière de biosécurité. Outre les laboratoires de recherche de l'IMUL, la plate-forme accueillera des membres d'autres laboratoires de recherche biomédicale de l'agglomération lausannoise qui souhaiteraient gérer des agents pathogènes humains et fournir une expertise en microscopie dans des conditions de biosécurité. Grâce à cela, la plate-forme renforcera la communauté de recherche en microbiologie médicale à l'UNIL/CHUV de l’agglomération lausannoise.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.08.2019

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
State-of-the-art high-resolution light microscopy and imaging have become cornerstones of medical microbiology research. In our present project, we will establish a confocal microscopy platform in biocontainment that will allow the investigation of causative agents of human diseases under safe conditions.
Lay summary

Infectious diseases remain major challenges for modern medicine and public health. Biomedical research on microbial pathogens has greatly contributed to the development of sensitive diagnostic methods and efficacious therapeutic strategies against infectious diseases. The Institute of Microbiology (IMUL) of the Lausanne University Hospital (UNIL/CHUV) successfully unites clinical research with basic medical microbiology and harbors extensive expertise on human pathogenic microorganisms. Over the past years, microscopy and imaging have become cornerstones of medical microbiology research. Research on pathogen cell architecture and the interactions of microbes with host cells require state-of-the-art high-resolution confocal microscopy. However, work with live human pathogens requires strict biocontainment, which restricts the use of existing microscopy platforms. This is of particular concern for work on novel emerging pathogens, including bacteria and viruses that pose environmental threats.

Our project will establish a novel biocontained confocal microscopy platform at IMUL, located at a specifically designated biosafety area, consisting of a state-of-the-art confocal microscope and a biosafety laboratory for sample preparation. This setup will guarantee controlled access and allow users to perform all steps of sample preparation and microscopy within a closed biocontainment area, in compliance with regulations of the Federal Office for Public Health.

The establishment of this novel biocontained confocal microscopy platform will greatly extend the possible applications of high-resolution light microscopy in medical microbiology research, respecting biosafety rules and regulations. Apart from the research laboratories of IMUL, the platform will welcome members of other biomedical research laboratories in the larger Lausanne area that wish to handle human pathogens and provide expertise for microscopy under biosafety conditions. With this, the platform will strengthen the medical microbiology research community at UNIL/CHUV and in the larger Lausanne area.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 19.08.2019

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
173863 Multidisciplinary approaches to identify genetic determinants of Candida albicans pathogenicity 01.10.2017 Sinergia
170108 Host cell invasion by Lassa virus 01.01.2017 Project funding
170280 Evaluating items of scientific findings in cases where the Defense says: ‘It is my twin brother’ 01.11.2017 Project funding
172958 Fungal pathogens and their in vivo response in the context of antifungal tolerance and resistance 01.04.2017 Project funding
160780 Viral Plasticity Underlying Tropism And Pathogenesis/ Innate Immune Evasion Of Emerging Viruses 01.11.2015 Sinergia
162603 Cell division mechanism and regulation of the Chlamydia-related pathogen Waddlia chondrophila 01.01.2016 Project funding

Abstract

The Faculty of Biology and Medicine (FBM) of the University of Lausanne (UNIL) provides an optimal environment for basic and applied medical microbiology research in the Lausanne area, including the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and departments of UNIL. The Institute of Microbiology (IMUL) of UNIL/CHUV stands exemplary for this successful fusion of medicine and biology, uniting clinical research with basic medical microbiology with a high international profile. The faculty and staff of IMUL has extensive expertise in research and biosafety of human pathogenic microorganisms that they share with other departments. Over the past years, state-of-the-art microscopy and imaging have become cornerstones of competitive medical microbiology research. To keep up with international standards of excellence, we witness a dramatic increase in the need for high-resolution confocal microscopy to study pathogen cell architecture and the interactions of microbial pathogens with host cells, which represent major axes of research at the institutional level. However, the strict need for biocontainment, a prerequisite for research on human pathogens, represents a major challenge for the implementation of cutting-edge microscopy techniques and severely restricts the use of existing institutional microscopy platforms. This is of particular concern for work on novel emerging pathogens, including epizoonotic bacteria and viruses that pose an environmental threat. To overcome this challenge, the FBM of UNIL aims at the establishment a novel biocontained confocal microscopy platform for the UNIL/CHUV campus where the major research units involved in medical microbiology research are located. From a strategic point of view, the new biocontained confocal microscopy platform will become part of the existing well-established Cell Imaging Facility (CIF) of UNIL/CHUV, headed by Dr. Jean-Yves Chatton, who is a co-applicant of the present proposal. The CIF will serve as the overarching organization structure, providing technical expertise and avoiding duplication of existing structures. Acquisition, installation, and maintenance of the microscope will be coordinated with Dr. Chatton and his experienced staff of CIF. The novel confocal microscopy platform will be located at a specifically designated biosafety level (BSL)-2 area within the IMUL building, providing controlled access, the required biocontainment facilities, and biosafety expertise. This closed BSL2 biocontainment area located on the 4th floor of IMUL is certified for a wide range of pathogens, including emerging microbes. The platform will consist of a state-of-the-art confocal microscope combined with an existing fully equipped BSL2 laboratory dedicated to sample preparation. Importantly, the setup of the platform will guarantee controlled access and allow users to perform all steps of sample preparation, microscopy, and image acquisition within a closed BSL2 area, in compliance with the regulations of the Federal Office for Public Health. Apart from the research laboratories of the three main applicants Greub (Director IMUL, novel bacterial pathogens, giant viruses), Sanglard (pathogenic fungi), and Kunz (emerging pathogenic viruses), the platform will be accessible to the other research units at IMUL and groups from other departments of UNIL/CHUV that share these specific needs. The platform will further welcome members of any biomedical research laboratory in the larger Lausanne area that wish to handle human pathogens and will provide help and expertise for microscopy under strict BSL2 conditions. The establishment of this novel biocontained confocal microscopy platform will greatly extend the possible applications of high-resolution light microscopy in medical microbiology research respecting biosafety rules and regulations. With this, the platform will strengthen the medical microbiology research community at UNIL/CHUV and in the larger Lausanne area.
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