Improving microbial food safety by implementing genomics approaches (MIFOSAGEN)

Duration of the project

01.06.2021. - 15.11.2021.

Countries and institutions involved in the project

flag-LT
Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
flag-DE
Free University of Berlin

Project manager

Prof. Dr. Mindaugas Malakauskas

Project aims

The overall goal of this project aims to develop and enhance research excellence and innovation capacity in microbial genomics at LSMU through application of bioinformatics-based analysis of bacterial WGS data. This will be achieved through a three-step approach, combining (i) lecture series and (ii) individual research topics, jointly carried out by the two partners, both leading to a (iii) final workshop, that allows us to present the gained data and knowledge to a wider audience.

Main activities and venues

Task 1. Lecture series (online)

A series of online lectures by using Cisco Webex will be used to introduce participants to (i) the general approaches in microbial genomics and molecular food safety, (ii) computer-based bioinformatics tools and (iii) practical examples of genomic analysis of bacterial.

Participants will be encouraged to provide examples from day-to-day business, that will be discussed and jointly solved. In total, 10 lectures will be carried out over the whole project period to enable a continuous exchange of information and to track progress throughout the project.

Task 2. Individual research trainings (online and with laboratory hands-on parts in each partner place)

The lecture series will be accompanied by individual training approaches. By linking individual staff members from LSMU to staff members of FUB (tandem approach) we will achieve an intensive collaboration, esp. to apply knowledge gained in the prior lectures. In addition, that collaboration on a personal base will establish and strengthen collaborating ties beyond the duration of the project. It is planned to create three tandem teams, each working on an individual foodborne bacteria: Campylobacter, Vibrio and Arcobacter (case studies I to III).

Task 3. Workshop on microbial genomics (online)

The final workshop will summarize the knowledge gained throughout the project. LSMU and FUB scientists will present the results of the case studies prepared by the tandem groups. The online workshop will be actively advertised in the Baltic countries through the collaborating institutes of the Baltic Forestry, Veterinary and Agricultural (BOVA) University Network (https://www.bova-university.org).

Direct and indirect target group

Lecture series (Task 1)

Direct: Staff members and students of LSMU and FUB (approx. 15)

Indirect: Veterinary and food safety students from Lithuania, Germany and BOVA universities network (lecture series will be offered as free to join).

(approx. 40)

 

Individual research trainings / case studies I to III Task 2.

Direct: 6 (Three scientists of each partner, including young researchers and PhD students; LSMU and FUB)

Indirect: Due to the planned dissemination of the results during the workshop (Task 3), a larger target group from food industry, laboratories involve in food analysis and governmental agencies working in the field of food safety will be targeted (see Task 3).

 

Workshop (Task 3)

Direct: Universities, industry representatives, laboratories and governmental agencies involved in food safety (approx. 30)

Indirect: It is foreseen that the presentations from the workshop will be recorded and uploaded to the LSMU Moodle system with access for LSMU students within subjects like microbiological food safety, microbiology, epidemiology (50-60 students).