MycEpi project selected for funding under Win2Wal programme

The MycEpi project is on track thanks to a new grant from the Walloon Region! The project was selected for funding in the framework of the Win2Wal 2019 call (Win-Win Wallonia), which aims to support strategic applied research involving both academic and industrial partners.

The MycEpi project will be moved forward by Prof. Yves Poumay (head of the Cell and Tissue Laboratory, URPhyM, UNamur) and his postdoc researcher Dr. Emilie Faway, in partnership with Prof. Bernard Mignon (ULiège) and Straticell, a company developing in vitro models and testing solutions to support the development of skin care products.

During her PhD thesis, Emilie Faway studied the pathogenesis of the dermatophyte Trichophyton rubrum through the set up of an in vitro infection model on reconstructed human epidermis (summary of Emilie Faway PhD thesis).

This 3D reconstructed human epidermis suffer some limitations, notably the lack of immune cells, which render this model not fully representative of the in vivo context. Therefore, the MycEpi project now aims at further improvements of this model, especially through the addition of immune and barrier components. This work will allow the development and validation of a relevant in vitro multivalent model of dermatophyte infection for analytical, diagnostic and pharmacological purpose. Furthermore, researchers will compare infection with several strains obtained from various collaborators worldwide. These data will be helpful in the identification of virulence factors and diagnostic markers, and will lead to the identification of potential targets for new antifungal strategies.