• EU-funded PhD training program

  • EU-funded PhD training program

  • EU-funded PhD training program

  • EU-funded PhD training program

  • EU-funded PhD training program

    EDGE is an EU-funded PhD training program aiming at educating PhDs with strong skills in basic, clinical, and product-oriented research

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  • Knowledge And Innovation

    EDGE aims at generating new knowledge and innovation that will lead to improved understanding, diagnostics, prevention, and treatment of herpesvirus infections

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  • EDGE Program

    ESRs working in the EDGE program all address outstanding questions of importance for advance in the understanding and treatment of herpesvirus infections

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  • EDGE Training Program

    The EDGE training program includes close student-supervisor interactions, a tailor-made course program, and participation at international conferences

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15 PhDs in virology and immunology trained in a Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions project

EDGE (Training network providing cutting-EDGE knowlEDGE on Herpes Virology and Immunology) is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network for early stage researchers (ESRs) funded by the European Commission under the H2020 Programme, the EU framework programme for research and innovation. EDGE provides a comprehensive and cross-disciplinary structured curriculum for doctoral students in the fields of virology and immunology. Key research aims of EDGE are to improve the basic understanding of the interactions between herpesviruses and host cells and to uncover implications for the clinical outcome of infections as well as development of vaccines. While each ESR is based in a host institution, there are extensive interactions between laboratories involved, and all positions involve secondments in other laboratories of the network, which also includes a theoretical training program.

For more information on our PhD program click here

"Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination."

Bertrand Russell


EDGE provides research training of PhDs in an internationally leading environment

Career Planning

PhDs trained in EDGE will be well prepared for a career in research and innovation

Outreach To Society

EDGE proactively shares knowledge with biotech industry, the health care sector, schools, and the general public

  • Want to learn more about herpesviruses?

    Herpesviruses are major pathogenic viruses that can give rise to severe diseases especially in children, immunocompromised individuals, and elderly, that have the ability to establish latent-recurrent infections, and that therefore remain a life-long threat”.

  • Want to learn more about the immune system?





    The immune system is our fundamental defense mechanism. It has aided the evolution of our species, enabling us protection from pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Without this complex system of immune cells and defense proteins, we would quickly succumb to lethal infections.

    The immune system has an incredibly intricate job of identifying invading microbes and to distinguish self from non-self. This is a fine balance between the recognition of dangerous invaders such as E.coli bacteria or Influenza virus, and the identification of our own cells and proteins. For most humans, our immune system functions in a way that offers us protection from pathogens that might want to do us harm. However, the immune system can also be the very thing that causes harm if it malfunctions, resulting in autoimmune diseases like sclerosis and arthritis.

    Even a fully functional immune system is also not always able to eliminate infections, as seen for instance for herpesvirus infections. This is because pathogens have evolved counter measures which enable them to subvert the immune system. This prevents our defense mechanism from identifying and attacking potentially disease-causing microorganisms. Given the enormous impact of the immune system on human health, there is a need to further understand this complex system. Research in immunology may lead to new vaccines and treatments against infections, inflammatory diseases, and cancer.


  • Challenges and opportunities

    Despite available drugs against some herpesviruses there are still insufficient options for treatment and prevention of infections with these viruses. With the recent advance in the understanding of immune response to infections, there are new opportunities to use this knowledge.



    Prevention of herpesvirus diseases in the elderly

    Over the last half century, the increasing life expectancy worldwide has resulted in the growth of the population over 50 years old. Although this population will continue to increase in size, it may not age healthily. As a result of immunosenescence (the gradual decline in the ability of the immune system to fight infections), co-morbidity and general frailty, the elderly are more susceptible to infectious diseases. Moreover, these individuals are more prone to infections not only with emergent pathogens, but also with infections they have encountered previously.

    Herpesviruses are prevalent among elderly populations. The five causing the most health concerns are: herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 and 2, Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), and varicella zoster virus (VZV). These well adapted pathogens establish a latent lifelong infection, manipulate the host immune system in a variety of ways, and may reemerge after many decades at unpredictable times to cause severe complications. For example, herpes zoster (HZ or shingles) strikes millions of older adults annually worldwide and disables a substantial number of them via postherpetic neuralgia (PHN).

    Vaccinating people aged 50 and older against herpesviruses may be one strategy to promote healthy aging. At present, only one vaccine is licensed for the prevention of herpesvirus infection, a live attenuated vaccine against VZV, which is approved by the FDA. The administration of passive immunization may also prevent, or at least attenuate, shingles in high-risk individuals. Currently, experimental vaccines for Epstein-Barr, HSV-1 and 2, CMV are in various stages of clinical trials.