9th ESPID Research Masterclass (ERMC)

Submission Deadline: January 31, 2017​
Keynote Lecturer: Professor Pierre Smeesters

Head of Paediatric Department, Queen Fabiola Children's University Hospital (HUDERF/UKZKF) and Director at the Molecular Bacteriology Laboratory at the Free University of Brussels (ULB), Brussels, Belgium​

Professor Pierre Smeesters is a paediatric infectious diseases specialist with a strong interest in research. He has had a broad range of clinical and research experiences in a number of diverse settings including Peru, Brazil, Australia and Belgium.

During the 9th ESPID Research m​asterclass Pierre Smeesters will be speaking on the topic:
Translational research; being a physician-scientist​!

​Dear ESPID member,

After eight very successful masterclasses we are proud to continue this highly successful format with the eighth ESPID Research Masterclass (ERMC) in Madrid, Spain.

The ESPID Research Masterclass (ERMC) is a closed, seminar type of forum for active paediatric infectious diseases (PID) research groups in Europe. The research performed can involve ‘bench-type’ basic and translational research, as well as ‘bed-side’ clinical studies (e.g. observational, case-control, randomised controlled, interventional) and epidemiological studies in any area of paediatric infectious diseases.


The primary aim of ERMC is to provide better opportunities for young researchers to present their studies and discuss their research with other junior colleagues as well as with European research group leaders. During the Masterclass, the junior researchers will be trained how to present their data, ask questions or chair a session. They will receive guidelines for scientific discussion in a seminar type of positive atmosphere. The second aim of the seminar is to provide the researchers a better view of recent PID research in Europe and also to stimulate discussions of new research collaborations among ESPID members.​


The ERMC is based on attendance of research teams. The research groups should apply their attendance as a group of one (1) senior and maximum three (3) junior researchers (maximum group size is four (4) persons). The senior researcher in the group should be an ESPID member.


The 9th ERMC will take place in Madrid on Saturday, May 27 2017, from 8.30 to 22.00.
The organising team strongly encourages research groups to attend the entire ESPID annual meeting in Madrid to be held 23-27 May, 2017. 

Financial support:

Each accepted group will receive EUR 500 from ESPID for the participation of a maximum of two junior members (total EUR 1,000). This amount should support travel costs and the cost of an overnight stay at a hotel. In addition, ESPID will waive the annual meeting registration fee for all junior participants, providing that they are ESPID members. Senior members are expected to cover the costs of their attendance from their own budget.​

How to apply:

All applications must include the following:

  • A short summary (max. one page, A4) of current research interests of the group
  • A list of 10 recent publications from the group
  • A brief CV (max 2 pages) from each junior member including current position, degrees, publications, presentations at (inter)national meetings, and number of years spend on research
  • Abstracts* from individual junior members
  • A list of the participants (1 senior, max. 3 juniors) with their e-mail addresses
  • A one slide power point presentation of the team

* The abstract should not exceed 250 words in total and must be structured into separate sections. The format of ERMC is well suited to present work-in-progress resulting in getting valuable feedback and input from other research groups how to approach the research question, as well as discussing the study design with senior research leaders in paediatric infectious diseases and obtain their expert opinion. 
The following format for the individual abstract should be used:

  • Title not exceeding 16 words
  • Authors and affiliations
  • Research question including context and purpose of the study
  • Methods including rational why a particular method was chosen to answer the research question
  • Results can be ranging from work in progress, to preliminary data, to more conclusive results
  • Conclusion including problems encountered, adjustment of methods and work plan for the next year.

Please note that 1-2 of junior members from each team should be ready to give an oral presentation of their research.​

Deadline of submission is January 31, 2017.All applications are to be sent to the ESPID Secretariat espid@kenes.ch

What happens then:

Based on the interest of the European PID research groups applying to participate, the ERMC organising committee will make the final decision about the topics of the day including the abstracts selected for oral presentation. All research groups will be directly informed about the selected topics, abstracts and groups before February 24, 2017.

ERMC Programme: 

8.30-9.00         Coffee

9.00-9.20         Welcome and group presentations

Adilia Warris                         

Session I: Clinical and molecular epidemiology                       

9.20-9.45        Molecular Epidemiology and Clinical Presentation of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection amongst Hospitalized Children in Islamabad/Pakistan.

Julia Tabatabai (Germany) 

9.45-10.10      Invasive pneumococcal disease in children with cancer: incidence, risk factors and isolated serotypes.

Pedro Mendes Lages (Brazil) 

10.10-10.35    Viral respiratory infections in the very low birth weight infant admitted at the neonatal intensive care unit: prevalence and morbidity.

Laura Sanchez-Garcia (Spain) 

10.35-11.00    Human bocavirus induced childhood community-acquired pneumonia: a prospective cohort study with serological diagnosis

Amanda Nascimento-Carvalho (Brazil)

11.00-11.25    Outcomes in HIV-infected children on antiretroviral treatment at Gertrudes Childrens Hospital

Christine Karanja-Chege (Kenia)

11.25-11.55     Coffee Break

Session II: Assessment of biomarkers and diagnostic tools                       

11.55-12.20    Polymorphism in the TLR5 gene is associated with the virus etiology of infant bronchiolitis.

Sari Törmänen (Finland) 

12.20-12.45    Abdominal ultrasonography in urinary tract infection – when and why? Katarzyna Karpierz (Poland) 

12.45-13.10     Upregulation of Matrix Metalloproteinase-8 in Cerebrospinal Fluid Correlates with Death in Childhood Bacterial Meningitis.

Okko Savonius (Finland) 

13.10-14.00     Lunch 

14.00-14.40     Keynote lecture

Translational research; being a physician-scientist!

Pierre Smeesters (Belgium)

Chairs: Pablo Rojo & Nicole Ritz

Session III: In-vitro and ex-vivo studies                       

14.40-15.05    Antifungal activity of silver nanoparticles conjugated to antifungal agents against Candida albicans biofilms.

Vikelouda Aikaterini (Greece) 

15.05-15.30    Post Vaccination H1N1+ B-cell Transcriptional signatures, rather than quantity, define response to H1N1 in HIV+ children.

Nicola Cotugno (Italy) 

15.30-15.55    Fluorospot: a functional assay to identify novel immune correlates of protection.

Salvatore Rocca (Italy) 

15.55-16.25     Coffee Break                       

Session IV: Optimizing antimicrobial therapy 

16.25-16.50    The Impact of a Multidisciplinary Quality Improvement Intervention to Reduce Central-Line Associated Bloodstream Infections in Greece.

Polyxeni Karakosta (Greece)

16.50-17.15    Dynamics of antibiotic prescriptions in two distinct ethnic groups of children < 2 years of age post PCV7/PCV13 in Southern Israel

Dana Danino (Israel) 

17.15-17.40    A double-blind placebo controlled trial of rosiglitazone adjunctive therapy in children with severe malaria.

Antonio Sitoe (Spain) 

17.40-18.05    Laboratory surveillance of Paediatric Enteric Fever reveals re-emergence of Salmonella strains susceptible to chloramphenicol and co-trimoxazole.

Carl Britto (UK) 

18.05-18.15     Closing remarks

Theo Zaoutis 

19.30               Dinner


If you have submitted an application to participate in the Masterclass, please do not register to the Meeting until notification of acceptance to the Masterclass has been sent to you. 

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