Meet FEMS Research and Training grantee Pengfei Li
Research and Training Grants are meant to assist early career scientists in pursuing research and training at a European host institution in another country than their own country of residence.
Pengfei Li: Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Host supervisor and host laboratory: Prof. Dr. Eike Steinmann, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany
Dates: 10th October of 2022 to 10th January of 2023
FEMS Member Society Membership: Royal Netherlands Society for Microbiology
At the early stage of my research (Veterinary Medicine), I dedicated to investigating the epidemiology of emerging viruses among waterfowls in China and developing specific preventive or therapeutic antivirals against these animal viruses. In 2018, I moved to The Netherlands and started my PhD research. Incorporating previous experience in animal diseases, my research interests have expanded to analyzing epidemiology of emerging cross-species viruses, studying virus-host interactions, as well as developing antiviral therapies. So far, I have contributed to 45 publications on these topics, with 16 publications as first author. My current research focuses on: 1. Developing human-derived primary organoids based models, including liver organoids, intestinal organoids and airway organoids, for viral infections. Based on these 3D-constructed organoids, I aim to understand the pathogenesis, host responses and antiviral therapies against human hepatitis E virus, SARS-CoV-2, monkeypox (mpox) virus, and seasonal coronaviruses (OC43, 229E and NL63 virus). 2. Systematically mapping epidemiological and clinical features of emerging viruses infections by employing multiple bioinformatics analyzing approaches.
It’s an exciting moment when I get the chance to network and to visit my host in Germany. I want to deeply thank FEMS for awarding me a FEMS Research and Training Grant.
My research visit is to Prof. Dr. Eike Steinmann in Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. Prof. Steinmann is prestigious in hepatitis E field. His group members are very nice and we have talked about projects with each other. Most importantly, my original group has been troubled with generating high titers of HEV, and I learned this technique in Prof. Steinmann’s group. We now have constructed a long-term collaboration for extending the HEV study in liver organoids.’’