MANNA - project 02
02it es

Nutrition and immunity: molecular approaches

Prof. Fabrizio Ceciliani
University of Milan
Prof. Armand Sanchez Bonastre
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Dr. Muriel Bonnet
INRA (France)
MetLabs (Slovak Republic)

TAGS: In vitro studies, White Blood cells, avian and mammalian innate immunity;



The aim of the project is to define the in vitro impact of molecules used in nutrition studies of other MANNA ESR studies.

Description of the project

The Early Stage Researcher (ESR) involves the characterization of the in vitro effects of M. cordata extract, exopolysaccharides (EPS), exosomes, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and microRNA, in avian and mammalian immune defence. The ESR will apply (or develop where not available) protocols to purify and culture immune related cells in pigs, ruminants and chicken, that will be co-incubated with the molecules utilized by other ESR within the MANNA project (FA, carotenoids and M. cordata extracts, EPS, purified milk exosomes and xenoMiR present in milk exosomes. Main cell activities will be measured, including chemotaxis, degranulation, ROS production, phagocytosis for phagocytes, and cell proliferation and MHC presentation of lymphocytes. The secretome from cultures will be analysed by proteomics and microRNAomics. Expression of immune related microRNA and genes will be carried out by means of open array™ or other technologies.

The ESR candidate student will carry out her/his PhD thesis study work in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Milan ( under the supervision of Prof. Fabrizio Ceciliani and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (, under the supervision of Prof. Armand Sanchez Bonastre. The supervision team is completed by Dr Muriel Bonnet (, at INRA ( in the Herbivores Unit (

The research will also involves short secondments at INRA ( in Clermont Ferrand, France, and MetLabs ( at Bratislava, Slovakia.

The selected candidate will participate in the network’s training activities and work placements in the laboratories of the participating academic and industrial partners.

Eligibility criteria are indicated at admission rules page

For the specific ESR 2 position, it will be considered advantageous if the candidate has:

  • practical experience of cell cultures.

The University of Milan requires the following additional documents at enrolment

Proof of evidence for degree titles:
A self-certification might be accepted at selection, but proof of previous degrees must be provided at enrolment. For enrolment at the University of Milan the proof of degrees are as follows

  • Master Degree (or equivalent) translated in Italian and authenticated by the authorities of the country where it was obtained
  • Dichiarazione di valore, issued by the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the country where the qualification was obtained or, alternatively:
  • Diploma Supplement issued by the University
  • Statement of validity issued by ENIC-NARIC centres (

English language proficiency certificate

The English language proficiency certificate accepted by the University of Milano are listed at


Salary and other benefits for the ESR enrolled at the University of Milan are according to EU-standards for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and national regulations. The living allowance will be €3318.37 per month (gross amount-subject to employers costs, as well as employees tax and insurance) and appointed ESR will be eligible to pay local tax and insurance.
Additional benefits are possible in the case of family allowances which will be €500 per month.

Each ESR will also have a Research and Training allowance which will be managed through the University of Milan. This will cover the participation of researchers in training activities;

  • expenses related to research costs;
  • tuition fees (where applicable).
  • Visa, residency card for the recruited researcher and their family (where applicable)

A mobility allowance is also available. This will contribute to mobility related expenses of the ESR. The amount of the mobility allowance is specified in Table 1 of the MSCA Work Programme and for calls 2018-2020 and will amount to €600 per month.

Required documentation

Please refer to the general required documentation at

Application process

The deadline for application is 21st May 2018 through the completion of the form under the section ‘send your application‘.