In this project, we will join the forces of a French and a Norwegian laboratory working on the development of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) as safe, cheap and effective delivery vehicles for vaccines or genes. PhD student Christophe Michon from the Langella group at INRA in Paris will visit the Eijsink group at UMB to learn more about protein expression and proteins surface display in lactobacilli. UMB will learn more about the use of Dendritic Cell-binding peptides in LAB-based delivery vectors, and about n ovel technologies to test the functionalities of the engineered LAB strains that are well established in the Langella group. The overall scientific objective for the mobility stay is to develop recombinant LAB that specifically target DCs in order to deli ver protein antigens (UMB) or cDNA (INRA) directly inside the DCs. Two well known DC binding peptides/proteins will be fused to different surface anchors developed at UMB, thus creating DC-targeting LAB. Several innovative UMB-developed anchoring methods will be used, meaning that the various engineered strains will expose the DC binding peptide/protein in different ways. The potential of the engineered strains will initially be assessed by studying cell binding and internalization with Bone Marrow Dendri tic Cells (BMDCs) and Caco2 cells. After the mobility project, the visiting scientist will analyze the in vivo functionality of the developed Lactobacillus strains in his home lab, using mouse models. This exchange will be follow-up by further collaborati on between the two involved laboratories, where UMB will have special focus on implementing the DC-targeting technologies in its efforts to develop LAB-based protein vaccines (HIV, tuberculosis, cancer) whereas the INRA group will focus on gene delivery.