The official kick-off meeting of the GlycanTrigger project was successfully held in Porto, Portugal on the 13th and 14th of March. The event took place at the Fundação Engenheiro António de Almeida, and representatives from all organisations involved in the consortium, as well as from the European Commission, participated in the meeting. The aim of the event was to lay the foundations for the GlycanTrigger project and officially get started on the proceedings for the implementation of the activities planned.

The two-day event started on March 13th with an arrival and reception session followed by the presentation of the host institute, i3S, and an introduction to the project. Salomé Pinho, the Project Coordinator, welcomed all the participants and provided an overall presentation of GlycanTrigger. Cláudio Sunkel, i3S Director, then presented the Coordinating Institute, while José Carlos Machado, João Relvas, and Didier Cabanes presented the i3S research integrative programs. Lastly, Marina Koussathana, the GlycanTrigger project officer from the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA), delivered a presentation on Horizon Europe project management.

After the introductions, all partners engaged in a round table discussion where each organisation/partner institution mentioned its role in the project and introduced the respective team members and points of contact. The day ended with a presentation by Salomé Pinho, Vanda Pinto, Hugo Prazeres, Susana Magalhães, Virginia Fonseca, and Catarina Neves on the overall structure of GlycanTrigger, including project management, deliverables and timelines, project meetings and timelines, external advisory board, intellectual property, ethical considerations, and overall discussion.

On March 14th, the second day of the event, participants focused on presenting the work packages (WPs), with a focus on scientific research, impacts, and dependencies among WP/partners. The day started with presentations by Manfred Wuhrer from LUMC on WP1 – Mapping the gut mucosa glycome in health-to-inflammation transition and Harry Sokol from Sorbonne University on WP2 – Understanding the biological impact of changes in gut glycome in microbial and immunological dynamics. Salomé Pinho from i3S then presented WP3 – Unravelling the cellular and molecular mechanisms of how changes in gut glycosylation activate innate and humoral immune responses, and Joana Torres from Hospital LUZ presented WP4 – Therapeutic efficacy of glyco-metabolic remodelling in preventing health-to-inflammation transition: the proof of concept.

The event ended with an interactive session on dissemination, communication and exploitation, by Raquel Almeida. Luisa Avedano and Maria Stella from EFCCA also gave a presentation on the Patients Association. The event concluded with a general assembly meeting, where a representative from each partner institution participated.

It was a successful event that provided an opportunity for all the consortium partners to interact and discuss the project’s goals and objectives.