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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRASUPP-6-2014 | Award Amount: 2.04M | Year: 2015

B3Africa - Bridging Biobanking and Biomedical Research across Europe and Africa will dramatically improve and facilitate the development of better predictive, preventive and personalized healthcare worldwide. The rapidly evolving African biobanks are an invaluable resource: The African population has the greatest genomic diversity on the planet and represents an incredible resource of information to advance biomedical research. B3Africa aims to implement a cooperation platform and technical informatics framework for biobank integration between Africa and Europe. The collaboration harmonizes the ethical and legal framework, biobank data representation and bioinformatics pipelines for sharing data and knowledge among biobanks and allowing access for researchers from both continents. Main actors from the relevant initiatives including Human Heredity and Health in Africa project (H3Africa), European Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources research infrastructure (BBMRI-ERIC) and LMIC Biobank and Cohort Network (BCNet) collaborate in B3Africa to address the following objectives: Defining an ethical and regulatory framework for biobank data sharing between Europe and Africa Defining data models for representing biobank and research data based on existing best practices, standards and ontologies Designing an informatics platform using existing open-source software (with eBioKit and BiBBox as essential modules) integrating workflows for biobank applications Implementation of an education and training system for information and capacity building Validating the B3Africa concept with existing biobanks from both continents B3Africa will provide the critical mass to maximise efficiency in biomedical research, supports defragmentation through integration and allows efficient leverage of existing biobanks and e-infrastructures in Europe and Africa. The technical informatics framework will be designed for easy upscaling and integration with other research infrastructures.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.4-3 | Award Amount: 11.65M | Year: 2012

This project aims to predict individual disease risk related to the environment, by characterizing the external and internal exposome for common exposures (air and drinking water contaminants) during critical periods of life, including in utero. A large amount of health data is now available from longitudinal cohorts in both children and adults, with detailed information on risk factors, confounders and outcomes, but these are not well linked with environmental exposure data. The exposome concept refers to the totality of environmental exposures from conception onwards, and is a novel approach to studying the role of the environment in human disease. This project will move the field forward by utilising data on individual external exposome (including sensors, smartphones, geo-referencing, satellites), and omic profiles in an agnostic search for new and integrated biomarkers. These tools will be applied in both experimental short-term studies and long-term longitudinal studies in humans. The ultimate goal is to use the new tools in risk assessment and in the estimation of the burden of environmental disease. The involvement of two SMEs, one specialized in sensors and smartphone development, the other in complex data integration, will increase the chances of a successful impact on European Public Health. This multidisciplinary proposal combines: development of a general framework for the systematic measurement of the internal and external exposome in Europe in relation to air and water contamination, as a way to reduce uncertainty in risk assessment and to address the effects of mixtures and complex exposures; evaluation of health outcomes and key physiological changes in short-term studies (including a randomized trial) and life-course studies with a large amount of information on diet, physical activity and anthropometry; evaluation of the burden of disease in the European population, based on state-of-the-art assessment of population exposures.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.4.2-2 | Award Amount: 7.95M | Year: 2012

EPIC-CVDs overarching goal is to provide clinicians and policy-makers with a menu of evidence-based options for cost-effective individualised risk assessment that enables the EUs increasingly resource-constrained economies to achieve more personalised predictive medicine in harmony with Europes diverse cultures and healthcare systems. We will achieve this through developing and validating innovative risk scores and efficient screening strategies by studying 75 high priority soluble biomarkers and 215,000 carefully selected genetic variants in the most powerful population-based prospective study ever conducted of incident coronary heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes across 10 diverse European countries. EPIC-CVD will provide the first consideration across Europe of risk scores with information on the interplay of nature and nurture together with biomarkers of lifestyle, biological pathways, vascular injury, and ageing. Our multidisciplinary consortium involves world-leading expertise in population health science, laboratory science (including VITAS, an SME partner, renowned for nutritional biomarker assays), translational science, and implementation science. This rare combination of expertise will enable systematic consideration of the implications of risk scores and screening strategies for predictive accuracy, feasibility, safety, acceptability, and cost-effectiveness. The impact on clinical decision making and clinical outcomes will be demonstrated in a new randomised trial of risk scores in relation to patient-centred outcomes that assess attitudes, behaviours, and biological risk factors. Key stakeholders (eg, healthcare professionals, regulators, industry) will be closely engaged by the project. Policy recommendations mindful of the broader societal implications of targeted screening will be tailored to Europes diverse needs and systematically disseminated to various audiences. This initiative will derive major synergy from related efforts.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.3.1-1 | Award Amount: 7.73M | Year: 2013

Important progress has been made in the field of HPV-disease prevention with the development and implementation of HPV vaccines and HPV DNA screening. In the CoheaHr project, the (cost-) effectiveness of different European preventive strategies will be compared. The goal is to build a reliable and comparable evidence base on the (cost-) effectiveness of these policies implemented under country-specific preventive services conditions. To achieve this goal, a set of specific tasks will be carried out. Three randomized trials will be performed in organised screening settings to determine: i) whether self-collection of specimens for HPV DNA testing is an effective and feasible alternative for physician-based sampling, ii) whether screening intervals can be extended in women vaccinated at young age, iii) whether vaccinating women two years before entering the screening programme will favour the use of HPV screening. The first and third randomized trials are multi-country trials whereas the second trial will be carried out in a cohort of Finnish women vaccinated in 2007. For unvaccinated, 25-45 year old women participating in screening, acceptability and general feasibility of HPV vaccination will be studied in a multi-country demonstration survey. Comparisons by transmission models are included to provide long-term projections for cancer incidence and mortality. Furthermore, the establishment of a standardised joint European data warehouse will be continued and extended for (continuous) evaluation of comparative effectiveness of screening and vaccination policies in Europe. Finally, there will be an ongoing effort for producing systematic reviews and meta-analyses which provide a sustainable resource for evidence. CoheaHr will provide a strong evidence base which enable policy and other decision makers to make informed decision-making on HPV prevention strategies, thereby contributing to strengthening health systems and health services interventions in Europe.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: Fission-2012-6.0.1 | Award Amount: 1.45M | Year: 2013

The health effects of exposures to fallout from Soviet nuclear weapons testing among the residents living nearby the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan are not well investigated. There are reports with contradicting results coming from the studies conducted on two independent cohorts: historical and new. Both use different control groups and dosimetric methods. The two cohorts have a high probability of including the same individuals. There is a need to investigate possibilities to merge them in order to avoid duplication of efforts and resources for future studies of the health effects in these populations. The main objectives of our feasibility study include: developing and testing mechanisms for identification of cohort members in the two cohorts; identification and testing of data linkage mechanisms; determination of the outcomes that can be studied (cancer and non-cancer diseases); setting up and testing procedures for follow-up; identification of case ascertainment mechanisms and sources, depending on the outcome; characterization and validation of dose assessment methods used in the two cohorts; investigation of the feasibility to collect data on confounding factors; assessing the availability of biological samples and their potential use in the future. The project will bring together scientists from Europe, Kazakhstan and Japan with the aim of developing a proposal for a future prospective full scale epidemiological study to address the dose-effect relationship for both cancer and non-cancer effects from low to moderate chronic doses, if the feasibility is demonstrated. To achieve the overall objective it is proposed to set-up a consortium that have considerable experience in epidemiological studies on populations residing around the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and/or who have been extensively involved in the low dose risk research. The group will include European and international scientists with expertise in epidemiology, dosimetry, radiation biology and clinical medicine. At the end of the project, a detailed report based on the results of the work conducted will be developed, critically reviewed by the External Advisory Board and recommendations for future research needs will be made, if feasible. Other populations exposed to low to moderate dose radiation like in Fukushima or elsewhere can benefit from the outcomes of studying the unique Semipalatinsk cohort and the results will contribute to a better understanding and quantification of radiation risks for low to moderate chronic doses. The proposed project is in line with the Strategic Research Agenda of MELODI.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2011.2.2-02 | Award Amount: 7.84M | Year: 2012

NutriTech will build on the foundations of traditional human nutrition research using cutting-edge analytical technologies and methods to comprehensively evaluate the diet-health relationship and critically assess their usefulness for the future of nutrition research and human well-being. Technologies include genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, laser scanning cytometry, NMR based lipoprotein profiling and advanced imaging by MRI/MRS. All methods will be applied in an integrated manner to quantify the effect of diet on phenotypic flexibility, based on metabolic flexibility (the capacity for the organism to adapt fuel oxidation to fuel availability). However, NutriTech will move beyond the state-of-the-art by applying these integrated methods to assess the underlying and related cell biological and genetic mechanisms and multiple physiological processes of adaptation when homeostasis is challenged. Methods will in the first instance be evaluated within a human intervention study, and the resulting optimal methods will be validated in a number of existing cohorts against established endpoints. NutriTech will disseminate the harmonised and integrated technologies on a global scale by a large academic network including 6 non-EU partners and by providing an integrated and standardised data storage and evaluation platform. The impact of NutriTech will be multifold and exploitation is crucial as major breakthroughs from our technology and research are expected. This will be achieved by collaboration with a consortium of 8 major food industries and by exploitation of specific technologies by our 6 SME partners. Overall, NutriTech will lay the foundations for successful integration of emerging technologies intro nutrition research.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: Fission-2013-3.3.1 | Award Amount: 1.28M | Year: 2014

The IARC previously led an EU funded project Agenda for Research on Chernobyl Health (ARCH), the objective of which was to recommend a strategic health research agenda following the Chernobyl accident. The ARCH demonstrated that Chernobyl provides a unique opportunity to answer questions about radiation risks. The multidisciplinary group of experts strongly supported the need for well-designed and coordinated long-term studies. The new initiative emphasises the need to build partnerships with the three countries mainly affected, plus Japan, the USA and European countries in order to take the research agenda forward. The purpose is therefore to bring together both key scientific players and funding partners to decide on the research priorities and to seek sustainable funding for those priority areas. Work under this proposal will be divided into five closely integrated work packages (WPs): WP 1: Coordination and overall management WP 2: International collaboration and agreement on research programme 2.1: Setting up an International network of research institutes committed to long-term research on Chernobyl 2.2: Development of Chernobyl Research Programme and timetable WP 3: Assessment of Chernobyl research infrastructures 3.1: Evaluation of the cohorts of exposed populations suitable to form Chernobyl Life-span cohorts 3.2: Inventory of dosimetric approaches and existing databases 3.3: Inventory of stored biological samples WP 4: International collaboration on proposing funding mechanism WP 5: Agreement on coordinating structure and setting-up research framework The CO-CHER project has a potential to develop a sustainable plan for research into the health effects of the Chernobyl accident with optimal use of available resources. It is completely in line with the MELODI initiative for integrated, long term effort in low dose risk research. The coordination action will also open new collaborations outside existing European networks.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-3-2015 | Award Amount: 4.95M | Year: 2015

BBMRI-ERIC: the Biobanking and BioMolecular resources Research Infrastructure - European Research Infrastructure Consortium, aims to establish, operate and develop a Pan-European distributed research infrastructure in order to facilitate the access to biological resources as well as facilities and to support high quality biomolecular and biomedical research. The ADOPT BBMRI-ERIC proposal aims at boosting and accelerating implementation of BBMRI-ERIC and its services. Its main deliverables are designed to complete or launch the construction of key Common Services of the Research Infrastructure as required for ESFRI-projects under implementation, reflecting the targets of the European Research Area (ERA). One of the challenges in the post-genomic era is the research on common complex diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimers disease. Revealing these diseases will depend critically on the study of human biological samples and data from large numbers of patients and healthy individuals. The EUs ageing population is will result in an increase in many of those diseases and consequently an increased healthcare expenditure for senior citizens. BBMRI-ERIC is a specific European asset having become a fundamental component in addressing the ongoing and future requirements particularly of Europes health service frameworks, including competitiveness and innovativeness of health-related industries. Its implementation is essential for the understanding of the diversity of human diseases, biological samples and corresponding data, which are required for the development of any new drug or diagnostic assay and are, therefore, critical for the advancement in health research, ultimately leading to personalised medicine. BBMRI-ERIC will provide a gateway access to the collections of the European research community, expertise and services building on the outcome of ADOPT BBMRI-ERIC.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.9. | Award Amount: 10.48M | Year: 2013

In recent years, biomedical research has crossed international borders in large, collaborative studies showing the value of multidisciplinarity and scale advantage. This has yielded valuable insights and some led to new and better medicines and treatments for diseases. However, disease-focused studies provide less insight in the real disease onset, the relative disease burden in the population, and the actual comparability of selected patients. Large prospective cohort (LPC) studies following up initially healthy participants for years or decades are considered more reliable and different diseases can be studied. LPC studies require large numbers of subjects which are costly but particularly benefited from the advent of high throughput techniques providing opportunities for powerful study designs. This project unites the large study sets of the European Biobanking and Biomolecular Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), thus achieving a worldwide unique scale of integration. Specifically, we aim to:1)Evaluate/improve the harmonization of individual data on health, lifestyle and other exposures;2)Develop/implement harmonized definitions of diseases;3)Improve biobanking and research technologies and develop innovative solutions facilitating high-quality, fair access to samples and data;4)Provide free transnational access by users, through study proposals selected by an open, pan-European call;5)In the framework of these studies, generate and provide access to whole genome sequences, transcriptome, proteome, metabolome and methylome data;6)Build new public-private partnerships involving large-scale prospective cohorts, and strengthening existing ones, allowing transparent industrial access to academic expertise;7) Build a network transferring the expertise of established European large-scale biobanks to new biobank initiatives under development in other countries.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-COFUND | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-COFUND | Award Amount: 3.10M | Year: 2013

The mission of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is to promote international collaboration in cancer research for cancer prevention and control. One of the statutory functions of IARC is the training and education. The Agency seeks to achieve this aim through IARCs International Fellowship Programme and its International Courses Programme which are designed to assist the development of cancer research and prevention in all countries, with special emphasis on low- and medium-income countries (LMICs) in which such work is not well established, and to train future collaborators in the scientific programme of the Agency. The aim of IARCs Postdoctoral Fellowships is to provide young scientists from any country with training in a research Group at the Agency in aspects of cancer research ranging from biostatistics and epidemiology (including genetic and molecular) to mechanisms of carcinogenesis, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary projects. The choice of the host group is made by the Fellows. IARC is particularly committed to promoting the development of expertise in cancer research in LMICs countries by training researchers from these countries who can return to their own country to implement and develop programmes in cancer research or cancer control. IARC offers a supportive research environment, in which individuals are valued, encouraged and supported. Ample opportunities of formal and informal training are offered in scientific or complementary matters, either on the job or in dedicated training sessions. IARC has recently implemented a Fellowship Charter with the aims of providing more structured career development for Fellows and of improving their training experience. The support of COFUND would allow IARC to continue to improve its training activities by allowing a further expansion of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme and enhancing the generic training initiatives available at the Agency.

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