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News Article | July 27, 2017

The workshop, titled “The Learning Paradigm Shift,” will be presented by Søren Hjorth, director of learning solutions for CuroGens Learning, Sussi Wille Broge, Naalakkersuisut head of section, ministry of education, culture, research and church for the Government of Greenland, and Ole Hjorth, EU-project coordinator for the Erasmus+ program, ANLA (A New Learning Arena). The WIPCE presentation will outline results of new learning strategies piloted by the Government of Greenland, developed and directed by Ole Hjorth, to address student dropout rates. Greenland’s pilot program is part of a study and program sponsored by Erasmus+. Titled ANLA, the cooperative project will soon be implemented across five additional European countries. CuroGens Learning has developed the resource, a solution for teachers comprised of professional development and education technology that is being utilized to champion and deliver this new way of learning. “Not everyone fits the mold of a traditional learner,” said Soren Hjorth. “The CuroGens Learning approach to dropout recovery creates enough flexibility and versatility to allow any student to gain confidence and feel successful throughout the learning experience. This better enables students to reach an academic finish line that will open up opportunities for a greater quality of life.” With tremendous success, CuroGens Learning has delivered highly effective learning environments adaptable to fit any student’s cognitive style and pace. By utilizing the company’s Advanced Learning Information System to assess and adapt coursework to align with each student’s preferred learning strategy and existing level of knowledge, teachers have been empowered to provide accelerated learning that promotes retention of knowledge and skills. “Many teachers are excited to use this educational software, and we plan to let it be a content-element of a larger national app, where the software will be a resource for the teaching of Danish language and math at different levels within the Greenlandic educational institutions,” said Lona Lynge, Head of Section, Ministry of Industry, Labour and Trade, Naalakkersuisut, Government of Greenland About CuroGens Learning A subsidiary of global systems integrator CuroGens, Inc., CuroGens Learning is an education technology company that develops learning resources for students and teachers around the world. The company’s Advanced Learning Information System has been designed to address secondary school dropout rates and is based on a foundation of teacher training and certification. For more information, visit About Erasmus+, ANLA The Erasmus+ project, ANLA (A New Learning Arena), intends to produce new and innovative resources that overcome barriers to the use of technology in teaching practices. This study is being conducted through a series of initiatives across Europe from the fall of 2016 to summer 2018. Erasmus+ is a €14.7 billion European Union (EU) program to support advancements in education and educational training in Europe. It provides opportunities for over four million Europeans to study, train, gain experience and volunteer abroad in order to support innovation in education, form cooperative partnerships and, ultimately, impact graduation rates. About Naalakkersuisut, Government of Greenland Ministry of Education Culture, Research and Church The Government will work to ensure that even more students complete their education and thus are able to better support themselves and their family. One of the roads towards our common goal of becoming an independent nation is more people getting a qualifying education. This has to be done through collaboration across the ministries and by involving stakeholders. Therefore, the Ministry is setting goals for learning and personal development, as early as the child is born. Children must be offered a developing preschool education. Children must acquire the abilities that are required for completing an education in elementary school. High school is the foundation for advancing in to higher education, academic or professional, and vocational education and training which is important to meet the demands of skilled labor in our country.

Pedrosa J.,Catholic University of Leuven | Barbosa D.,ICVS 3Bs PT Government Associate Laboratory | Almeida N.,Catholic University of Leuven | Almeida N.,GE Vingmed Ultrasound AS | And 3 more authors.
Current Pharmaceutical Design | Year: 2016

When designing clinical trials for testing novel cardiovascular therapies, it is highly relevant to understand what a given technology can provide in terms of information on the physiologic status of the heart and vessels. Ultrasound imaging has traditionally been the modality of choice to study the cardiovascular system as it has an excellent temporal resolution; it operates in real-time; it is very widespread and - not unimportant - it is cheap. Although this modality is mostly known clinically as a two-dimensional technology, it has recently matured into a true three-dimensional imaging technique. In this review paper, an overview is given of the available ultrasound technology for cardiac chamber quantification in terms of volume and function and evidence is given why these parameters are of value when testing the effect of new cardiovascular therapies. © 2016 Bentham Science Publishers.

Mcnutt T.,Johns Hopkins University | wu B.,Georgetown University | Moore J.,Johns Hopkins University | Petit S.,Erasmus | And 2 more authors.
Medical Physics | Year: 2012

Intensity modulated RT (IMRT) is used to deliver highly conformal radiation treatments. Its broad adoption has introduced considerable inter‐patient and inter‐institutional variability in plan quality. As part of our Oncospace program, we have built a system that uses patient geometric information and a database of previously treated patients for IMRT treatment plan quality assessment and automated planning. The system uses the relationship between organs at risk (OARs) and target volumes to predict the achievable dose distributions for a given patient from a database of prior patients. It then uses this achievable dose distribution to guide the planning process for the new patient. This system also employs a feedback model to insure the database improves over time through continual improvement in plan quality. The basic premise is the overlap volume histogram (OVH), a shape descriptor we introduced to describe the complex spatial relationship between an OAR and the target volume. The OVH describes the volume of overlap between the OAR and an expanded/contracted target as a function of the expansion/contraction distance. It is determined by expanding/contracting the target volume and calculating the volume of overlap for each distance. The OVH tells us what percentage of the OAR is within a given distance of the target and thus contains information about how hard it is to dosimetrically spare the OAR using IMRT. The OVH allows us to characterize patients based on their OAR‐target relationships, and thus allows us to search into the database of prior patients. We can query for patients with similar OVH characteristics, or we can find a group of patients whose OVHs suggest they are harder to plan.We have used our OVH query for both quality management and automatic treatment planning of head and neck and pancreatic cancers. For quality assessment, we take a new patient's OVHs and dosimetry data; look in to the database to find the best dose distribution achieved from the set of all patients whose OVH indicates they are harder to plan; then compare that queried dose distribution to the new patient's dose to indicate if the current treatment plan can be improved upon. For the automatic planning case, we use the queried doses to initialize the dosimetric objective function used in the inverse planning process of IMRT. The presentation will include an in‐depth discussion of the database and infrastructure design; the research and clinical results of the OVH based auto‐planning, and the software developed for clinical deployment with the dosimetrists. © 2012, American Association of Physicists in Medicine. All rights reserved.

Perry J.R.B.,University of Exeter | Perry J.R.B.,University of Oxford | Perry J.R.B.,King's College London | Corre T.,University of Lausanne | And 83 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2013

Early menopause (EM) affects up to 10% of the female population, reducing reproductive lifespan considerably. Currently, it constitutes the leading cause of infertility in the western world, affecting mainly those women who postpone their first pregnancy beyond the age of 30 years. The genetic aetiology of EM is largely unknown in the majority of cases. We have undertaken a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWASs) in 3493 EM cases and 13 598 controls from 10 independent studies. No novel genetic variants were discovered, but the 17 variants previously associated with normal age at natural menopause as a quantitative trait (QT) were also associated with EM and primary ovarian insufficiency (POI). Thus, EM has a genetic aetiology which overlaps variation in normal age at menopause and is at least partly explained by the additive effects of the same polygenic variants. The combined effect of the common variants captured by the single nucleotide polymorphism arrays was estimated to account for ~30% of the variance in EM. The association between the combined 17 variants and the risk of EM was greater than the best validated non-genetic risk factor, smoking. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press.

Dubois L.,Uppsala University Hospital | Stridsberg M.,Uppsala University Hospital | Kharaziha P.,Karolinska Institutet | Chioureas D.,Karolinska Institutet | And 3 more authors.
Prostate | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND. Prostasomes are nanosized extracellular vesicles exocytosed by prostate epithelial cells. They have been assigned many roles propitious to sperm in favor of fertilization. Prostatic cancer cells can also produce and secrete extracellular vesicles. METHODS. We assessed using ELISA, the surface expression of chromogranin proproteins on prostasomes and malignant extracellular vesicles of four different prostate cancer cell-lines, two hormone sensitive and two hormone refractory. We used a panel of chromogranin A and chromogranin B antibodies against peptides in-between hypothetical cleavage sites along the proproteins. RESULTS. A diverging pattern of chromogranin peptides was apparent when comparing prostasomes and malignant extracellular vesicles indicating a phenotypical change. We also compared western blot patterns (prostasomes and malignant extracellular vesicles) for selected antibodies that displayed high absorbances in the ELISA. Western blot analyses revealed various cleavage patterns of those proproteins that were analyzed in prostasomes and extracellular vesicles. CONCLUSION. Chromogranins are constituents of not only prostasomes but also of malignant prostate cell-derived extracellular vesicles with different amino acid sequences exposed at the membrane surface giving rise to a mosaic pattern. These findings may be of relevance for designing new assays for detection or even possible treatment of prostate cancers. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Heijnen B.F.J.,Maastricht University | Pelkmans L.P.J.,Maastricht University | Danser A.H.J.,Erasmus | Garrelds I.M.,Erasmus | And 4 more authors.
JRAAS - Journal of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System | Year: 2014

This study investigated renin-angiotensin system (RAS)-induced cardiac remodeling and its reversibility in the presence and absence of high blood pressure (BP) in Cyp1a1-Ren2 transgenic inducible hypertensive rats (IHR). In IHR (pro)renin levels and BP can be dose-dependently titrated by oral administration of indole-3-carbinol (I3C). Young (four-weeks old) and adult (30-weeks old) IHR were fed I3C for four weeks (leading to systolic BP >200 mmHg). RAS-stimulation was stopped and animals were followed-up for a consecutive period. Cardiac function and geometry was determined echocardiographically and the hearts were excised for molecular and immunohistochemical analyses. Echocardiographic studies revealed that four weeks of RAS-stimulation incited a cardiac remodeling process characterized by increased left ventricular (LV) wall thickness, decreased LV volumes, and shortening of the left ventricle. Hypertrophic genes were highly upregulated, whereas in substantial activation a fibrotic response was absent. Four weeks after withdrawal of I3C, (pro)renin levels were normalized in all IHR. While in adult IHR BP returned to normal, hypertension was sustained in young IHR. Despite the latter, myocardial hypertrophy was fully regressed in both young and adult IHR. We conclude that (pro)renin-induced severe hypertension in IHR causes an age-independent fully reversible myocardial concentric hypertrophic remodeling, despite a continued elevated BP in young IHR. © The Author(s) 2014.

De Graaf M.,Erasmus | Fouchier R.A.M.,Erasmus
EMBO Journal | Year: 2014

The recent emergence of a novel avian A/H7N9 influenza virus in poultry and humans in China, as well as laboratory studies on adaptation and transmission of avian A/H5N1 influenza viruses, has shed new light on influenza virus adaptation to mammals. One of the biological traits required for animal influenza viruses to cross the species barrier that received considerable attention in animal model studies, in vitro assays, and structural analyses is receptor binding specificity. Sialylated glycans present on the apical surface of host cells can function as receptors for the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) protein. Avian and human influenza viruses typically have a different sialic acid (SA)-binding preference and only few amino acid changes in the HA protein can cause a switch from avian to human receptor specificity. Recent experiments using glycan arrays, virus histochemistry, animal models, and structural analyses of HA have added a wealth of knowledge on receptor binding specificity. Here, we review recent data on the interaction between influenza virus HA and SA receptors of the host, and the impact on virus host range, pathogenesis, and transmission. Remaining challenges and future research priorities are also discussed. Recent cases of humans carrying avian Influenza strains highlight the importance of unraveling the role of virus-receptor interactions in cross-species adaptation. de Graaf and Fouchier review how virus hemagglutinin binding to host receptors governs virus pathogenesis, transmission and host spectrum. © 2014 The Authors.

Thompson M.L.,University of Washington | Ananth C.V.,Columbia University | Jaddoe V.W.V.,Erasmus | Miller R.S.,Swedish Medical Center | Williams M.A.,Harvard University
Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology | Year: 2014

Background Preeclampsia (PE) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) adversely affect pregnancy outcomes and the subsequent health of both mother and infant. It is known that elevated pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) is associated with increased risk of these obstetrical complications. However, little is known about the role of adult weight patterns prior to pregnancy. Methods Self-reported weight at ages prior to the current pregnancy was recorded in a prospective cohort study of 3567 pregnant women, allowing assessment of longitudinal pre-pregnancy weight trajectories and their association with subsequent PE and GDM in the study pregnancy. Results Women who would subsequently experience PE or GDM in the study pregnancy experienced on average almost double the rate of adult weight gain than other women [PE: additional 0.30 kg/year, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.09, 0.51 and GDM: additional 0.34 kg/year, 95% CI 0.21, 0.48]. Women with mean adult annual weight gain above the 90th percentile (1.4 kg/year) had elevated risk of subsequent PE and GDM independent of their BMI at age 18 and of their obesity status at the time of the study pregnancy. Finite mixture trajectory modelling identified four monotonely ordered, increasing mean weight trajectories. Relative to the second lowest (most common) weight trajectory, women in the highest trajectory were at greater risk of PE [odds ratio (OR) 5.0, 95% CI 2.9, 8.8] and GDM (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.7, 4.5). Conclusions These results indicate that higher adult weight gain trajectories prior to pregnancy may play a role in predisposing women to PE or GDM. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

There is a lack of evidence to underpin decisions on what constitutes the most effective and least restrictive form of coercive intervention when responding to violent behavior. Therefore we compared ratings of effectiveness and subjective distress by 125 inpatients across four types of coercive interventions.Effectiveness was assessed through ratings of patient behavior immediately after exposure to a coercive measure and 24 h later. Subjective distress was examined using the Coercion Experience Scale at debriefing. Regression analyses were performed to compare these outcome variables across the four types of coercive interventions.Using univariate statistics, no significant differences in effectiveness and subjective distress were found between the groups, except that patients who were involuntarily medicated experienced significant less isolation during the measure than patients who underwent combined measures. However, when controlling for the effect of demographic and clinical characteristics, significant differences on subjective distress between the groups emerged: involuntary medication was experienced as the least distressing overall and least humiliating, caused less physical adverse effects and less sense of isolation. Combined coercive interventions, regardless of the type, caused significantly more physical adverse effects and feelings of isolation than individual interventions.In the absence of information on individual patient preferences, involuntary medication may be more justified than seclusion and mechanical restraint as a coercive intervention. Use of multiple interventions requires significant justification given their association with significant distress.

PubMed | Erasmus, University of Glasgow, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and Southern General Hospital
Type: | Journal: Journal of the peripheral nervous system : JPNS | Year: 2016

The outcome of Guillain-Barr syndrome remains unchanged since plasma exchange and intravenous immunoglobulin were introduced over 20 years ago. Pathogenesis studies on GBS have identified the terminal component of complement cascade as a key disease mediator and therapeutic target. We report the first use of terminal complement pathway inhibition with eculizumab in humans with GBS. In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 28 subjects eligible on the basis of GBS disability grade of at least 3 were screened, of whom 8 (29%) were randomised. Five received eculizumab for four weeks, alongside standard intravenous immunoglobulin treatment. The safety outcomes, monitored via adverse events capture, showed eculizumab to be well tolerated and safe when administered in conjunction with IVIg. Primary and secondary efficacy outcomes in the form of GBS disability scores, MRC sum scores, Rasch Overall Disability Scores and Overall Neuropathy Limitation Scores are reported descriptively. For the primary efficacy outcome at 4 weeks after recruitment, 2 of 2 placebo and 2 of 5 eculizumab-treated subjects had improved by 1 or more grades on the GBS disability score. Although the small sample size precludes a statistically meaningful analysis, these pilot data indicate further studies on complement inhibition in GBS are warranted.

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