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Port Glasgow, United Kingdom

Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.5-2 | Award Amount: 7.83M | Year: 2011

Allergy and autoimmunity cause increasing burden to societies worldwide. We study the effect of microbiome on the skin, the forefront barrier to environment, on autoimmunity and allergy, using atopic dermatitis (AD) and psoriasis (PSO) as paradigmatic examples. We have detailed information about the genetic risk factors, as well as the molecular and cellular players in AD and PSO, but we know very little how microbe-host interaction triggers and regulate inflammatory cascade leading to allergic or autoimmune reaction. We propose that environmental and genetic factors, characteristic to particular disease, initiate a cascade of inflammatory events through the modulation of anti-microbial defence. The dysregulation of innate as well as adaptive immune responses leads to inappropriate responses to physical, microbial or allergen challenge, finally manifesting in the clinical symptoms of AD or PSO. We propose to use high-throughput whole microbiome and transcriptomics analysis with bioinformatics and systems biology to unravel the pathways during the host-pathogen interactions which may trigger an allergic or autoimmune reaction. We will identify key microbes and molecular targets to develop novel intervention strategies to decrease and prevent the burden of allergy and autoimmunity.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.1.3-2 | Award Amount: 7.79M | Year: 2014

Immune system response is the most complex barrier to long-term success of tissue transplants/implants from allogeneic and bio-artificial sources. While newly developed tissue transplant procedures are not yet performed frequently enough for robust analysis of adverse immune responses in humans, corneal transplantation (CT) is a well-established allogeneic tissue transplant with >100,000 full- and partial-thickness procedures performed annually. Adverse immune responses occur in up to 30% of CT recipients causing rejection and failure. The high levels of CT clinical activity and immune complications create an ideal opportunity to comprehensively profile immune responses associated with adverse tissue transplant outcomes and to develop new approaches for their prevention or early diagnosis. VISICORT is a multi-disciplinary project with expertise in basic immunology, bio-sampling, systems biology/immune profiling, bioinformatics, clinical tissue transplantation and cell therapy. It will complete the first systematic immune profiling of biological samples from animal and human CT recipients with diverse outcomes. Clinical data and bio-specimens from over 700 CT recipients at 5 leading transplant centres will be centrally collated and distributed to cutting-edge university- and SME-based laboratories for multi-platform profiling and integrated bioinformatics analyses. Profiling data will generate better understanding of adverse immune reactions to tissue transplants. This knowledge will be used to develop novel biomarker-based surveillance strategies and, coupled with SME-based expertise in cell product development, will also inform the design and initiation of an optimised clinical trial strategy of immunomodulatory stromal stem cell therapy in high-risk human CT recipients. VISICORT research will strongly impact multiple EU research/scientific communities, patient cohorts and SMEs and will have high commercialisation value for the biopharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-01b-2014 | Award Amount: 9.31M | Year: 2015

Helminth and ectoparasitic infections of ruminants and poultry have a huge impact on the biological efficiency of these vital food sources. Indiscriminate antiparasitic use has led to drug resistance across the globe. The main alternative to the dwindling supply of antiparasitics is vaccines. Here, in the PARAGONE project, findings from previous EU and other-funded projects on parasite vaccine development will be exploited to take a number of promising prototypes towards commercialisation. Partners from the Europe, China, Uruguay, SMEs and pharma, will directly move forward prototypes against the ruminant helminths Fasciola hepatica, Cooperia spp., Ostertagia ostertagi, Teladorsagia circumcincta and Haemonchus contortus and, the ectoparasitic mites, Psoroptes ovis (ruminants) and Dermanyssus gallinae (poultry). They will utilise novel adjuvants or delivery systems to maximise efficacy of some of the prototypes. Moreover, immunology studies will focus on pathogens that have previously proved problematic, often because they release immunosuppressive molecules that must be overcome for vaccines to work or because recombinant vaccines have failed to elicit protection observed with native prototypes. State-of-the-art technologies will be used to interrogate host/parasite interactions to define key signatures of protection that can be used to inform delivery systems that will enhance immunity, while other studies will define polymorphism in current vaccine candidates to ensure derived prototypes will be fit-for-purpose across geographic scales. Fundamental, is engagement of the scientists with pharma and other stakeholders (farmers, veterinarians, regulators) via many dissemination activities that will be used to obtain feedback on how the vaccines can be best deployed in the field. The output will be at least two prototypes to the point of uptake by pharma, government or philanthropic agencies, and a clear pathway to commercialisation for all prototypes studied.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH-2009-4.3.1-1 | Award Amount: 6.63M | Year: 2010

Filarial infections remain a major public health problem in West and Central Africa. Three filarial species are involved: Onchocerca volvulus (onchocerciasis or river blindness); Wuchereria bancrofti (lymphatic filariasis); and Loa loa (the eye worm). Treatment of onchocerciasis with ivermectin has been successful in many situations but emergence of drug resistance and risk of severe adverse reactions associated with L loa co-infections is restricting the implementation of mass treatment and consequently alternate approaches to control are required. Studies with animal models have identified the general mechanisms of protective immunity while human studies have drawn attention to immune regulatory processes that influence clinical presentations Together, these observation provide a basis for vaccine development. The next challenge is to identify target antigens and ensure appropriate formulation and delivery to promote protective responses and avoid any pathology. This project aims to: 1, use transciptomics and bioinformatics to identify the parasite molecules that are targets of protective immunity and that may influence the regulation of such responses; and 2, microarray technologies and bioinformatics to determine the pathways that lead to expression of protective immunity. Cohorts of onchocerciasis patients who have received treatment with ivermectin or tetracycline, or are co infected with either W bancrofti or L loa provide both input to the pathway studies and a means of validation of the computer assimilations. Confirmation of the mechanisms and targets of protective immunity and validation of computer assimilations will also be investigated using the O ochengi-cattle model that also enables experimentation under natural challenge. Litomosoides sigmodontis in mice provides a robust and rapid validation of results obtained from computation relating to expression and regulation of protective responses and a primary system for screening vaccine candidates


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.2-12 | Award Amount: 3.93M | Year: 2012

The genetic changes associated with domestication in aquaculture pose an increasing threat to the integrity of native fish gene pools. Consequently, there is a bourgeoning need for the development of molecular tools to assess and monitor the genetic impact of escaped or released farmed fish. In addition, exploration of basic links between genetic differences among farmed and wild fish and differences in important life-history traits with fitness consequences are crucial prerequisites for designing biologically informed management strategies. The project AquaTrace will establish an overview of current knowledge on aquaculture breeding, genomic resources and previous research projects for the marine species seabass, seabream and turbot. The project will apply cutting-edge genomic methods for the development of high-powered, cost-efficient, forensically validated and transferable DNA based tools for identifying and tracing the impact of farmed fish in the wild. Controlled experiments with wild and farmed fish and their hybrids will be conducted with salmon and brown trout as model organisms using advanced common garden facilities. These experiments will elucidate the fundamental consequences of introgression by pinpointing and assessing the effects on fitness of specific genomic regions. Generated insights will form the basis of a risk assessment and management recommendations including suggestions for mitigation and associated costs. This information and the developed molecular tools will be available as open-access support to project participants and external stakeholders including the aquaculture industry. The project is expected to facilitate technology transfer to the aquaculture sector by promoting better tailored breeding practices and traceability throughout production chain. Overall this initiative will support the development of sustainable European aquaculture and provide Good Environmental Status in line with the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

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