Karolinska Institutet is a medical university in Solna within the Stockholm urban area, Sweden, and one of Europe's largest and most prestigious medical universities. It was founded in 1810 on Kungsholmen on the west side of Stockholm; the main campus was relocated decades later to Solna, just outside Stockholm. A second campus was established more recently in Flemingsberg, Huddinge, south of Stockholm.Karolinska Institute is Sweden's third oldest medical school, after Uppsala University and Lund University . Research at Karolinska Institute accounts for more than 40% of all academic medical research in Sweden. Karolinska Institute consistently ranks among the top universities in the world on a number of prestigious ranking tables, and is currently the eighth best medical university in the world. According to the 2012 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Karolinska Institute is ranked 32nd worldwide, 5th in Europe behind Oxford university, Cambridge university and UCL, 1st in the Nordic region and according to the 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities, Karolinska Institute is ranked 11th in the world in the field of clinical medicine and pharmacology, 18th in life science and 3rd in pharmacy.The Karolinska University Hospital, located in Solna and Huddinge, is associated with the university as a research and teaching hospital. Together they form an academic health science centre. It is one of Sweden's largest centres for training and research, accounting for 30 percent of the medical training and 40 percent of the medical academic research conducted nationwide. While most of the medical programs are taught in Swedish, the bulk of the Ph.D. projects are conducted in English.A committee of the institute appoints the laureates for the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine. The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet is a body at Karolinska Institutet that awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The Nobel Assembly consists of fifty professors from various medical disciplines at the Karolinska Institute. Wikipedia.
Gustafsson B.,Karolinska Institutet
Blood | Year: 2017
As reported in this issue of Blood, Francis et al hypothesized that a cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in utero or a perinatal infection can initiate immune dysregulation during the critical development of fetal immune development and thereby play a role in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)1. © 2017 by The American Society of Hematology.
Jeggari A.,Karolinska Institutet |
Alexeyenko A.,Science for Life Laboratory |
Alexeyenko A.,Karolinska Institutet
BMC Bioinformatics | Year: 2017
Background: The statistical evaluation of pathway enrichment, i.e. of gene profiles' confluence to the pathway level, allows exploring molecular landscapes using functionally annotated gene sets. However, pathway scores can also be used as predictive features in machine learning. That requires, firstly, increasing statistical power and biological relevance via a network enrichment analysis (NEA) and, secondly, a fast and convenient procedure for rendering the original data into a space of pathway scores. However, previous implementations of NEA involved multiple runs of network randomization and were therefore slow. Results: Here, we present a new R package NEArender which can transform raw 'omics' features of experimental or clinical samples into matrices describing the same samples with many fewer NEA-based pathway scores. This is done via a parametric estimation of the null binomial distribution and is thus much faster and less biased than randomization procedures. Further, we compare estimates from these two alternative procedures and demonstrate that the summarization of individual genes to pathways increases the statistical power compared to both the default differential expression analysis on individual genes and the state-of-the-art gene set enrichment analysis. The package also contains functions for preparing input, modeling null distributions, and evaluating alternative versions of the global network. Conclusions: Beyond the state-of-the-art exploration of molecular data through pathway enrichment, score matrices produced by NEArender can be used in larger bioinformatics pipelines as input for phenotype modeling, predicting disease outcomes etc. This approach is often more sensitive and robust than using the original data. The package NEArender is complementary to the online NEA tool EviNet ( https://www.evinet.org ) and, unlike of the latter, enables high performance of computations off-line. The R package NEArender version 1.4 is available at CRAN repositoryhttps://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/NEArender/ © 2017 The Author(s).
Karlsson Hedestam G.B.,Karolinska Institutet |
Guenaga J.,Neutralizing Antibody Center at |
Corcoran M.,Karolinska Institutet |
Wyatt R.T.,Neutralizing Antibody Center at
Immunological Reviews | Year: 2017
HIV-1 and its surface envelope glycoproteins (Env), gp120 and gp41, have evolved immune evasion strategies that render the elicitation of effective antibody responses to the functional Env entry unit extremely difficult. HIV-1 establishes chronic infection and stimulates vigorous immune responses in the human host; forcing selection of viral variants that escape cellular and antibody (Ab)-mediated immune pressure, yet possess contemporary fitness. Successful survival of fit variants through the gauntlet of the human immune system make this virus and these glycoproteins a formidable challenge to target by vaccination, requiring a systematic approach to Env mimetic immunogen design and evaluation of elicited responses. Here, we review key aspects of HIV-1 Env immunogenicity and immunogen re-design, based on experimental data generated by us and others over the past decade or more. We further provide rationale and details regarding the use of newly evolving tools to analyze B cell responses, including approaches to use next generation sequencing for antibody lineage tracing and B cell fate mapping. Together, these developments offer opportunities to address long-standing questions about the establishment of effective B cell immunity elicited by vaccination, not just against HIV-1. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Collste K.,Karolinska Institutet
Molecular Psychiatry | Year: 2017
Several lines of evidence are indicative of a role for immune activation in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Nevertheless, studies using positron emission tomography (PET) and radioligands for the translocator protein (TSPO), a marker for glial activation, have yielded inconsistent results. Whereas early studies using a radioligand with low signal-to-noise in small samples showed increases in patients, more recent studies with improved methodology have shown no differences or trend-level decreases. Importantly, all patients investigated thus far have been on antipsychotic medication, and as these compounds may dampen immune cell activity, this factor limits the conclusions that can be drawn. Here, we examined 16 drug-naive, first-episode psychosis patients and 16 healthy controls using PET and the TSPO radioligand [11C]PBR28. Gray matter (GM) volume of distribution (VT) derived from a two-tissue compartmental analysis with arterial input function was the main outcome measure. Statistical analyses were performed controlling for both TSPO genotype, which is known to affect [11C]PBR28 binding, and gender. There was a significant reduction of [11C]PBR28 VT in patients compared with healthy controls in GM as well as in secondary regions of interest. No correlation was observed between GM VT and clinical or cognitive measures after correction for multiple comparisons. The observed decrease in TSPO binding suggests reduced numbers or altered function of immune cells in brain in early-stage schizophrenia.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 14 February 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2016.247. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.
Brander G.,Karolinska Institutet
Molecular Psychiatry | Year: 2017
Adverse perinatal events may increase the risk of Tourette’s and chronic tic disorders (TD/CTD), but previous studies have been unable to control for unmeasured environmental and genetic confounding. We aimed to prospectively investigate potential perinatal risk factors for TD/CTD, taking unmeasured factors shared between full siblings into account. A population-based birth cohort, consisting of all singletons born in Sweden in 1973–2003, was followed until December 2013. A total of 3 026 861 individuals were identified, 5597 of which had a registered TD/CTD diagnosis. We then studied differentially exposed full siblings from 947 942 families; of these, 3563 families included siblings that were discordant for TD/CTD. Perinatal data were collected from the Medical Birth Register and TD/CTD diagnoses were collected from the National Patient Register, using a previously validated algorithm. In the fully adjusted models, impaired fetal growth, preterm birth, breech presentation and cesarean section were associated with a higher risk of TD/CTD, largely independent from shared family confounders and measured covariates. Maternal smoking during pregnancy was associated with risk of TD/CTD in a dose–response manner but the association was no longer statistically significant in the sibling comparison models or after the exclusion of comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. A dose–response relationship between the number of adverse perinatal events and increased risk for TD/CTD was also observed, with hazard ratios ranging from 1.41 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.33–1.50) for one event to 2.42 (95% CI: 1.65–3.53) for five or more events. These results pave the way for future gene by environment interaction and epigenetic studies in TD/CTD.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 28 March 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2017.31. © 2017 The Author(s)
Wang M.,Karolinska Institutet
Leukemia | Year: 2017
Risk stratification of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients needs improvement. Several AML risk classification models based on somatic mutations or gene-expression profiling have been proposed. However, systematic and independent validation of these models is required for future clinical implementation. We performed whole-transcriptome RNA-sequencing and panel-based deep DNA sequencing of 23 genes in 274 intensively treated AML patients (Clinseq-AML). We also utilized the The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)-AML study (N=142) as a second validation cohort. We evaluated six previously proposed molecular-based models for AML risk stratification and two revised risk classification systems combining molecular- and clinical data. Risk groups stratified by five out of six models showed different overall survival in cytogenetic normal-AML patients in the Clinseq-AML cohort (P-value<0.05; concordance index >0.5). Risk classification systems integrating mutational or gene-expression data were found to add prognostic value to the current European Leukemia Net (ELN) risk classification. The prognostic value varied between models and across cohorts, highlighting the importance of independent validation to establish evidence of efficacy and general applicability. All but one model replicated in the Clinseq-AML cohort, indicating the potential for molecular-based AML risk models. Risk classification based on a combination of molecular and clinical data holds promise for improved AML patient stratification in the future.Leukemia advance online publication, 10 March 2017; doi:10.1038/leu.2017.48. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.
Orhan F.,Karolinska Institutet
Molecular Psychiatry | Year: 2017
Schizophrenia is characterized by a multiplicity of symptoms arising from almost all domains of mental function. γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and is increasingly recognized to have a significant role in the pathophysiology of the disorder. In the present study, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of GABA were analyzed in 41 first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients and 21 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers by high-performance liquid chromatography. We found lower CSF GABA concentration in FEP patients compared with that in the healthy volunteers, a condition that was unrelated to antipsychotic and/or anxiolytic medication. Moreover, lower CSF GABA levels were associated with total and general score of Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, illness severity and probably with a poor performance in a test of attention. This study offers clinical in vivo evidence for a potential role of GABA in early-stage schizophrenia.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 14 March 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2017.25. © 2017 The Author(s)
Ghirardi L.,Karolinska Institutet
Molecular Psychiatry | Year: 2017
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) frequently co-occur. The presence of a genetic link between ASD and ADHD symptoms is supported by twin studies, but the genetic overlap between clinically ascertained ASD and ADHD remains largely unclear. We therefore investigated how ASD and ADHD co-aggregate in individuals and in families to test for the presence of a shared genetic liability and examined potential differences between low- and high-functioning ASD in the link with ADHD. We studied 1 899 654 individuals born in Sweden between 1987 and 2006. Logistic regression was used to estimate the association between clinically ascertained ASD and ADHD in individuals and in families. Stratified estimates were obtained for ASD with (low-functioning) and without (high-functioning) intellectual disability. Individuals with ASD were at higher risk of having ADHD compared with individuals who did not have ASD (odds ratio (OR)=22.33, 95% confidence interval (CI): 21.77–22.92). The association was stronger for high-functioning than for low-functioning ASD. Relatives of individuals with ASD were at higher risk of ADHD compared with relatives of individuals without ASD. The association was stronger in monozygotic twins (OR=17.77, 95% CI: 9.80–32.22) than in dizygotic twins (OR=4.33, 95% CI: 3.21–5.85) and full siblings (OR=4.59, 95% CI: 4.39–4.80). Individuals with ASD and their relatives are at increased risk of ADHD. The pattern of association across different types of relatives supports the existence of genetic overlap between clinically ascertained ASD and ADHD, suggesting that genomic studies might have underestimated this overlap.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 28 February 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2017.17. © 2017 The Author(s)
Lamb F.,Karolinska Institutet
Genes and Immunity | Year: 2017
The influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccination campaign from 2009 to 2010 was associated with a sudden increase in the incidence of narcolepsy in several countries. Narcolepsy with cataplexy is strongly associated with the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II DQB1*06:02 allele, and protective associations with the DQB1*06:03 allele have been reported. Several non-HLA gene loci are also associated, such as common variants of the T-cell receptor-α (TRA), the purinergic receptor P2RY11, cathepsin H (CTSH) and TNFSF4/OX40L/CD252. In this retrospective multicenter study, we investigated if these predisposing gene loci were also involved in vaccination-associated narcolepsy. We compared HLA− along with single-nucleotide polymorphism genotypes for non-HLA regions between 42 Pandemrix-vaccinated narcolepsy cases and 1990 population-based controls. The class II gene loci associations supported previous findings. Nominal association (P-value<0.05) with TRA as well as suggestive (P-value<0.1) associations with P2RY11 and CTSH were found. These associations suggest a very strong gene–environment interaction, in which the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 strain or Pandemrix vaccine can act as potent environmental triggers.Genes and Immunity advance online publication, 23 March 2017; doi:10.1038/gene.2017.1. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.
News Article | April 20, 2017
Women often take birth control pills, or oral contraceptives, to steer clear of unwanted pregnancies, or if they are not ready to go the family way. While some health experts believe that oral contraceptives negatively impact a woman's quality of life, research is yet to validate these assertions. A new study carried out at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the Stockholm School of Economics, highlights a probable link between usage of birth control pills and the well-being of women. "Despite the fact that an estimated 100 million women around the world use contraceptive pills we know surprisingly little today about the pill's effect on women's health," said Angelica Hirschberg, the lead author of the research. According to Hirschberg and her colleagues, the consumption of combined oral contraceptive pills can affect women's lives in many ways. It can negatively impact a woman's energy levels, well-being, and also cause heavy mood swings. To highlight the existence of a possible link between usage of birth control pills and the negative impact on a woman's health, Hirschberg and her team observed 340 healthy women aged between 18 to 35 years for a three-month period. The participants were randomly prescribed either a combined contraceptive pill containing levonorgestrel (a progestin) and ethniylestradoil (an estrogen) or a placebo pill. Levonorgestrel and ethniylestradoil contraceptive pills are the most commonly-used birth control pills in Sweden and many other nations. These pills are known to carry the least risk of thrombosis. Both the groups of women were unaware which pill was given to whom. The researchers found that the women who were provided with the placebo had a lower negative impact on their body and mind vis-à-vis participants consuming the combined birth control pills. The women, who were provided with the contraceptive pills, revealed that their well-being, mood, energy levels were negatively impacted. However on a positive note, the pills also showed lower rates of depression symptoms among the women. Though the changes in a woman's psychological condition (such as depression) were comparatively less, the negative impact of birth control pills on the body and mind must be taken seriously. Before prescribing any birth control medicines to their patients, doctors must always discuss and convey the possible side effects of the pills — both physical and emotional. "We do not want women to stop using oral contraceptives due to our results but if a woman is worried about negative influence on mood and life quality she should discuss this with a doctor," noted Hirschberg. The study has been published in the journal Fertility and Sterility on Tuesday, April 18. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | April 21, 2017
Your oral contraceptive pill may be making you miserable, warns a new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden that suggests a potential link between contraceptives and women’s overall wellness. The researchers tied the use of combined oral contraceptive pills to a significantly lower quality of life, including mood, energy, and self-control. They, however, did not find an increase in depressive symptoms. “Despite the fact that an estimated 100 million women around the world use contraceptive pills we know surprisingly little today about the pill’s effect on women’s health,” said lead author and professor Angelica Linden Hirschberg in a statement, adding that the scientific body remains “very limited” when it comes to these pills’ impact on quality of life and depression. The team studied 340 healthy women from 18 to 35 years old randomly treated over a three-month period with contraceptive pills containing ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel (Sweden’s most common combined contraceptive pill) or with a placebo. Those who received the first treatment were estimated to have a significantly lower quality of life compared to those given placebos, but no substantial rise in depressive symptoms was seen in them. Since the changes proved relatively small, the results should be taken with caution, according to the researchers. However, the adverse effects on quality of life may be clinically important since it could be a contributor to low compliance as well as irregular contraceptive use, warned author Niklas Zethraeus. And while the team does not recommend stopping the use of oral contraceptives because of their findings, there could be alternatives as well. “[I]f a woman is worried about negative influence on mood and life quality she should discuss this with a doctor," Hirschberg told The Independent. The findings were discussed in the journal Fertility and Sterility. Previous studies have made an association between contraceptives and depression. University of Copenhagen researchers, for instance, noted that women taking combined oral contraceptives were 23 percent more likely to be found having depression, while those on progestin-only products had a 34 percent chance. Teens had the highest depression risk or an 80 percent climb when using the combined pill. Some experts, however, are skeptical, arguing that both depression and birth control are fairly common and could naturally be considered occurring together. The link may be unclear in that regard. Oral contraceptives are deemed a lifesaver not only in preventing unplanned pregnancies in women but also in other areas of health. A study out of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, for instance, saw that they can also offer protection against some cancer types for as long as three decades. The team pored over data on more than 46,000 women to see long-term oral contraception’s effects. They followed the subjects for up to 44 years, making their research the world’s longest-running to probe birth control pills’ impact. The researchers discovered that those who took the pill in their reproductive years had no signs of new cancer risk manifesting later in life, just when more cancers tend to surface. Those on contraceptive pills also had a lower incidence of colorectal, ovarian, and endometrial cancers versus women who were never on the pill. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | March 10, 2017
Erectile dysfunction is a known risk factor for heart disease in men, and treatment of it was previously linked to increased risk of death. But surprisingly, a new Swedish study reveals that using phosphodiesterase type 5, or PDE5, inhibitor drugs, a class of erectile dysfunction drugs, after myocardial infarction is not only safe but may also be key to a longer, not to mention happier, life for heart attack patients. This is what Dr. Daniel Andersson of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm shared at a press conference conducted before the presentation at the American College of Cardiology annual meeting in Washington DC. Dr. Andersson and his team monitored over 43,000 Swedish men for an average of 3.3 years and noted the positive life-prolonging effect among heart attack patients taking common PDE5 erectile dysfunction drugs, such as Viagra (sildenafil), Levitra (vardenafil), and Cialis (tadalafil). The researchers looked into a national database of all hospital records of men 80 years and younger admitted due to heart attack between 2007 and 2013. They found that men who used PDE5 inhibitor drugs to address erectile dysfunction showed an astounding 33 percent lower risk of all-cause morbidity after their first heart attack as opposed to those who took alprostadil — a different type of ED drug — and those who did not take any ED drug. Aside from reduced risk of all causes of death, the findings also showed that men taking erectile dysfunction drugs — both PDE5 inhibitors and alprostadil — had 40 percent less likelihood of running into and being hospitalized for heart problems again compared to their non-ED drug-taking counterparts. "If you have an active sex life after a heart attack, it is probably safe to use PDE5 inhibitors. This type of erectile dysfunction treatment is beneficial in terms of prognosis, and having an active sex life seems to be a marker for a decreased risk of death," Dr. Andersson explained. Despite proving strong heart health benefits, Dr. Andersson mentioned that the study by design was unable to pinpoint the direct cause and effect. "I do think the patients are more likely to be healthier at baseline than the patients you wouldn't prescribe these medications for ... We would assume they would not be on nitrates, so they would be less likely to be having symptoms of angina," Dr. Martha Gulati of University of Arizona College of Medicine, the moderator of the said press briefing, suggested. Nevertheless, Dr. Andersson clarified that although their study provides valuable insight to understanding heart disease, this doesn't necessarily mean that current recommendations should be updated just yet. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | April 21, 2017
The stellar views from the International Space Station are not the only things to take an astronaut's breath away: devices like this are measuring astronauts' breath to determine the health of their lungs. ESA astronaut Tim Peake took part in the Airway Monitoring experiment during his Principia mission in 2016. Developed by researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, the experiment draws on a study of airway inflammation that ran on the Station from 2005 to 2008. The analyser measures the amount of nitric oxide in exhaled air – a signalling molecule produced in the lungs to help regulate blood vessels. Too much nitric oxide suggests inflammation. Causes can be environmental, like dust or pollutants, or biological, such as asthma – at least on Earth, but what happens in space? Researchers compare measurements from astronauts taken before their flights to those taken in space to understand the effects of weightlessness on airway health. Astronauts in space are essentially fish out of water. Understanding how to track, diagnose and treat lung inflammations is important for their safety. The experiment began with ESA astronaut Samantha Cristofretti's 2015 mission and measurements have been gathered by six astronauts. Four more astronauts will conduct the experiment next year.
News Article | May 2, 2017
The Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, is analysing astronauts' exhaled air to probe lung health. The results so far have been breathtaking. The Airway Monitoring experiment measures the level of nitric oxide in astronauts' lungs, a naturally occurring molecule produced in the lungs to help regulate blood flow. Small amounts are normal, but excess levels indicate airway inflammation caused by environmental factors such as dust and pollutants or diseases like asthma. Aboard the Station, astronauts breathe into an analyser at normal pressure and in the reduced pressure of the Quest airlock – similar to the pressure in future habitats on Mars and lunar colonies. The measurements are then compared to those taken before flight. The experiment began with ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti in 2015 and has tested six astronauts so far, aiming to finish with more astronauts by 2020. Preliminary results are surprising. While nitric oxide levels were lower throughout astronauts' stays in space, as expected, they found that the levels initially decreased just before flight. Researchers are not yet sure why this is the case. But the lower nitric oxide levels in astronauts' lungs means researchers have to reset the level considered to be 'healthy' for spaceflight. If what is considered a normal level of nitric oxide in humans on Earth could in fact be a sign of airway inflammation for astronauts in space, researchers have a more accurate standard from which to conduct further research on lung health in space. This information is key to ensuring the health and safety of astronauts on longer missions further from Earth. Understanding the effects of weightlessness and reduced pressure on airway health allows us to solve future problems. This in turn will help space explorers monitor, diagnose and treat lung inflammation during spaceflight. For now, data from the remaining astronaut participants are needed before definitive conclusions can be made. But, overall, researchers have a better understanding of the lungs that will go a long way towards developing better diagnostic tools for airway diseases in patients on Earth.
News Article | May 7, 2017
Gene editing, which recently saw its first human trial, was listed as a weapon of mass destruction by U.S. intelligence agencies this year. The DNA in our cells, which contains the genetic instructions that make us human, is passed on from parent to child along an unending line of generations. However, as recent experiments in mice have demonstrated, there is more to transgenerational inheritance than that. Studies have shown that even “learned” experiences, which do not alter the underlying genetic material, can be passed on from one generation to the next — in mice, fruit flies, and possibly even humans. Read: Roundworms Can Retain Epigenetic Memories For At Least 14 Generations In a new study published in the journal Science, a team of researchers has described how DNA-binding proteins (called transcription factors) react to and interpret these "epigenetic" changes. The study reveals that certain "master" regulatory proteins can activate regions of the genome that are normally inactive. "This study identifies how the modification of the DNA structure affects the binding of transcription factors, and this increases our understanding of how genes are regulated in cells and further aids us in deciphering the grammar written into DNA," study co-author Jussi Taipale from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden said in a statement. The researchers analyzed hundreds of human transcription factors, which are proteins that read the genetic information coded in DNA's sequence of four nucleotide bases — adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T) — and pass that on to RNA molecules. All cells in the human body contain these bases in exactly the same order, but different genes are expressed in different cell types, allowing them to carry out their specialized functions. Previous studies have shown that cytosine can exist in two forms, one of which is the methylated version methylcytosine. Since the methylation of cytosine does not alter the DNA sequence, but only influences when and where these proteins are produced, it is considered an epigenetic modification. The researchers found that while most transcription factors are incapable of binding to DNA sequences containing methylated cytosine, some transcription factors actually prefer the methylated version, including some factors that play a key role in embryonic development, and in the development of prostate and colorectal cancers. "The results suggest that such ‘master’ regulatory factors could activate regions of the genome that are normally inactive, leading to the formation of organs during development, or the initiation of pathological changes in cells that lead to diseases such as cancer," Taipale said. Recent experiments on roundworms have shown that epigenetic memories can be passed through generations for much longer than previously believed. Studies involving human subjects have also suggested that the effects of certain experiences during childhood can sometimes be carried across generations. Despite this, however, the phenomenon of epigenetic inheritance is still poorly understood. The new study could provide clues to the genetic code that controls the expression of genes, and may also further our understanding of embryonic development and diseases such as cancer.
News Article | May 8, 2017
Among twin and triplet pregnancies that were reduced to singleton or twin pregnancies, there was a substantial reduction in complications such as preterm birth and very preterm birth, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Although rates of death and serious illness were not lower among all multifetal pregnancies that were reduced, pregnancies that resulted from fertility treatments did show a significant reduction in rates of death or serious illness following fetal reduction. Multiple births of twins and triplets -- and the associated health risks -- have increased in many high-income countries, with a respective twofold and threefold increase in recent decades. In Canada, triplet births or higher have increased from 52.2 per 100 000 live births to 83.5 between 1991 and 2009, mainly because of an increase in fertility treatments for older women of child-bearing age. In this study of all births -- live births and stillbirths -- in British Columbia (BC) between 2009 and 2013, researchers looked at birth outcomes among women who underwent elective fetal reduction of multifetal pregnancy compared with multifetal pregnancies without such reduction. Among the 208 827 women who gave birth during the study period, 95 (0.04%) underwent fetal reduction, with 45 women delivering twins and 50 delivering singletons. Dr. Neda Razaz, lead author of the study, noted that "The fetal reduction-associated decrease in preterm birth and low birth weight overall, combined with the decrease in death and serious illness among babies of women who conceived following fertility treatments, suggests that fetal reduction in multifetal pregnancy offers substantial benefits." Women who underwent fetal reduction were more likely to be older and of a higher socioeconomic status and significantly more likely (75% compared with 3.3%) to have undergone fertility treatment. The authors note that they had limited details on the timing, reason and number of fetuses reduced in some pregnancies. They note that physicians need to be sensitive when discussing the risks and benefits of fetal reduction with parents. "Clinicians counselling women with multifetal pregnancy should be aware of the potential for substantial parental stress resulting from fetal reduction procedures, including negative feelings such as guilt, regret and grief," the authors conclude. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of British Columbia and BC Women's Hospital and Health Centre, Vancouver, BC; Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; and Hadassah Medical Centre, Jerusalem, Israel.
News Article | May 4, 2017
A new study in Science from Karolinska Institutet maps out how different DNA-binding proteins in human cells react to certain biochemical modifications of the DNA molecule. The scientists report that some 'master' regulatory proteins can activate regions of the genome that are normally inactive due to epigenetic changes. Their findings contribute to a better understanding of gene regulation, embryonic development and the processes leading to diseases such as cancer. The DNA molecule carries information in the form of a sequence of four nucleotide bases, adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T), which can be thought of as the letters of the genomic language. Short sequences of the letters form 'DNA words' that determine when and where proteins are made in the body. Almost all of the cells in the human body contain the letters in precisely the same order. Different genes are however active (expressed) in different cell types, allowing the cells to function in their specialised roles, for example as a brain cell or a muscle cell. The key to this gene regulation lies in specialised DNA-binding proteins -- transcription factors -- that bind to the sequences and activate or repress gene activity. The DNA letter C exists in two forms, cytosine and methylcytosine, which can be thought of as the same letter with and without an accent (C and Ç). Methylation of DNA bases is a type of epigenetic modification, a biochemical change in the genome that does not alter the DNA sequence. The two variants of C have no effect on the kind of proteins that can be made, but they can have a major influence on when and where the proteins are produced. Previous research has shown that genomic regions where C is methylated are commonly inactive, and that many transcription factors are unable to bind to sequences that contain the methylated Ç. By analysing hundreds of different human transcription factors, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have now found that certain transcription factors actually prefer the methylated Ç. These include transcription factors that are important in embryonic development, and for the development of prostate and colorectal cancers. "The results suggest that such 'master' regulatory factors could activate regions of the genome that are normally inactive, leading to the formation of organs during development, or the initiation of pathological changes in cells that lead to diseases such as cancer", says Professor Jussi Taipale at Karolinska Institutet's Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics who led the research. The results pave the way for cracking the genetic code that controls the expression of genes, and will have broad implications for the understanding of development and disease. The availability of genomic information relevant to disease is expanding at an exponentially increasing rate. "This study identifies how the modification of the DNA structure affects the binding of transcription factors, and this increases our understanding of how genes are regulated in cells and further aids us in deciphering the grammar written into DNA", says Professor Taipale. The study was supported by the Academy of Finland Center of Excellence in Cancer Genetics and the ERA SynBio project MirrorBio, Karolinska Institutet's Center for Innovative Medicine, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Göran Gustafsson Foundation, and the Swedish Research Council. Publication: Yimeng Yin, Ekaterina Morgunova, Arttu Jolma, Eevi Kaasinen, Biswajyoti Sahu, Syed Khund-Sayeed, Pratyush K. Das, Teemu Kivioja, Kashyap Dave, Fan Zhong, Kazuhiro R. Nitta, Minna Taipale, Alexander Popov, Paul A. Ginno, Silvia Domcke, Jian Yan, Dirk Schübeler, Charles Vinson, and Jussi Taipale. 'Impact of cytosine methylation on DNA binding specificities of human transcription factors'. Science, 5 May 2017.
News Article | May 4, 2017
A new study in Science from Karolinska Institutet maps out how different DNA-binding proteins in human cells react to certain biochemical modifications of the DNA molecule. The scientists report that some 'master' regulatory proteins can activate regions of the genome that are normally inactive due to epigenetic changes. Their findings contribute to a better understanding of gene regulation, embryonic development and the processes leading to diseases such as cancer. The DNA molecule carries information in the form of a sequence of four nucleotide bases, adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T), which can be thought of as the letters of the genomic language. Short sequences of the letters form 'DNA words' that determine when and where proteins are made in the body. Almost all of the cells in the human body contain the letters in precisely the same order. Different genes are however active (expressed) in different cell types, allowing the cells to function in their specialised roles, for example as a brain cell or a muscle cell. The key to this gene regulation lies in specialised DNA-binding proteins—transcription factors—that bind to the sequences and activate or repress gene activity. The DNA letter C exists in two forms, cytosine and methylcytosine, which can be thought of as the same letter with and without an accent (C and Ç). Methylation of DNA bases is a type of epigenetic modification, a biochemical change in the genome that does not alter the DNA sequence. The two variants of C have no effect on the kind of proteins that can be made, but they can have a major influence on when and where the proteins are produced. Previous research has shown that genomic regions where C is methylated are commonly inactive, and that many transcription factors are unable to bind to sequences that contain the methylated Ç. By analysing hundreds of different human transcription factors, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have now found that certain transcription factors actually prefer the methylated Ç. These include transcription factors that are important in embryonic development, and for the development of prostate and colorectal cancers. "The results suggest that such 'master' regulatory factors could activate regions of the genome that are normally inactive, leading to the formation of organs during development, or the initiation of pathological changes in cells that lead to diseases such as cancer", says Professor Jussi Taipale at Karolinska Institutet's Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics who led the research. The results pave the way for cracking the genetic code that controls the expression of genes, and will have broad implications for the understanding of development and disease. The availability of genomic information relevant to disease is expanding at an exponentially increasing rate. "This study identifies how the modification of the DNA structure affects the binding of transcription factors, and this increases our understanding of how genes are regulated in cells and further aids us in deciphering the grammar written into DNA", says Professor Taipale. Explore further: Complex grammar of the genomic language More information: Yimeng Yin, Ekaterina Morgunova, Arttu Jolma, Eevi Kaasinen, Biswajyoti Sahu, Syed Khund-Sayeed, Pratyush K. Das, Teemu Kivioja, Kashyap Dave, Fan Zhong, Kazuhiro R. Nitta, Minna Taipale, Alexander Popov, Paul A. Ginno, Silvia Domcke, Jian Yan, Dirk Schübeler, Charles Vinson, and Jussi Taipale. 'Impact of cytosine methylation on DNA binding specificities of human transcription factors'. Science, 5 May 2017. science.sciencemag.org/cgi/doi/10.1126/science.aaj2239
News Article | April 17, 2017
New research in The FASEB Journal suggests that electric stimulation of needles placed in muscle and adipose tissue activates adipose tissue metabolism and also stimulates muscle contraction For women who are overweight or obese and are unable to exercise, new research appearing online in The FASEB Journal suggests combining acupuncture with an electrical current may help. In the report, an international team of researchers used electroacupuncture to assist with muscle contraction, which led to improved blood sugar regulation. This research also may benefit women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the most common hormonal disorder among women, which is associated with prediabetes and an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. "This study has the potential to gain better quality of life for patients with prediabetes and reduced capacity to regulate blood sugar levels, especially for those who have difficulties performing voluntary exercise," said Elisabet Stener-Victorin, Ph.D., associate professor and study author at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Metabolism, Karolinska Institutet, in Stockholm, Sweden. The scientists used a cohort of overweight and obese women with and without PCOS. Changes in blood sugar levels were measured during and after 45 minutes of acupuncture. Blood glucose regulation was improved in both women with and without PCOS after 45 minutes of treatment. Researchers also used a group of rats to investigate the mechanism leading to blood glucose uptake. They found that electroacupuncture causing muscle contractions activates the autonomic nervous system in rats and that the blood glucose-regulating effect was reversed by administering drugs that block the autonomic receptors. This study has important clinical implications for patients with prediabetes and a reduced ability to regulate blood sugar levels. "Acupuncture is tried and true, for at least certain symptoms," said Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Here we have a new possibility centered on a disease of massive morbidity." Submit to The FASEB Journal by visiting http://fasebj. , and receive monthly highlights by signing up at http://www. . The FASEB Journal is published by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). It is among the world's most cited biology journals, according to the Institute for Scientific Information, and has been recognized by the Special Libraries Association as one of the top 100 most influential biomedical journals of the past century. Details: Anna Benrick, Milana Kokosar, Min Hu, Martin Larsson, Manuel Maliqueo, Rodrigo Rodrigues Marcondes, Marzia Soligo, Virginia Protto, Elisabet Jerlhag, Antonina Sazonova, Carl Johan Behre, Kurt Højlund, Peter Thorén, and Elisabet Stener-Victorin. Autonomic nervous system activation mediates the increase in whole-body glucose uptake in response to electroacupuncture. FASEB J. doi:10.1096/fj.201601381R ; http://www.
Ibanez C.F.,Karolinska Institutet |
Ibanez C.F.,National University of Singapore
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology | Year: 2013
The identification of the ret oncogene by Masahide Takahashi and Geoffrey Cooper in 1985 was both serendipitous and paradigmatic (Takahashi et al. 1985). By transfecting total DNA from a human lymphoma into mouse NIH3T3 cells, they obtained one clone, which in secondary transformants yielded more than 100-fold improvement in transformation efficiency. Subsequent investigations revealed that the RET oncogene was not present as such in the primary lymphoma, but was derived by DNA rearrangement during transfection from normal human sequences of the ret locus. At the time, activation by DNA rearrangement had not been previously described for a transforming gene with the NIH3T3 transfection assay. The discovery of RET opened a field of study that has had a profound impact in cancer research, developmental biology, and neuroscience, and that continues to yield surprises and important insights to this day. © 2013 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.
Liu M.A.,ProTherImmune |
Liu M.A.,Karolinska Institutet
Immunological Reviews | Year: 2011
Summary: This review provides a detailed look at the attributes and immunologic mechanisms of plasmid DNA vaccines and their utility as laboratory tools as well as potential human vaccines. The immunogenicity and efficacy of DNA vaccines in a variety of preclinical models is used to illustrate how they differ from traditional vaccines in novel ways due to the in situ antigen production and the ease with which they are constructed. The ability to make new DNA vaccines without needing to handle a virulent pathogen or to adapt the pathogen for manufacturing purposes demonstrates the potential value of this vaccine technology for use against emerging and epidemic pathogens. Similarly, personalized anti-tumor DNA vaccines can also readily be made from a biopsy. Because DNA vaccines bias the T-helper (Th) cell response to a Th1 phenotype, DNA vaccines are also under development for vaccines against allergy and autoimmune diseases. The licensure of four animal health products, including two prophylactic vaccines against infectious diseases, one immunotherapy for cancer, and one gene therapy delivery of a hormone for a food animal, provides evidence of the efficacy of DNA vaccines in multiple species including horses and pigs. The size of these target animals provides evidence that the somewhat disappointing immunogenicity of DNA vaccines in a number of human clinical trials is not due simply to the larger mass of humans compared with most laboratory animals. The insights gained from the mechanisms of protection in the animal vaccines, the advances in the delivery and expression technologies for increasing the potency of DNA vaccines, and encouragingly potent human immune responses in certain clinical trials, provide insights for future efforts to develop DNA vaccines into a broadly useful vaccine and immunotherapy platform with applications for human and animal health. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Kalager M.,Harvard University |
Adami H.-O.,Karolinska Institutet |
Bretthauer M.,University of Oslo |
Tamimi R.M.,Harvard University
Annals of Internal Medicine | Year: 2012
Background: Precise quantification of overdiagnosis of breast cancer (defined as the percentage of cases of cancer that would not have become clinically apparent in a woman's lifetime without screening) due to mammography screening has been hampered by lack of valid comparison groups that identify incidence trends attributable to screening versus those due to temporal trends in incidence. Objective: To estimate the percentage of overdiagnosis of breast cancer attributable to mammography screening. Design: Comparison of invasive breast cancer incidence with and without screening. Setting: A nationwide mammography screening program in Norway (inviting women aged 50 to 69 years), gradually implemented from 1996 to 2005. Participants: The Norwegian female population. Measurements: Concomitant incidence of invasive breast cancer from 1996 to 2005 in counties where the screening program was implemented compared with that in counties where the program was not yet implemented. To adjust for changes in temporal trends in breast cancer incidence, incidence rates during the preceding decade were also examined. The percentage of overdiagnosis was calculated by accounting for the expected decrease in incidence following cessation of screening after age 69 years (approach 1) and by comparing incidence in the current screening group with incidence among women 2 and 5 years older in the historical screening groups, accounting for average lead time (approach 2). Results: A total of 39 888 patients with invasive breast cancer were included, 7793 of whom were diagnosed after the screening program started. The estimated rate of overdiagnosis attributable to the program was 18% to 25% (P < 0.001) for approach 1 and 15% to 20% (P < 0.001) for approach 2. Thus, 15% to 25% of cases of cancer are overdiagnosed, translating to 6 to 10 women overdiagnosed for every 2500 women invited. Limitation: The study was registry-based. Conclusion: Mammography screening entails a substantial amount of overdiagnosis. © 2012 American College of Physicians.
Liu M.A.,ProTherImmune |
Liu M.A.,Karolinska Institutet
Immunity | Year: 2010
Efforts to make vaccines against infectious diseases as well as immunotherapies for cancer, autoimmune diseases and allergy have utilized a variety of heterologous expression systems, including viral and bacterial vectors, as well as DNA and RNA constructs. This review explores the immunologic rationale and provides an update of insights obtained from preclinical and clinical studies of such vaccines. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
Griffiths W.J.,University of Swansea |
Sjovall J.,Karolinska Institutet
Journal of Lipid Research | Year: 2010
The formation of bile acids/bile alcohols is of major importance for the maintenance of cholesterol homeostasis. Besides their functions in lipid absorption, bile acids/bile alcohols are regulatory molecules for a number of metabolic processes. Their effects are structure-dependent, and numerous metabolic conversions result in a complex mixture of biologically active and inactive forms. Advanced methods are required to characterize and quantify individual bile acids in these mixtures. A combination of such analyses with analyses of the proteome will be required for a better understanding of mechanisms of action and nature of endogenous ligands. Mass spectrometry is the basic detection technique for effluents from chromatographic columns. Capillary liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry with electrospray ionization provides the highest sensitivity in metabolome analysis. Classical gas chromatography-mass spectrometry is less sensitive but offers extensive structure-dependent fragmentation increasing the specificity in analyses of isobaric isomers of unconjugated bile acids. Depending on the nature of the bile acid/bile alcohol mixture and the range of concentration of individuals, different sample preparation sequences, from simple extractions to group separations and derivatizations, are applicable. We review the methods currently available for the analysis of bile acids in biological fluids and tissues, with emphasis on the combination of liquid and gas phase chromatography with mass spectrometry. Copyright © 2010 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Altman D.,Karolinska Institutet |
Vayrynen T.,Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa |
Engh M.E.,University of Oslo |
Axelsen S.,Aarhus University Hospital |
Falconer C.,Karolinska Institutet
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2011
BACKGROUND: The use of standardized mesh kits for repair of pelvic-organ prolapse has spread rapidly in recent years, but it is unclear whether this approach results in better outcomes than traditional colporrhaphy. METHODS: In this multicenter, parallel-group, randomized, controlled trial, we compared the use of a trocar-guided, transvaginal polypropylene-mesh repair kit with traditional colporrhaphy in women with prolapse of the anterior vaginal wall (cystocele). The primary outcome was a composite of the objective anatomical designation of stage 0 (no prolapse) or 1 (position of the anterior vaginal wall more than 1 cm above the hymen), according to the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification system, and the subjective absence of symptoms of vaginal bulging 12 months after the surgery. RESULTS: Of 389 women who were randomly assigned to a study treatment, 200 underwent prolapse repair with the transvaginal mesh kit and 189 underwent traditional colporrhaphy. At 1 year, the primary outcome was significantly more common in the women treated with transvaginal mesh repair (60.8%) than in those who underwent colporrhaphy (34.5%) (absolute difference, 26.3 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, 15.6 to 37.0). The surgery lasted longer and the rates of intraoperative hemorrhage were higher in the mesh-repair group than in the colporrhaphy group (P<0.001 for both comparisons). Rates of bladder perforation were 3.5% in the mesh-repair group and 0.5% in the colporrhaphy group (P = 0.07), and the respective rates of new stress urinary incontinence after surgery were 12.3% and 6.3% (P = 0.05). Surgical reintervention to correct mesh exposure during follow-up occurred in 3.2% of 186 patients in the mesh-repair group. CONCLUSIONS: As compared with anterior colporrhaphy, use of a standardized, trocar-guided mesh kit for cystocele repair resulted in higher short-term rates of successful treatment but also in higher rates of surgical complications and postoperative adverse events. (Funded by the Karolinska Institutet and Ethicon; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00566917.) Copyright © 2011 Massachusetts Medical Society.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NoE | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.1-2 | Award Amount: 15.56M | Year: 2011
Europe has a number of advantages as regards developing translational cancer research, yet there is no clear European strategy to meet the increasing burden posed by cancer. The FP6 Eurocan\Plus project analysed the barriers underlying the increasing fragmentation of cancer research and stressed the need to improve collaboration between basic/preclinical and comprehensive cancer centres (CCCs), institutions in which care and prevention is integrated with research and education. Furthermore, it proposed the creation of a platform of interlinked cancer centres with shared infrastructures and collaborative projects to facilitate rapid advances in knowledge, and their translation into better cancer care. In response to these challenges and in line with the call, EurocanPlatform will work towards the goal of decreasing cancer mortality by dealing with three main areas of strategic research: prevention, early detection and improved treatments. It will build the necessary resources and know-how for the entire research continuum: basic research, early and late translational research, clinical research, epidemiological research, implementation in care and population based outcome research. There will be a strong focus on discovery-driven translational cancer research in five selected tumours: breast, head-neck, lung, malignant melanoma and pancreatic cancer. Joint structures and programmes for early detection will contribute to optimal treatment, and novel prevention research programmes will integrate prevention activities in clinical cancer centres as well as public prevention. Collaborations will also include molecular pathway-driven clinical research supported by joint structures for omics, biobanking and biomarker validation to support clinical trials aimed at enhancing patient benefits by individualised treatments. EurocanPlatform is unique in its nature and represents a commitment from cancer centres to join forces and resources in order to fight cancer.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.98M | Year: 2012
Currently, 180 million people suffer from diabetes worldwide and this number is expected to double until 2030. Diabetes-related healthcare costs may rise to 40% of the total healthcare budget in high incidence countries. Despite these daunting numbers, our knowledge about the pathophysiology of T1D and T2D remains limited and many questions about the relation of the of the beta cell mass, the beta cell function and the metabolism of different tissues remain unanswered. In order to address these urgent questions, great hope has been put on the development of novel tracers, and functional and molecular imaging methods, which only recently have become available for in vivo diabetes imaging. However, it remains difficult to build up top level expertise as few, if any, European institutions are able to offer a profound combined molecular imaging/diabetes training, a shortcoming that continues to hamper the progress of the field. As a consequence, most available molecular imaging techniques are insufficiently characterised for clinical use in diabetes. To address this challenge, we propose a training network (BetaTrain) to connect academic/private sector partners from 5 leading European FP7 consortia with top level expertise in beta cell/diabetes imaging. Like this, BetaTrain will not only provide a unique multidisciplinary intersectoral training opportunity to young scientists in the field, but will also address the urgent challenges in our combat against diabetes. In order to non-invasively characterize beta cells and other relevant tissues in animal models and humans suffering from diabetes, it will be necessary to combine different molecular imaging techniques to provide information complementary to that obtained by other imaging, laboratory, and functional tests. The scientific training program of BetaTrain will therefore characterise, cross-calibrate and map these technologies/tracers in order to create the basis for personalised diagnosis and therapy in diabetes.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 16.31M | Year: 2008
ENGAGE (European Network for Genetic and Genomic Epidemiology) has, as its central objective, the translation of the wealth of data emerging from large-scale research efforts in molecular epidemiology into information of direct relevance to future advances in clinical medicine. ENGAGE will do this through the integration of very large-scale genetic and phenotypic data already available from a substantial number of large and well-characterised European (and other) sample sets of various types. The initial focus will be an integrated analysis of >80,000 genomewide association scans available to the consortium, thereby identifying the large number of novel disease-susceptibility variants undetectable in individual studies. Early studies will concentrate on metabolic and cardiovascular phenotypes, with subsequent expansion to apply the methods developed and lessons learned in other disease areas. The ENGAGE framework has been designed to be adaptable to advances that enable global analyses of other sources of genomic variation (eg structural and epigenetic variants), and to broadening of the phenotypic spectrum (to genomic endophenotypes in particular). The clinical and public health relevance of the novel disease- and trait-susceptibility variants we identify will be evaluated using the breadth and diversity of ENGAGE cohorts (DNAs and serum/plasma samples from over 600,000 individuals). The final step will be to effect responsible clinical translation of our major findings. As well as advances in the understanding of disease pathogenesis which may underpin novel therapeutic advances, we expect to provide clear proof-of-principle that genetic and genomic discoveries can be translated into diagnostic indicators for common diseases with the capacity to stratify risk, monitor disease progression and predict and monitor therapeutic response. ENGAGE has assembled the best researchers, clinical samples and statistical and technical expertise in Europe to realise these goals.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 16.62M | Year: 2011
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers in both males and females, and it is perhaps the best understood of all epithelial tumors in terms of its molecular origin. Yet, despite large amount of work that has concentrated on understanding of colon tumorigenesis, we still do not know the full complement of molecular lesions that are individually necessary and together sufficient to cause colorectal cancer. Neither do we understand why some specific mutations that are relatively rare in other tumors (e.g. loss of the APC tumor suppressor) are extremely common in colorectal cancer. We propose here to use the tools of systems biology to develop a quantitative and comprehensive model of colorectal tumorigenesis. The model will include a wiring diagram that identifies cell-type specific and oncogenic pathways that contribute to colon tumorigenesis, and explains in molecular detail how a genotype of an individual CRC leads to activation of downstream genes that drive uncontrolled cell growth. This model will subsequently be used to find novel therapeutic targets, to guide genetic screening to identify individuals with elevated risk for developing CRC, and to classify patients into molecular subgroups to select the treatment combination which is optimal for each patient (personalized medicine). The specific objectives of the SYSCOL project are: 1. Identify genetic markers for individual risk using genotyping and sequencing of germline DNA from sporadic and familial CRC cases and controls 2. Identify genes and regulatory elements that contribute to colorectal cancer cell growth 3. Use data from Aims 1-2 to develop a quantitative model for colorectal tumorigenesis 4. Apply the model for identification of high-risk individuals, for molecular classification of the disease, and for identification of novel molecular treatment targets
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: ICT-2013.9.9 | Award Amount: 74.61M | Year: 2013
This Flagship aims to take graphene and related layered materials from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionize multiple industries from flexible, wearable and transparent electronics, to new energy applications and novel functional composites.\nOur main scientific and technological objectives in the different tiers of the value chain are to develop material technologies for ICT and beyond, identify new device concepts enabled by graphene and other layered materials, and integrate them to systems that provide new functionalities and open new application areas.\nThese objectives are supported by operative targets to bring together a large core consortium of European academic and industrial partners and to create a highly effective technology transfer highway, allowing industry to rapidly absorb and exploit new discoveries.\nThe Flagship will be aligned with European and national priorities to guarantee its successful long term operation and maximal impact on the national industrial and research communities.\nTogether, the scientific and technological objectives and operative targets will allow us to reach our societal goals: the Flagship will contribute to sustainable development by introducing new energy efficient and environmentally friendly products based on carbon and other abundant, safe and recyclable natural resources, and boost economic growth in Europe by creating new jobs and investment opportunities.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 6.99M | Year: 2013
The key concept behind this proposal is the development of a very high resolution and high efficiency brain dedicated Positron Emission Tomograph (PET) imager that can visualize neurotransmitter pathways and their disruptions in the quest to better diagnose and consequently to better treat schizophrenia. In addition, the plan is for this compact PET imager to be integrated with a Magnetic Resonance Imager Radio Frequency (MRI RF) system to be able to operate as a brain insert in a hybrid imaging setup with practically any MRI scanner. From the technical point of view, we propose to optimize the PET technology for imaging of the human brain with the accuracy typically achieved for small animal brain imaging. To achieve this, we will incorporate the solid state based MRI-compatible PET modules that will be designed to achieve below systemic 1mm spatial resolution in a tomographic reconstruction of the human brain. We aim to achieve the level of PET-MRI compatibility allowing for simultaneous PET and MRI imaging. By combining PET measurements of neurotransmission with fMRI (functional MRI) measurements of Blood Oxygen Level Detection (BOLD) signal changes we will advance to a position where it is possible to learn more about the neurochemical determination of neural activity reflected in BOLD signal changes. The novelty is that both the PET and RF coil systems are integrated into a portable and compact design dedicated to brain examination. This will allow current MR equipment to be easily upgraded into PET/MR systems. To achieve its diagnostic goal, MINDView will be paired with the set of dedicated specific PET imaging agents and endogenous compounds that will be labeled with short-lived positron isotopes. The goal is that dopaminergic, glutamatergic and other pathways will be able to be studied with the new high performance imaging tool. Innovative paradigms such as activation and perturbation and their impact on brain function will be in focus.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-33-2015 | Award Amount: 30.12M | Year: 2016
The vision of EU-ToxRisk is to drive a paradigm shift in toxicology towards an animal-free, mechanism-based integrated approach to chemical safety assessment. The project will unite all relevant disciplines and stakeholders to establish: i) pragmatic, solid read-across procedures incorporating mechanistic and toxicokinetic knowledge; and ii) ab initio hazard and risk assessment strategies of chemicals with little background information. The project will focus on repeated dose systemic toxicity (liver, kidney, lung and nervous system) as well as developmental/reproduction toxicity. Different human tiered test systems are integrated to balance speed, cost and biological complexity. EU-ToxRisk extensively integrates the adverse outcome pathway (AOP)-based toxicity testing concept. Therefore, advanced technologies, including high throughput transcriptomics, RNA interference, and high throughput microscopy, will provide quantitative and mechanistic underpinning of AOPs and key events (KE). The project combines in silico tools and in vitro assays by computational modelling approaches to provide quantitative data on the activation of KE of AOP. This information, together with detailed toxicokinetics data, and in vitro-in vivo extrapolation algorithms forms the basis for improved hazard and risk assessment. The EU-ToxRisk work plan is structured along a broad spectrum of case studies, driven by the cosmetics, (agro)-chemical, pharma industry together with regulators. The approach involves iterative training, testing, optimization and validation phases to establish fit-for-purpose integrated approaches to testing and assessment with key EU-ToxRisk methodologies. The test systems will be combined to a flexible service package for exploitation and continued impact across industry sectors and regulatory application. The proof-of-concept for the new mechanism-based testing strategy will make EU-ToxRisk the flagship in Europe for animal-free chemical safety assessment.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.89M | Year: 2015
Early onset neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are rather common, and affect more than 30 million children in Europe. The disorders carry a huge burden to the patients and their families and to society in general. This burden is linked to their chronic course and the absence of curative treatments. These neurodevelopmental disorders are thought to result from the disruption of normal brain development and related neurobiological mechanisms during the prenatal and early postnatal period. Recent advances in technology, infrastructure and analytic tools allow us now to identify these disruptions in brain development in the prenatal and early postnatal period, examine how this compromises the development of key social, attentional, motor and cognitive skills, and help understanding of the mechanisms that lead to neurodevelopmental disorders. This will facilitate developing new approaches to early detection, diagnosis and treatment. BRAINVIEW ETN provides a multidisciplinary and intersectoral (academia, companies, patient organizations) network environment in which cutting-edge science is combined with training young researchers in such an approach.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-31-2014 | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2015
Health inequities have been increasing in Europe, particularly in a context of an ageing society and economic crisis. In countries with different levels of infrastructures and health system preparedness, inequities create significant policy challenges. The main goal of this project is to advance knowledge of policies that have the highest potential to enhance health and health equity across European regions with particular focus on metropolitan areas. To achieve this goal, the project will develop tools based on a population health index to evaluate the health and wellbeing of European population. This index will be informed by evidence on the relationship between multiple determinants (e.g. demographic, social, economic, environmental, lifestyle, and health care) and health outcomes in the past 15 years. It will be constructed using a multicriteria model structure, following a socio-technical approach: integrating the technical elements of a multicriteria value model and the social elements of interdisciplinary and participatory processes. The index will be applied to evaluate the populations health in 273 NUTS 2 European regions and 9 selected pilot metropolitan areas (covering populations of 28 EU countries). The space-time analysis and comparison of the population health index will be enabled by a user-friendly web-based Geographic Information System. The population health index will be used to foresee and discuss the impact of multilevel policies and combinations of policies in population health and health equity across European regions, thus providing a basis for policy dialogue. Multicriteria resource allocation models, conflict analyses, analysis of policies feasibility, and scenario analyses will then assist in providing evidence on which policies have the highest potential to improve health and reduce health inequities at different geographical levels, and in suggesting alternative policy options for health policy development and regulation.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.1-1 | Award Amount: 4.22M | Year: 2009
Facilitating Implementation of Research Evidence (FIRE) is a proposed four year programme of research to identify and validate key factors determining the successful implementation of research evidence in practice. The study is underpinned by a conceptual framework, the Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARiHS) framework, which proposes that the successful implementation of research evidence is dependent on the complex interplay of the evidence, the context of implementation and the way the process is facilitated. The planned research will focus on evaluating the feasibility and effectiveness of facilitation as an implementation strategy. A randomised, controlled trial with three intervention arms (standard dissemination and two different models of facilitation) and six units in each of five countries (four in Europe, plus Canada; n=30) is planned. The units will be asked to implement research based guidance on continence promotion and receive differing levels of facilitation support to do so. Detailed contextual, process and outcome data will be collected to fully explore the complex processes at work during implementation. With the combination of an international consortium and experienced research team, a theory-driven, multi-method evaluation study and detailed attention to stakeholder involvement and dissemination throughout the research, the study has the potential to make a significant contribution to the knowledge and practice of translating research evidence at a clinical, organisational and policy level, within Europe and internationally.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 3.76M | Year: 2011
Protein aggregation is a hallmark of many late onset neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinsons Disease (PD), Alzheimers Disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), prion diseases as well as the group of polyglutamine diseases (polyQ). The aim of this proposal is to create a network of European partners bridging important basic mechanisms involved in proteinopathies, research of model diseases and treatment approaches. The TreatPolyQ network will focus on two main representatives of the polyQ diseases: Huntingtons disease as the most common polyQ disease as well as spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) as the most frequent autosomal-dominantly inherited ataxia. Patients suffer from a multitude of neurological symptoms including movement abnormalities with late onset and in a progressive manner. Up to now, no treatment or cure is available. The network will be consisting of a rare combination of experts from basic and translational research, including a Nobel prize laureate, four industrial partners (two medium, and two small companies, all incorporated as full participants) and academic leaders of the field. The network not only focuses on one special aspect of a disease but spans several important disease-associated mechanism as well as promising treatment strategies for HD and SCA3 (protein transport, protein folding, protein degradation via both the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy), likely to be important across a range of neurodegenerative diseases. In order to implement these research projects, extensive collaborations and temporarily personnel secondments of the involved researchers will take place, enhancing interdisciplinary transfer of knowledge. Beyond the personalized local training plan for each employed researcher within the Network, there will be 4 structured courses covering aspects ranging from structural biology to protein degradation to model organisms and drug development, including soft skill training.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.3.2-3 | Award Amount: 17.07M | Year: 2010
This proposal is for a large scale collaborative project in which we propose both to develop novel microbicides directed against new intracellular targets and to investigate novel combinations of highly active anti-retroviral drugs which may be particularly effective as microbicides. Combinations may enhance efficacy but equally importantly will increase the genetic barrier to the development of resistance. The proposal includes development of both slow release and gel formulations, pharmacokinetic and challenge experiments in macaques as well as human studies including a collaborative study with an EDCTP-funded project to use multiplex and proteomic technologies as well as culture-independent DNA-based analysis of mucosal microbiota to investigate biomarkers and establish a baseline signature from which perturbations can be recognised. This is a large consortium comprising 30 partners from 8 EU countries and from Switzerland, Ukraine, South Africa and the United States.Partners include microbicide developers, IPM and Particle Sciences, and producers, Gilead, Tibotec and Virco. Two SMEs will also participate in RTD aspects. The consortium is multidisciplinary with scientists engaged in basic discovery working with new targets and developing novel chemistry to produce compounds with improved safety and efficacy profiles as well as altered patterns of resistance.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-4.2-1 | Award Amount: 7.02M | Year: 2009
Neonatal hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) occurs in 2-3/1000 live births and is a major cause of both acute mortality and long-term neurodisability. Seizures are the hallmark of HIE. The clinical and electrographic seizure burden in babies with HIE can be considerable and is often not reduced by current antiepileptic drugs. Phenobarbitone remains the first line drug for neonatal seizures despite the fact that it has limited efficacy. Better treatments for neonatal seizures, particularly in asphyxiated babies, are a high research priority with the ultimate aim to improve long-term outcome. The aim of NEMO is to develop an effective treatment regimen for neonatal seizures using innovative strategies, targeted specifically to the needs and peculiarities of babies. An age dependent high expression of neuronal co-transporter resulting in excitatory rather than inhibitory function of GABA is believed to be responsible for the high incidence of seizures in the neonatal period. By blocking this co-transporter with bumetanide, a loop diuretic, the depolarizing action of GABA will be reversed resulting in reduced neuronal firing. Intensive EEG monitoring will enable us to accurately identify seizures and monitor treatment effect. A European-wide multicentre approach would, for the first time facilitate performing an RCT with enough statistical power in this age-group. By consolidating efforts from basic science, pharmacology and clinical centres we propose: 1. to perform a European-wide, multicentre, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of bumetanide in neonates 2. to perform pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies of bumetanide 3. to further investigate the mechanisms of action in non-clinical experiments 4. to develop and adapt a bumetanide formulation suitable for neonates in order to apply for a Paediatric Use Marketing Authorization (PUMA). 5. if results of the initial trial do not support a PUMA application we plan to apply for a Paediatric Investigation Plan (PIP) for lidoocaine to assess its efficacy as an AED for the control of seizures which are not controlled by phenobarbitone.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2009-2-7-01 | Award Amount: 1.94M | Year: 2010
A number of epidemiological studies have consistently demonstrated the protective effects of fruits and vegetables with respect to several age related diseases. The aim of this project is to investigate the protective action of agents with potential use as functional food constituents with respect to cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In collaboration between EU and Indian research centers the proposal features a multipronged approach, where the protective action of various non-toxic agents are studied in vitro as well as in rodent models with respect to induction of DNA lesions, tumours and biomarkers for the development of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy and atherosclerosis. In addition, reduced availability of carcinogens and inhibition of their metabolic activation are investigated. Testing of the protective efficacy of functional food components in intervention cross-over studies in humans exposed to carcinogens, that are normally present at significant levels in the environment, represents an approach that has rarely been resorted to, and will be implemented under this project in Europe as well as in India using sophisticated molecular, cytogenetic and other analytical methods. Although there has been remarkable progress in our understanding of the processes that lead to neoplasia and diabetes, the mechanisms underlying chemoprevention are, in general, little understood. The results from this project are expected to provide an improved insight with respect to this topic.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2015
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are frequent, chronic and highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorders. Despite their societal importance, progress in understanding disease biology has been slow and no curative treatment options are available. The pan-European training network MiND aims to educate a new generation of researchers in the field of neurodevelopmental disorders, through innovation-oriented research combined with highly interdisciplinary and intersectoral international training. Research and training in MiND span state-of-the-art topics in the fields of ADHD, ASD and their yet un-investigated overlap. We combine advanced (epi-)genetics approaches with bioinformatics and develop novel cell and animal models of increasing complexity to understand pathomechanisms. Integrated with research in large human DNA-neuroimaging-cognition data sets, we push forward the understanding of the biology leading from gene to cognition and disease. Our mechanistic work is embedded in a framework exploring alternative disease definitions for ADHD and ASD across the lifespan and working towards improved treatment: we use novel cognitive assessments, we probe the microbiome for dietary interventions reducing symptoms and evaluate mindfulness training as non-pharmacological treatment options, in addition to developing new compounds for pharmacological treatment optimization and individualization. The strategic collaboration of world-leading academic groups, research-intensive commercial enterprises and patient organisations will deliver 15 young, scientifically excellent researchers which are optimally prepared for private sector and academic careers. MiND can be expected to impact patients and society by improving our understanding of disease biology, by developing novel diagnostic and treatment strategies, and by raising awareness for the necessity of research of neurodevelopmental disorders from childhood to adulthood.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.2.1-3 | Award Amount: 8.74M | Year: 2014
Aggression inflicts a huge personal, psychological and financial burden on affected individuals, their relatives, and society at large. Despite large scientific, preventive, and treatment investments, no decrease in aggressive behavior is seen. This calls for a shift to new approaches. By capitalising on comprehensive longitudinal cohorts, recent advances in genetic, biological, epidemiological, and clinical fields, and combining such interdisciplinary expertise the ACTION consortium will dissect the etiology and pathogenesis of aggression. Based on new insights, ACTION will inform the development of novel diagnostic tools and causative targets and guide the development of treatment and prevention strategies. ACTION is built on interrelated work packages with a focus on a) clinical epidemiology and current classification and treatment problems; b) genetic epidemiology, including Genome Wide Association studies and epigenetics; c) gene-environment correlation and interaction; d) biomarkers and metabolomics. ACTION will deliver an overarching framework that combines a thorough understanding of pathways leading to aggression with a map of current gaps, best practices on clinical, ethical, legal, and social issues. Based on this framework, ACTION will develop novel biomarkers suitable for large-scale applications in children and combine biomarker data with new insights into the effects of gender, age, and comorbidity. ACTION will provide guidance in optimising current intervention programs and deliver new biological targets to pave the way for novel therapeutic interventions. ACTION will provide a decision tree to guide personalised intervention programmes and will have direct and sustained impact on reducing paediatric aggression. Its overarching aim is to reduce aggression by developing approaches that take individual differences in genetic and environmental susceptibility into account, thereby leading to better understanding of personalised intervention programs.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.3.2-2 | Award Amount: 7.84M | Year: 2013
Extensive clinical and epidemiological data clearly shows that chronic periodontal disease (PD), the most prevalent infectious inflammatory disease of mankind, is strongly linked to systemic inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD) , rheumatoid arthritis (RA) , and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) . Taking into account that up to 30% of the adult population worldwide suffers from severe periodontitis , the impact of this disease on human health is immense and has been recognized by World Health Organization . Nevertheless, in many EU countries PD is a neglected disease, both by the population in general and health-care personnel. Often this negligence comes to the point that, like a hair-loss, the tooth-loss due to periodontitis is still considered as a normal inevitable event associated with aging. To combat this misconception and conceive novel approaches to prevent and/or treat CVD, RA, and COPD we will explore highly innovative ideas that these non-communicable diseases are at least aggravated, if not initiated, by periodontal infection. Results emanating from our project will: i) elucidate a relationship between the presence of specific periodontal pathogens and severity of systemic diseases; ii) show that extensive periodontal treatment improves clinical parameters of investigated systemic diseases; iii) reveal the impact of eradication of specific periodontal pathogen on the level of inflammatory markers; iv) develop novel, periodontal-pathogen specific bactericidal compounds based on periodontal glutaminyl cyclase (QC), the enzyme essential for these pathogens vitality. This will reduce mortality and ameliorated quality of life of CVD, RA, and COPD patients. All of these will be possible based on the knowledge of mechanisms beyond the causative links between specific pathogen driven periodontal disease and CVD, RA, and COPD revealed by research program outlined in this project.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-26-2014 | Award Amount: 11.93M | Year: 2015
One of the greatest challenges facing regulators in the ever changing landscape of novel nano-materials is how to design and implement a regulatory process which is robust enough to deal with a rapidly diversifying system of manufactured nanomaterials (MNM) over time. Not only does the complexity of the MNM present a problem for regulators, the validity of data decreases with time, so that the well-known principle of the half-life of facts (Samuel Arbesman, 2012) means that what is an accepted truth now is no longer valid in 20 or 30 years time. The challenge is to build a regulatory system which is flexible enough to be able to deal with new targets and requirements in the future, and this can be helped by the development and introduction of Safe by Design (SbD) principles. The credibility of such a regulatory system, underpinned by the implementation of SbD, is essential for industry, who while accepting the need for regulation demand it is done in a cost effective and rapid manner. The NANoREG II project, built around the challenge of coupling SbD to the regulatory process, will demonstrate and establish new principles and ideas based on data from value chain implementation studies to establish SbD as a fundamental pillar in the validation of a novel MNM. It is widely recognized by industries as well as by regulatory agencies that grouping strategies for NM are urgently needed. ECETOC has formed a task force on NM grouping and also within the OECD WPMN a group works on NM categorisation. However, so far no reliable and regulatory accepted grouping concepts could be established. Grouping concepts that will be developed by NanoREG II can be regarded as a major innovation therefore as guidance documents on NM grouping will not only support industries or regulatory agencies but would also strongly support commercial launch of new NM.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-CSA | Phase: WIDESPREAD-1-2014 | Award Amount: 499.83K | Year: 2015
Our vision is to become by 2020 a Central and South-East European (CSEE) Centre of Excellence for Translational Medicine (CETM), coordinated by the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana that will harness, develop, exploit and market the significant potential for research and innovation in the region. The vision of CETM is to form the hub of an alliance of biomedical and health-related research and innovation institutions from CSEE. This long-term science and innovation strategy will be achieved by establishing a partnership between leading scientific institutions the Karolinska Institutet and the European Bioinformatics Institute on the one hand and the Consortium of teaching, research and health institutions and SMEs from Slovenia with partners from other low performing regions of CSEE on the other hand. Specifically, under the mentorship of these leading scientific institutions, the proposed CSEE CETM will upgrade, integrate, exploit and market the regions research and innovation potential in the field of aging with special reference to neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes and cancer in Slovenia, with partners from Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, NE Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic and European part of Turkey (population of about 100 million). The proposed CETM has the potential and ambition to use the Teaming seed money to stimulate inter- and intra-regional networking of research and innovation clusters thus promoting collaboration on large-scale research and innovation grant applications or clinical studies in the field of translational medicine. The vision of the CETM includes: 1. Spreading innovation-focused, research culture in CSEE and developing marketable products and services; 2. Developing a properly functioning, accountable, transparent, service-oriented CETM administration in accordance with relevant ISO standards for customers satisfaction.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-IRSES | Award Amount: 188.80K | Year: 2012
54 partners from 34 institutes have formed an EC-funded Network of Excellence (NoE) in basic malaria research, the European Virtual Institute for Malaria Research (EVIMalaR). Over the previous >5 years as the NoE Biomalpar these partners successfully broke down many barriers to cooperation pursuing a programme of integrated research. This was greatly assisted by the Biomalpar PhD School whose students were supervised by two partners from different member states. Evimalar represents the latest incarnation of this network and has recruited in tranches 21 students into the Evimalar PhD School. Australian malaria researchers have also realised the greater benefits of collaborative research and within the Australian Parasitology Network have exchanged personnel and expertise. Both the European and Australian networks recognised that their domestic spirit of cooperation could be mutualised and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2007 (updated in 2010) to formalise the ambition. The MoU generated greater exchange between the regions but was limited due to lack of finance. Evimalar created a legal link between the regions by incorporating an Australian malaria researcher who was then applied for funding from the Australian NHMRC to finance OzEMalaR, a mechanism for exchange of Australians to Evimalar partners. Ozmalnet seeks reciprocal funding to allow Evimalar researchers to conduct exchange visits to OzEMalaR laboratories. Both regions are world leaders in malaria research with particular local strengths that can be exploited to the mutual benefit of both regions and their early stage researchers including Evimalar PhD students who will primarily be undertaking the exchanges. The outcome will be a more globalised integration of malaria research and greater exchange of information and personnel in the future leading to collaborative grants and ultimately concerted efforts to defeat malaria one of the greatest scourges of mankind.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-06-2014 | Award Amount: 2.99M | Year: 2015
Very preterm birth is a principal determinant of motor and cognitive impairment in later life. About 50 000 infants in the EU survive very preterm birth annually and are at much higher risk of cerebral palsy, visual and auditory deficits, impaired cognitive ability, psychiatric disorders and behavioural problems than infants born at term. However, the long term prognosis at initial discharge from hospital for each individual infant is unknown. Follow-up screening and prevention programmes aim to identify health problems early, enable interventions to improve outcome and to allow optimal management of health care. Despite the recognised importance of these programmes, little is known about their actual application and impact. These programmes consume significant resources because of the multidisciplinary staff required for clinical and developmental assessments and interventions, the coordination required to maintain contact with children after discharge and the time input from families. This project uses a unique resource the EPICE cohort of 6675 babies born before 32 weeks of gestational age and surviving to discharge home in 18 geographically diverse regions in 2011/2012 to assess the impact of these screening programmes on health, care and quality of life for very preterm infants and their families as well as on coverage, ability to meet needs, health equity and costs at the population-level. It will also generate new knowledge about assessment tools and methods. Four inter-related studies will be carried out in 11 EU countries by a multi-disciplinary consortium of clinicians (in obstetrics, paediatrics, and child development), researchers (in epidemiology, health services research and health economics) and a user organisation. Partners have the expertise to implement this project and the national and international renown to translate its result into better programmes and policies.
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.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.1.4-2 | Award Amount: 7.42M | Year: 2012
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the 4th leading cause of death worldwide. Long-term respiratory support increases the life expectancy and the quality of life of COPD patients and decreases the cost of care. Currently available artificial lungs, such as Novalungs iLA system, fail after ~ one month, mainly due to thrombus formation at the blood/machine interface. The size of current systems restrict patient mobility. We aim to create a wearable bioartificial lung (AmbuLung) for long-term application in an outpatient setting. The goals are to (1) miniaturise the existing iLA system, including the supporting technology and patient monitoring system; (2) cellularise the diffusion membrane with endothelial cells to decrease thrombogenicity and to increase the gas-exchange rate; and (3) evaluate the developed system in pre-clinical and clinical studies. The innovation includes (i) development of a novel alveolo-capillary gas-exchange membrane, functionalised with bioactive molecules and seeded with endothelial cells, ii) miniaturisation of mechanical and electronic device components, and (iii) novel vascular access system. For cellularisation, endothelial cells derived from FDA approved clinical grade human pluripotent stem cells will be used. Cell differentiation, scale-up, seeding, and maintenance will be performed using established automatable and scalable dynamic bioreactor technology. A mathematical model will be developed to predict and refine the function of this complex system in vitro and in vivo. AmbuLung will be evaluated in a pig model, assessing functionality, and non-thrombogenicity. The data will provide information required for potential clinical transfer. If successful, a clinical trial will be carried out on 5 COPD patients after acquisition of necessary regulatory approvals. Evaluation of efficacy of the intervention will be based on multidimensional health status grading.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.4-6 | Award Amount: 15.84M | Year: 2008
The NEuroStemCell consortium will foster collaboration between leading European experimental and clinical researchers in order to maximise the prospects for successful clinical trials of stem cell therapy for Parkinsons (PD) and Huntingtons (HD) Disease. The activities will be driven by a Clinical WorkPackage (WP), which will set the requirements, and monitor and guide advances in development of the most promising cells. The goal is to compare different stem cell sources with respect to their capcity to generate mesencephalic Dopaminergic and striatal GABAergic neurons suitable for neuronal cell replacement. The major sources will be neuralised Embryonic Stem (ES) cells, adherent Neural Stem (NS) cell lines and short term expanded Ventral Midbrain neural stem cells/progenitors grown as Neurospheres (VMN). Two exploratory WPs will use extrinsic cues to specify neuronal differentiation and compare rigorously the different human stem cell lines and their progeny in giving rise to authentic neurons. WP3 will integrate long-term assessements of functional (motor and cognitive) recovery in appropriate animal models of PD and HD, and WP4 will exploit non-invasive in vivo imaging to evaluate the survival, composition, integration and functional impact of the donor cells in host brain. These two WPs will also provide the elements necessary to standardise the extent of recovery as a function of cell replacement and integration. In WP5, three SMEs will generate the technologies for manufacturing and scale-up of safe, fully traceable, efficacious and banked stocks of cells ready for clinical use. Regulatory and ethical requirements will be considered in the Clinical WP which also incorporates training. Building on the successful experience of the FPVI EuroStemCell project, NEuroStemCell will provide a focal point for European researchers engaged in the translational aspects of stem cell-based strategies to develop cures for PD and HD
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.1-5 | Award Amount: 15.72M | Year: 2008
The European Drug Initiative on Channels and Transporters, EDICT, allies for the first time, partners with world-class expertise in both the structural and functional characterisation of membrane channels and transporters. State-of-the-art facilities and personnel for X-ray crystallography, Electron Microscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and the latest throughput technology, will provide infrastructure for scientists characterising channel and transport functions in man and pathogenic microorganisms. Our experts in the analyses of all the databases of these membrane proteins and molecular modelling will work with our industrial partners on specific targets chosen for their potential to improve the health of European citizens, increase the competitiveness of European health-related industries and businesses and address global health issues. EDICT will increase knowledge of biological processes and mechanisms involved in normal health and in specific disease situations, and transpose this knowledge into clinical applications. By combining computational and experimental analyses, existing detailed molecular models of channel and transporter proteins, and novel structures derived by our partners, will be analysed to identify the critical regions constituting drug targets. These basic discoveries will be translated via in silico and experimental strategies with our industrial partners into the design of novel drugs that modify activities of the membrane proteins for the benefit of the patients. The range of human proteins covered includes potassium channels, anion and cation transporters, neurotransmitter transporters, cation-transporting ATPases and mitochondrial transporters. Structures of bacterial homologues to the human proteins are exploited to inform the studies of their human counterparts
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENV.2008.1.2.1.3. | Award Amount: 1.14M | Year: 2009
This proposal puts forward plans to establish a research network of experts on noise and health in Europe. This network will establish future research directions and policy needs in Europe. The network will review the existing literature on environmental noise exposure and health focussing on the consolidation of existing state of the art knowledge and the identification of gaps in the evidence and future research needs and hypotheses to be tested. In the network we will train junior researchers in noise and health through setting up an exchange network across Europe. The network will focus on noise exposure assessment in health studies in order to build more complex analytical models of noise and health effects that take into account moderating factors including the joint effects of air pollution and noise. A specific function of the network will be to establish communication between researchers on noise and researchers on air pollution. We will improve the measurement of health outcomes relevant to noise research and strengthen the available methodologies for future research, by extending analyses on existing research taking advantage of the large EU-funded RANCH and HYENA studies and relevant national studies. We will develop novel designs for research on noise and health to provide to the EU a new strategy for the development of noise and health research in the future. We will disseminate the results to the EU, to national governments, to fellow researchers, and other stakeholders.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.3.4-3 | Award Amount: 2.19M | Year: 2011
This project will add new research training capacity at Sub Saharan African (SSA) universities, for health systems and services strengthening. The focus is doctoral and post doctoral training, institutional strengthening for education, financial and administrative research management, and South-South network building. Novel capacity building approaches will reduce brain-drain, be more climate friendly and encourage gender equity with south based training. Internet mounted downloadable modules in quantitative (e.g., epidemiology), qualitative (e.g., anthropology) and economic methods will support excellent interdisciplinary courses. Our EU and African partners have many successful previous collaborations, e.g., web based training modules; joint PhD degree with Uganda. Health systems strengthening is research intensive, incremental improvement to service delivery, implementation and evaluation. Therefore SSA countries need to grow their own health services and systems research (HSSR) capacity: interdisciplinary, rigorous and relevant. ARCADE-HSSR will support evidence informed service delivery by producing a stream of well trained young HSSR scientists, the next generation of health system leaders and researchers in SSA. Activities will be aimed at individuals, institutions and at the network. Makerere University(MU) and Stellenbosch University (SU) are two strong SSA universities with HSSR focus. They will act as hubs in a South-South network including MU, SU, and initially, Muhimbili (MUH) and Malawi (MA). Working with strong northern HSSR institutions (Karolinska Institute KI, Sussex University Institute for development Studies, IDS, and Norwegian Knowledge Centre for Health Services KS) this region-wide approach will draw skills, resources and students to a new south-south HSSR capacity development network. We will expand our unique north-south joint PhD degree programme (KI-MU: 20 Ugandan graduates), to south-south joint PhD degrees (MU-SU).
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-08-2014 | Award Amount: 8.00M | Year: 2015
Tuberculosis (TB) is a global health problem, killing 1.5 million of people every year. The only currently available vaccine, Mycobacterium bovis BCG, is effective against severe childhood forms, but it demonstrates a variable efficacy against the pulmonary form of TB in adults. Many of these adult TB cases result from the reactivation of an initially controlled, latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection. Effective prophylactic vaccination remains the key long-term strategy for combating TB. Continued belief in reaching this goal requires unrelenting innovation in the formulation and delivery of candidate vaccines. It is also based on the assumption, that the failure of recent human vaccine trials could have been due to a sub-optimal vaccine design and delivery, and therefore should not erode the key principle that a TB vaccine is an attainable target. This proposal focuses on mucosal vaccination, which has been considered in the past, but not implemented efficiently. The innovation of the proposal is focused on several important aspects of vaccine development and testing, including the use of novel technologies for vaccine delivery, novel ways of specific targeting of mucosal immune cells and tissues, the use of polypeptides incorporating early and latent MTB antigens and putative CD8\ T cell epitopes, and application of novel tools for identifying early predictors and correlates of vaccine-induced protection. The overall objective is to design a vaccine that will induce a broad-ranging immune response to MTB both systemically and in the mucosa of the lungs, and provide the currently missing links in protective immunity to this pathogen.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.3-1 | Award Amount: 13.58M | Year: 2013
SUN (Sustainable Nanotechnologies) is the first project addressing the entire lifecycle of nanotechnologies to ensure holistic nanosafety evaluation and incorporate the results into tools and guidelines for sustainable manufacturing, easily accessible by industries, regulators and other stakeholders. The project will incorporate scientific findings from over 30 European projects, national and international research programmes and transatlantic co-operations to develop (i) methods and tools to predict nanomaterials exposure and effects on humans and ecosystems, (ii) implementable processes to reduce hazard and exposure to nanomaterials in different lifecycle stages, (iii) innovative technological solutions for risk management in industrial settings, and (iv) guidance on best practices for securing both nano-manufacturing processes and nanomaterials ultimate fate, including development of approaches for safe disposal and recycling. In summary, SUN stands for an integrated approach for the long-term sustainability of nanotechnologies through the development of safe processes for production, use and end-of-life processing of nanomaterials and products, as well as methods reducing both adverse effects and exposure to acceptable levels.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-21-2015 | Award Amount: 3.92M | Year: 2016
Transition from healthy status to Parkinsons Disease (PD) is vaguely tractable, since symptoms can be so subtle in the early stages that they go unnoticed. Lack of biomarkers and/or findings on routine MRI and CT scans, PD is left undiagnosed for years, gradually affecting the life of over 6.5 million of older adults (>55-60 yrs) worldwide, increasing the risk of their health deterioration. Epidemiological studies conclude that early intervention could have an inverse relation with the PD-related risks of progressive frailty, falls and emotional shift towards depression. Based on this evidence, the cardinal objective of i-PROGNOSIS is the development of (i) an ICT-based behavioural analysis approach for capturing, as early as possible, the PD symptoms appearance, and (ii) the application of ICT-based interventions countering identified risks. To achieve this, awareness initiatives will be employed, so as to construct i-PROGNOSIS community, targeting > 5000 older individuals within the duration of the project, in order to unobtrusively sense large scale behavioural data from its members, acquired from their natural use of mobile devices (smartphone/smartwatch). Ensuring anonymisation and secure Cloud archiving, i-PROGNOSIS will develop and employ advanced big data analytics and machine learning techniques, in a distributed and privacy aware fashion, so as to instantiate a PD Behavioural Model and construct reliable early PD symptoms detection alarms. To those identified and clinically validated as early stage PD patients, ICT-based interventions will be provided via the i-PROGNOSIS Intervention Platform, including: a) a Personalised Game Suite (ExerGames, DietaryGames, EmoGames, Handwriting/VoiceGames) for physical/emotional support, b) targeted nocturnal intervention to increase relaxation/sleep quality and c) assistive interventions for voice enhancement and gait rhythm guidance. In this way, i-PROGNOSIS will constructively contribute to active and healthy ageing.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.2-4 | Award Amount: 3.83M | Year: 2009
Current human resources planning models in nursing are unreliable and ineffective as they consider volumes, but ignore effects on quality in patient care. The project RN4CAST aims innovative forecasting methods by addressing not only volumes, but quality of nursing staff as well as quality of patient care. RN4CAST is a consortium of 15 partners that will quantify in 11 European countries-Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, UK - important unmeasured factors in forecasting models including how features of hospital work environments and qualifications of the nurse workforce impact on nurse recruitment, retention, productivity and patient outcomes. Three partners outside Europe - China, South Africa, and Botswana- provide additional perspectives. Innovative elements of the project include unique measures of workplace dynamics and patient outcomes. Nurse workforce planning initiatives at national and European levels will be reviewed and newly collected data added to enhance accuracy for nurse workforce management. Data collection focuses on general hospitals, which employ the majority of nurses, account for the largest number of medical errors and comprise the largest share of national health expenditures. Each European partner will conduct a study of 20 to 50 hospitals depending on country size yielding information on more than 350 hospitals including surveys from over 50,000 nurses and outcomes of tens of thousands of patients. European partners were selected by geographic distribution, membership duration in the EU, research expertise and availability of patient discharge data. University of Pennsylvania, USA, will contribute specialized research expertise derived from previous international research. RN4CAST will be the largest nurse workforce study ever conducted in Europe, will add to accuracy of forecasting models and generate new approaches to more effective management of nursing resources in Europe.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-RIA | Phase: FETFLAGSHIP | Award Amount: 89.00M | Year: 2016
Understanding the human brain is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time. Such an understanding can provide profound insights into our humanity, leading to fundamentally new computing technologies, and transforming the diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders. Modern ICT brings this prospect within reach. The HBP Flagship Initiative (HBP) thus proposes a unique strategy that uses ICT to integrate neuroscience data from around the world, to develop a unified multi-level understanding of the brain and diseases, and ultimately to emulate its computational capabilities. The goal is to catalyze a global collaborative effort. During the HBPs first Specific Grant Agreement (SGA1), the HBP Core Project will outline the basis for building and operating a tightly integrated Research Infrastructure, providing HBP researchers and the scientific Community with unique resources and capabilities. Partnering Projects will enable independent research groups to expand the capabilities of the HBP Platforms, in order to use them to address otherwise intractable problems in neuroscience, computing and medicine in the future. In addition, collaborations with other national, European and international initiatives will create synergies, maximizing returns on research investment. SGA1 covers the detailed steps that will be taken to move the HBP closer to achieving its ambitious Flagship Objectives.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: REV-INEQUAL-01-2016 | Award Amount: 2.11M | Year: 2016
Empirically informing a European theory of justice is a complex and challenging endeavour, however the emergence of current social crisis, and the resulting inequalities and unfairness, bring about the need to revise the premises that facilitate translation of the theory into concrete guidance to effective social policies and coherent programs and practices. To respond to this challenge, a trans-disciplinary Consortium has been organized to provide a comprehensive series of empirical data, in different ecological levels, in order to understand differences in perceptions of inequality. Through a case study on an extreme expression of inequality and unfairness - LONG-TERM HOMELESSNESS organized in a multi-method and convergent design, HOME_EU is focused on understanding: a) How much inequality do EU Citizens accept regarding Homelessness; b) How the people with a lived-experience of Homelessness (both present and past) perceive the opportunities, choices and capability gains with the services and the existing social policies; c) What strategies consider the service providers to be more effective in reversing Homelessness; d) How social policies and policy key stakeholders contribute to effectively reverse Homelessness; and e) Develop a generalizable indicator (correlating the different ecological levels of analysis) based on the data gathered by each partner country on the key elements of policy and program efficacy. We believe that with this journey into an extreme situation, we are able to generate translational knowledge about the ecology of long-term Homelessness and contribute towards the advancement of an empirically based EU theory & practice of justice as fairness.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2017
MMbio will bridge the classically separate disciplines of Chemistry and Biology by assembling leading experts from academia and non-academic partners (industry, technology transfer & science communication) to bring about systems designed to interfere therapeutically with gene expression in living cells. Expertise in nucleic acid synthesis, its molecular recognition and chemical reactivity is combined with drug delivery, cellular biology and experimental medicine. This project represents a concerted effort to make use of a basic and quantitative understanding of chemical interactions to develop and deliver oligonucleotide molecules of utility for therapy. Our chemical biology approach to this field is ambitious in its breadth and represents a unqiues opportunity to educate young scientists across sectorial and disciplinary barriers. Training will naturally encompass a wide range of skills, requiring a joint effort of chemists and biologists to introduce young researchers in a structured way to and array of research methodologies that no single research grouping could provide. The incorporation of early-stage and later stag ebiotechnology enterprises ensures that commercialisation of methodologies as well as the drug development process is covered in this ITN. We hope that MMBio will train scientists able to understand both the biological problem and the chemistry that holds the possible solution and develop original experimental approaches to stimulate European academic and commercial success in this area.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.3.4-6 | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2011
This application proposes the evaluation of two innovative large scale programs, which were set up to decrease maternal mortality among women living below the poverty line in India. India contributes 20% of global maternal deaths and has 26% of her population living below poverty line, and continues to have one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world. Progress with MDG 5 in India (slow thus far) is a prerequisite to achieving the goal by 2015. Both Indian programs were started to reduce maternal deaths by promoting institutional delivery and reducing access barriers to maternal healthcare for poor women. The two large scale, state run programs operate in two large Indian provinces. Each of these programs operates through the use of different innovative demand side financing mechanisms, which are specifically aimed at improving access for vulnerable groups. One program is a conditional cash transfer paid retrospectively to the woman on delivering in an institution while the other is a targeted bursary paid prospectively to accredited healthcare providers for delivery of the woman living below poverty. All payments are made by the state. While both programs are based on similar concepts, i.e. financial incentives for the provision and utilization of care; and the participation of the private sector there are major differences in the socioeconomic contexts in which each program operates, financing mechanisms, provider payment models and incentives, quantum of financial assistance, level of private sector involvement, all of which will have a bearing on desired maternal health outcomes. China is a proposed partner on this application, as it is able to contribute important lessons regarding rural maternal health financing programs that were studied there in FP6. No such large scale demand side financing programs for maternal health have been evaluated before. The field is fairly new and recent scientific literature has recommended robust evaluations
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.5.2 | Award Amount: 9.76M | Year: 2010
TRANSFoRm will develop rigorous, generic methods for the integration of Primary Care clinical and research activities, to support patient safety and clinical research via:\n1.\tRich capture of clinical data, including symptoms and signs rather than just a single diagnosis. A generic, dynamic interface, integrated with electronic health records (EHR), will facilitate both diagnostic decision support and identification of patients eligible for research, thus enhancing patient safety.\n2.\tDistributed interoperability of EHR data and other data sources that maintains provenance, confidentiality and security. This will enable large-scale phenotype-genotype association studies and follow up of trials.\n3.\tSoftware tools and services to enable use of controlled vocabulary and standardised data elements in clinical research. This will enable integration and reuse of clinical data.\nWhy this is important? Whilst diagnostic error is the commonest cause of litigation in Primary Care, EHR systems do not provide for easy collection of the data required for decision support. At the same time, clinical research is becoming uneconomic due to the costs of recruiting and following study participants, tasks that could be supported by the use of data from EHRs.\nWho will conduct the work? A multi-disciplinary consortium of ICT and clinical researchers from across Europe. These include experts in ontology, integration, distributed systems, security, data mining, user-facing design, evaluation and clinical research domains. Clinical participants include The European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (where the systems will be deployed), The European General Practice Research Network, and a major Contract Research Organisation.\nWhat is the anticipated impact? Improved patient safety by speeding translational research, quicker and more economic recruitment and follow up of RCTs, and enhanced uptake of eHR systems that offer support for clinical care and research.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2008-4.0-1 | Award Amount: 10.56M | Year: 2009
Currently, around 30 million people in the enlarged Europe suffer from diabetes, with a prevalence of 7.5% in member states. In recent years the emergence of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents is a new and serious health challenge to the youth of Europe, their families and society. By 2025, the number of people with diabetes is expected to rise to around 50 million in Europe, thus increasing prevalence to 10.9%. This devastating disease is ranked among the leading causes of fatal cardiovascular diseases, kidney failure, neuropathy, lower limb amputation and blindness. Estimates of annual direct cost of diabetes care in Europe are currently EUR 50 billion. The indirect costs of diabetes i.e. the cost of lost production are as high as direct costs or even higher. Diabetes results from an absolute or relative decline in pancreatic -cell function and/or mass. Although of ultimate importance for diabetes management and the development of new therapies, hitherto, no clinically established methodology for non-invasive in vivo imaging and quantification of -cell mass (BCM) exists. VIBRANT proposes superparamagnetic fluorous phase nanocontainers (FPNC), which are functionalized with -cell specific ligands for in vivo MRI. This combines -cell specific targeting with the unrivalled MRI sensitivity of supermagnetic particles and the high resolution power of 19F-containing contrast agents, and hence will outperform existing MRI technology. Furthermore, target specific drug-loaded nanocontainers will offer high potential for -cell directed therapies. VIBRANT will offer theranostic solutions to the utmost urgent problems in the health care management of diabetes, substantially improving the early diagnosis, thus preventing distressful and costly complications, contributing to the development of new therapies for the regeneration of -cell mass, and thus directly impacting health status and life quality of patients, health care budgets and economies within the EU.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2011-1.1.5. | Award Amount: 10.83M | Year: 2012
ECRIN is a distributed ESFRI-roadmap pan-European infrastructure designed to support multinational clinical research, making Europe a single area for clinical studies, taking advantage of its population size to access patients. Servicing multinational trials started during its preparatory phase, and it now applies for an ERIC status by 2011. The ERIC budget will be restricted to core activities required to enable provision of services, and the ECRIN-IA project is designed to expand ECRIN partnerships and impact beyond this core activity. Networking activities will promote pan-European expansion, capacity building, and partnership with other world regions, and address the funding issue (WP2). ECRIN-IA will develop e-services, education material to train professionals and patients associations, and communication with users, patients, citizens and policymakers (WP3). It will support the structuring and connection to ECRIN of disease-, technology-, or product-oriented investigation networks and hubs focusing on specific areas: rare diseases (WP4), medical device (WP5), nutrition (WP6). Transnational access activities will support the cost of multinational extension of clinical trials on rare diseases, medical device and nutrition selected by the ECRIN scientific board (WP7). Joint research activities are designed to improve the efficiency of ECRIN services, through the development of tools for risk-adapted monitoring (WP8), and the upgrade of the VISTA data management tool (WP9). This project will build a consistent organisation for clinical research in Europe, with ECRIN developing generic tools and providing generic services to multinational studies, and supporting the construction of pan-European disease-oriented networks, that will in turn act as ECRIN users and provide the scientific content. Such organisation will improve Europes attractiveness for industry trials, boost its scientific competitiveness, and result in better healthcare for European citizens.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2008-2-2-01 | Award Amount: 3.99M | Year: 2009
Nutrition, i.e. our daily diet, is a major life style factor, greatly impacting on human health and disease. Epidemiological evidence suggests that diets rich in plant-based foods and beverages decrease the risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Various phytochemical constituents, in particular a class of compounds called flavanols, have been avidly investigated in recent years. Current dietary interventions in humans using flavanol-containing foods have substantiated epidemiological data indicating various potential dietary flavanol-mediated bioactivities, including improved vascular function, decreased blood pressure, attenuated platelet clotting, and improved immune responses. Latest innovations in flavanol analytics, chemistry, food processing technology, and cardiovascular function analysis make the elucidation of underlying mechanisms of flavanol bioactivity not just possible, but also impactful with regard to dietary advice and public health. Thus, a practical application of novel findings emanating from flavanol research in terms of a science/evidence-based development represents a worthwhile endeavour. This entails development of novel food ingredients, and innovative nutrient-delivery matrices. Such novel, nutritionally responsible food formulations hold the potential to open novel avenues in the prevention and amelioration of cardiovascular diseases in Europe. FLAVIOLA aims at: (i) illuminating the cellular and sub-cellular effects of flavanols and their main human metabolites; (ii) investigating key parameters of dietary flavanol absorption, clearance and efficacy towards surrogate markers of cardiovascular function in humans; (iii) developing innovative, functional, and nutritionally responsible food matrices for optimised dietary flavanol delivery; and finally (iv) demonstrating cardiovascular benefits and safety for a newly developed prototype food product.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.5-4 | Award Amount: 3.74M | Year: 2009
Besides a dramatic lack of financial and human resources in developing countries, health care is additionally endangered by quality deficiencies caused by low staff motivation. This lack of motivation leads to an insufficient translation of knowledge into optimal utilization of resources. The know-do gap represents a challenge that must be addressed to strengthen health services performance towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This is in particular true for some sensitive sectors like pre-natal and maternal health care. General objective of this research is to improve maternal health through better pre-natal and maternal care services offered by better motivated health workers. A computer-assisted clinical decision support system (CDSS) will be developed, implemented and tested aiming at (I) quality improvement of maternal and newborn care and (II) assessment of providers performance. Based on this tool a commonly agreed incentive scheme to increase motivation will be shaped and tested in three SSA - countries, namely Burkina, Ghana, and Tanzania. The incentive scheme might contain both non-monetary and monetary incentives and will be designed according to the human resource policy in the three countries. The planned approach is an implementation study with control arms containing one hospital and 6 first line health facilities in each of the study districts and an equal number of facilities in the control arm. A set of indicators for measurement of changes in quality of delivered services will be identified in order to follow up the sustainability and effectiveness of the strategies after their implementation. The study findings will allow understanding the important factors of staff motivation and facilitate adequate management for improvement of maternal and neonatal health care. Knowing is not enough, we must apply; Wanting to do, is not enough, we must do it - J.W. v. Goethe
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.4.4-2 | Award Amount: 3.88M | Year: 2012
Disorders of sex development (DSD) are a conglomerate of rare diseases with an estimated incidence of 1: 4500. The causes of DSD are mainly disorders with gonadal dysgenesis, decreased androgen synthesis or function in XY males or disorders with elevated androgen production in XX females. Decision on sex of rearing is difficult in some cases as the prenatal androgen imbalances result in ambiguous genitalia at birth and furthermore they are likely to influence psychosexual development. Genital constructive surgery is needed in most cases. Lifelong cortisone replacement is needed in DSD due to defects of cortisone synthesis. Sex hormone substitution is indicated in many cases of DSD in puberty and adult life. Decision of sex of rearing, genital surgery and hormone therapies have a life-long impact on the affected individuals, which become evident mainly after puberty. In many cases psychological counselling is advised. Interpretation of previous outcome studies of DSD is hampered by small patient numbers and conglomerates of diagnoses and therapies. The study DSD-Life investigates and compares the long-term outcome of different off-label treatments in adequate numbers of adolescents and adults with different known genetic entities of DSD to develop evidence base guidelines for treatment of DSD for which no dedicated treatment is currently approved. To reach this aim, the influences and interrelations of sex assignment, genital surgery, hormone therapy, metabolism, fertility, psychological intervention but also cultural influences and patients and parents views on psychosocial adaption, health related quality of life and psychological well-being and will be investigated. The long-term impact of the study will be improvement of care and subsequently higher quality of life with better integration and participation of individuals with DSD in the society.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.5.3 | Award Amount: 15.53M | Year: 2011
The airways diseases asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affect over 400 million people world-wide and cause considerable morbidity and mortality. Airways disease costs the European Union in excess of 56 billion per annum. Current therapies are inadequate and we do not have sufficient tools to predict disease progression or response to current or future therapies. Our consortium, Airway Disease PRedicting Outcomes through Patient Specific Computational Modelling (AirPROM), brings together the exisiting clinical consortia (EvA FP7, U-BIOPRED IMI and BTS Severe Asthma), and expertise in physiology, radiology, image analysis, bioengineering, data harmonization, data security and ethics, computational modeling and systems biology. We shall develop an integrated multi-scale model building upon existing models. This airway model will be comprised of an integrated micro-scale and macro-scale airway model informed and validated by omic data and ex vivo models at the genome-transcriptome-cell-tissue scale and by CT and functional MRI imaging coupled to detailed physiology at the tissue-organ scale utilising Europes largest airway disease cohort. Validation will be undertaken cross-sectionally, following interventions and after longitudinal follow-up to incorporate both spatial and temporal dimensions. AirPROM has a comprehensive data management platform and a well-developed ethico-legal framework. Critically, AirPROM has an extensive exploitation plan, involving at its inception and throughout its evolution those that will develop and use the technologies emerging from this project. AirPROM therefore will bridge the critical gaps in our clinical management of airways disease, by providing validated models to predict disease progression and response to treatment and the platform to translate these patient-specific tools, so as to pave the way to improved, personalised management of airways disease.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.5-1 | Award Amount: 15.66M | Year: 2010
Causes explaining the epidemic of IgE-associated (allergic) diseases are unclear. MeDALL (Mechanisms of the Development of Allergy) aims at generating novel knowledge on mechanisms of allergy initiation, in particular in childhood. To understand how a complex network of genetic and environmental factors leads to complex allergic phenotypes, a novel stepwise, large and integrative translational approach is needed. MeDALL includes experts in allergy, epidemiology, genetics, immunology, biology, animal models, biochemistry and systems biology combining strengths of ongoing EU projects. Classical phenotypes (expert-based) and novel phenotypes of allergy (hypothesis-free statistical modelling) are compared. Population-based data are collected from a cross-sectional study (Karelia) and existing birth-cohorts followed using a common protocol. IgE to foods and inhalants are tested using component-resolved diagnosis across Europe in populations. Biomarker profiles (fingerprints) are extensively assessed using epigenetics, targeted proteomics and unbiased transcriptomics in a subsample of the study population. Those associated with allergic phenotypes are validated in large study populations. Relevant fingerprints are combined into network biomarker phenotype handprints using a systems biology approach and validated in a sufficiently powered sample. Animal studies and in vitro human immunology reinforce the validation. This information coupled with classical and novel phenotypes characterize environmental protective and susceptibility factors of allergy and risk groups. Results are fitted into new integrative complex mathematical models to establish suitable biomarkers for early diagnosis, prevention and targets for therapy of allergy-associated diseases such as asthma and atopic dermatitis. Ethics and gender are considered. MeDALL aims at improving health of European citizens, Europe competitiveness and innovative capacity while addressing global health issues.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.4.2-9-1 | Award Amount: 9.40M | Year: 2011
In the development of products for use by humans it is vital to identify compounds with toxic properties at an early stage of their development, to avoid spending time and resource on unsuitable and potentially unsafe candidate products. Human pluripotent stem cell lines offer a unique opportunity to develop a wide variety of human cell-based test systems because they may be expanded indefinitely and triggered to differentiate into any cell type. SCR&Tox aims at making use of these two attributes to provide in vitro assays for predicting toxicity of pharmaceutical compounds and cosmetic ingredients. The consortium has been designed to address all issues related with biological and technological resources to meet that goal. In order to demonstrate the value of pluripotent stem cells for toxicology, the consortium will focus on four complementary aspects: Relevance i.e. establishing and maintaining discrete cell phenotypes over long-term cultures; providing large versatility to adapt to assays of specific pathways. Efficiency for i) automated cell production and differentiation, ii) cell engineering for differentiation and selection iii) multi-parametric toxicology using functional genomic, proteomic and bioelectronics. Extension i.e. i) scalability through production of cells and technologies for industrial-scale assays, and ii) diversity of phenotypes (5 different tissues), and of genotypes (over 30 different donors). Normalization validation and demonstration of reproducibility and robustness of cell-based assays on industrial-scale platforms, to allow for secondary development in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry. SCR&Tox will be intricately associated to other consortia of the Alternative Testing call, sharing biological, technological and methodological resources. Proof of concept of the proposed pluripotent stem cell-based assays for toxicology will be provided on the basis of toxicity pathways and test compounds identified by other consortia.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-03-2015 | Award Amount: 6.19M | Year: 2016
Understanding mechanisms underlying comorbid disorders poses a challenge for developing precision medicine tools. Psychiatric disorders are highly comorbid, and are among the last areas of medicine, where classification is driven by phenomenology rather than pathophysiology. We will study comorbidity between the most frequent psychiatric conditions, ADHD, mood/anxiety, and substance use disorders, and a highly prevalent somatic disease, obesity. ADHD, a childhood-onset disorder, forms the entry into a lifelong negative trajectory characterized by these comorbidities. Common mechanisms underlying this course are unknown, despite their relevance for early detection, prevention, and treatment. Our interdisciplinary team of experts will integrate epidemiologic/genetic approaches with experimental designs to address those issues. We will determine disease burden of comorbidity, calculate its socioeconomic impact, and reveal risk factors. We will study biological pathways of comorbidity and derive biomarkers, prioritizing two candidate mechanisms (circadian rhythm and dopaminergic neurotransmission), but also leveraging large existing data sets to identify new ones. A pilot clinical trial to study non-pharmacologic, dopamine-based and chronobiological treatments will be performed, employing innovative mHealth to monitor and support patients daily life. Integration of findings will lead to prediction algorithms enhancing early diagnosis and prevention of comorbidity. Finally, we will screen to repurpose existing pharmacological compounds. Integrating complementary approaches based on large-scale, existing data and innovative data collection, we maximize value for money in this project, leading to insight into the mechanisms underlying this comorbidity triad with its huge burden for healthcare, economy, and society. This will facilitate early detection and non-invasive, scalable, and low-cost treatment, creating opportunities for substantial and immediate societal impact.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-21-2016 | Award Amount: 4.91M | Year: 2017
The aim of this project is to assess the facilitators and barriers to scale-up of two proven active TB case finding and comprehensive patient care models in Vietnam and Nepal as examples of these low and lower-middle income country settings. We will use these data to develop an evidence-based framework for scale-up of implementation by the respective National TB Programs in consultation with relevant stakeholders and governments. This will facilitate programmatic adoption of realistic and optimised active case finding strategies by national TB control programmes. We will compare two alternative implementation strategies in each country appropriate to the local level of current service delivery. For Vietnam, we will compare implementation using salaried employees with volunteer counsellors. For Nepal, we will compare two diagnostic testing strategies as a component of active case finding: traditional smear microscopy or the novel Xpert Omni molecular testing. We will determine the health economic impact of active case detection under the different models and model the long-term epidemiologic impact and cost-effectiveness. The research seeks to achieve the following objectives: 1) Implementation of active case finding with comprehensive patient support in 6 districts of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam detecting 1,450 additional cases in 2 years. 2) Implementation of active case finding with comprehensive patient support in 4 districts of the Central Development Region of Nepal, detecting 1,050 additional cases in 2 years. 3) Health economic evaluation of alternative implementation models in low (Nepal) and middle income (Vietnam) scenarios to inform policy. 4) Consultation with policy makers, stakeholders and end-users to evaluate facillatators and barriers to scale-up at health system and individual level and development of an evidence-based framework for scale-up for each country. 5) Transmission modelling of epidemic impact and long-term cost-effectiveness.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SC1-HCO-01-2016 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2017
A recent evaluation of FP7 projects executed by the EC, showed that an estimated 80% of funded Health projects lacks valorisation. The UTILE proposal presents the EU-Health Innovation Marketplace, an online tool to better valorise the FP7 Health and Horizon2020 SC1 project results. This marketplace will actively bring together Innovation Providers (i.e. technology push) and the Innovation Developers (i.e. market pull). Moreover, in order to bring technology push and market pull successfully together, all 1200 FP7 Health and Horizon2020 SC1 projects will not only be analysed and defragmented by five high quality TTOs (including NIH) in a LEAN process. It will also be valued by an elaborate Market & Stakeholder Advisory Committee, existing of Business Developers of 20-35 important pharmaceutical, medtech, biotech companies and Venture Capitalists. Thus here, valorisation of Health results will not be enhanced by just pushing harder, but by defragmenting and presenting these results in a way that the market will better recognize the added value. In addition to the presentation of well valued selected results on the online UTILE Marketplace, technology push and market pull will be actively brought together by a series of offline activities such as specific workshops and roundtables at international and conferences, brokerage events and technology valorisation courses and trainings. Special attention will be given to the participation of SMEs and involvement of Low Performing Countries. UTILE will deliver a self-sustainable platform of functionalities and activities will also enable the valorisation of future Horizon2020 SC1 projects as well as the many more health-related EC-funded health projects (e.g. in the Marie (Skodowska) Curie actions). The UTILE Marketplace therefore will continue well after the current grant period.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-04-2016 | Award Amount: 9.99M | Year: 2017
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) causes ~20% of all deaths in Europe. SCA is lethal within minutes if left untreated and survival rates are presently only 5-20%. Therefore, there is a large medical need to improve SCA prevention and treatment. Designing effective individualized prevention and treatment strategies requires knowledge on genetic and environmental risk factors. So far, these efforts have been hampered by the lack of sufficiently large study cohorts of SCA patients with detailed information. Obtaining SCA patient samples is challenging as the condition happens suddenly and unexpectedly. In this project, leading European scientific teams which have created large relevant population cohorts, mostly dedicated to SCA research, join forces to fully exploit available data towards improving SCA management. This will be done by: - Building an unique and growing database of >100.000 (DNA) samples including >20.000 SCA patient samples, by combining existing European databases and infrastructures. - Identifying risk factors (inherited, acquired, environmental) and first-response treatment strategies that may explain the differences in SCA occurrence and survival between European countries - Collaborating with professional networks, such as the European Heart Rhythm Association, and European Resuscitation Council, to translate the outcomes into changes in clinical practice and influencing European health policies on SCA management.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-28-2015 | Award Amount: 5.00M | Year: 2016
Personal health systems for the management of chronic diseases have seen giant leaps in development over recent years. These systems offer vital sign monitoring and therapy delivery at home, focusing on the primary physical disease conditions. However, they do not provide support for early mood assessment or psychological treatment and lack a real-time comprehensive assessment of the patients mental status. Depression is the third leading contributor to global diseases, and depressive mood state is also considered to be strictly related to the onset or worsening of a severe primary somatic disease. Indeed effective preventive medicine related to the onset of depressive symptoms as a comorbidity and worsening factor of psychosomatic diseases such as myocardial infarction, leg-amputation, cancer, and kidney failure is lacking. NEVERMIND sets out to empower people who suffer from symptoms of depression related to a serious somatic disease by placing them at the center of their mental healthcare. Equipped with just a smartphone and a lightweight sensitized shirt, patients seeking care and treatment for their mental illnesses interact with these devices that collect data about their mental and physical health, to then get effective feedback. Lifestyle factors, i.e. diet, physical activity and sleep hygiene, play a significant mediating role in the development, progression and treatment of depression, and in NEVERMIND will be monitored by a real-time Decision Support System running locally on the patients smartphone, predicting the severity and onset of depressive symptoms, by processing physiological data, body movement, speech, and the recurrence of social interactions. The data will trigger a response encouraging the patient to conduct or alter activities or lifestyle to reduce the occurrence and severity of depressive symptoms. The final aim is to bring this system to the market, giving people the tools to control their depression and unburden their minds.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-06-2016 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2017
Natural epidemics and outbreaks of emerging viral epidemics are growing problems internationally. The general aim of the CCHFVaccine project is to develop and deliver a vaccine, which can significantly increase our capacity to control the situation of Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) disease on a global basis. The proposed work program on CCHF virus aims to build a multidisciplinary research network, able to deliver vaccine candidates, methods and procedures eligible for clinical trials, with a special focus on prevention. Thanks to the background, unique facilities and tools available among the consortium participants, CCHFVaccine will deliver tools for countering the threat of this infection in Europe and endemic areas of the world. This work program will attempt to fill gaps in CCHFV virus research on immunology and vaccinology. To achieve this overall aim, an intensive work plan will be put in place with the following specific objectives: i) to produce vaccine candidates, ii) to bring several unique animal models into front line vaccine research, iii) to validate and bring the most promising vaccine candidates to clinical trials, iv) to ensure that an immune mediated protection is adequately understood, v) to perform clinical trials at Phase I and ensure a strategy for the effective deployment and utilization in resource-poor countries, and vi) to link this project to public health bodies, NGOs and vaccine companies. The proposed CCHFVaccine project will succeed in bringing together selected competitive advantages such as: operating capacity with appropriate facilities (state-of-the-art BSL-4s) and the only animal BSL-4 -with capacity to challenge domestic animals in Europe, highly experienced researchers in the development and evaluation of vaccine candidates, authorities and entities of human and animal health, clinical samples from endemic countries, and an international network proven to be functional by the previous EU-funded CCHFever and EDENext.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-01-2016 | Award Amount: 15.04M | Year: 2017
The complex interactions between genetic and non-genetic factors produce heterogeneities in patients as reflected in the diversity of pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, response to therapies, disease development and progression. Yet, the full potential of personalized medicine entails biomarker-guided delivery of efficient therapies in stratified patient populations. MultipleMS will therefore develop, validate, and exploit methods for patient stratification in Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease and a leading causes of non-traumatic disability in young adults, with an estimated cost of 37 000 per patient per year over a duration of 30 years. Here we benefit from several large clinical cohorts with multiple data types, including genetic and lifestyle information. This in combination with publically available multi-omics maps enables us to identify biomarkers of the clinical course and the response to existing therapies in a real-world setting, and to gain in-depth knowledge of distinct pathogenic pathways setting the stage for development of new interventions. To create strategic global synergies, MultipleMS includes 21 partners and covers not only the necessary clinical, biological, and computational expertise, but also includes six industry partners ensuring dissemination and exploitation of the methods and clinical decision support system. Moreover, the pharmaceutical industry partners provide expertise to ensure optimal selection and validation of clinically relevant biomarkers and new targets. Our conceptual personalized approach can readily be adapted to other immune-mediated diseases with a complex gene-lifestyle background and broad clinical spectrum with heterogeneity in treatment response. MultipleMS therefore goes significantly beyond current state-of-the-art thereby broadly affecting European policies, healthcare systems, innovation in translating big data and basic research into evidence-based personalized clinical applications.
Svenningsson P.,Karolinska University Hospital |
Westman E.,Karolinska Institutet |
Ballard C.,King's College London |
Aarsland D.,Karolinska Institutet |
And 2 more authors.
The Lancet Neurology | Year: 2012
Dementia is one of the most common and important aspects of Parkinson's disease and has consequences for patients and caregivers, and has health-related costs. Mild cognitive impairment is also common and frequently progresses to dementia. The underlying mechanisms of dementia associated with Parkinson's disease are only partly known and no mechanism-based treatments are available. Both dysmetabolism of α-synuclein and amyloid-protein and cholinergic deficits contribute to cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease, and preliminary findings show that imaging and neurophysiological and peripheral biomarkers could be useful in diagnosis and prognosis. Rivastigmine is the only licensed treatment for dementia in Parkinson's disease, but emerging evidence suggests that memantine might also be useful. Whether these or other treatments can delay the progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia in Parkinson's disease is a key research question. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2011.2.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 24.91M | Year: 2012
The goal of this proposal (INMiND) is to carry out collaborative research on molecular mechanisms that link neuroinflammation with neurodegeneration in order to identify novel biological targets for activated microglia, which may serve for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, and to translate this knowledge into the clinic. The general objectives of INMiND are: (i) to identify novel mechanisms of regulation and function of microglia under various conditions (inflammatory stimuli; neurodegenerative and -regenerative model systems); (ii) to identify and implement new targets for activated microglia, which may serve for diagnostic (imaging) and therapeutic purposes; (iii) to design new molecular probes (tracers) for these novel targets and to implement and validate them in in vivo model systems and patients; (iv) to image and quantify modulated microglia activity in patients undergoing immune therapy for cognitive impairment and relate findings to clinical outcome. Within INMiND we bring together a group of excellent scientists with a proven background in efficiently accomplishing common scientific goals (FP6 project DiMI, www.dimi.eu), who belong to highly complementary fields of research (from genome-oriented to imaging scientists and clinicians), and who are dedicated to formulate novel image-guided therapeutic strategies for neuroinflammation related neurodegenerative diseases. The strength of this proposal is that, across Europe, it will coordinate research and training activities related to neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration/-regeneration and imaging with special emphasis on translating basic mechanisms into clinical applications that will provide health benefits for our aging population. With its intellectual excellence and its crucial mass the INMiND consortium will play a major role in the European Research Area and will gain European leadership in the creation of new image-guided therapy paradigms in patients with neurodegenerative diseases.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: ICT-2013.9.9 | Award Amount: 72.73M | Year: 2013
Understanding the human brain is one of the greatest challenges facing 21st century science. If we can rise to the challenge, we can gain profound insights into what makes us human, develop new treatments for brain diseases and build revolutionary new computing technologies. Today, for the first time, modern ICT has brought these goals within sight. The goal of the Human Brain Project, part of the FET Flagship Programme, is to translate this vision into reality, using ICT as a catalyst for a global collaborative effort to understand the human brain and its diseases and ultimately to emulate its computational capabilities. The Human Brain Project will last ten years and will consist of a ramp-up phase (from month 1 to month 36) and subsequent operational phases.\nThis Grant Agreement covers the ramp-up phase. During this phase the strategic goals of the project will be to design, develop and deploy the first versions of six ICT platforms dedicated to Neuroinformatics, Brain Simulation, High Performance Computing, Medical Informatics, Neuromorphic Computing and Neurorobotics, and create a user community of research groups from within and outside the HBP, set up a European Institute for Theoretical Neuroscience, complete a set of pilot projects providing a first demonstration of the scientific value of the platforms and the Institute, develop the scientific and technological capabilities required by future versions of the platforms, implement a policy of Responsible Innovation, and a programme of transdisciplinary education, and develop a framework for collaboration that links the partners under strong scientific leadership and professional project management, providing a coherent European approach and ensuring effective alignment of regional, national and European research and programmes. The project work plan is organized in the form of thirteen subprojects, each dedicated to a specific area of activity.\nA significant part of the budget will be used for competitive calls to complement the collective skills of the Consortium with additional expertise.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.71M | Year: 2010
Persistent infections such as HIV, tuberculosis(TB) in humans and para-tuberculosis (ParaTB)-, mycoplasma- and Haemophilus-infections in farm animals are global health problems of immense social and economic importance . HIV-1 affects about 40 million people and M. tuberculosis infection is even higher world-wide. Co-infection with M. tuberculosis is estimated in about one-third of HIV-1 infected subjects. Globally, there are more than 14 million persons dually infected with TB and HIV. Drug resistance to HIV-treatment and appearance of multiple-drug resistance (MDR) and off late of Extra-Drug Resistance (XDR) strains of M. tuberculosis , the causative agent of human TB is steadily leading to a hopeless situation as far as therapy is concerned. To make things worse, there is no effective vaccine available against the persistent infections addresses in this proposal. The four SME members of this consortium with complimentary areas of research and business activities, LIONEX (in TB), Prionics (in ParaTB) , Vichem (in HIV) and IVD (in pig infections) are dedicated to solving the problems of the persistent infections mentioned above by employing novel strategies of product development for diagnosis, prevention and control of these global diseases by outsourcing demanding but feasible work to internationally known research organisations (RTDP) with highly positive track record. The SMEs alone cannot perform the outsourced work but shall validate and exploit the results provided by the RTDPs. Our novel but realistic objectives are: 1. To develop new drug candidates for drug resistant persistent infections (HIV and TB) 2. To identify and isolate novel antigens for the diagnosis of TB, ParaTB and infections in pigs 3. To identify antigens suitable for vaccine development for these persistent infections 4. To develop marketable, improved diagnostic products within a period of three years
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NoE | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.3.2-3 | Award Amount: 15.96M | Year: 2011
Over the past 15 years, EU-funded cohorts and collaborations (EuroSIDA, CASCADE and PENTA), have played a central role in developing our understanding of HIV progression and the effects of ART, enabling European expertise to contribute directly to the advances in patient diagnosis and management worldwide, and providing a continued surveillance mechanism for detection of emerging problems at a European level. Furthermore, we also established COHERE (Collaboration Of HIV Epidemiologic Research in Europe), a new European-wide cohort collaboration encompassing virtually all European HIV cohorts which were not included in the EU-funded networks. COHERE provides us with sufficient statistical power to address questions that cannot be addressed by existing cohorts and networks alone. Together, these collaborations form the foundation of a proposed Network of Excellence, which we have named EuroCoord. EuroCoord currently has access to data from over 250,000 HIV-infected individuals across the European continent, and beyond, both male and female, from neonates to geriatric populations, infected through sex between men, sex between men and women, injecting drug use, nosocomially and from mother to child, with and without co-infection with hepatitis viruses, of different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, from indigenous and migrant populations, in settings with varying levels of access to care and laboratory techniques. Our multidisciplinary research will thus allow us to address key areas of HIV research aimed at improving the management and life of HIV-infected individuals, whilst allowing us to explore differences within sub-groups. EuroCoord is in a position to mobilise European HIV cohort research, bringing it within one truly pan-European network of cohort studies with a strong and increasing presence in the Central- and Eastern European region. The structure of our network, maintaining autonomy within each individual network but within one common research platform, ensures that the most competitive science is performed whilst allowing us to pool our expertise and resources to undertake new initiatives within an integrated collaborative structure.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2007-1-3-09 | Award Amount: 7.62M | Year: 2009
This project aims at Improving Human Health and Animal Production in developing countries through Integrated Control of Neglected Zoonoses in animals, based on Scientific Innovation and Public Engagement. Neglected zoonoses, such as anthrax, rabies, brucellosis, bovine TB, zoonotic trypanosomiasis, echinococcosis, cysticercosis and leishmaniasis, are major causes of ill-health in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Production animals and companion animals of significant societal value act as reservoirs for transmission to man, and the burden of these diseases on affected communities is compounded by the adverse effects many diseases have on the productivity of livestock and hence the livelihoods of the poor. Control of these diseases in animals represents an opportunity to address the constraints they pose to both human health and animal productivity, thereby contributing to poverty reduction and the MDGs. Effective control in animals will require scientific innovation to identify and (where necessary) develop tools for diagnosis, for quantification of disease burdens, and for control. Public engagement at all stakeholder levels will be needed to ensure that strategies are appropriate for use in affected communities and are adopted within the policy framework of affected countries. The project will: (i) map and review research activities at a global level, (ii) survey and assess the burden of zoonoses in communities, (iii) improve or develop disease control tools as appropriate for conditions in affected countries, with private sector inputs where appropriate, (iv) develop cost-effective control and prevention strategies taking into account economic, sociological and cultural factors as well as traditional knowledge, (v) build capacity in ICPCs through technology transfer and training and (vi) empower communities and policy makers to utilise control and prevention strategies appropriately and effectively.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.3.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2011
Context: Very preterm infants face high risks of mortality and long-term neuro-developmental impairment. Rates of mortality and morbidity vary by a factor greater than two between European regions. This projects overriding aim is to improve these infants survival and long-term health and development by ensuring that available medical knowledge is translated into effective perinatal care. Objectives: (1) Build an empirical knowledge base concerning how scientific evidence is translated into health service provision in maternity and neonatal units by measuring the use of key medical interventions in clinical settings, identifying the factors associated with adoption of evidence-based practices and providing updated information on the effectiveness of medical practices; (2) Assess decision-making and knowledge implementation processes within units and regions to identify catalysts for evidence-based practice; and (3) Propose intervention strategies to achieve behavioural change. Study design: This project combines quantitative and qualitative approaches to assess the use of evidence-based medical interventions and determinants of use on the regional, unit and patient level in 19 European regions (550 units, 10,500 births). The project includes a population-based cohort study of very preterm infants with follow-up to 2 years of age, a survey of all maternity and neonatal units caring for these infants, semi-structured narrative interviews and focus groups in selected units and case studies on regional governance. Impact: The project will produce empirical data about the uptake of medical interventions in European maternity and neonatal units and new knowledge about catalysts for the adoption of medical knowledge. Its results will provide a methodological and conceptual basis for future scientific work on the effectiveness of intervention strategies. The project enhances cooperation and excellence in Europe by bringing together national research initiatives.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 7.77M | Year: 2012
1 in 20 first time pregnancies are complicated by pre-eclampsia, the leading cause of maternal death in Europe. No clinically useful screening test exists; consequently, clinicians are unable to offer targeted surveillance or known/emerging preventative strategies. Consortium members have pioneered a personalised medicine approach to identifying blood-borne biomarkers through recent technological advancements, especially in the field of mass spectrometry and the comprehensive mapping of the blood metabolome and proteome. The overall objective of the IMPROvED project is to develop a sensitive, specific, high-throughput and economically viable early pregnancy screening test for pre-eclampsia. This will involve a multicentre, phase IIa clinical study to assess and refine novel and innovative prototype tests based on emerging metabolomic and proteomic technologies developed by SMEs within the consortium. The study will i) recruit 5000 first time pregnant women; ii) establish a high calibre biobank, augmented by accurate clinical metadata; iii) determine whether prototype predictive assays and algorithms translate to the clinical environment; iv) assess potential synergy of a combined metabolomic and proteomic approach and v) progress regulatory approval and development of the selected test into the clinical arena. The application of new technologies to identify at risk patients in early pregnancy will allow stratified care with personalized fetal and maternal surveillance, early diagnosis and timely intervention. If an effective test halved antenatal visits and administration of therapies (such as aspirin) to those at risk reduced the incidence of disease by only 20%, potential savings would approximate to 4 billion of the estimated 9 billion/yr spent in Europe providing antenatal care for nulliparous women and treatment for pre-eclampsia. Moreover, an accurate predictive test would be a crucial step in reducing the life-threatening complications of the disease.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NoE | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.1-3 | Award Amount: 14.22M | Year: 2011
ENCCA aims to establish a durable, European Virtual Institute clinical and translational research in childhood and adolescent cancers that will define and implement an integrated research strategy and will facilitate the necessary investigator-driven clinical trials to introduce the new generation of biologically targeted drugs into standard of care for children and adolescents with cancer. This will lead to more efficacious and less toxic therapies that will maximise the quality of life of the increasing number of survivors of cancer at a young age in Europe and allow them to assume their proper place in society. This biologically-driven research agenda will improve training of the clinical investigators and translational scientists of the future to spread excellence, increase capacity to participate in research and monitor outcomes across Europe. Patients and their families will be full partners and will be better informed about the need for and processes of clinical research. They will be in a better situation to care from their long term health risks for children. Drug development will be accelerated in partnership with industry through improved access to young patients with cancer, to academic expertise in care, clinical and biological research. All of this will be achieved with respect for the highest ethical and patient safety standards. ENCCA will bring all stakeholders to the table in a timely and efficacious manner. It will address the needs of all the current multinational clinical trial groups for the benefit of children with cancer. It will provide them with common tools and approaches to solve the bottlenecks in testing new therapeutic strategies for those rare diseases in a vulnerable age group and in running a competitive clinical research agenda. Ongoing efforts to coordinate EU and US clinical research will be reinforced. ENCCA will be led by the most active EU institutes in the field (31), recognised as being at the forefront of excellence.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.52M | Year: 2009
The large post-war baby boom is now turning into a grandparent boom, putting a triple stress on long-term care (LTC) provisions: increased numbers of elderly, increased survival of these elderly and increased survival of frail, disabled elderly through improved care and health care. Increasing body weights, through increasing disability and care dependence among the obese, further add to numbers of disabled elderly. The supply of labour is affected by the ageing of the EU population. Consequently, increasing emphasis has been put on the future development of long-term care needs, supply and use, and the functioning of LTC systems. The objectives of ANCIEN (Assessing Needs for Care In European Nations) are to review the LTC systems in EU member states, to assess the actual and future numbers of elderly care-dependent people in selected countries and to develop a methodology for comprehensive analysis of actual and future LTC needs and provisions across European countries, including the potential role of technology and policies on maintaining and improving quality. Performance indicators will be identified and relative performances of the different types of LTC systems assessed. Databases of EU countries are constructed, containing available data on LTC needs and use of the elderly. Participating partners from different countries cover the majority of the EU member states. State of the art demographic, epidemiologic and econometric models are used to project future needs and use of long-term care in representative member states with different LTC systems. Deliverables contain databases, dynamic models calculating long-term care needs, reports on future needs and use of LTC in representative member states, and country-specific and general reports on LTC systems and their performance.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2007-2.2-01 | Award Amount: 5.48M | Year: 2008
Efficient translation of research discoveries into industrial application is an essential element to maintain Europes competitiveness in the biomedical and health industry. The main bottleneck is the lack and the fragmented nature of essential research infrastructure and know-how, leading to unacceptable delays and/or preventing the development of new innovative medicines. The aim of EATRIS is to fill this gap by developing a European Advanced Translation Research InfraStructure consisting of key preclinical and clinical components necessary to support the development of new diagnostic or therapeutic strategies at all stages of the biomedical R&D-process. EATRIS will operate through a network of biomedical translation research centres across Europe which will provide user access to: State of the art animal facilities for preclinical proof of principle and proof of concept studies Small molecule screening facilities to identify and characterize new drug targets High-resolution imaging facilities for preclinical and clinical validation Disease-specific patient and population cohorts to develop and validate new innovative diagnostic and therapeutic strategies Centralized GMP facilities for bioprocess development and manufacturing Facilities for Clinical Phase I studies. During the preparatory phase EATRIS will work out a master plan describing in detail the establishment and mode of operation of the planned pan-European infrastructure during a later construction phase: This will include an agreement on the key legal, governance, strategic and financial issues as well as a concept to train and educate the next generation of biomedical translation researchers. Users of EATRIS will be biomedical researchers and clinical scientists located at universities, research institutions or SMEs that need to use this infrastructure in order to overcome specific bottlenecks and to move their research projects from a discovery to a preclinical and clinical stage.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: KBBE-2008-2-3-03 | Award Amount: 1.18M | Year: 2009
The food and drink industry is the single largest manufacturing sector in the EU and is mainly comprised by SMEs and microenterprises (99.1% of European food and drink businesses). The European food industry is in the lower part of the innovation performance ranking, and is losing relative importance in the global food market. This situation was a primary reason for the initiation of the ETP Food4 Life, which seeks to stimulate and underpin innovation in the agro-food chain. TRACK_FAST is drawn from all geographic points of Europe, and its main objective is the identification of the training and career requirements of future European food scientists and technologists (FST), and implementation of a European strategy to recruit the next generation FST leaders. TRACK_FAST will achieve this goal through: Identification and definition of personal skills requirements in food job market; Developments for the regulation of food science and technology professions in Europe; Establishment of a framework for continual professional training and career development for the FST professional; and Motivation of young people to enter and pursue of a career in food science and technology in Europe. The project will therefore coordinate a programme of information and experience gathering, discussions with employers and employees, and with those responsible for providing academic and other training deliver awareness and experience in career development activities. Moreover, young students will be motivated to pursue a career in food area, thus promoting a new generation of skilled, flexible and enthusiastic food scientists and technologists. TRACK_FST will provide main stakeholders with a forum within which their main needs will be considered. Moreover, TRACK_FAST focus on the key factors to identify needs and guide future works, as well as the development of specific and effective measures to prompt changes. The consortium and work plan are framed in a strong engagement between stakeholders, thus TRACK_FAST will contribute to a more innovative and competitive food and drink sector, which is a key area for job creation, global competition and societal benefit in Europe.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENV.2008.1.2.1.6. | Award Amount: 1.11M | Year: 2009
The overall aim of ENRIECO is to advance our knowledge on specific environment and health causal relationships in pregnancy and birth cohorts by providing support to exploitation of the wealth of data generated by past or ongoing studies funded by the EC and national programmes. Specific objectives are to make inventories of birth cohorts, assure quality and interoperability of exposure, health and exposure-response data, obtain data access, build databases, conduct analysis, make recommendations for data collection in the future to improve environment-health linkages and information, and disseminate the information. The project will bring together over 30 pregnancy and birth cohorts and information on around 250,000 newborns, infants and children from across Europe. The outcome will be structuring and consolidation of often fragmented data from various studies undertaken throughout Europe and will improve the knowledge base for FP 7 Cooperation Work Programme 2008: Environment (including climate change) environment and health linkages. Data regarding environment-health causal relationships will be more readily available in a form useful for policy makers.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.1-6 | Award Amount: 3.44M | Year: 2008
Research has shown that every year 30,000 European patients suffer preventable harm during treatment. It is estimated there were potentially 1,735 avoidable deaths in 2004. The financial cost of avoidable adverse events is reckoned at 167 million, 1% of hospitals total budget, due to longer hospital stays and additional treatment. Many of these adverse events relate to handoff in care. Poor continuity of clinical care (with multiple provider involvement), either at a patients referral to a hospital by a primary care specialist or at a patients discharge from the hospital, is a critical aspect of a patients care. Incomplete handoffs to a secondary/tertiary care unit or discharge from hospital can lead to adverse events for patients that may ultimately lead to either life threatening situations during treatment/surgery or avoidable treatment and / or re-hospitalizations after the patients discharge. Care transitions are especially important for vulnerable groups as the elder and the very young as for high-risk patients with multiple co-morbidities. The overall objective the HANDOVER project is optimize the continuum of clinical care at the primary care hospital interface by reducing unnecessary and avoidable treatment - medical errors and loss of life, by identifying and studying best practices and creating standardized approaches to handoff communication at the primary care hospital interface and measuring the effectiveness of these practices in terms of costs and impact. Handoffs take as many forms as there are handoff scenarios. The idea of developing a single approach for all handoffs is not likely to be possible due to the diversity and complexity of healthcare. HANDOVER will therefore aim at providing standardised basic elements in handoff processes, which can be tailored to meet local and/or institutional needs for flexibility.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.1-11 | Award Amount: 16.70M | Year: 2009
The overarching goal of COGS is to identify individuals with an increased risk of breast, ovary and prostate cancer. Furthermore, we will evaluate the effect of inherited genetic variation on tumour characteristics and clinical outcome. We will do this through quantifying the role of genetic and environmental/lifestyle risk in the largest data set ever generated. In all, we will include over 200,000 individuals in the COGS project. We will use detailed knowledge of the architecture of genetic susceptibility and interactions with environmental/lifestyle factors which will result in much more accurate individual risk prediction and improved intervention strategies. We are taking advantage of a unique possibility by incorporating seven existing consortia into one large project COGS. Members of these consortia have collaborated successfully over the past years and results have been presented in world leading scientific journals such as Nature, Nature Genetics and Journal of the National Cancer Institute. These papers reflect that collaboration has been ongoing and that is has so far been very successful. We will also build on an existing European Commission project, TRANSBIG, thus adding value to already spent money. Results generated through COGS will lead to an improved understanding of the biological processes that underlie carcinogenesis, that in turn could guide new therapeutic strategies. Results will also lead to the development of new tests for risk prediction for breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-2-02 | Award Amount: 8.00M | Year: 2008
Major objective: It is our aim to develop a lipid based diet that is able to delay or prevent onset of Alzheimers disease and related diseases and has a stabilizing effect on cognitive performance in aging. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that there is a large overlap between risk factor of these three diseases. Importantly, there is equally strong evidence that prevention and treatment of these diseases can be efficiently addresses - especially in their first and their priclinical stages - by closely related or identical bio-molecules. Predominantly these molecules appear to belong to the class of lipids which are part of the human diet. However, very often they are consumed in far lesser than recommended amounts. Bearing in mind that all of these diseases have a long pre-clinical phase in which the disease remains undetected specifically designed nutrition may be requirred for effective prevention or for those who already progressed into the first clinical stage of the disease. Moreover, frequently the within the elderly population pathological changes by two or all of these diseases occur in combination thus targeting only one would be insufficient. Taking these aspects into consideration, dietary supplementation, composed to maximize benefit for all three of these in the elderly common diseases, appears to be the most suitable approach to provide a general health perspective improvement for this age group in the EU population.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2007.1.2.2.2. | Award Amount: 8.22M | Year: 2008
European policy making is hampered by considerable uncertainty about the magnitude and nature of the impacts of long term exposure to air pollution on human health. ESCAPE is a collaboration of more than 30 European cohort studies including some 900,000 subjects. It is aimed at quantifying health impacts of air pollution and at reducing uncertainty. ESCAPE will also test new hypotheses on specific health effects of air pollution. ESCAPE will focus on effects of within-city, within-area and within-country contrasts in air pollution, and so will enable Europe to remain at the cutting edge worldwide for further development and application of methods which have been largely pioneered here. ESCAPE will make measurements of airborne particulate matter and nitrogen oxides in selected regions in Europe. It will measure the chemical composition of the collected particles and it will store samples for future chemical and toxicological analyses. Escape will focus on four categories of cohort studies: 1. Pregnancy outcome and birth cohort studies; 2. Studies on respiratory disease in adults; 3. Studies on cardiovascular disease in adults; 4. Studies on cancer incidence and mortality. ESCAPE responds to a specific FP7 call for a large collaborative project in the Environment and Health program. The call asks for research within existing cohorts among children as well as elderly adults as sensitive groups, and it asks to consider the role of other environmental exposures such as noise, and of biomarkers and gene-environment interactions. Whereas ESCAPE will focus, as requested, on air pollution and to a lesser extent traffic noise exposures, studies have been included which contain a wealth of data on other exposures (e.g., drinking water contaminants), on biomarkers and on genetics. ESCAPE will actively engage stakeholder organisations and policy makers so that results can be swiftly translated to support policy development and implementation.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2012.1.3-3 | Award Amount: 49.52M | Year: 2013
The innovative and economic potential of Manufactured Nano Materials (MNMs) is threatened by a limited understanding of the related EHS issues. While toxicity data is continuously becoming available, the relevance to regulators is often unclear or unproven. The shrinking time to market of new MNM drives the need for urgent action by regulators. NANoREG is the first FP7 project to deliver the answers needed by regulators and legislators on EHS by linking them to a scientific evaluation of data and test methods. Based on questions and requirements supplied by regulators and legislators, NANoREG will: (i) provide answers and solutions from existing data, complemented with new knowledge, (ii) Provide a tool box of relevant instruments for risk assessment, characterisation, toxicity testing and exposure measurements of MNMs, (iii) develop, for the long term, new testing strategies adapted to innovation requirements, (iv) Establish a close collaboration among authorities, industry and science leading to efficient and practically applicable risk management approaches for MNMs and products containing MNMs. The interdisciplinary approach involving the three main stakeholders (Regulation, Industry and Science) will significantly contribute to reducing the risks from MNMs in industrial and consumer products. NANoREG starts by analysing existing knowledge (from WPMN-, FP- and other projects). This is combined with a synthesis of the needs of the authorities and new knowledge covering the identified gaps, used to fill the validated NANoREG tool box and data base, conform with ECHAs IUCLID DB structure. To answer regulatory questions and needs NANoREG will set up the liaisons with the regulation and legislation authorities in the NANoREG partner countries, establish and intensify the liaisons with selected industries and new enterprises, and develop liaisons to global standardisation and regulation institutions in countries like USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Russia.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-04-2016 | Award Amount: 9.71M | Year: 2017
The projects overall aim is to improve the health, development and quality of life of children and adults born very preterm (VPT, < 32 weeks of gestation) or very low birth weight (VLBW, < 1500g) approximately 50 000 births each year in Europe by establishing an ICT platform to integrate, harmonise and exploit the wealth of data from 20 European cohorts of VPT/VLBW children and adults and their families constituted from the early 1980s to the present, together with data from national registries. VPT/VLBW births have higher risks of cerebral palsy, visual and auditory deficits, impaired cognitive ability, psychiatric disorders and social problems than infants born at term and account for more than a third of the health and educational budgets for children. They may also face higher risks of non-communicable disease as they age. There is emerging evidence of reduced mental health, quality of life, partnering, family life and employment chances and wealth in adulthood. The platform will enable stratified sub-group analyses of sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, neonatal complications, and otherwise rare medical conditions that cannot be studied in national population cohorts. The broad temporal, geographic, cultural and health system diversity makes it possible to study the impact of socioeconomic and organisational contexts and determine the generalisability of outcomes for VPT/VLBW populations. The RECAP platform creates a value chain to promote research and innovation using population cohorts, beginning with the integration of VPT/VLBW cohorts to the translation and dissemination of new knowledge. It will be based on a sustainable governance framework, state-of-the art data management and sharing technologies, tools to strengthen research capacity, a hypothesis-driven research agenda and broad stakeholder participation, including researchers, clinicians, educators, policy makers and very preterm children and adults and their families.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.23M | Year: 2012
Inflammatory rheumatic diseases affect millions of European citizens causing chronic pain, disability and premature death. Curative treatments are lacking. Conventional research often focuses on one single organ system such as the bone or the immune system and. ignores interactions between organ systems. OSTEOIMMUNE is a supra-disciplinary training network that targets this gap by providing comprehensive, structured and coherent training. The scientific training within OSTEOIMMUNE reflects the participants common research programme aiming to unravel the interactions between the immune system and the skeleton. A group of outstanding European scientists in genetics, (osteo-) immunology, rheumatology and drug development has joined to form OSTEOIMMUNE to provide 12 ESRs and 2 ERs with training in a broad range of laboratory and complementary skills and capacities. OSTEOIMMUNE participants represent 7 of Europes most active academic centres in arthritis research and 3 highly innovative biotech and pharmaceutical companies. All have contributed important concepts to the field, five groups have earned the title Centre of excellence. OSTEOIMMUNE participants have an outstanding history of successful collaboration which is reflected in numerous influential joint papers and common efforts in national and European networks (e.g. DFG: IMMUNOBONE, BMBF: IMMUNOPAIN, FP6: EURO-RA, AUTO-CURE, FP7: MASTER-SWITCH) and have trained numerous highly successful ESRs and ERs. Our young investigators will leave the network after successful completion of their training with a set of aptitudes that will enable them to be instrumental in developing curative therapies towards rheumatic diseases, be it in an academic, clinical or industrial setting. Moreover, OSTEOIMMUNE will establish a long-lasting consortium for cutting edge research in the field of osteoimmunology, leading to accelerated and integrated discoveries, which can become commercially exploitable first by European industry.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 4.43M | Year: 2013
Gastroenteritis, caused by the airborne Norovirus, is the third most deadly infectious disease worldwide, infecting ~4% of the population annually, worldwide, and has related costs measured in billions annually in the EU alone. Today, detection of airborne viruses can only be done in retrospect in the laboratory, which severely limits the ability to rapidly react and limit the spread of an outbreak. The NOROSENSOR consortium will address this problem by developing the first of its kind, real-time sensor for airborne viruses, with particular focus on the NoV. Because the virus concentration in air can be very low, and because rapid and efficient virus trapping and concentration methods have been missing, no solution exists today. The NOROSENSOR project will fill this important need by integrating a number of recently developed, highly powerful technologies: Novel nanobiotechnology: nanobead enhanced rolling circle amplification (nano-RCA), engineered synthetic DNA aptamers, and proximity ligation assays (PLA) First ever airborne nanoparticle manipulation: capturing, filtering and up-concentration of viruses using acoustophoresis and electrostatic precipitation. with beyond state-of-the-art: Ultra-sensitive QCM mass-sensitive transducers and electronics. Novel Off-stoichiometry Thiol-Ene-Epoxies (OSTE) polymers for cartridge and reagent storage on-chip. The consortium consist of six of the highest ranked European Universities, each experts in their research area, two SMEs providing a unique expertise in their core business areas, and a large multinational industry in infection control technology.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.4.2-9-6 | Award Amount: 3.13M | Year: 2011
ToxBank establishes a dedicated web-based warehouse for toxicity data management and modelling, a gold standards compound database and repository of selected test compounds, and a reference resource for cells, cell lines and tissues of relevance for in vitro systemic toxicity research carried out across the FP7 HEALTH.2010.4.2.9 Alternative Testing Strategies SEURAT program. The project develops infrastructure and service functions to create a sustainable predictive toxicology support resource going beyond the lifetime of the program. The following activities will be carried out: a) Establishment of a dedicated web-based data warehouse The ToxBank Data Warehouse will establish a centralised compilation of data for systemic toxicity. Data generated under the research program and additional public data will be uploaded and integrated whenever possible into computerised models capable of predicting repeated-dose toxicity. b) Establishment of a database of test compounds The ToxBank Gold Compound Database will provide a high quality information resource servicing the selection and use of test compounds. Chemicals in this database will be supported by high-quality repeated-dose toxicity in vivo and in vitro data, property data and, whenever available, human adverse event and epidemiological data. Selected test compounds for training or validation, and standard operating procedures for data quality control, processing and analyses will be provided. c) Establishment of a repository for the selected test compounds The ToxBank Chemical Repository will ensure the availability of test compounds to program researchers accompanied by sample preparation, handling and analytical quality control procedures. d) Setting up of a cell and tissue banking information resource for in vitro toxicity testing ToxBank will establish a banking information resource for access to qualified cells, cell lines (including stem cells and stem cell lines) and tissues and reference materials to be used for in vitro predictive toxicology research and testing activities.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH.2011.3.4-2 | Award Amount: 2.20M | Year: 2011
This project will add new research training capacity at low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Asia, for promoting research on social determinants of health (RSDH). The focus is doctoral and post doctoral training, institutional strengthening for education, financial and administrative research management, and LMICs-based network building. Novel capacity building approaches will reduce brain drain, be more climate friendly and encourage gender equity with LMICs-based training. Internet mounted downloadable modules in related disciplines, like epidemiology, anthropology, economic methods, etc., will support excellent interdisciplinary courses. Addressing social determinants of health and tackling health inequity are research intensive, incremental improvement to measurement and understanding, implementation and evaluation. Therefore LMICs need to grow their own capacity to strengthen RSDH: interdisciplinary, rigorous and relevant. ARCADE-RSDH will support evidence informed decision making by producing a stream of well-trained young RSDH scientists, the next generation of health system leaders and researchers in LMICs. Activities will be aimed at individuals, institutions and the network. Tongji Medical College of HUST (TJMC, China), CBCI Society of Medical Education (SJNAHS, India) and Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI, India) are strong Asian Universities with RSDH focus. They will act as hubs in a network including TJMC, SJNAHS, PHFI, Beijing Normal University (BNU, China), Zhejiang University (ZJU, China), Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR, India), Ruxmaniben Deepchand Gardi Medical College (UCTH, India) and initially Sultan Qaboos University (SQU, Oman), Hanoi Medical University (HMU, Vietnam), working with strong European RSDH institutions (Karolinska Institutet KI, Sussex University Institutet for Development Studies IDS and University of Tampere UTA). This region-wide approach will draw skills, resources and students to a new LMICs-based RSDH capacity development network.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.1-2 | Award Amount: 4.15M | Year: 2009
This project is a fundamental, comprehensive study of the host-pathogen interactions during infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae. The expectation is that the basic knowledge gained from this work will give new targets for vaccination, diagnosis and treatment. In PNEUMOPATH, academic and industrial partners will work together in six scientific workpackages. 1) The molecular epidemiology of antibiotic resistant pneumococci 2) The genetic basis of disease susceptibility in the human host and in mice 3) Molecular aspects of virulence and host response in animal models of pneumococcal carriage and disease 4) Molecular aspects of virulence and host response in human cell culture systems 5) Pneumococcal cell biology to determine the role of central metabolic processes and the link to virulence 6) Integrated bioinformatics and data management It is accepted that the outcome of pneumococcal infection is determined by the interplay of both host and pathogen attributes. Pneumococcal isolates vary in the repertoire of genes that they possess. Hence the contribution of an individual factor to the infectious process may vary according to the other host and pathogen factors that are present. To date, study of infection has tended to be a reductionist approach, considering the contribution of each virulence factor or host factor in isolation. Consequently, in searching for targets for antimicrobial therapy or for enhancement of host defence, the contribution of individual factors may be inaccurately estimated. This project will be radically different. Rather than using targeted mutagenesis to create strains of different phenotype for testing, PNEUMOPATH will be a systems biology approach with a checkerboard experimental design Panels of resistant/non-resistant carriage and disease pneumococcal isolates will be used to challenge in vivo and in vitro models, followed by integrated management and analysis of the data with a new semantic web bioinformatic infrastructure.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-24-2015 | Award Amount: 14.94M | Year: 2016
Pharmacogenomics is the study of genetic variability affecting an individuals response to a drug. Its use allows personalized medicine and reduction in trial and error prescribing leading to more efficacious, safer and cost-effective drug therapy. The U-PGx consortium will investigate a pre-emptive genotyping approach (that is: multiple pharmacogenomic variants are collected prospectively and embedded into the patients electronic record) of a panel of important pharmacogenomic variants as a new model of personalised medicine. To meet this goal we combine existing pharmacogenomics guidelines and novel health IT solutions. Implementation will be conducted at a large scale in seven existing European health care environments and accounts for the diversity in health system organisations and settings. Feasibility, health outcome and cost-effectiveness will be investigated. We will formulate European strategies for improving clinical implementation of pharmacogenomics based on the findings of this project.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2007-2.2-01 | Award Amount: 7.16M | Year: 2008
The Preparatory Phase for a pan-European Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) will focus on technical, legal, governance, and financial issues to prepare to construct BBMRI, building on existing biobanks, resources and technologies, specifically complemented with innovative components and properly embedded into European scientific, ethical, legal and societal frameworks, provide the concept for a key resource to increase excellence and efficacy in biomedical sciences, drug development and public health, expand and secure competitiveness of European research and industry in a global context, develop a sustainable financial framework. Biomedical quality-assessed samples and data as well as biomolecular resources and molecular analysis tools are essential for academic and industry-driven research to treat and prevent human diseases. Although currently established national biobanks and biomolecular resources are a unique European strength, valuable collections typically suffer from fragmentation of the European biobanking-related research community. This hampers the collation of biological samples and data from different biobanks required to achieve sufficient statistical power. Moreover, it results in duplication of effort and jeopardises sustainability due to the lack of long-term funding. BBMRI will comprise: biobanks of different formats (collections of blood, DNA, tissue, etc., together with medical, environmental, life-style and follow-up data), biomolecular resources (antibody and affinity binder collections, ORF clone collections, siRNA libraries, proteins, cellular resources etc.), enabling technologies and high-throughput analysis platforms and molecular tools to decipher gene, protein and metabolite functions and their interactions, harmonized standards for sample collection, storage, preanalytics and analysis harmonized databases and biocomputing infrastructure, ethical, legal and societal
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.3-1;HEALTH-2007-3.3-2 | Award Amount: 2.37M | Year: 2009
Health inequalities are currently regarded as one of the most important public health challenges in the EU. There is however not sufficient knowledge of what actions are effective to reduce the gradient in health inequalities. Tackling the Gradient aims to address this, to ensure that political momentum is maintained and that operational strategies can be developed to make progress on this issue. The focus of the research project will be on families and children, since the greatest impact on reducing the health gradient can be achieved through early life policy interventions and by creating equal opportunities during childhood and adolescence. This project involves the following components, which directly address the theme of the call: Develop a common Evaluation Framework that can be applied across the EU to assess and determine what works. Determine whether and why traditional public health and health promotion policy measures dont reach or fail to change behaviours amongst the more socially deprived groups. Explore some currently understudied protective factors (particularly the influence of social capital on children, adolescents and families) that could be important to tackling the health gradient. Identify what targeted and universal policy approaches to protect families and children from falling into poverty and ill health are currently being applied, and appear to be effective in tackling the health inequalities gradient Widely disseminate the outcomes and results to politicians and practitioners in the form of scientifically sound recommendations at the local, national and EU levels. The research will be undertaken by a consortium comprising of 34 members from 12 institutions across Europe. The work will be coordinated by EuroHealthNet, which has considerable expertise in managing EU projects in the area of health inequalities, and is well placed to feed research results into policy making processes at the national and EU level.
EPIRADBIO - Combining epidemiology and radiobiology to assess cancer risksin the breast, lung, thyroid and digestive tract after exposures to ionizing radiation with total doses in the order of 100 mSv or below
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: Fission-2010-3.1.1 | Award Amount: 9.94M | Year: 2011
Recent epidemiological studies suggest that cancer risk after exposures with doses comparable to the dose limits for occupationally exposed workers may be larger than assumed by ICRP in the derivation of these limits. The value of cancer risk from such exposures and its dependence on tissue, radiation type and individual factors is largely unknown. The innovative approach proposed here combines epidemiology and radiobiology in order to quantify cancer risks after low-dose or low-dose-rate exposures to ionizing radiation. Key factors of radiation induced carcinogenesis such as genomic instability will be measured in cancer tissues and blood samples from members of the following radio-epidemiological cohorts: French Haemangioma Cohort, Mayak Worker Cohort and thyroid cancer cases after the Chernobyl accident. Inter-cellular communication after exposure to low-dose radiation exposure and its influence on apoptosis, cell proliferation, differentiation and genomic instability will be explored with 2D cell cultures and 3D tissue models. This includes research on stem cells, which will be isolated from healthy human breast tissue. The results of the radiobiological studies will be integrated in the development of models of carcinogenesis for evaluation of major epidemiological cohorts: Atomic Bomb Survivors, French-Swedish-Italian Thyroid Cancer Cohort, Mayak Worker Cohort, Swedish Haemangioma Cohort, UkrAm Cohort on thyroid cancer after the Chernobyl accident, and UK National Registry for Radiation Workers. Cancer risk will be determined for the breast, lung, thyroid and the digestive tract after low-dose-rate exposure to low-LET radiation (external gamma radiation and internal radiation from 131I) and to high-LET radiation (alpha-particles from incorporated plutonium). Lifetime cancer risks including individual risk factors will be calculated to establish a new basis for deriving dose limits and estimating cancer risks including those from medical diagnostic exposures.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2013.5.1 | Award Amount: 247.77K | Year: 2013
Addressing IT skills for healthcare workforce is seen as an important element of achieving greater social inclusion as identified in EU and National policy areas. Digital skills offer a gateway to supportive networks, expert patient groups, advice, information and new learning opportunities, social networks and more. Providing the means and the guidelines of sharing, re-using, and repurposing technologies of new educational material and programs for IT-skilled workforce in healthcare applied in different contexts, different languages and cultures in the EU and USA, the CAMEI project will allow new ways of boosting knowledge and provide IT skills to healthcare workforce of EU and USA. CAMEI aims to coordinate research activities and policies towards the development of renewed educational material and programs, to boost new trends for acquiring new knowledge in respect of the implementation of eHealth systems in practice, foster trans-national access to research infrastructures from both EU and USA partners and establish a network of best practices in Medical Education Informatics. The partners of CAMEI are experts in providing IT skills to healthcare workforce by means of different technologies and learning approaches. CAMEI will contribute to improving the health services offered by a wide range of health care professionals. There are a number of barriers that hamper the wider uptake of eHealth including the lack of awareness of, and confidence in eHealth among healthcare workforce. CAMEI will contribute towards innovation in eHealth in Europe by providing the ground for IT-Skilled healthcare workforce and its results are aimed to be used by the the upcoming Health Programme 2014-2020 and Horizon 2020 under Health, demographic change and wellbeing.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.4.1-1 | Award Amount: 7.74M | Year: 2011
Though survival of children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) has improved, relapse remains a leading cause of mortality in childhood cancer. Given the rarity of the disease, only a large international cooperative group can recruit sufficient patients for prospective studies with specific questions in biologic subgroups. Under the umbrella of the I-BFM SG all relevant mainly European study groups are creating the worldwide largest Study for Children with Relapsed ALL (IntReALL 2010). The aim is to develop optimized standard treatment as platform for systematic randomized phase II and III studies on the most promising new and targeted agents. An adequate trial structure, an optimized web based database, and standardized diagnostic methods need to be established. Patients are stratified into a standard (SR) and a high risk (HR) group according to established factors. For SR patients, the best available treatment protocols ALL-REZ BFM 2002 and ALL R3 are randomly compared, and the additional effect on survival of the humanized monoclonal CD22 directed antibody epratuzumab is investigated. HR patients who have unsatisfying remission rates will receive an intensified induction with the new nucleoside analogue clofarabine compared to standard induction therapy. IntReALL 2010 allows for comprehensive tumour banking and systematic biologic research in subgroups with correlation to clinical outcome. SMEs will be involved into project management, data base development, and pharmaceutical and biotechnological research to ensure innovation in the respective areas. IntReALL 2010 is embedded in a network of European academic structures relevant for childhood cancer. It will be a cornerstone of drug development in childhood leukaemia and the only trial with the potential for well powered phase III studies in this indication. IntReALL 2010 will harmonize ALL-relapse therapy, establish highest diagnostic and therapeutic standard and improve survival of children with ALL.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.4-1 | Award Amount: 14.89M | Year: 2013
Assessing individual exposure to environmental stressors and predicting health outcomes implies that both environmental exposures and epi/genetic variations are reliably measured simultaneously. HEALS (Health and Environment-wide Associations based on Large population Surveys) brings together in an innovative approach a comprehensive array of novel technologies, data analysis and modeling tools that support efficiently exposome studies. The general objective of HEALS is the refinement of an integrated methodology and the application of the corresponding analytical and computational tools for performing environment-wide association studies in support of EU-wide environment and health assessments. The exposome represents the totality of exposures from conception onwards, simultaneously identifying, characterizing and quantifying the exogenous and endogenous exposures and modifiable risk factors that predispose to and predict diseases throughout a persons life span. The HEALS approach brings together and organizes environmental, socio-economic, exposure, biomarker and health effect data; in addition, it includes all the procedures and computational sequences necessary for applying advanced bioinformatics coupling thus effective data mining, biological and exposure modeling so as to ensure that environmental exposure-health associations are studied comprehensively. The overall approach will be verified and refined in a series of population studies across Europe including twin cohorts, tackling different levels of environmental exposure, age windows of exposure, and socio-economic and genetic variability. The HEALS approach will be applied in a pilot environment and health examination survey of children including singletons and sets of twins with matched singletons (each twins pair having also a matched singleton) covering ten EU Member States (the EXHES Study). The lessons learned will be translated into scientific advice towards the development of protocols and guidelines for the setting up of a larger European environment and health examination survey.
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.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: PCP | Phase: SC1-PM-12-2016 | Award Amount: 4.25M | Year: 2016
Lifestyle factors of the patient (e.g. smoking, hazardous alcohol drinking and malnutrition) are proven to be independent risk factors negatively impacting health outcome in the perioperative process. Evidence suggests that the implementation of intensive lifestyle intervention programs can significantly reduce the post-surgery complication risk and rehabilitation time . However, implementation of and compliance to such programs are today poor. In addition, possibilities to optimize the patients mental and physical state throughout the perioperative process are insufficient. LIVE INCITE aims to move beyond the current state of general information being provided about risks and post-surgery activities, to translating statistics and data to individual-specific information, making the individual plan real for the patient. We believe it is possible to leverage f i existing and new data, best practice behavioral change concepts, intuitive and easy-to-use user experience, modern communication and collaboration channels to integrate not only patients and care providers but also the patients family and friends, and new technology for continuous monitoring of and feedback on patient activities related to her defined plan. But, no matter which concepts and solutions the market will suggest, sustainability and scalability (related to the likely changing needs and pre-requisites of the specific procurer as well as the dissemination in and uptake from a European-wide procurer community) has to be enforced through principles related to interoperability, open architecture, and use of international standards. Through its consortia including specialized care hospitals, academia, patient organizations as well as collaboration and innovation platforms the project has the critical mass of knowledge to reach a truly innovative solution together with the supply side.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: HEALTH.2013.4.1-4 | Award Amount: 778.76K | Year: 2013
Europe has 30 million people with asthma, whose treatment costs about 20 bn annually. Productivity lost through poor asthma control in Europe is estimated to be 9.8 bn per year. By 2020 approximately 120,000 people in Europe will die from asthma attacks, and 4 million hospitalisations will be needed for the most severely affected. The Objectives of EARIP (European Asthma Research and Innovation Partnership) include to: reduce the annual level of deaths by 25% within 10 years and 50% within 20 years, and hospitalisations by 50% identify more effective mechanisms to discover, develop and prioritise biological targets to helping pharmaceutical companies reduce asthma attacks and hospital admissions in asthma of varying severity and mechanistic sub-type develop new systems, models and tools for the phenotypic stratification of asthma, and determine priority needs of sub-groups identify innovations needed in health and care systems to put individual patients at the heart of asthma management/treatment, and improve outcomes with better diagnostic and patient self-management plans review research gaps in treatment of asthma identified at national and international levels, and rank in priority order identify and internationally ratify a list of research objectives of greatest potential added value in the treatment and management of asthma and produce a Roadmap setting out priorities for the research and innovations needed address the fragmentation of research approaches and healthcare systems in the management of asthma that has resulted in European countries being 14 of the worlds worst 20 for prevalence of asthma in adults, and bring together European stakeholders who will together to address specific Objectives, and review how best to establish a European Innovation Partnership, its Vision, Strategic Priorities, Priority Actions, representative core membership, organisational and governance structure, and requirements for wider interactions
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-3.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.95M | Year: 2010
By using available databases as well as by collecting additional data on health-related quality of life measures (enabling Quality Adjusted Life Years as an outcome measure) and patient satisfaction (including expectations) the EuroHOPE project will evaluate, through a microeconomic disease-based approach, the performance of European health care systems in terms of outcomes, quality, use of resources and cost. Concentration will be on five important health problems/diseases: acute myocardial infarction, stroke, hip fracture, breast-cancer, and very low birth weight infants. The project has the following specific aims and objectives: (i) develop methods to measure outcomes and costs of care of specific diseases that can be used for routine evaluation of care given in the whole cycle of care (not only for specific procedures or short episodes); (ii) develop methods to measure quality, access, outcomes and cost of (care) that can be used for routine evaluation and monitoring of the performance, and give a recommendation of a list of indicators to be routinely collected and published by the EU (as a part European community Health Indicators); (iii) develop methods for international comparative health service research using register data; (iv) investigate the relationship between outcomes (or quality) with costs (or other measures of use of resources) between European countries, regions and providers applying a multilevel approach; (v) explore reasons behind difference in outcomes and costs. In particular, the interest will be on policy driven factors (such as treatment practices, use of medicines and modern technology, waiting times, financing, organisation of delivery, and reforms); (vi) give proposals concerning the data content of national level registers and outcome measurements in order to improve the continuous monitoring of performance on an intra- and international level; and (vii) implementing European-wide benchmarking on outcomes, quality and costs, which ena
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 5.60M | Year: 2008
A Particle Training Network for European Radiotherapy (PARTNER) will be established in response to the critical need for reinforcing research in ion therapy and the training of professionals in the rapidly emerging field of hadron therapy. This is an interdisciplinary, multinational initiative, which has the primary goal of training researchers who will help to improve the overall efficiency of ion therapy in cancer treatment, and promote clinical, biological and technical developments at a pan-European level, for the benefit of all European inhabitants. This need has particular urgency since two particle therapy facilities will soon become operational in Heidelberg (HIT, Germany) in early 2008, and in Pavia (CNAO, Italy) later in 2008. These are the first dual particle therapy centres to be built in Europe but others have been recently approved in Austria, France, and Germany, and there are longer-term plans for advanced accelerator systems in Spain and UK. PARTNER brings together ten academic institutes and research centres of excellence, the two leading European companies in particle therapy, IBA and Siemens, and a recently established SME enterprise specialised in the area of radiation treatment planning solutions. All partners are known world-wide in the diverse but complementary fields associated with particle therapy: clinical, radiobiological and technological. Thus the network covers a unique set of competencies, expertise, infrastructures and training possibilities. The ultimate goal of hadron therapy is to deliver more effective treatment to the cancer patient. Potentially hadron therapy can have a very major impact on health of citizens. The context of a new technique and a dynamic research program in an area of great societal demand offers outstanding training opportunities for future careers of the young researchers.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 2.44M | Year: 2012
Gait and postural control impairments, and falls are ubiquitous among the elderly, and lead to enormous personal, occupational and health care burden. Especially patients with PD are severely affected by the progressive deterioration of these gait and postural control mechanisms. Elucidating mechanisms of age- and disease-related motor control impairments and devising focussed treatment strategies to counteract these symptoms represent major challenges for future research. Moving beyond focuses on the role of supraspinal motor control mechanisms in ageing and PD. It will span the entire spectrum from basic understanding of these mechanisms, over diagnostics to therapeutic applications of supraspinal motor control deficits. In particular, we aim to pursue the following aspects: (i) pathways of the basal ganglia, (ii) balance and postural control, (ii) sensorimotor integration aspects, (iii) fractal properties of gait, (iv) freezing of gait, and (v) central adjustment strategies. We will employ promising diagnostic strategies and tools such as (i) electroencephalography during locomotion, (ii) virtual reality, (iii) body worn movement monitors, and (iv) instrumented movement assessments. Treatment strategies in Moving beyond include (i) therapeutic cues, and (ii) modelling of an individualized training proposal. The network consists of a rare combination of experts from basic and translational research as well as from the industry. They will cover the entire range of expertise necessary and utilize cutting edge technology to educate students and fellows in the complex problem of the impact of supraspinal motor control mechanisms in ageing and PD. The comprehensive inter-sectoral and multidisciplinary training program will comprise a unique set of state of the art scienitific and soft skill training measures pursing general and individually tailored training approaches. Outreach and dissemination activites form a crucial part of Moving beyond.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.4.4-3 | Award Amount: 2.30M | Year: 2013
RARE-Bestpractices will develop a sustainable networking platform, supporting the collection of standardized and validated data and efficient exchange of knowledge and reliable information on rare diseases (RD). RD are characterized by low prevalence (EU 5:10000 persons). There are more than 5000, overall affecting about 30 million citizens of all ages in the EU. RD are often life-threatening and chronically debilitating, and healthcare is impaired by limited knowledge. Collaborative efforts are needed to tackle RD to prevent significant morbidity, perinatal or early mortality, to reduce socio-economic burdens and to improve an individuals quality of life. RARE-Bestpractices aims to improve clinical management of RD patients, narrowing the existing gap among EU MS and other countries, also considering the application of patients rights in cross-border healthcare (EU Directive 2011/24). The platform deals with RD as a global health issue, exploiting and integrating contributions from all EU MS and other world areas (Caucasus, Europe, America, Oceania, PAHO/WHO) and will identify additional research needs to further improve clinical practice. Fostering synergistic collaboration among experts, patients representatives, policy makers, institutions, agencies, and other organizations experienced in systematic reviews and guidelines production, RARE-Bestpractices will focus on: a) collection, evaluation and dissemination of existing best practices; b) an agreed methodology suitable to develop and update best practice guidelines; c) training activities targeted at key stakeholders to spread expertise and knowledge; and d) a forum for exchanging information, sharing lessons learnt, and facilitating collaborations. The platform is conceived for health care providers, experts, patients, policy makers and best practice guideline developers with outcomes that support closure of healthcare gaps among countries and improved clinical management of RD patients globally.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.2.1-1 | Award Amount: 39.56M | Year: 2013
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability, leading to great personal suffering to victim and relatives, as well as huge direct and indirect costs to society. Strong ethical, medical, social and health economic reasons therefore exist for improving treatment. The CENTER-TBI project will collect a prospective, contemporary, highly granular, observational dataset of 5400 patients, which will be used for better characterization of TBI and for Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER). The generalisability of our results will be reinforced by a contemporaneous registry level data collection in 15-25,000 patients. Our conceptual approach is to exploit the heterogeneity in biology, care, and outcome of TBI, to discover novel pathophysiology, refine disease characterization, and identify effective clinical interventions. Key elements are the use of emerging technologies (biomarkers, genomics and advanced MR imaging) in large numbers of patients, across the entire course of TBI (from injury to late outcome) and across all severities of injury (mild to severe). Improved characterization with these tools will aid Precision Medicine, a concept recently advocated by the US National Academy of Science, facilitating targeted management for individual patients. Our consortium includes leading experts and will bring outstanding biostatistical and neuroinformatics expertise to the project. Collaborations with external partners, other FP7 consortia, and international links within InTBIR, will greatly augment scientific resources and broaden the global scope of our research. We anticipate that the project could revolutionize our view of TBI, leading to more effective and efficient therapy, thus improving outcome and reducing costs. These outcomes reflect the goals of CER to assist consumers, clinicians, health care purchasers, and policy makers to make informed decisions, and will improve healthcare at both individual and population levels.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-4-06 | Award Amount: 7.90M | Year: 2009
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) started, 20 years ago, a devastating health and food crisis throughout Europe. Classical BSE is now under control as a result of the meat and bone meal ban. However, tonsil analyses suggest that there may be an alarmingly high number of asymptomatic PrPSc positive cases. Transmission through blood transfusion is another important concern, as are recent atypical cases of BSE. Only a profound understanding of the molecular biology of prions will enable us to control them. Thus, to understand why BSE-contaminated food causes vCJD, we need to understand how prions get into food, what happens with them in the gut, how they reach the brain, and how they initiate the chain reaction rapidly leading to death. We have formulated 7 key questions: 1) How can we avoid a new BSE outbreak, or other possible future prion infection of livestock? 2) Why did decontamination of meat and bone meal fail; is there an effective way to decontaminate feedstuffs, soil etc? 3) What is the risk of humans being infected with each of the different prion strains known thus far? 4) Which are the best strategies to implement feasible prion eradication programs? 5) How can we develop a pre-clinical prion blood test? 6) How can we identify human cases with potential secondary transmission? And 7) What is the origin of atypical human CJD cases? We will search for decisive data on the structure of PrPSc, the molecular basis of strains and species barriers, the mechanism of prion conversion, the cell biology of PrPSc, the function of PrPC, and the mechanisms of PrP-associated pathology. This information will be translated into a better estimation of current exposure risk to humans from TSE, evaluation of current intervention strategies, and development of improved decontamination techniques and prion tests. With all this, we will be able to respond to the questions formulated and thus advise the EC on TSE policy for the protection of European consumers..
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.1-12 | Award Amount: 16.04M | Year: 2009
Recent research suggests that the hypoxic micro-environment of tumours is one of the major drivers of metastatic spread of cancer. Furthermore, hypoxic tumour micro-environments may result in treatment resistance of cancer cells, therefore causing a double effect of reducing the potential of a successful treatment of the cancer patient. This project seeks to clarify the roles and functions of the hypoxic tumour micro-environment in relation to the survival of solid tumours likely to metastasise. We will gain new knowledge about molecular mechanisms behind hypoxia-driven metastasis, like the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by several routes: (a): mechanisms related to cell growth- and cell proliferation (UPR, mTOR, CA9, HIF, Notch, and VHL), (b): angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, (c): metabolism and pH-regulation (d): the handling of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We will generate animal models for the study of the role of hypoxia in metastases and develop a bio-bank of tumour and blood samples for molecular diagnostic studies. We will identify and develop advanced imaging techniques and biomarkers and identify micro-metastases in bone marrow of patients to assist in the selection of appropriate stratification of the actual primary tumours and metastases micro-environmental conditions. We will also create a machine-learning based classifier of tumour hypoxia. The consortium has the necessary expertise to perform proof-of-principle clinical testing of new treatment strategies. We will thus perform clinical tests of new drugs developed to attack the regulatory mechanisms selected from the pre-clinical work and possible synergisms of combined treatments. We will also test new radiotherapy strategies for treatment of primary as well as metastatic tumours. Cancer types chosen for clinical studies are non-small-cell lung carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx, prostate cancer, primary breast cancer and rectal cancer.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-23-2014 | Award Amount: 6.96M | Year: 2015
Childrens health affects the future of Europe children are citizens, future workers, parents and carers. Children are dependent on society to provide effective health services (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child). Models of child primary health care vary widely across Europe based on two broad alternatives (primary care paediatricians or generic family doctors), and a variety of models of school health and adolescent direct access services. There is little research to show which model(s) are best, implying that some are inefficient or ineffective, with sub-optimal outcomes. MOCHA will draw on networks, earlier child health projects and local agents to model and evaluate child primary care in all 30 EU/EEA countries. Scientific partners from 11 European countries, plus partners from Australia and USA, encompassing medicine, nursing, economics, informatics, sociology and policy management, will: Categorise the models, and school health and adolescent services Develop innovative measures of quality, outcome, cost, and workforce of each, and apply them using policy documents, routine statistics, and available electronic data sets Assess effects on equality, and on continuity of care with secondary care. Systematically obtain stakeholder views. Indicate optimal future patterns of electronic records and big data to optimise operation of the model(s). The results will demonstrate the optimal model(s) of childrens primary care with a prevention and wellness focus, with an analysis of factors (including cultural) which might facilitate adoption, and indications for policy makers of both the health and economic gains possible. The project will have a strong dissemination programme throughout to ensure dialogue with public, professionals, policy makers, and politicians. The project will take 42 months (36 of scientific work plus start up and close), and deliver major awareness and potential benefit for European childrens health and healthy society.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.1-6 | Award Amount: 4.23M | Year: 2011
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal human cancers with a five-year survival rate of less than 5%. Late presentation and a high level of resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs are among the major reasons for this dismal prognosis. The presence of the highest degree of desmoplasia among all solid tumours and the fact that chronic inflammatory pancreatic disease is associated with an increased risk for pancreatic cancer indicate, that the tumour microenvironment is of particular importance for carcinogenesis in the pancreas. The long-term objective of this proposal is to increase survival of pancreatic cancer patients by exploring the contribution of the tumour microenvironment to the failure of presently available oncological treatments. For this purpose the clinical observation will be reverse-translated into innovative in-vitro and mouse models closely mimicking the human disease. This will allow a profound study of the mechanistic basis of treatment failure by deciphering the complex network between components of the microenvironment and cancer cells leading to increased resistance to chemotherapy and infiltrative growth along adjacent lymphatic and neural structures as well as metastatic spread. Identification of cancer (stem) cell-autonomous as well as stromal-derived mediators of invasion and chemoresistance will lead to novel drug targets to overcome the current therapeutic dilemma. The consortium has been specifically designed to include all required levels of expertise: 1) surgical and medical oncology groups conducting the largest clinical trials for pancreatic cancer in Europe, 2) expert pancreatic pathologists, 3) basic scientists focused on the study of carcinogenesis and tumour microenvironment interactions in the pancreas, 4) molecular oncology groups that have developed genetically engineered mouse models faithfully recapitulating human pancreatic cancer, as well as 5) pharmaceutical industry specialised on drug development.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH.2011.4.1-1 | Award Amount: 2.25M | Year: 2011
The overall aim of CommHERE is to improve communication on the outcome of EU funded health research projects to the media, the general public and other target groups including the EC in all of Europe. The CommHERE consortium comprises 10 partners, all research institutions active in the health research area. All partners are responsible for the coordination of EU-funded health research projects. This strong EU research connection is crucial for the proposed project plan, since it gives the consortium the possibility to work in close contact with the actual performers of health research. The general concept of CommHERE is to act on parallel levels which both are developed during the project period. On the one hand there will be an increase in actual communication activities on ongoing research directed towards the media, various stakeholders and the general public by production of press releases, virtual texts and images, and outreach activities. Basic tools and guidelines for this, applicable on a European level, will be prepared, used and developed. On the other hand for a long-term sustainable effect the project participants will work closely with the PIs and other representatives of new and ongoing research projects to encourage and motivate them, by giving tools, feed-back and incentives for continuous communication also outside of the scientific community. All activities will initially be made on a local level, within each of the participants institutions, but towards a European audience. The guidelines, experiences and any good examples will successively be spread nationally and between countries. A network of communication officers from all parts of Europe will stimulate future collaboration, sharing of experiences and competence building.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.3-01 | Award Amount: 2.23M | Year: 2011
Humans and animals living in poor communities in the developing world often suffer from health problems arising from neglected zoonoses. Control options for these diseases are perceived as either too expensive or to be beyond the mandate of either the human or animal health systems. There is evidence that zoonoses in humans can be suppressed or even eliminated through interventions in animals. Moreover, joining human and animal health services can provide access to care that would otherwise not be affordable or not be available. The close collaboration between the public and animal health sectors, also called One Health, with clearly defined roles for each sector, offers a formidable potential for creative and cost-effective solutions in disease control. Despite the emerging evidence on the effectiveness of One Health in surveillance and control of zoonoses, institutional barriers limit the added value of closer cooperation between human and animal health. OH-NEXTGEN will develop a web-based modular training course designed to empower a new generation of scientists to address One Health issues faced by communities in Africa. While this programme is targeted to the Maghreb and the Sahel, the course will be accessible world-wide by offering training modules through the European Tropical Health Education Network (tropED) and other existing networks. The course will include selected neglected zoonoses and generic themes such as integrated methods of joint human and animal disease surveillance and epidemiology, health economic assessments, animal-human modelling of infectious disease, trans-disciplinary approaches to connect science and society and address issues of culture, gender and contextualized extension and health education. In each module the added value of One Health is demonstrated. The project will complement the existing EU FP7 ICONZ project, which builds up the evidence base for integrated control approaches to neglected zoonoses in 7 African countries.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2009.1.2.2.1 | Award Amount: 9.23M | Year: 2010
TRANSPHORM brings together leading air quality and health researchers and users to improve the knowledge of transport related airborne particulate matter (PM) and its impact on human health and to develop and implement assessment tools for scales ranging from city to Europe. Over four years, TRANSPHORM will aim to develop and implement an integrated methodology to assess the health impacts of PM air pollution covering the whole chain from emissions to disease burden. The objectives will be: (i) To improve our understanding of transport sources of size-resolved and speciated PM air pollution including non-exhaust, shipping, aviation and railways; (ii) To improved emission factors of ultrafine particle number (PN0.1) and mass fractions of PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 for key transport sources; (iii) To conduct targeted measurements in Rotterdam, Helsinki and Thessaloniki for source apportionment, exposure assessment and model evaluation; (iv) To quantify exposure to airborne PM in urban environments resulting from traffic, road, shipping, rail and aviation; (v) To improve and integrate air quality dispersion and exposure models for urban and regional scales including long-range transport; (vi) To develop new concentration-response (CRF) linking long and short-term ambient residential exposure to size-resolved and speciated PM with key health endpoints; (vii) To develop and implement integrated assessment tool to investigate and analyse the whole chain of processes for selected cities and Europe; (viii) To incorporate micro-environmental PM concentrations, time-activity patterns, and estimates of internal dose into the health impact assessment; (ix) To conduct integrated health assessment of selected European cities; (x) To design and implement mitigation and adaptation strategies for European and international policy refinement and development; (xi) To exploit the results of TRANSPHORM through global dissemination and interactions with stakeholders.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.2 | Award Amount: 11.23M | Year: 2009
ULICE is a 4-year project set up by 20 leading European research organisations, including 2 leading European industrial partners (Siemens and IBA), to respond to the need for greater access to hadron therapy facilities for particle therapy research. Project coordinator is the Italian Research Infrastructure Facility CNAO (Milan). Both existing European Hadron Research Facilities in Heidelberg and Milan are partner and together with the next operational centre (Philipps-Universitt Marburg; yr4) they will provide 624 hours of beam-time (141 users, 52 projects) to external researchers. Future facilities like MedAustron, Etoile and Archade also participate in ULICE, which will result in a strong integrated network. Full exploitation of all different resources, unrestricted spread of information and the improvement of existing and upcoming facilities are provided by using grid-based data sharing. The project is built around 3 pillars with measurable outputs. These outputs will be exploited by the (future) facilities and (partly by) the industrial partners: 1. JRA - focus on development of instruments and protocols: new gantry design, improvement of four-dimensional particle beam delivery, adaptive treatment planning, mechanisms for patient selection to the whole European Community and database development for specific tumours which can best be treated using carbon ion. 2. Networking - increasing cooperation between facilities and research communities wanting to work with the research infrastructure. Outputs will be (among others): a report on recommendations for strategically optimal locations for future RIs throughout Europe, training to new users 3. Transnational access: 2-step approach, using a combination of pre-defined (within ULICE) clinical trial programmes to allow researchers with patients to visit the facility, and radiobiological and physics experiments to take place.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2008.1.2.1.5. | Award Amount: 4.59M | Year: 2009
We will determine the adverse and beneficial health effects of personal UVR exposure and their relationships with climatic and environmental factors that modify the solar UVR spectrum. Date and time stamped personal electronic wristwatch dosimeters will be worn to measure individual UVR exposure over extended periods. Satellite and ground station data will be gathered to establish terrestrial UVR spectral irradiance, cloud, albedo, ozone and aerosol data, at the locations and times of exposure. These dosimeters will be used in field studies in working, water, beach and snow situations in four different countries, including studies with children. The personal dosimetric data combined with diary, ground station and satellite data will show the influence of behaviour, meteorological, environmental and cultural factors on individual UVR exposure doses. The interaction between the personal exposure parameters and the satellite and ground station data will enable the development of a humanized radiative transfer model to assess the future impact of climate change on UVR exposure. This is in contrast to previous models that assume exposure to a given fraction of ambient UVR. We will also determine the effect of UVR exposure on DNA damage and immunity in field conditions. Furthermore, the relationship between UVR exposure and vitamin D status will be determined, thus enabling a direct correlation between important risk and benefit biomarkers. We will also determine the spectral relationship between erythema, UVR-induced immunosuppression and vitamin D status. These studies will determine the value of erythema as a biological weighing function for UVR related health outcomes. Finally, we will perform a systematic review of a wide range of health outcomes from UVR exposure, and integrate our personal UVR exposure and modelling data into existing epidemiological data to estimate measurement error and any effects on current UVR dose response relationships and health outcome.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.4-1 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2008
Autoimmune Addisons disease (AAD) is an endocrine disease resulting from the immune systems destruction of hormone producing cells in the adrenal cortex. Diagnosis is frequently first established after a life-threatening adrenal crisis, often resulting in untimely fatalities. The disease is rare, more common in women than in men, and also affects children. AAD very frequently occurs with other autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes mellitus, autoimmune thyroid disease and/or premature ovarian failure. Based on a European network of patient registry and biobanks, a translational approach using genetics, immunology, clinical management, and epidemiology, the project aims to unravel the pathogenesis and natural course of AAD, ultimately to improve diagnosis and treatment as well as to offer strategies for disease prevention. The consortium capitalises on the joint cutting edge expertise of leading European investigators covering all these fields. Exploiting these resources, we will describe the natural course of the disease with focus on factors limiting quality of life, and identify and characterise the disease-causing genes, using the corresponding disease in a spontaneous dog model and a gene targeted mouse model. In parallel, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of autoimmunity directed at the adrenal cortex will be unravelled both in humans with ADD and in the genetic mouse model. Together, these efforts will increase our still incomplete understanding of pathogenic pathways operational in AAD and pave the way for new therapies of this debilitating disorder. Moreover, clinical studies will be performed to evaluate more physiological and personalised treatment with cortisol also aimed at prevention. As an autoimmune model disease the results of the project will not only lead to the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for Addison patients, but also increase our understanding of the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases in general.
Ageing with elegans - Validating C. elegans healthspan model for better understanding factors causing health and disease, to develop evidence based prevention, diagnostic, therapeutic and other strategies.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-01-2014 | Award Amount: 7.31M | Year: 2015
Healthspan (the life period when one is generally healthy and free from serious disease) depends on nature (genetic make-up) and nurture (environmental influences, from the earliest stages of development throughout life). Genetic studies increasingly reveal mutations and polymorphisms that may affect healthspan. Similarly, claims abound about lifestyle modifications or treatments improving healthspan. In both cases, rigorous testing is hampered by the long lifespan of model organisms like mice (let alone humans) and the difficulty of introducing genetic changes to examine the phenotype of the altered genome. We will develop C. elegans as a healthspan model. Already validated extensively as an ageing model, this organism can be readily modified genetically, and effects of environmental manipulations on healthspan can be measured in days or weeks. Once validated as a healthspan model, it can be used for an initial assessment of preventive and therapeutic measures for humans, as well as for risk identification and the initial evaluation of potential biomarkers. It will also prove useful to study interactions between genetic and various environmental factors.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.5-2 | Award Amount: 7.90M | Year: 2011
Type 1 diabetes is caused by an inflammatory process which damage insulin-producing beta-cells in the pancreas. It is one of the most common chronic diseases and its incidence is rapidly increasing. Due to its complications it causes a significant medical and economic burden to European society. A causal association between enterovirus and type 1 diabetes has become more and more likely. The aim of the present research programme is to create a new research strategy aligned to a concerted scientific research effort and creation of a network of unique resources which makes it possible to achieve a significant breakthrough in this field. The main focus is in the detection of persistent enterovirus infection leading to inflammation and tissue damage in the pancreas and its role in mediating the inflammatory response that causes type 1 diabetes. The goal is to take the critical steps towards therapeutic translation of research findings by employing a novel research design and synergistic networks of excellence based on the combination of a multidisciplinary research strategy and availability of unique biobanks existing in Europe. This research programme will also create a completely new type of biobank which facilitates a wide range of new analyses of fresh tissues. The programme includes a strong translational component which facilitates the ongoing efforts to develop vaccines against diabetogenic enteroviruses and other targeted therapies. The program also has a wider impact on the entire field of research on pathogen-disease associations, since the same innovative research strategy can be applied to other diseases as well. Altogether, this research program will take full advantage of the excellent biobank networks and a long tradition in biomedical and clinical research in Europe and creates an exceptional opportunity to take the final steps towards proving causality in the enterovirus-diabetes association.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.1.1-1-C | Award Amount: 17.68M | Year: 2012
Despite examples of excellent practice, rare disease (RD) research is still mainly fragmented by data and disease types. Individual efforts have little interoperability and almost no systematic connection between detailed clinical and genetic information, biomaterial availability or research/trial datasets. By developing robust mechanisms and standards for linking and exploiting these data, RD-Connect will develop a critical mass for harmonisation and provide a strong impetus for a global trial-ready infrastructure ready to support the IRDiRC goals for diagnostics and therapies for RD in close collaboration with the successful A/B projects. It will build on and transform the current state-of-the-art across databases, registries, biobanks, bioinformatics, and ethical considerations to develop a quality-assured and comprehensive integrated hub/platform in which complete clinical profiles are combined with -omics data and sample availability for RD research. The integrated, user-friendly RD-Connect platform, built on efficient informatics concepts already implemented in international research infrastructures for large-scale data management, will provide access to federated databases/registries, biobank catalogues, harmonised -omics profiles, and cutting-edge bioinformatics tools for data analysis. All patient data types will be linked via the generation of a unique identifier (RD-ID) developed jointly with the US NIH. The RD-Connect platform will be one of the primary enablers of progress in IRDiRC-funded research and will facilitate gene discovery, diagnosis and therapy development. RD-Connect has the RD field at its heart and brings together partners with a strong track record in RD research (gene discovery and development of innovative treatments), as well as committed IRDiRC funding partners and representatives of all major international RD initiatives (EU/US/AU/JP) spanning patient organisations, research and public health, to maximise impact to RD patients
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2010
The overall aim of the ViVac project is to develop and to show safety and efficacy for a new innovative carbohydrate (chitosan) based adjuvant -Viscogel to be used both in prophylactic and therapeutic vaccination. Three SME participants will contribute with their specific technologies: the unique Viscogel technology, a specific type of cationic peptides with cell-penetrating capacity (LTX) and a technology platform for production of recombinant allergens (Bet v 1). Viscogel has excellent adjuvant properties: strongly immunostimulatory, stable, easy to manufacture, pronounced depot effect and possibility to obtain products of GMP quality. In addition Viscogel is mucoadhesive and in combination with LTX cell penetrating, making it suitable for mucosal administration. The target applications to be demonstrated in the ViVac project are i) prophylactic vaccination against common infectious diseases, and ii) therapeutic allergy vaccination. Both application areas represent billion markets. Five RTD consortium partners with specific key competences will perform research to support further technical development and new IP opportunities for the participating SME partners. The research objectives are i) to provide pre-clinical and clinical proof-of-concept for prophylactic vaccination with a model vaccine against Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b). Data supporting that Viscogel induces improved immune responses at lower vaccine doses will likely be applicable to most prophylactic vaccines. ii) to provide pre-clinical proof-of-concept for therapeutic vaccination, demonstrated for allergy vaccination. In particular Viscogel-Bet v 1 formulations for administration over the sublingual mucosa will be developed and thus fulfil an unmet medical need for safe, efficient and convenient allergy vaccination. A successful outcome of the ViVac project will significantly improve the competitive situation for the SME partners and create new commercialisation opportunities.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2011-2.3.2. | Award Amount: 13.73M | Year: 2012
The ESFRI infrastructures in Biological and BioMedical Sciences face substantial challenges in accessing and sharing data and resources. The BioMedBridges consortium brings together the six established ESFRI infrastructures with common goals to define, implement and deliver data interoperability across the biological and biomedical domains. The first objective is to ensure that interoperable standards are available across all data resources and services shared by two of more ESFRI infrastructure. The identified standards will be implemented to enable data interoperation between ESFRI projects in biomedical sciences. Public data in life sciences will be freely accessible through these standard interoperable services. Private data, however, is a major concern in this domain, for medical information or for data with intellectual property issues. Where projects need to share sensitive data, standards for secure and restricted access will be identified and implemented. BioMedBridges is a practical solution to the data interoperability requirements of infrastructures in the biological and biomedical domains. A suite of use cases will guide the development and deployment of standards and services with emphasis on the issues arising between specific projects. These may cover the exchange of biomedical and genetic data, linking mouse model organism data with human clinical information, and the deposition of large volumes of data from one project to another. BioMedBridges is inclusive of emerging infrastructures which can contribute additional data classes and challenges such as bioimaging, ecosystems, small molecules and infectious diseases. The ESFRI infrastructures leading BioMedBridges are ELIXIR, BBMRI, EATRIS, ECRIN, InfraFrontier and INSTRUCT.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.1.1-3 | Award Amount: 4.87M | Year: 2011
Protein glycosylation is a post-translational phenomenon that is involved in most physiological and disease processes including cancer. Most of the known cancer-associated glycobiomarkers were discovered individually using liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopy. Though valuable, there is room for improvement in these approaches for the discovery phase. There is also a critical need for innovative, rapid, and high-throughput (HTP) technologies that will translate the discovery of cancer-associated glycobiomarkers from basic science to clinical application. The GlycoHIT consortium brings a highly experienced, innovative and interdisciplinary team of researchers from Europe, China and USA representing academia, industry and clinical fields to significantly enhance some of the existing glycoanalytical technologies and to advance novel HTP glycoanalytical technologies beyond current state of the art. Microchip technology and novel partitioning methods will be exploited for nanoscale HTP separations of serum glycoproteins for analysis by HPLC or LCMS. In parallel, lectin array technology will be radically improved by the innovative use of recombinant human lectins and lectin mimics derived by screening large phage displayed combinatorial libraries. Aptamer libraries will be exploited for identification of lectin mimics and development of a glycosignature platform Compatibility of the lectin/lectin mimic array technologies with novel label-free biosensors will be explored. Newly-developed technologies will be validated by analysis of serum samples from a variety of cancer patient cohorts and will be supported throughout by experimental interaction analysis, complex structural modelling and informatics. Effective project management, commercially-aware intellectual property management and targeted dissemination activities supplement the core science and ensure maximum impact for the project.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.9 | Award Amount: 9.24M | Year: 2011
Biomedical research depends on the availability of living non-human primates and biological material with primate origin. The need for animal research using non-human primates is therefore recognised by all governments that support internationally competitive biomedical research aimed at addressing the worlds most pressing medical challenges. While essential for biomedical research owing to their similarity to humans, non-human primates are more than other animals endowed with high sensory and cognitive abilities. This is the basis of an international consensus that the use of primates in research has to comply with the highest ethical standards and should be restricted to cases where no alternatives exist. Research with primates has to follow the 3R-concept of Refinement, Reduction and Replacement. Meeting this requirement necessitates a commitment to substantial investments into appropriate facilities, specialized equipment and extensive training of personnel, which has been realised by the establishment of the I3-project EUPRIM-Net in the 6th framework programme. The aim of EUPRIM-Net is to contribute to European science by improving the ability of its participants to provide the best services, support the best science that meets the highest ethical standards for primate-based animal research. With the funding of EUPRIM-Net II we will build on the successes of the starting phase of EUPRIM-Net to focus on the following overarching core objectives: - advancing the 3Rs (refinement, reduction, replacement) in primate research - develop, refine and ensure best practice in primate research - extend the network in Europe to include commercial partners and extend the network to include non-European primate centres to insure a global sharing of available resources. Additionally, EUPRIM-Net places a focus on moving away from EU funding and implementing self-sustaining structures.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2012.1.3-1 | Award Amount: 4.60M | Year: 2013
SUBCOP sets out to develop technologies and procedures that can be applied by the Police Security Forces when responding to a suspected PBIED (Person Borne Improvised Explosive Device). It addresses the course of action to take when an alert to a possible PBIED has been issued, and an attack may be imminent. SuBCoP is insensitive to how the alert is raised, should it be based on detection of explosives or explosive devices, informants reporting, or other intelligence sources. It is however sensitive to the fact that the alert only gives cause for suspecting the presence of a PBIED, and that this suspicion can be of lower or higher confidence. SUBCOP will develop guidance as to what response to a PBIED that is ethically and socially justifiable for a given situation. The core objective of SUBCOP is to consider the available technological tools for less than lethal PBIED intervention, the novel procedures for their application, and the development of new less than lethal capabilities These together will fit to the highly set requirements; to avoid injuries on the suspect yet control the situation to such an extent that no harm will come to innocent bystanders or first responders, should the suspicion of a PBIED presence be accurate. The SUBCOP consortium is well equipped to address this complex and challenging task, encompassing small scale and large scale security focused and technology developing enterprises, security and defence research organisations, medical and ethical expert organisations and end users with first hand experience in PBIED situations.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.2-2;HEALTH-2007-2.4.1-4 | Award Amount: 5.54M | Year: 2008
The overall objective of this proposal is to develop and validate a quantitative, minimally invasive diagnostic tool for early and conclusive detection, diagnosis and monitoring of disease and disease progression of breast and prostate cancer. A methodology will be developed making use of a combination of the probably most exciting recent advances in the field of light microscopy, for fluorescence-based optical imaging of individual sample cells. It includes advances which will take the spatial resolution far beyond the fundamental limits of optical resolution, the sensitivity down to an ultimate single-molecule level, and multi-parameter detection schemes significantly increasing the fluorescence information by which these cellular images can be analysed. Apart from detecting and identifying tumour markers in the samples, tumour-specific spatio-temporal molecular distributions within the intact sample cells will be exploited. This is to date an almost unexploited dimension of diagnostic information. By combining and supporting these novel optical methods with state-of-the-art affinity molecule biotechnology, , tumor biomarkers, fluorophore chemistry, and bioinformatic validation tools, all possible means will be exploited to extract a maximum amount of information out of very small amounts of sample material. We thereby expect that an improved, early and reliable diagnosis of breast and prostate cancer will be possible, from amounts of sample material small enough that a minimally invasive procedure such as Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) can be used. In addition, by the minimally invasive FNA-based sampling, serious sampling-related side-effects, such as seeding and spread of cancer cells can be completely avoided. Given the high incidence of breast and prostate cancer, and the utmost importance of an early and conclusive diagnosis for the prognosis of these diseases, the relevance of this project can not be overestimated.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.1.2-3 | Award Amount: 3.67M | Year: 2012
The aim of CASyM is a combined large scale effort to sustainably implement Systems Medicine across Europe. For that purpose CASyM will function as a managing and coordinating platform in bringing together a critical mass of relevant European stakeholders such as Systems Biology scientists, clinicians, programme managers, industry/SMEs as well as healthcare providers and patient organizations. The goal of that initial nucleus of experts is the development of a strategy to implement the Systems Biology approach into medical practice and research within the 4 years duration of CASyM. For this purpose it is essential that the involved communities build a vision and coordinated strategy. Our joint effort gathers extensive experience in the coordination and realization of such a new, large-scale European effort, thereby providing the basis for an advanced future medicine. The output of CASyM will be a conceptual framework defining the remits, milestones, mechanisms and metrics for the implementation of Systems Medicine. The development of this framework will overcome competitive barriers and proceed to produce a European roadmap for Systems Medicine as concerted project result.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-17-2014 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2015
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are chronic bone marrow malignancies of the elderly, complicated by severe anaemia. MDS significantly affects quality-adjusted survival and it imposes an increasing financial burden on patients and healthcare (HC) systems. The burden of disease is expected to worsen in the future, given the aging EU population and newly identified MDS cases among those diagnosed with Anaemia of the Elderly. EUMDS - a unique registry with prospective, observational data on 1600 lower-risk MDS patients from 16 EU countries - enables comparison of existing MDS HC interventions (HCI). Objectives 1) Comparison of outcomes and costs of existing HCI, using established and new core outcome sets. This, alongside health technology assessment, will provide robust evidence to underpin sustainable use of HC resources; 2) Enhanced compliance with diagnostic procedures in MDS by introducing new minimally-invasive diagnostic methods. This will increase the number of correctly and timely diagnosed MDS patients; 3) Raised awareness of the relevance of obtaining the right diagnosis in elderly by comparing HRQoL between EUMDS and against a non-MDS cohort. This will improve HRQoL of individual patients through better tailoring of HCI; 4) Better outcome predictability of available HCI by refining classification of cases using molecular characterisation to incorporate response to HCI and to provide evidence for personalised medicine; 5) Improved, evidence-based, guidelines supporting the regulatory process, and providing information to patients and physicians to promote personalised decisions in MDS care; 6) Establishment of a European MDS competence network encompassing all stakeholders in the MDS field. Relevance Better treatment compliance, a more evidence-based use of HCI and an increasing tailored use of existing HC options will contribute to an efficient and cost effective (personalised) use of HC resources for elderly patients with MDS and their co-morbidities.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 3.04M | Year: 2008
The multi-partner initial training network entitled Health-Promoting Cross-talk between Intestinal Microbiota and Humans (CROSS-TALK) aims at: Preparing qualified young professionals/researchers and future scientific leaders in the field of an emerging supra-discipline, the human microbiome metagenomics (which calls for new researcher curricula and fosters a dynamic scientific community) through a personal and adapted training program, Answering key questions on the role of the host-gut microbiota cross-talk in the development and maintenance of a healthy gut. Developing new concepts and trans-discipline training based on, the integrated scientific programme, laboratory exchanges and dedicated education proposed in CROSS-TALK In order to reach these objectives, CROSS-TALK establishes a collaborative research and training network of 10 network participants and 3 associated partners. This network gathers expertises in complementary disciplines (i.e. microbiology, immunology, cell biology [in-vitro] and molecular biology, in-vivo biology [animal models, humans], biochemistry, proteomics, transcriptomics) and participants from both the academic and private sectors with an excellent track record of collaborative research. The network also offers a complete range of theoretical, practical and complementary training as well as scientific workshops. The excellent scientific network of CROSS-TALK will work together with the young researchers to develop and implement effective training plans tailored to each individuals requirements. Regular meetings, active networking, connections with other scientific projects in the field and with commercial participants will ensure the success of this project and give the recruited researchers an excellent opportunity to reach their career objectives.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-12-2014 | Award Amount: 8.82M | Year: 2015
Euromix aim to develop an experimentally verified, tiered strategy for the risk assessment of mixtures of multiple chemicals derived from multiple sources across different life stages. The project takes account of the gender dimension and balances the risk of chemicals present in foods against the benefits of those foods. Important concepts for this new strategy are prioritisation criteria for chemicals based on their exposure and hazard characteristics and evaluation of the role of mode of action in grouping chemicals into cumulative assessment groups. In-silico and in-vitro tools will be developed and verified against in-vivo experiments, with focus on four selected endpoints (liver, hormones, development and immunology) to provide a full proof-of-principle. The EuroMix project will result in an innovative platform of bioassays for mixture testing and refined categorisation of chemicals in cumulative assessment groups. New hazard and exposure models will be embedded in a model toolbox, made available for stakeholders through an openly accessible web-based platform. Access to the web-based tools will be facilitated by training. Criteria will be set and guidance will be written on how to use and implement the tiered test strategy. Dissemination and harmonisation of the approach within EU, Codex Alimentarius, and WHO will be achieved by involving a.o. WHO and US-EPA in the project and by the participation of experts playing a key role in helping establish international food safety policies. It is expected that the new mechanism-based strategy, the bioassay platform, the openly accessible web-based model toolbox, and clear guidance on a tiered hazard and exposure test and risk assessment strategy will boost innovation in the public and private sector, provide a sound scientific basis for managing risks to public health from chemical mixtures, ultimately reduce the use of laboratory animals, and support the global discussion of risk assessment policies for mixtures.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-CG | Phase: ERC-CG-2013-PE6 | Award Amount: 1.72M | Year: 2015
Discovering the causal mechanisms of a complex system of interacting components is necessary in order to control it. Computational Causal Discovery (CD) is a field that offers the potential to discover causal relations under certain conditions from observational data alone or with a limited number of interventions/manipulations. An important, challenging biological problem that may take decades of experimental work is the induction of biological cellular pathways; pathways are informal causal models indispensable in biological research and drug design. Recent exciting advances in flow/mass cytometry biotechnology allow the generation of large-sample datasets containing measurements on single cells, thus setting the problem of pathway learning suitable for CD methods. CAUSALPATH builds upon and further advances recent breakthrough developments in CD methods to enable the induction of biological pathways from cytometry and other omics data. As a testbed problem we focus on the differentiation of human T-cells; these are involved in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, as well as cancer and thus, are targets of new drug development for a range of chronic diseases. The biological problem acts as our campus for general novel formalisms, practical algorithms, and useful tools development, pointing to fundamental CD problems: presence of feedback cycles, presence of latent confounding variables, CD from time-course data, Integrative Causal Analysis (INCA) of heterogeneous datasets and others. Three features complement CAUSALPATHs approach: (A) methods development will co-evolve with biological wet-lab experiments periodically testing the algorithmic postulates, (B) Open-source tools will be developed for the non-expert, and (C) Commercial exploitation of the results will be sought out. CAUSALPATH brings together an interdisciplinary team, committed to this vision. It builds upon the PIs group recent important results on INCA algorithms.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.4.2-1 | Award Amount: 7.98M | Year: 2013
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the major diseases in Europe and the Western world, killing over 2 million people per year in Europe alone and is the foremost cause of premature mortality and disability-adjusted life years, representing an annual economic cost of 192 billion in direct and indirect healthcare expenses. The available therapies are insufficient to fulfill the need. The introduction of statins has reduced morbidity and mortality of atherosclerosis by 30%, however a large untreatable residual cardiovascularrisk remains even in cohorts of treated patients. Currently, many targets for CVD treatment have been selected based on mechanism of action and inference of functions in cellular models to clinical systems, and lack the rigorous clinical validation needed to maximize the chance for successful clinical drug development. Consequently, new drugs that modulate the activity of such targets fail later in clinical development by lack of efficacy or induction of safety liabilities due to off-target effects. To increase the success rate for clinical development of novel therapies in CVD, we will follow an innovative approach by using: 1. Independent and large-scale population studies from which novel targets with strong correlation to clinical phenotypes are deduced; 2. Translational disease-mimicking models (cellular and animal) to validate novel drug targets; 3. High quality human biobanks to confirm the molecular relevance of targets in diseased cardiovascular tissues; 4. A stringent pharmaceutical drug discovery process for prioritization of drugable targets. An important concept, in line with the changed pharmaceutical business model, is that these steps can best be executed by a functional network of clinical academic centers and specialized SMEs under the guidance of established and experienced drug discovery researchers from industry that brings together the right components and expertise to execute such a modular target discovery process.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-01-2014 | Award Amount: 6.12M | Year: 2015
Breast tumours are heterogeneous, and result from the complex interplay of multiple lifestyle/environmental and genetic risk factors. Through the EU-funded COGS project, we have identified a large number of germline variants that influence the risk of breast cancer. In combination, these variants can identify women at wide ranges of genetic risk, even in the absence of family history of breast cancer. Given that breast cancer is not one disease, it is now essential to better understand how risk factors act together to influence the development of pathologic-molecular subtypes of breast cancer. The aim of B-CAST is to identify women at moderate to high risk of breast cancer, the subtype of cancer that is most likely to develop and the prognosis of that particular subtype. This will be accomplished through large-scale pathologic-molecular analyses of over 20,000 breast tumours, and the integration of these data with unique resources from existing consortia, including germline, lifestyle/environmental, mammographic breast density, pathologic and clinical data. This information will inform the development of risk prediction and prognostication models that will be validated in longitudinal cohorts and clinical studies, and incorporated into online tools. We will also disseminate this knowledge to relevant stakeholders, and evaluate how to translate it into risk-stratified public health and clinical strategies. The current challenge for optimised prevention, early detection, and treatment decisions for breast cancer is understanding the genetic and lifestyle determinants of risk and prognosis of molecular subtypes. B-CAST will add to this understanding and will have immediate application with benefits to women by providing validated risk and prognostication tools. This will empower women and doctors with knowledge to tailor strategies for prevention and treatment. Ultimately, this work should result in reductions in the occurrence, morbidity and mortality of this disease.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.5-11 | Award Amount: 4.04M | Year: 2008
Incontinence affects almost 66 million people in the European Union. The Over Active Bladder (OAB) symptom complex is one of the major causes for incontinence, with a large number of affected persons and immense associated health care costs. The causes for the over active bladder contractions, underlying the urinary urgency of OAB are unknown, and current treatments are only partially effective. This collaborative and translational project, involving interaction between experimental and clinical urology scientists will focus on OAB and will characterize the different interacting cellular components and signaling systems in the wall of normal urinary bladders and OAB. The release of local mediators in the bladder wall, the properties of a newly described cell type (the interstitial cells, which may play a role in bladder over activity), the sensory signaling pathways (TRPV1-receptors), the receptor interaction and cellular communication are considered in order to create an integrated view on the mechanisms of bladder over activity. A strong emphasis is put on interaction between basic science and clinical applications, using a translational approach involving both specific animal models and human tissue from patients with defined urodynamic information. Several ethical and logistic issues with the use of human tissue are specifically addressed. An important further aspect of the experiments on human tissue is a direct analysis of the links between genetic and the urodynamic data of the patients, using unique biobanks. This will allow us further insight into the mechanisms of disease and possibly to identify new therapeutic targets. In close collaboration with a small company, we will develop an innovative potential physical therapy to affect bladder function. We will develop novel pharmacotherapeutic strategies and diagnostic tools, based on the characterization of cell properties, gene expression, receptors signaling systems of the bladder wall.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.1.1-3 | Award Amount: 7.86M | Year: 2012
Users of NGS technologies, producing large and numerous distinct types of omics data, demands statistical methods to combat data and knowledge fragmentation and inappropriate procedures for data analysis. Yet, the current a gap between the available tools for analysis of a single omics data-type versus the requirement of biomedical scientists to understand the integrated results derived from several omics data-types, threatens to further increase due to the accelerated capacity of data production. STATegra will therefore improve and develop new statistical methods enabling accurate collection and integration of omics data while providing user-friendly packaging of STATegra tools targeting biomedical scientists. To close the gap between the present sub-optimal utilization of omics data and the power of statistics, STATegra develops statistical methods targeting efficient experimental design, data gathering, missing data, noisy data, current knowledge, meta-analysis and integrative data analysis. Importantly, STATegra facilitates understanding and use of omics data by forcing abstract concepts including knowledge, design, dirty data, visualization, causality and integration to be embedded in a real yet prototypical biomedical context. STATegra is positioned to ensure that the collective output of the statistical STATegra methods is relevant and subject to statistical and experimental validation and iteration. STATegra mimics a user-driven IT development strategy, by involving real biomedical users as beta-testers. To deliver beyond current exploratory tools, our consortium accumulates the necessary strong statistical, technological, and molecular expertise. The strong lead by research intensive SMEs, with proven track-record in software deployment, translates STATegra to a wide existing community base. STATegra accelerates the production of relevant statistical tools impacting a broad community of biomedical scientists in research, industry, and healthcare.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NoE | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.3.2-1 | Award Amount: 16.97M | Year: 2009
This is a proposal from 55 partners from 36 institutes to form a NoE that will seek to integrate European malaria research that is directed towards a better understanding of the basic biology of the parasite, its vector and of the biology of the interactions between the parasite and both its mammalian host and vectors. All the member institutes and researchers have demonstrated both their excellence and their ability to contribute to a successful network. The structure of the proposed network significantly evolves prior concepts of network structure introducing new modes of research that have recently emerged. Comprising of 4 research clusters the core activities will include molecular cell biology of the parasite, host immunity, vector biology, population biology and systems biology. One arm of the network activities will be concerned with the timely and effective translation of research respecting the IP rights of partner institutes. The network will also contribute significantly to the production of the next generation of malaria researchers through the operation of an expanded European PhD School for malaria research based at EMBL, students enjoying two supervisors based in different member states. Bespoke training courses for PhD students and network personnel will be offered throughout the duration of the network to maximise individual potential. To create a long term benefit from network activities a limited programme of post-doctoral fellowships within the network will be established. Furthermore, individual career mentoring facilities and an alumni association will continue to guide and engage network graduates. New members will be affiliated annually on a competitive basis with an emphasis on young, emerging Principle Investigators. Through the establishment of an umbrella Foundation and active lobbying of government and non-government funding agencies as well as the establishment of a charitable profile the network will strive to become self-determining.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 3.46M | Year: 2009
Eight partners from six different EU countries will converge in NotchIT, a multi-site ITN aimed to increase the knowledge of cellular and molecular mechanisms by which Notch signaling regulates the development and pathology of different tissues. Notch signaling plays a key role in cell-fate determination and differentiation of various cell types and aberrant Notch signaling is associated with pathogenesis of different human diseases, including cancer. NotchIT integrates the research and training activities of the eight different partners, who are all leaders in Notch signaling and related fields, to specifically address three strategic initiatives, which are central to European science and health economy: - the core Notch signaling mechanism with the purpose of constructing a state-of-the-art molecular tool box for Notch signaling and to disseminate this knowledge and reagents at a pan-European level. - the role of Notch signaling in the differentiation and pathology of various cell types with the purpose of using Notch signaling to improve our means to steer stem cell differentiation and to correct aberrant Notch signaling in pathologies. - how Notch signaling can be exogenously controlled through pharmacological approaches, in order to break new ground and to ultimately design new diagnostic and therapeutic protocols. The training component in NotchIT is deeply integrated with the research programme. The partners in NotchIT possess a wide range of expertise and work in operationally diverse environments: Hospitals, Universities, Research Institutes and Industry. This broad knowledge-base, combined with an integrated set of courses, workshops, meetings and cross-laboratory visits, provides an excellent training opportunity for early stage and experienced scientists in the center, and will prepare them for high level positions in academia and industry.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: Fission-2010-3.2.1 | Award Amount: 7.04M | Year: 2011
Diagnostic radiation represents an indispensable, sometimes life-saving, tool in modern medicine. However, the growing use of computerized tomography (CT) is a topic of concern in radiological protection, especially for children and adolescents. Children are generally more sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of ionizing radiation than adults. In addition, they have a longer life-span to express any effect and, because of their smaller mass, they may receive higher radiation doses from a CT scan than an adult. A large-scale multinational collaborative study will be set up with the objective of providing guidance towards optimisation of doses from paediatric CT scans. We have the following specific aims: 1) describe the pattern of use of CT in different countries and over time; 2) derive individual estimates of organ doses ; 3) assess biological markers of CT-irradiation effects; 4) directly evaluate radiation-related risk of cancer following CT; and 5) characterize the quality of CT images in relation to the estimated doses in order to better inform CT imaging practice. Scientists from nine European countries with expertise in epidemiology, clinical practice, radiology, dosimetry, biology and public health will contribute to the project with the objective of provide recommendations for a harmonized approach to CT dose optimisation for paediatric patients in Europe. Results of this research will serve to increase awareness of the scientific and medical communities about public health aspects related to the use of diagnostic radiation and to provide recommendations on the use of valuable diagnostic tools, with lowering the risk of its potential hazards as much as possible.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.4.5-2 | Award Amount: 7.85M | Year: 2012
We propose a collaborative effort to advance our understanding of the inflammatory bowel diseases Ulcerative Colitis and Crohns Disease and to increase diagnostic precision in detection of the diseases in their early manifestation. We will utilize the largest collection of samples so far assembled of treatment nave patients recently diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, a total of 400 patients. The material will be extensively analyzed for DNA methylation status, RNA transcription profile, protein markers and gut microbial content in order to create a molecular snapshot of IBD in its early manifestation. As control group, material from a total of 200 recently by endoscopy diagnosed non-inflammatory but symptomatic patients (symptomatic non-IBD) as well as 200 healthy, age-matched, non-smoking, controls without any known first relatives diagnosed with IBD, will be collected and used. All patients will be diagnosed according to standardized diagnostic criterias, characterized using current known clinical markers as well as genotyped for known susceptibility loci. This large, well characterized cohort in conjunction with our proposed massive molecular profiling will yield a list of biomarkers indicative for onset of the disease. Based on the finding within the project assays capable of analyzing panels of relevant protein markers and methods for rapid profiling of gut microbial content relevant for IBD will be developed by participating SME:s, offering large commercial potential. The proposed biomarkers will form a solid ground for development of improved diagnostic assays and be a rich source to mine for novel therapeutic targets.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.31M | Year: 2012
Aim of the CAFFEIN network is to provide 10 early stage researchers (ESRs) and 2 exprerienced researchers (ERs) with excellent training in an industry relevant area of cancer research, complementary skills required for pharmaceutical industry, and knowledge in setting up biomedical start-up companies. To this end, the network comprises two full industrial partners: the established pharmaceutical company Medimmune, a global leader in immunopharmaceuticals, and the small biotech company Gimmune, which used breakthrough results in nanotechnology to establish a new enterprise. The research focus of CAFFEIN, which stands for Cancer Associated Fibroblasts (CAF) Function in Tumor Expansion and Invasion, is to understand the mechanisms, how fibroblastoid cells support tumor progression and metastasis formation. CAF biology is therefore rather complex, but the research groups of the CAFFEIN network cover many different aspects of it, thus having a critical mass to provide relevant training in this area. Training in complementary skills important for work in the pharmaceutical industry is provided by the industrial partner MedImmune, where communication with management, industrial project planning, IPR, etc. will be taught. Entrepreneurial skills, business plans, funding by venture capitalists, and patentability of research findings are highlights of the training provided by the industrial partner Gimmune. All this training is transmitted to the ESRs/ERs by networkwide events, secondments and tight research collaboration. Taken together, the CAFFEIN research training network combines the acquisition of excellent scientific knowledge in an area highly attractive for pharmaceutical industry with special education in relevant complementary skills that increase employment chances of the trained researchers in industry and that encourage them to translate their scientific results into products, thus improving health and economic welfare of European citizens.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-32-2014 | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2015
This proposal addresses the call topic Advancing bioinformatics to meet biomedical and clinical needs (PHC-32-2014), with the focus on the standardization, dissemination and meta-analysis of cell migration data. Cell migration is the fundamental process in medically highly relevant topics, including morphogenesis, immune function, wound healing, and cancer metastasis, and the study of cell migration thus has a direct impact on major clinical applications, especially regarding personalized treatment and diagnosis. Over the last few years, cell migration research has benefited enormously from advances in methodology and instrumentation, allowing multiplexing and multi-parameter post-processing of cell migration analyses to become widely used. As cell migration studies have thus de facto become both a high-content as well as a high-throughput science, an urgent yet largely unmet bioinformatics need has emerged in the form of intra- and inter-lab data management solutions, standardization and dissemination infrastructure, and novel approaches and algorithms for meta-analysis. The central goal of this project is therefore to construct a comprehensive, open and free data exchange ecosystem for cell migration data, based on the development of extensible community standards and a robust, future-proof repository that collects, annotates and disseminates these data in the standardized formats. The standards and repository will be supported by freely available and open source tools for data management, submission, extraction and analysis. Importantly, we will also demonstrate the application of large-scale integrative data analysis from cell migration studies through two proof-of-concept studies: guiding personalized cancer treatment from patient organoids, and providing patient-specific diagnosis based on peripheral blood leukocyte motility. This work will also establish the foundation for a cell migration science-based ELIXIR Node.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2011.3.6-02 | Award Amount: 1.12M | Year: 2011
The main aim of AllBio will be the coordination of the partners activities that are aimed at the extension of a large number of bioinformatics facilities towards applicability in target life science areas beyond human health. Bioinformatics facilities developed for the human health area will be extensively tested on unicellular (incl. bacterial), plant and (farm) animal genomes, and they will be tightly integrated in the wider frame-work of Elixir infrastructure activities. AllBio will develop a coordinated action plan for the harvest of the information from omics data related to other species than Homo sapiens.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2010.2.2-02 | Award Amount: 11.95M | Year: 2011
NU-AGE is a large multidisciplinary consortium (30 partners, from 16 EU countries) involving nutritionists, biogerontologists, immunologists and molecular biologists from the most prestigious institutions in Europe, 5 large food industries, 8 traditional food companies and 1 biotech SME, SPES GEIE and FooDrinkEurope, covering the SME Food Industrial Associations of 13 European countries and the European Confederation the food and drink industry. NU-AGE aims are: 1. to counteract the physical/cognitive decline occurring in the elderly as a consequence of the progressive alteration of different organs/systems (immune and cardiovascular systems, bone, brain, muscle and intestine) by one year elderly-tailored whole diet intervention on 1250 healthy elderly men and women aged 65-79 years (half diet, half control) from 5 different EU regions; 2. to assess the effect of the newly designed food pyramid specific for 65\ EU citizens on the different organs/systems using a large set of biomarkers related to nutrition and ageing, with particular attention to the low grade, chronic, systemic inflammatory status named inflammageing, a major risk factor for common age-related diseases; 3. to perform in a subgroup of 120 subjects in depth studies and high throughput omics to identify cellular/molecular targets/mechanisms responsible for whole diet effect; 4. to perform genetic and epigenetic studies to assess the role of individual variability on the response to diet; 5. to adopt an integrative comprehensive approach (systems biology) to analyze the whole set of data. The results of dietary intervention will be used to develop elderly-tailored prototypes of functional foods and to improve traditional foods. The research activity will be accompanied and followed by a strong activity of dissemination and industrial exploitation to support EU strategies on nutritional recommendations, thus contributing to the implementation of legislation related to nutritional and health claims for elderly in Europe.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-10-2014 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2015
We propose to revolutionize current endocrine diagnostics by replacing conventional, time-consuming single-analyte hormone assays with ambulatory dynamic endocrine diagnostics. Disorders of the adrenal and pituitary endocrine systems are not only accompanied by changes in absolute hormone levels, but also secretion patterns. The rapid circadian (24 hour) and ultradian (< 24 hour) cycling of hormone levels poses diagnostic challenges since random measurements do not always detect abnormalities. Furthermore, monitoring of treatment of endocrine diseases are often severely limited by lack of multiple measurements at different time points, which is impractical in an out-patient setting. To overcome these hurdles academic and commercial partners propose to: Develop a novel microdialysate sampling and analysis system for adrenal and pituitary hormonome profiling Validate the method in healthy vs. six populations with endocrine disorders Promote the system for demonstration in routine clinical practice by dissemination of results to relevant European stakeholders The portable fraction collector for subcutaneous microdialysate combined with state-or-the-art ultrasensitive assays by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectroscopy (LCMS/MS) and multiplex proximity extension assays (Proseek), will allow collection of 10 minute fractions for up to 72 hours while the person tends to daily life activities. LCMSMS and Proseek assays can generate a timeline of hormonomes covering the 24 hour cycle without losing sensitivity and specificity, producing not only hormone levels, but also secretion patterns for diagnostics and monitoring purposes. ULTRADIAN will deliver an ambulatory diagnostic system with unprecedented sensitivity and specificity for simplified diagnostics and monitoring of endocrine conditions, economisation of health care, and new products and markets for the European diagnostic sector.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-05-2014 | Award Amount: 6.46M | Year: 2015
Breast cancer affects more than 360,000 women per year in the EU and causes more than 90,000 deaths. Identification of women at high risk of the disease can lead to disease prevention through intensive screening, chemoprevention or prophylactic surgery. Breast cancer risk is determined by a combination of genetic and lifestyle risk factors. The advent of next generation sequencing has opened up the opportunity for testing in many disease genes, and diagnostic gene panel testing is being introduced in many EU countries. However, the cancer risks associated with most variants in most genes are unknown. This leads to a major problem in appropriate counselling and management of women undergoing panel testing. In this project, we aim to build a knowledge base that will allow identification of women at high-risk of breast cancer, in particular through comprehensive evaluation of DNA variants in known and suspected breast cancer genes. We will exploit the huge resources established through the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) and ENIGMA (Evidence-based Network for the Interpretation of Germline Mutant Alleles). We will expand the existing datasets by sequencing all known breast cancer susceptibility genes in 20,000 breast cancer cases and 20,000 controls from population-based studies, and 10,000 cases from multiple case families. Sequence data will be integrated with in-silico and functional data, with data on other known risk factors, to generate a comprehensive risk model that can provide personalised risk estimates. We will develop online tools to aid the interpretation of gene variants and provide risk estimates in a user-friendly format, to help genetic counsellors and patients worldwide to make informed clinical decisions. We will evaluate the acceptability and utility of comprehensive gene panel testing in the clinical genetics context.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-03-2014 | Award Amount: 7.65M | Year: 2015
Microalgae are a source of secondary metabolites useful as new bioactive compounds. Activity of these compounds against bacterial pathogens and biofilm formation has not been determined yet. Biofilm formation is especially important in infections and tissue inflammation related to implants and catheters. These problems finally cause a release of the implant, which must be removed and replaced by a new one, entailing an increase in antibiotic consumption, together with a health costs of about 50,000-90,000 per infection episode. Taking both problems in account, the search of new antimicrobial agents that will be effective against the bacteria in their two ways of life, planktonic and biofilm stage, is a priority need in the clinical practice. For this reason, the overall objective of NOMORFILM project is to search for antibiofilm compounds isolated from microalgae that will be useful in the treatment of this kind of infections and could be incorporated in the manufacturing of medical prosthetic devices. For this purpose, 4,000 microalgae species will be deeply screened specifically for new antibacterial and antibiofilm molecules. Structural elucidation of bioactive compounds from these extracts will assure that only new chemical entities, therefore with anticipated new mechanisms of action, will arise to further project stages, those including toxicity tests and animal models. This project also addresses the biosynthesis of the targeted bioactive compounds in sustainable microalgae co-cultures, diminishing cultivation costs by mimicking natural aquatic ecosystems. Most industrially interesting antibiofilm molecules will be incorporated into nanoparticles in order to develop manufacturing methodologies able to incorporate these compounds into real prosthetic devices matrixes. Marketing of results are assured by the presence of diverse SMEs along the manufacture and distribution of prosthetic devices, and the corresponding consortium agreements with respect to IPRs
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.3.6-02 | Award Amount: 9.41M | Year: 2013
Cellular signaling systems are crucially important for a broad range of critical health and disease areas and high value industrial applications. Signaling systems are the target for more than half of the medicines marketed by the pharmaceutical industry, and form the main R&D area for the nutrition, flavour and fragrance industries. SynSignal is a multidisciplinary high-tech consortium working in synthetic biologys area of greatest untapped potential, delivering a synthetic biology toolbox and finished products custom designed for major present and future industrial applications of cellular signaling. Based on the leading expertise and innovative drive of the partners, SynSignal will address this urgent and imposing bottleneck, by providing new and sophisticated synthetic biology tools and technologies to overcome the challenges currently facing signaling-based product development. Putting in place the technological innovations, toolboxes, and application-focused materials created during SynSignal will have a dramatic impact on the accessibility of drug discovery technologies, particularly for cancer and diabetes, and for enabling technologies to create the next generation of flavours, fragrances, and nutritional ingredients. Our innovations will provide immediate benefits to the health and well-being of Europes citizens and to the competitiveness of key European industries alike, and catalyze their transition towards sustainable production principles. In addition, all partners in SynSignal themselves will draw great benefit from the activities proposed. Private sector partners will considerably enhance their discovery and technology platforms, thereby increasing their efficiency, output and valuation. Academic partners in SynSignal will decisively advance fundamental life science research in their laboratories and in the larger scientific community by creating enabling tools to tackle biological questions of unprecedented complexity in cellular signaling.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-2-07 | Award Amount: 7.77M | Year: 2009
Europe is facing major diet related health problems. Attitudes to eating habits have to be changed and the benefits of alternative treatment regimes substantiated. This can only be achieved by providing guidelines regulating health claims based on scientific data. Thus, there is a unique opportunity to use gut flora in potential treatment regimes and as a preventive target for major diet related health problems. TORNADO consortium proposes a systemic and comprehensive mechanistic approach to deliver scientific data that can be compiled as guidelines for European authorities. TORNADO will determine the influence of diet on the gut flora and highlight the impact of gut flora on the immune system/other organ systems. TORNADO aims to investigate molecular targets that are subject to regulation by gut flora and diet that sustain health. This will be done by an increasing level of specificity, from (1) investigations of dietary habits and health in population cohorts, through (2) intervention studies in humans and animals and (3) analyses of the intestine and immune system, and also organs like adipocyte tissue, liver & brain, to pinpointing the impact of dietary influence on (4) cells and (5) potential functional molecular targets. TORNADO will deliver data that can be used to recommend biomarkers for evaluating effects of diet or microbes; refute, substantiate or improve health claims of existing products; generate novel functional food products. TORNADOs approach of microbe-to-mouse-to-man validation of dietary influence will enable more solid evidence for health claims and provide concrete deliverables e.g. Roadmaps to Health, Tailor-made Health-monitoring. Continuous state-of-the-art dissemination programs will increase impact. TORNADOs program will accelerate future design of personalized functional food for specific target groups. The evidence-based data delivered by TORNADO will have long lasting effects on health among European citizens well beyond 2012.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.3.4-3 | Award Amount: 2.24M | Year: 2011
In sub-Saharan Africa health improvement remains a major development challenge. A growing evidence base demonstrates that health systems must be strengthened to secure progress in addressing mortality and tackling disease burdens. Yet there is a dearth of African research to support such action. African Ministers of Health and international agencies have, therefore, called for accelerated development of relevant research. At present, relatively few African scientists work in the field of health policy and systems (HPS) research and few African universities offer relevant training programmes. And although such research derives its utility largely from its ability to inform decision-making, interactions between the research and policy communities are generally weak and policy makers are often unaware of, or uninterested, in relevant research. The development of sustained African HPS research capacity, thus, requires the consolidation and strengthening of relevant research and educational programmes, as well as the development of stronger engagement between the policy and research communities. CHEPSAA will address both of these issues. Its goal is to extend sustainable African capacity to produce and use high quality HPS research. It builds on and expands the work of an existing HPS capacity development partnership among seven African universities, drawing in the support of four European universities with particular expertise in this field. During its lifetime it will: review capacity development needs amongst the African organizations and their national networks; strengthen African skills and organisational capacity to support HPS research and training; extend existing training programmes provided by the African participants; and support the development of excellent academic teaching and research networks both to sustain national and regional demand for HPS training and research, and to facilitate the use of research in policy making.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENV.2009.1.2.3.1 | Award Amount: 5.07M | Year: 2009
This proposal has been elaborated by a consortium of 35 partners coming from 27 European countries and including scientists, government institutions and authorities, NGOs and industry. The main goal is to develop a coherent approach to HBM in Europe as requested by ACTION 3 of the EU Environment and Health Action Plan through coordination of ongoing and planned HBM activities. The project will exploit existing and planned HBM projects and programmes of work and capabilities in Europe. The consortium will investigate what is needed to advance and improve comparability of HBM data across Europe. Work prepared under DG Research and DG Environment activities dealing with development, validation and use of novel biomarkers including non-invasive markers and effect markers will be exploited. Through close collaboration with similar initiatives in the field of Health - such as the EU Health Examination Survey - appropriate economies and efficiencies will be assessed. Key issues such as Ethics and human Biobanks will be addressed. The project will deliver a number of key outputs including: 1. Tested Proofs of Concept and/or Demonstration project assessing the feasibility of a coordinated approach, including strategies for data interpretation & integration with environmental and health data. 2. A rationale and strategy for communication and dissemination of information, results and key messages to all stakeholders from the public to policy makers 3. Training and capacity building will aim to promote knowledge and experience exchange and development in the field of HBM within Europe A common understanding within all parties involved on the potential of HMB in supporting and evaluating current/future policy making (including e.g. REACH) and for environmental health awareness raising will be promoted This project aim is to significantly advance the process towards a fully operational, continuous, sustainable and scientifically sound EU HBM programme.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.56M | Year: 2015
The aim is to create an innovative European PhD training network in bone pain. Millions in Europe and beyond suffer from bone pain, a debilitating complication of many musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis and bone metastasis. However, being a truly multidisciplinary subject spanning neuroscience, bone biology, and even cancer research, it demands a multidisciplinary approach. Despite a huge negative impact on the quality of life of the patients and on society as a whole, no specific treatment is available. To address this societal challenge and the strong innovation potential, we want to form the first European platform to promote frontline research, innovation and education within bone pain. The network encompasses 5 academic and 2 industrial beneficiaries and 1 industrial partner all committed to creating an outstanding wide-ranging yet integrated training program for early stages researchers to elucidate the mechanisms of bone pain and develop new medicines. We will use in vivo models of arthritic pain, cancer-induced bone pain and fracture pain to investigate the pathophysiology and novel treatment strategies. In vivo electrophysiology will be used for studying the physiology and pharmacology of pain transmission and its modulation. Transgenic mouse models will be used to tease out the specific neuronal receptor subtypes involved. Sophisticated behaviour tests will evaluate response to novel treatments. We will create a biobank of human cancer-infiltrated bone to identify specific patterns of neuronal receptor expression and to validate therapeutic targets in humans. In an extensive training effort covering both specific research skills and transferable skills, the students will obtain an interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art and innovative training from the participants, several of which have experience from international networks. The students will benefit from secondments with industrial partners and with some of the foremost pain researchers in Europe
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.4.2-9-5 | Award Amount: 9.70M | Year: 2011
NOTOX will develop and establish a spectrum of systems biological tools including experimental and computational methods for i) organotypic human cell cultures suitable for long term toxicity testing and ii) the identification and analysis of pathways of toxicological relevance. NOTOX will initially use available human HepaRG and primary liver cells as well as mouse small intestine cultures in 3D systems to generate own experimental data to develop and validate predictive mathematical and bioinformatic models characterizing long term toxicity responses. Cellular activities will be monitored continuously by comprehensive analysis of released metabolites, peptides and proteins and by estimation of metabolic fluxes using 13C labelling techniques (fluxomics). At selected time points a part of the cells will be removed for in-depth structural (3D-optical and electron microscopy tomography), transcriptomic, epigenomic, metabolomic, proteomic and fluxomic characterizations. When applicable, cells derived from human stem cells (hESC or iPS) and available human organ simulating systems or even a multi-organ platform developed in SCREENTOX and HEMIBIO will be investigated using developed methods. Together with curated literature and genomic data these toxicological data will be organised in a toxicological database (cooperation with DETECTIVE, COSMOS and TOXBANK). Physiological data including metabolism of test compounds will be incorporated into large-scale computer models that are based on material balancing and kinetics. Various -omics data and 3D structural information from organotypic cultures will be integrated using correlative bioinformatic tools. These data also serve as a basis for large scale mathematical models. The overall objectives are to identify cellular and molecular signatures allowing prediction of long term toxicity, to design experimental systems for the identification of predictive endpoints and to integrate these into causal computer models.
News Article | December 5, 2016
PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As we become more sedentary and better fed, the human race is faced with an epidemic of obesity and diseases such as type II diabetes. Although the correlation between body weight, food intake and exercise seems obvious, the regulatory mechanisms that link exercise, muscle biology, hormones and metabolism are not well understood. The focus of this year’s colloquium on Endocrinology hosted by the Fondation IPSEN is to gain an overview of the complexity of these pathways, to discuss the processes common to the various body systems involved and to identify possible therapeutic targets. Twelve international speakers will present their latest research at the meeting, which has been organised by Bruce Spiegelman (Dana Faber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA) and the Fondation IPSEN (Paris, France). It will be held in Paris on December 5, 2016. The most obvious effects of exercise are on skeletal muscles, increasing muscle volume, strength and contractility. More importantly, exercise both maintains and increases the insulin sensitivity of muscle and affects the metabolism of the whole body by stimulating the uptake of glucose by muscles (Anna Krook, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden). A decrease in muscle insulin sensitivity is a big contributor to the onset of type II diabetes. The effectiveness of exercise regimes is modified by the availability of nutrients: the composition of the diet and the timing of meals in relation to exercise both alter the blood-borne signals that ultimately influence fuel metabolism and utilization (John Hawley, Mary Mackillop Institute for Health Research, Melbourne, Australia). Among these signals are the recently discovered hormones released by contracting muscles, now called myokines, such as the soluble peptide irisin. The role of steroid hormones in improving cardio-vascular fitness in response to exercise is being tested in population studies (Claude Bouchard, Pennington Biomedical Research Centre, Louisiana, USA). Metabolic stresses, such as low oxygen, ischaemia or glucose deprivation, stimulate the regulatory molecule AMP kinase, which acts as a cellular fuel gauge, providing an essential link between exercise, insulin signaling and the regulation of energy supplies. As well as its essential role in skeletal muscle, this molecule is pivotal in balancing the supply of nutrients to cells with the demand for energy throughout the body (Benoit Viollet, Institut Cochin-U1016 INSERM, Paris, France). Small RNA molecules known as micro-RNAs, which modulate the translation of DNA into proteins through their effect on messenger RNAs, also play a role in both skeletal muscle differentiation and in type II diabetes in response to exercise (Krook). Ultimately, energy production depends on the series of enzymatic reactions known as the citric acid cycle, which takes place in the mitochondria, the cell’s power generators. When the demand for energy goes up as a result of exercise, one pathway that coordinates the increase in size and number of mitochondria and optimizes the utilization of fuel requires the activation of the transcription factor EB (TFEB) (Marco Sandri, University of Padova, Padova, Italy). Muscles atrophy as a result of disuse, ageing and cachexia, the wasting experienced in terminal cancer. In rat muscles, the expression of genes involved in mitochondrial energy metabolism changes with ageing. The functional loss of muscle innervation seen in both ageing and cachexia is reflected in changes in genes responsible for the integrity of the neuro-muscular junction (David Glass, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, USA). In atrophying muscle, a set of genes is activated that produce muscle-specific enzymes responsible for labelling proteins for degradation in special organelles termed proteasomes (Alfred Goldberg, Harvard Medical School, Boston USA). Environmental stress activates compensatory mechanisms important for the maintenance of cell functions and their failure is a cause of cellular ageing, for example, the reduction in mitochondrial health that accompanies muscle atrophy. However, some of these effects can be ameliorated by exercise (Sandri). A pivotal molecule in mediating responses to external stimuli is PGC-1α, which regulates both the transcription of the genes involved in metabolism and the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis. Increased activity of PGC-1α improves endurance, reduces fibre damage and muscle atrophy, and is important in determining muscle fibre type. PGC-1α may lie at the heart of improving the regenerative capacity of muscle through training: it activates both macrophages, which remove damaged muscle fibres, and the satellite cells that generate replacement fibres (Christoph Handschin, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland). PGC-1 α is also important in another tissue central to energy regulation, the type of fat known as brown adipose tissue (BAT). This converts chemical energy into heat in a process known as thermogenesis, part of the body’s adaptive response to cold. Its presence in humans has been controversial but BAT is now recognized to form deposits deep in the neck and is found in some subcutaneous fatty tissue. It is distinct from white adipose tissue, the main form of fat deposited in the human body but it has recently been discovered that white fat can be converted to BAT through an intermediate ‘beige’ form (Francesco Celli, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA). The hormonal signals that stimulate the conversion and the activation of beige and brown fats in response to cold, and how this increases the breakdown of post-prandial glucose, are being studied. The pathways through which these hormonal signals activate PGC1α and a second molecule found in BAT, termed UCP-1 (or thermogenin) may link exercise and thermogenesis: the hormone irisin produced by active skeletal muscle has been implicated stimulating the conversion of white to brown fat (Spiegelman). As well as its effects on muscle and fat body, exercise works in less obvious ways to keep the brain healthy. Problems with the breakdown of kynurenine, produced from the amino acid tryptophan and a precursor of enzymes involved in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, are implicated in several neuroinflammatory and psychiatric diseases, including stress and depression (Jorge Ruas, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden). During exercise, kynurenine is detoxified in skeletal muscle by conversion to kynurenic acid, which cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. This is yet another pathway involving PGC1α, a further example of the complexity of exercise-linked regulatory mechanisms. Yet another effect of exercise, at least in adult mouse brains, is to increase the birth of new neurons in the hippocampus, which helps to support learning and cognitive function. Irisin has a role here too: it increased the expression of the gene coding for the growth factor BDNF, essential for hippocampal neurogenesis (Christiane Wrann, Dana Faber Cancer Institute, Boston, USA). The research to be presented at the meeting will emphasise not only how important exercise is for maintaining a healthy metabolism but also the multiple ways in which it has its effects. Many of the results that will be discussed also provide leads for the development of therapeutics for use when exercise alone fails to have the desired effect or is inappropriate. Established in 1983 under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the ambition of the Fondation IPSEN is to initiate a reflection about the major scientific issues of the forthcoming years. The long-standing mission of the Fondation IPSEN is to contribute to the development and dissemination of scientific knowledge by fostering interaction between scientists and clinicians. It has developed an important international network of scientific experts who meet regularly at meetings known as Colloques Médecine et Recherche, dedicated to three main topics: neurosciences, endocrinology and cancer science. Moreover the Fondation IPSEN has started several series of meetings in partnership with the Salk Institute, the Karolinska Institute as well as with the science journals Cell and Science. The Fondation IPSEN produced several hundred publications and more than 250 scientists have been awarded prizes and grants.
News Article | November 1, 2016
Bottom Line: Genetic testing could help identify breast cancer patients with high risk of experiencing venous thromboembolism (VTE), a serious and potentially fatal complication that can occur during cancer treatment. Journal in Which the Study was Published: Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Author: Judith S. Brand, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Background: "The risk for venous thromboembolism (the formation of blood clots in a vein) is increased in cancer patients, particularly in those receiving chemotherapy," Brand said. "As one of the most common cancers, breast cancer accounts for a large number of cancer-associated VTE cases." VTE is preventable through thromboprophylaxis with low molecular weight heparin, an anticoagulant drug. However, this regimen is not routinely recommended in patients undergoing chemotherapy due to side effects such as bleeding. How the Study Was Conducted and Results: Brand and colleagues sought to identify the individual and joint effects of chemotherapy and genetic susceptibility on VTE risk. The study included 4,261 women in the Stockholm region diagnosed with primary invasive breast cancer between 2001 and 2008, and followed until 2012. Risks were stratified based on chemotherapy status and genetic susceptibility, as determined by a polygenic risk score (PRS) based on nine genetic variants (including the factor V Leiden mutation), with the top 5 percent classified as having high genetic susceptibility. The study found that the one-year cumulative incidence of VTE was 9.5 percent in the breast cancer patients who both received chemotherapy and had high genetic susceptibility, compared with 1.3 percent in the patients who did not receive chemotherapy and had lower genetic susceptibility. The study discovered that chemotherapy and genetic susceptibility independently increased the risk of VTE and that the impact of genetic susceptibility was most pronounced in older patients: In patients aged 60 or older who underwent chemotherapy and had a high genetic susceptibility, the 1-year cumulative incidence of VTE was 25 percent. Author Comment: "Breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy are not routinely being examined for VTE prevention in today's clinical practice. Our study demonstrates that information on genetic susceptibility can be used to identify patients at high risk of developing VTE," Brand said. "Combined with other clinical risk factors and biomarkers, these findings will guide future studies evaluating routine VTE risk assessment in chemotherapy outpatients, and prophylaxis for those at highest risk. Because older patients demonstrated a stronger genetic effect and higher VTE incidence, this group requires special attention in future risk stratification efforts," she added. Limitations: Brand said a limitation of the study is the small number of older patients who had chemotherapy and a high genetic susceptibility. She said larger-scale studies would be necessary to provide more precise risk estimates. Brand added that further research is needed to assess the safety and potential benefit of thromboprophylaxis in high-risk cancer patients. Funding & Disclosures: This study was funded by the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Cancer Society and Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare. Brand declares no conflicts of interest. Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world's first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes more than 37,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and patient advocates residing in 108 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 30 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with nearly 19,500 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes eight prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients, and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration, and scientific oversight of team science and individual investigator grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and other policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit http://www. .
News Article | December 2, 2016
Promising environmental researcher David Seekell has been awarded a prestigious prize: the Science and SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists. He was awarded the prize for his dissertation at Umeå University that developed early warning indicators for environmental tipping points practically usable to government officials and landowners. The Science and SciLifeLab Prize is global and is only awarded to four young scientists per year for the best dissertation work, of which only one goes to someone in the field of environmental science. This year's award-winner in the category of Ecology and Environment is David Seekell who is associate senior lecturer at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University in Sweden. "It's a great honour to win this prize. I'm excited for the international visibility this will bring my research programme and I feel a renewed energy to continue addressing difficult and important questions that are worthy of the prize," says David Seekell. David Seekell received the Prize for Young Scientists for research that contributed to the development of early warning indicators for environmental tipping points including desertification in arid regions, fisheries collapses in the oceans, and algae blooms in lakes. His praised essay, published in Science, describes an experiment where an entire lake was instrumented and then manipulated to create a tipping point. Early warning indicators were apparent well in advance of the experimental tipping point. This study was proof-of-concept that government officials and landowners may one day be able to use early warning indicators to adapt policy and management to avoid costly or potentially irreversible environmental degradation. "For me it's very exciting to be able to communicate my research to Science's broad audience. I think that fundamental environmental science, the type of research I conduct, creates important societal benefits and I hope that the dissertation that won me the prize will convey this to Science's readers." While the award is addressed to him, he sees it as a reflection of a broader commitment of the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science to research excellence. Besides being awarded a trophy and USD 10 000, he is given the opportunity to publish a scientific paper in Science, and also attend a discussion panel at Karolinska Institutet with the editor of Science. The prize ceremony takes place in Stockholm, Sweden, on 9 December in the Hall of Mirrors at the Grand Hotel. David Seekell was born in Massachusetts, USA, in 1986. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont and a PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia from 2014. David Seekell joined Umeå University in July 2016 as a Wallenberg Academy Fellow. David Seekell conducts research in the areas of aquatic ecology, and global food and water security. The Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists is a global prize, established in 2013, aimed at rewarding scientists at an early stage of their careers. The international Prize is awarded annually to four young scientists for outstanding life science research for which he/she earned a doctoral degree in the previous two years. Read the praised essay in Science Seekell, D.: Passing the point of no return. Science (2016) Vol 354 Issue 6315. 10.1126/science.aal2188 Link to the essay
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.2.2-01 | Award Amount: 7.92M | Year: 2013
Scientific understanding of the role and mechanisms of bioactives is fragmented. Research often addresses the theoretical possibility of health improvement effects rather than their real, practical use for everyday diets. Bioactives cannot be considered as discrete chemical compounds and research must focus on bioactive-enriched foods (BEF), if consumer demands for foods delivering appropriate health and wellbeing benefits are to be fulfilled. PATHWAY, a pan-European interdisciplinary team of 16 life/social scientists and 10 high tech/ food processing SMEs, uniquely addresses the role and mechanisms of action of 3 bioactives (docosahexaenoic acid, -glucan, anthocyanins, chosen for known/claimed effectiveness in reducing some risk factors of Metabolic Syndrome (MS), enriching 3 different widely-consumed food matrices (dairy-, bakery-, egg products). Critical evaluation of bioactive-food matrix interactions and determining the extent of synergies between the 3 bioactives are key elements of PATHWAY. PATHWAY will determine the impact of BEF on physiologically-relevant MS (a risk factor for many diseases) endpoints and deliver a better understanding of the role and mechanisms of action of the 3 bioactives and BEF. Parallel in vitro/in vivo studies will enable selection of robust biomarkers by advanced omics techniques. Deliverables will include BEF and generic protocols, best practices and guidelines for planning dietary interventions, and guidance to SMEs for producing health-promoting BEF and for submitting convincing health claim dossiers to EFSA; the latter will be greatly facilitated by one SME partner who has submitted 3 successful dossiers. PATHWAY guidelines will be generic and will apply to a wide range of bioactives and BEF. Impact will be optimised across Europe by targeted dissemination to industry (especially SME), consumer and S&T stakeholders. Young people will be trained in a stimulating interdisciplinary, trans-sectoral environment.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: Health | Award Amount: 2.25M | Year: 2015
The European Consortium for Communicating Stem Cell Research (EuroStemCell) unites 33 partner institutions, that collectively represent >400 stem cell research groupings across Europe. Our common goal is to provide trusted high quality information on stem cells accessible to citizens and stakeholders across Europe, through support and further development of the multi-lingual European Stem Cell Information Portal www.eurostemcell.org. To achieve our aims, EuroStemCell will adopt the highly structured system for coordinated information management established by the FP7 Coordination and Support Action (CSA) also called EuroStemCell. From this, we will implement an ambitious programme of online and direct stakeholder engagement with stem cell research and regenerative medicine, aimed at European citizens at all educational levels. This will include provision of resources tailored specifically for decision-making on stem cell-related questions and an extensive programme of dissemination and capacity building in science communications and public engagement. The proposed work centres on an information hub team, which will link to all project partners and to stakeholders in the stem cell and regenerative medicine arenas and wider society, working with these groupings to implement the project. All outputs will be delivered in 6 European languages, to ensure broad accessibility, and will be rigorously evaluated against measurable objectives throughout the project duration. The proposed consortium comprises leading stem cell labs across Europe, including new member states, together with experts in ethical and societal concerns and evaluating clinical outcomes. It thus provides unparalleled European expertise across the fields of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine and is uniquely placed to maintain and further develop www.eurostemcell.org as a world-leading stem cell information resource, thus meeting the challenge outlined in Topic HOA-6-2014.
News Article | November 18, 2016
FORT LAUDERDALE/DAVIE, Fla. - The World Stem Cell Summit & RegMed Capital Conference has invited five faculty members from the Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Cell Therapy Institute to present on their research related to advancing new approaches to cancer immunotherapy and regenerative medicine at the organization's 12th annual meeting. The summit is being held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida on Dec. 6-9, 2016. It is the largest interdisciplinary stem cell meeting in the world, featuring more than 250 prominent scientists, business leaders, investors, philanthropists, regulators, policy-makers, economic development officers, patient advocates and experts in law and ethics, presenting the latest scientific discoveries, commercial and innovation opportunities, legal and regulatory solutions, and best practices. The event is expected to attract more than 1,200 attendees from 40 nations. Presentations from the NSU Cell Therapy Institute will include: "Nova Southeastern University has positioned itself as an emerging center of excellence in stem cell research," said Bernard Siegel, M.D., executive director, Regenerative Medicine Foundation and founder and co-chair of the Summit. "We are proud key opinion leaders from the NSU Cell Therapy Institute will be presenting at the summit, including NSU's esteemed visiting research professors from Karolinska Institutet." NSU is poised to be at the forefront of pioneering cell-based biomedical research with its NSU Cell Therapy Institute, an international collaboration with prominent medical research scientists from Sweden's world-renowned Karolinska Institutet. The NSU Cell Therapy Institute is housed in the university's newly opened $100 million, Center for Collaborative Research (CCR), one of the largest (215,000 square feet) and most advanced research facilities in Florida. Located on NSU's Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus, the CCR is equipped with wet and dry labs; state-of-the-art research equipment, including access to a high-performance computing environment; and other resources, such as Florida LambdaRail, a high-speed broadband service delivery network with connectivity throughout the nation. About the NSU Cell Therapy Institute: The Institute is dedicated to the discovery and development of innovative translational biomedical research, focused on the potential of cell-based therapies to prevent, treat and cure life-threatening and debilitating diseases. Led by Richard Jove, Ph.D., the Institute is accelerating the advancement of next-generation approaches to precision medicine such as targeted immunotherapy and regenerative medicine with an initial focus on targeting cancers, heart disease and disorders causing blindness. About Karolinska Institutet: With an overriding mission to contribute to the improvement of human health through research and education, Karolinska Institutet provides more than 40% of the medical academic research conducted in Sweden and offers the country ?s broadest range of education in medicine and health sciences. Many of the discoveries made at Karolinska Institutet have been of great significance, including the pacemaker, the gamma knife, the sedimentation reaction, the Seldinger technique and the preparation of chemically pure insulin. Since 1901, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has selected the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine. About Nova Southeastern University (NSU): Located in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and first-professional degree levels. A private, not-for-profit institution, NSU has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, while maintaining a presence online globally. For more than 50 years, NSU has been awarding degrees in a wide range of fields, while fostering groundbreaking research and an impactful commitment to community. Classified as a research university with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is 1 of only 50 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie's Community Engagement Classification, and is also the largest private, not-for-profit institution in the United States that meets the U.S. Department of Education's criteria as a Hispanic-serving Institution. Please visit http://www. for more information about NSU and realizingpotential.nova.edu for more information on the largest fundraising campaign in NSU history.
News Article | November 18, 2016
Scientists from Nova Southeastern University Cell Therapy Institute will Discuss New Approaches to Cancer Immunotherapy and Regenerative Medicine FORT LAUDERDALE, FL and DAVIE, FL--(Marketwired - November 18, 2016) - The World Stem Cell Summit & RegMed Capital Conference has invited five faculty members from the Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Cell Therapy Institute to present on their research related to advancing new approaches to cancer immunotherapy and regenerative medicine at the organization's 12th annual meeting. The summit is being held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida on Dec. 6-9, 2016. It is the largest interdisciplinary stem cell meeting in the world, featuring more than 250 prominent scientists, business leaders, investors, philanthropists, regulators, policy-makers, economic development officers, patient advocates and experts in law and ethics, presenting the latest scientific discoveries, commercial and innovation opportunities, legal and regulatory solutions, and best practices. The event is expected to attract more than 1,200 attendees from 40 nations. Presentations from the NSU Cell Therapy Institute will include: "Nova Southeastern University has positioned itself as an emerging center of excellence in stem cell research," said Bernard Siegel, M.D., executive director, Regenerative Medicine Foundation and founder and co-chair of the Summit. "We are proud key opinion leaders from the NSU Cell Therapy Institute will be presenting at the summit, including NSU's esteemed visiting research professors from Karolinska Institutet." NSU is poised to be at the forefront of pioneering cell-based biomedical research with its NSU Cell Therapy Institute, an international collaboration with prominent medical research scientists from Sweden's world-renowned Karolinska Institutet. The NSU Cell Therapy Institute is housed in the university's newly opened $100 million, Center for Collaborative Research (CCR), one of the largest (215,000 square feet) and most advanced research facilities in Florida. Located on NSU's Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus, the CCR is equipped with wet and dry labs; state-of-the-art research equipment, including access to a high-performance computing environment; and other resources, such as Florida LambdaRail, a high-speed broadband service delivery network with connectivity throughout the nation. About the NSU Cell Therapy Institute: The Institute is dedicated to the discovery and development of innovative translational biomedical research, focused on the potential of cell-based therapies to prevent, treat and cure life-threatening and debilitating diseases. Led by Richard Jove, Ph.D., the Institute is accelerating the advancement of next-generation approaches to precision medicine such as targeted immunotherapy and regenerative medicine with an initial focus on targeting cancers, heart disease and disorders causing blindness. About Karolinska Institutet: With an overriding mission to contribute to the improvement of human health through research and education, Karolinska Institutet provides more than 40% of the medical academic research conducted in Sweden and offers the country's broadest range of education in medicine and health sciences. Many of the discoveries made at Karolinska Institutet have been of great significance, including the pacemaker, the gamma knife, the sedimentation reaction, the Seldinger technique and the preparation of chemically pure insulin. Since 1901, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has selected the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine. About Nova Southeastern University (NSU): Located in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and first-professional degree levels. A private, not-for-profit institution, NSU has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, while maintaining a presence online globally. For more than 50 years, NSU has been awarding degrees in a wide range of fields, while fostering groundbreaking research and an impactful commitment to community. Classified as a research university with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is 1 of only 50 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie's Community Engagement Classification, and is also the largest private, not-for-profit institution in the United States that meets the U.S. Department of Education's criteria as a Hispanic-serving Institution. Please visit www.nova.edu for more information about NSU and realizingpotential.nova.edu for more information on the largest fundraising campaign in NSU history.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRADEV-03-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 3.30M | Year: 2017
Childrens health is a major societal challenge for Europe and the world, requiring development of paediatric medicines and treatments strategies based on evidence derived from clinical trials demonstrating efficacy and safety in infants and children, rather than on uncritical extrapolation from adult data (over 50 % of the medicines used for children had not been tested in this specific age group). Conducting clinical trials in children requires specific competences and infrastructure. ECRIN-ERIC (www.ecrin.org) is a generic infrastructure for multinational trial management, in any disease area. However it does not specifically address the paediatric needs in terms of trial management capacity. In its 2016 Roadmap, ESFRI suggested an upgrade of ECRIN to develop a common infrastructure for paediatric trial management through cooperation with the European Paediatric Clinical Trial Research Infrastructure (EPCTRI). The resulting PedCRIN project is also a unique opportunity to improve ECRIN business model and financial sustainability, attracting more industry-sponsored trials and more Member and Observer countries. PedCRIN builds on five work packages : project coordination (WP1); establishment of a strategy and upgrade of the governance and business plan, through a Sustainability Board jointly involving the scientific partners and the government representatives (WP2); development of tools specific for paediatric and neonatal trials (WP3) (methodology, outcome measures, adverse event reporting, bio-sample management, ethical and regulatory database, monitoring, quality and certification); operational support provided as transnational access to a few pilot trials to test the updated organisation and tools (WP4); communication targeting users communities (including industry), policymakers, patient and parents empowerment (WP5). Two other ESFRI-landmarks, BBMRI-ERIC and EATRIS ERIC, will contribute to PedCRIN.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 13.70M | Year: 2010
Genetic studies in model organisms and humans, including human genome-wide association studies, have pinpointed genomic regions that contribute susceptibility to common disease. However, to date, these data have provided limited insights into the genes, molecular pathways and mechanisms underlying disease pathophysiology. The EU FP6 Euratools consortium has been a remarkable success that established significant research collaborations, expertise and infrastructure in the EU, making a major contribution to the rat focus issue of Nature Genetics (Volume 40, May 2008), which featured six papers from the consortium. These successes underpin the current project in which we will use state-of-the-art and emerging large-scale technologies and advanced computation in an expanded multi-disciplinary approach to identify gene networks and genomic mechanisms underlying common diseases. We will use the rat as a model system to identify the major functional pathways underlying human inflammatory, cardiovascular and metabolic, and behavioral disorders. Our consortium brings together world class investigators who will use next-generation sequencing technologies to generate genomic, transcriptomic and epigenomic datasets. To this, we will add cutting-edge, quantitative metabonomic and proteomic datasets to give significant depth of coverage, at multiple levels, across pathophysiological phenotypes. These datasets will be gathered, annotated and integrated in relational and dynamic models that will be used in comparative analyses to understand human gene function at the level of the molecule, cell, tissue and organism. These studies will lead to new insights into disease mechanisms, through an integrative, cross-disciplinary approach to understanding large-scale functional genomic datasets in rats and humans.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.2-7 | Award Amount: 13.02M | Year: 2009
CHAIN is a large scale integrating project aimed to effectively and durably combat new and existing anti-HIV drug resistance in clinical settings, with a special emphasis on Eastern Europe and in heavily affected resource-poor regions in Africa. This will be achieved through our pan-European network of surveillance and basic research activities, the involvement of all main actors in the field of HIV and anti-HIV drug resistance, monitoring how resistances develop and evolve, improved understanding of mechanisms of resistance development, performing molecular epidemiology studies, providing improved and new strategies to evaluate and limit the emergence and transmission of HIV drug resistance, setting up training and dissemination activities and supporting evidence-based public health policy and action. CHAIN brings together Europes leading internationally recognised scientific expertise in basic science, molecular epidemiology, bioinformatics and surveillance of HIV and HIV resistance including the WHO, strong links to Eastern Europe through the existing FP6 funded cohort network Europe HIVresistance and strategic links to relevant pan-European cohort networks and national cohort networks (PENTA/ECS, CASCADE, EuroSIDA, COHERE, ICoNa, UK-CHIC, SHCS). Our balanced programme of work is informed by optimising the synergistic skills represented by the applicants, and also through harmonising with existing initiatives, that ensures lack of duplication, but rather maximises the impact of European activities. Thus, our African and Eastern European work will be linked to WHO policy, our European surveillance studies will be guided by ECDC (through our advisory board), and our clinical research will generate questions best addressed through the NEAT clinical trial network. Finally, our partnership with the key biotechnology companies in HIV resistance will ensure maximal impact of our basis research activities.
News Article | February 23, 2017
Heart failure patients registered in the Swedish Heart Failure Registry receive better medication and have a 35 percent lower risk of death than unregistered patients, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The findings are presented in the European Journal of Heart Failure. Health quality registries are used for many purposes including to report quality of care and to identify areas for quality improvement. Sweden has been a pioneer in the establishment of quality registries for a broad range of diseases. The Swedish Heart Failure Registry (SwedeHF; RiksSvikt) registers clinical and treatment data for patients with heart failure from most hospitals in Sweden. RiksSvikt is voluntary, so some but not other patients get registered, and this is determined largely by the availability of staff and resources at local hospitals. In the current study, a Swedish team comprising researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Linköping University, and Uppsala Clinical Research Center analyzed data from 231,437 patients who were diagnosed with heart failure in Sweden 2006-2013. A comparison between those who were registered in RiksSvikt and those who were not showed that the registered patients had a remarkable 35 percent lower risk of death. The investment in quality registries in Sweden has provided helpful quality reporting and contributed to improved quality of care, but the concrete health benefits for patients have been less clear. "Now we also see that in heart failure, quality reporting translates directly into better survival," says Associate Professor Lars H. Lund at Karolinska Institutet's Department of Medicine who led the study. "It is imperative that the investment in registries from the government, hospitals and clinicians continues to expand, as this will lead to better patient survival". Further analyses showed that patients who were registered in RiksSvikt were more likely to receive heart failure medications than unregistered patients, and that this to a large extent explained the difference in survival. "There are several common treatments for heart failure which are known to cost-effectively reduce the risk of hospitalization and death, but these are underutilized," says Associate Professor Lars H. Lund. Heart failure is a common condition in which the heart is unable to pump sufficient quantities of blood around the body. It is the most common cause of hospitalization in Sweden and is associated with a high risk of death. The study was financed by The Swedish Research Council, The Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation, The Stockholm County Council and AstraZeneca. There are no conflicts of interest declared related to the study. Outside the work submitted, some of the researchers have received research grants, speaker's fees and/or consulting fees from AstraZeneca, Novartis, Bayer, Vifor Pharma, Relypsa, Boston Scientific, St Jude, Medtronic, HeartWare and Aspen Pharma. One of the researchers is employed as epidemiologist by AstraZeneca. Publication: "Association between enrolment in a heart failure quality registry and subsequent mortality - a nationwide cohort study". Lund LH, Carrero J, Farahmand B, Henriksson KM, Jonsson Å, Jernberg T, Dahlström U. European Journal of Heart Failure, online 23 Feb 2017. doi: 10.1002/ejhf.762.
News Article | February 21, 2017
• The development of CicloMulsion for acute kidney injury was discontinued and as a consequence, the value of the subsidiary NeuroVive Asia was written-down by 50 percent and all previously capitalized expenditure in connection with CicloMulsion was recognized as an impaired value • New business model implemented which encompass out-licensing of projects for common indications, as well as proprietary development of orphan indication projects • Positive preclinical results obtained in an experimental model for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a very serious and common disease for which no medication is currently available • In a termination agreement, all rights for NV556 were returned to NeuroVive from Arbutus Biopharma. NeuroVive also received material manufactured by Arbutus valued at USD 1.5 million Important events after the end of the period • The company's new generation of sanglifehrin-based compounds demonstrate potent inhibitory effects on human hepatocellular cancer cells and the results were presented at a scientific conference • The company decided to redirect research resources from Asian subsidiary to parent. The operations in Taiwan have been sold to the current Taiwanese shareholder • A mitochondrial medicine research agreement regarding the NVP015 project was signed with US key opinion leader • A collaboration agreement was signed with Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and the indication mitochondrial myopathy was added to the project portfolio • Net revenues were SEK 14,000 (0) and other operating income was SEK 14,000 (23,000) • Net revenues were SEK 14,000 (2,502,000) and other operating income was SEK 104,000 (522,000) * Profit/loss for the period divided by the average number of shares before dilution at the end of the period. ** Profit/loss for the period divided by the average number of shares after dilution at the end of the period. The complete Year End report is available for download below and through the NeuroVive web site www.neurovive.com. For more information concerning this report, please contact: This information is information that NeuroVive Pharmaceuticals (publ) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation and the Securities Markets Act. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out above, at 08:30 a.m. CET on 21 February 2017. NeuroVive Pharmaceutical AB is a leader in mitochondrial medicine. The company is committed to the discovery and development of medicines that preserve mitochondrial integrity and function in areas of unmet medical need. The company's strategy is to take drugs for rare diseases through clinical development and into the market. The strategy for projects within larger indications outside the core focus area is out-licensing in the preclinical phase. NeuroVive enhances the value of its projects in an organization that includes strong international partnerships and a network of mitochondrial research institutions, as well as expertise with capacities within drug development and production. NeuroVive has a project in early clinical phase II development for the prevention of moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (NeuroSTAT®). NeuroSTAT has orphan drug designation in Europe and in the US. The R&D portfolio consists of several late stage research programs in areas ranging from genetic mitochondrial disorders to cancer and metabolic diseases such as NASH. NeuroVive is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm, Sweden (ticker: NVP). The share is also traded on the OTCQX Best Market in the US (OTC: NEVPF). This information was brought to you by Cision http://news.cision.com http://news.cision.com/neurovive-pharmaceutical/r/neurovive-pharmaceutical-ab-year-end-report-january--december-2016,c2194299 The following files are available for download:
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-RIA | Phase: FETFLAGSHIP | Award Amount: 89.00M | Year: 2016
This project is the second in the series of EC-financed parts of the Graphene Flagship. The Graphene Flagship is a 10 year research and innovation endeavour with a total project cost of 1,000,000,000 euros, funded jointly by the European Commission and member states and associated countries. The first part of the Flagship was a 30-month Collaborative Project, Coordination and Support Action (CP-CSA) under the 7th framework program (2013-2016), while this and the following parts are implemented as Core Projects under the Horizon 2020 framework. The mission of the Graphene Flagship is to take graphene and related layered materials from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionise multiple industries. This will bring a new dimension to future technology a faster, thinner, stronger, flexible, and broadband revolution. Our program will put Europe firmly at the heart of the process, with a manifold return on the EU investment, both in terms of technological innovation and economic growth. To realise this vision, we have brought together a larger European consortium with about 150 partners in 23 countries. The partners represent academia, research institutes and industries, which work closely together in 15 technical work packages and five supporting work packages covering the entire value chain from materials to components and systems. As time progresses, the centre of gravity of the Flagship moves towards applications, which is reflected in the increasing importance of the higher - system - levels of the value chain. In this first core project the main focus is on components and initial system level tasks. The first core project is divided into 4 divisions, which in turn comprise 3 to 5 work packages on related topics. A fifth, external division acts as a link to the parts of the Flagship that are funded by the member states and associated countries, or by other funding sources. This creates a collaborative framework for the entire Flagship.
News Article | November 24, 2016
Light and moderate alcohol consumption of up to two drinks per day is associated with a lower risk of ischemic stroke but seems to have no effect on a person's risk of hemorrhagic stroke, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Medicine. High-to-heavy drinking was found to be associated with increased risk of all stroke types. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, and University of Cambridge, UK, suggest that the divergent associations of alcohol consumption with different types of stroke may explain some of the inconsistent findings of previous studies which investigated the association between alcohol consumption and stroke but did not discriminate between different stroke types. Dr. Susanna Larsson, lead author said: "This is the first study that combines the results from all available prospective studies on alcohol consumption and risk of hemorrhagic stroke subtypes. Our results showed that heavy drinkers were about 1.6 times more likely to suffer from intracerebral hemorrhage and 1.8 times more likely to suffer from subarachnoid hemorrhage. The association between heavy alcohol consumption and these two types of stroke was stronger than that for ischemic stroke." Ischemic stroke is caused by blood clots which block diseased or damaged cerebral arteries. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a weakened blood vessel, such as an aneurism, bursts and bleeds either within the brain (intracerebral) or -- less commonly -- into the space between two membranes that surround the brain (subarachnoid). The researchers suggest that different associations between alcohol consumption and type of stroke may have to do with the effects alcohol has on the human body. Dr. Larsson explained: "Previous research has found an association between alcohol consumption and lower levels of fibrinogen -- a protein in the body which helps the formation of blood clots. While this may explain the association between light to moderate alcohol consumption and lower ischemic stroke risk, the adverse effect of alcohol consumption on blood pressure -- a major risk factor for stroke - may increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke and outweigh any potential benefit". To examine the association of alcohol consumption with different stroke types, the researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 25 prospective studies with data on ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage. They also included data from the Cohort of Swedish Men and the Swedish Mammography Cohort, rendering a total sample of 18,289 ischemic stroke cases, 2,299 intracerebral hemorrhage cases and 1,164 subarachnoid hemorrhage cases. Alcohol consumption across all studies was assessed with a questionnaire or by interview and standardized to drinks of alcohol. Exposure categories were light ( While this meta-analysis included a large sample size, allowing for associations between alcohol consumption and different stroke types to be estimated with relatively high accuracy across a wide range of alcohol consumption and in different subgroups, the authors caution that it is limited by its lack of individual patient data which prevented the same exposure categories to be used in all studies. Also, the possibility that the associations of light and moderate alcohol consumption with stroke risks have been overestimated due to the small sample sizes of some of the included studies cannot be ruled out. Most of the studies included in this meta-analysis adjusted for major potential confounders such as age, sex, smoking, body mass index, and diabetes. However, observational studies can show a possible association between alcohol consumption and risk of different types of stroke, but they cannot show cause and effect because other factors may have impacted the results. 1. Differing association of alcohol consumption with different stroke types: a systematic review and meta-analysis Larsson et al. BMC Medicine 2016 DOI: 10.1186/s12916-016-0721-4 For an embargoed copy of the research article please contact Anne Korn at BioMed Central. After the embargo lifts, the article will be available at the journal website here:http://bmcmedicine. Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy. 2. With an ethos of transparency and accessibility, BMC Medicine is an open access, open peer-reviewed general medical journal publishing outstanding and influential research in all areas of clinical practice, translational medicine, public health, policy, and general topics of interest to the biomedical research community. As the flagship medical journal of the BMC series, we also publish stimulating debates and reviews as well as unique forum articles and concise tutorials. 3. BioMed Central is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Nature, a major new force in scientific, scholarly, professional and educational publishing, created in May 2015 through the combination of Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan, Macmillan Education and Springer Science+Business Media. http://www.
Van Duinen H.,Karolinska Institutet |
Gandevia S.C.,Neuroscience Research AustraliA&M of New South Wales
Journal of Physiology | Year: 2011
More than 30 muscles drive the hand to perform a multitude of essential dextrous tasks. Here we consider new views on the evolution of hand structure and on peripheral and central constraints for independent control of the digits of the hand. The human hand is widely assumed to have evolved from hands like those of African apes, yet recent studies have shown that our hands and those of the earliest hominids are very similar and unlike those of living apes. Understanding the limits of hand function may come from investigation of our last common ancestor with the great apes, rather than the great apes themselves. In the periphery, movement across the full range of joint space can be limited by mechanical linkages among the extrinsic muscles. Further, peripheral limits occur when the hand adopts some positions in which the contraction of muscles fails to move the joints on which they usually act; there is muscle 'disengagement' and functional paralysis for some actions. Surprisingly, the central nervous system drives the hand seamlessly through this landscape of mechanical limits. Central constraints on control of the individual digits include the spillover of neural drive to neighbouring muscles and their 'compartments', and the inability to make maximal muscle forces when multiple digits contract strongly which produces a force deficit. The pattern of these latter constraints correlates with amounts of daily use of each digit and favours enslaved extension to lift fingers from an object but selective flexion of fingers to contact it. © 2011 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2011 The Physiological Society.
Esser C.,Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine |
Rannug A.,Karolinska Institutet
Pharmacological Reviews | Year: 2015
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is an evolutionarily old transcription factor belonging to the Per-ARNT-Sim–basic helix-loop-helix protein family. AhR translocates into the nucleus upon binding of various small molecules into the pocket of its single-ligand binding domain. AhR binding to both xenobiotic and endogenous ligands results in highly cell-specific transcriptome changes and in changes in cellular functions. We discuss here the role of AhR for immune cells of the barrier organs: skin, gut, and lung. Both adaptive and innate immune cells require AhR signaling at critical checkpoints. We also discuss the current two prevailing views—namely, 1) AhR as a promiscuous sensor for small chemicals and 2) a role for AhR as a balancing factor for cell differentiation and function, which is controlled by levels of endogenous high-affinity ligands. AhR signaling is considered a promising drug and preventive target, particularly for cancer, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases. Therefore, understanding its biology is of great importance. © 2015 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Stahl P.L.,Karolinska Institutet |
Lundeberg J.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Annual Review of Biochemistry | Year: 2012
Today, resequencing of a human genome can be performed in approximately a week using a single instrument. Thanks to a steady logarithmic rate of increase in performance for DNA sequencing platforms over the past seven years, DNA sequencing is one of the fastest developing technology fields. As the process becomes faster, it opens up possibilities within health care, diagnostics, and entirely new fields of research. Immediate genetic characterization of contagious outbreaks has been exemplified, and with such applications for the direct benefit of human health, expectations of future sensitive, rapid, high-throughput, and cost-effective technologies are steadily growing. Simultaneously, some of the limitations of a rapidly growing field have become apparent, and questions regarding the quality of some of the data deposited into databases have been raised. A human genome sequenced in only an hour is likely to become a reality in the future, but its definition may not be as certain. © 2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.
Franco R.,University of Barcelona |
Franco R.,CIBER ISCIII |
Fernandez-Suarez D.,Karolinska Institutet
Progress in Neurobiology | Year: 2015
Macrophages are important players in the fight against viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections. From a resting state they may undertake two activation pathways, the classical known as M1, or the alternative known as M2. M1 markers are mostly mediators of pro-inflammatory responses whereas M2 markers emerge for resolution and cleanup. Microglia exerts in the central nervous system (CNS) a function similar to that of macrophages in the periphery. Microglia activation and proliferation occurs in almost any single pathology affecting the CNS. Often microglia activation has been considered detrimental and drugs able to stop microglia activation were considered for the treatment of a variety of diseases. Cumulative evidence shows that microglia may undergo the alternative activation pathway, express M2-type markers and contribute to neuroprotection. This review focuses on details about the role of M2 microglia and in the approaches available for its identification. Approaches to drive the M2 phenotype and data on its potential in CNS diseases are also reviewed. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Lagergren J.,Karolinska Institutet |
Lagergren J.,King's College London |
Lagergren P.,Karolinska Institutet
CA Cancer Journal for Clinicians | Year: 2013
Answer questions and earn CME/CNE Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is characterized by 6 striking features: increasing incidence, male predominance, lack of preventive measures, opportunities for early detection, demanding surgical therapy and care, and poor prognosis. Reasons for its rapidly increasing incidence include the rising prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux and obesity, combined with the decreasing prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection. The strong male predominance remains unexplained, but hormonal influence might play an important role. Future prevention might include the treatment of reflux or obesity or chemoprevention with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs or statins, but no evidence-based preventive measures are currently available. Likely future developments include endoscopic screening of better defined high-risk groups for EAC. Individuals with Barrett esophagus might benefit from surveillance, at least those with dysplasia, but screening and surveillance strategies need careful evaluation to be feasible and cost-effective. The surgery for EAC is more extensive than virtually any other standard procedure, and postoperative survival, health-related quality of life, and nutrition need to be improved (eg, by improved treatment, better decision-making, and more individually tailored follow-up). Promising clinical developments include increased survival after preoperative chemoradiotherapy, the potentially reduced impact on health-related quality of life after minimally invasive surgery, and the new endoscopic therapies for dysplastic Barrett esophagus or early EAC. The overall survival rates are improving slightly, but poor prognosis remains a challenge. © 2013 American Cancer Society, Inc.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.4-1 | Award Amount: 3.75M | Year: 2009
The focus of this multidisciplinary proposal is to elucidate the epidemiology of the genetic lineages of T. cruzi, for improved understanding and prevention of Chagas disease. The project will unite skills in genotyping, genomics, genetics and pathogenesis in Europe with considerable compatible skills in South America, and with key research in endemic areas that have distinct characteristics. The proposal is intended to be high impact in terms of both research progress and fostering of collaborative networks. Aim: Elucidate the epidemiology of the genetic lineages of T. cruzi, for improved understanding and prevention of Chagas disease. Technology development: 1. Develop further and apply MLST; PCR-RFLP and MLMT to the analysis of genetic populations of T. cruzi, 2. Sequence the unresolved genome of T. cruzi I, 3. Develop lineage specific diagnosis, 4. Develop an oligochromatography PCR-dipstick procedure for detection of T. cruzi. Molecular epidemiology: 5. Pilot studies of association between genetic lineage, clinical outcome, and prevalence of congenital infection, 6. Map the silvatic vector, silvatic mammal, human and ecological associations of the T. cruzi genotypes IId,e,b,a. 7. Compare lineage specific pathogenesis and transmissibility of congenital infection in a mouse model, and compare lineage susceptibility to drugs in vitro. Population genetics and phylogenetics: 8. Re-evaluate the population genetics and evolution of T. cruzi lineages. International cryobank and database: 9. Establish in South America an accessible, expanded, international cryobank for T. cruzi, 10. Establish a website and database for outputs of the project. The project encompasses the desirable characteristics prescribed by the call, in that they include: genomics/proteomics; effective, innovative relevance to disease, pathogenesis, drugs, interventions; an integrated multidisciplinarity, and capacity building, networking and training in endemic regions.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.2-6 | Award Amount: 10.15M | Year: 2008
The elicitation of broadly neutralising antibodies (Nab) remains the primary and most challenging goal in HIV-1 vaccine development. Although a few anti-HIV-1 monoclonal antibodies with broadly neutralising capability have been isolated from infected individuals, none of the immunization strategies thus far explored has proven effective in inducing similar antibodies. Objective of this application is the development of a variety of next-generation HIV-1 envelope-based immunogens that in combination with new adjuvant formulations are capable of eliciting high-titer broadly Nab responses. Our strategy will be based on one side on the identification and cloning of envelopes that have successfully elicited broad Nabs in their natural hosts, focusing on HIV-1 strains derived from patients with high-titered broad Nabs in their sera; on the other side, we will introduce rational modifications into these and promising HIV-env based immunogens that are already under development by NGINs partners, with the aim of exposing cryptic conserved neutralization epitopes and permitting their efficient presentation to the immune system. HIV-1 envelopes will be expressed in viral vectors or as trimeric (gp150) soluble proteins and screened for their immunogenicity and antigenicity in rabbits. A selection of envelopes with highest antigenicity will be expressed as trimeric envelope-complexes on the surface of virosomes or virus-like particles (VLP), to further improve immunogenicity. New immunogens will be evaluated in prime-boost regimens in rabbits using novel effective adjuvant formulations. Immunogen/adjuvant combinations that prove most effective in eliciting broadly Nabs both systemically and at the mucosal level will be evaluated in non-human primates for their immunogenicity and efficacy upon challenge with live heterologous virus. Finally, formulations that will elicit protective immunity in non-human primates will be forwarded for proof-of-principle testing in humans.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.2.2-1 | Award Amount: 10.14M | Year: 2008
When restoration of the immune response in older age is the target of basic and clinical research, boosting innate and adaptive immunity, e.g. by more efficient vaccination strategies, is the general approach. However, TOLERAGE has a fundamentally different focus, i.e. restoring the age-dependent decline of auto-tolerance that underlies the development of the paradigmatic age-associated diseases atherosclerosis (AS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). These diseases represent the major medical and socioeconomic burden in aging societies. They start earlier in life but become clinically manifest with increasing age. To reach this aim a consortium of ten partner groups was formed that have an outstanding track record in areas of immunology pertinent for this task. The work of TOLERAGE will focus on three major issues, viz. 1. Investigating basic principles of the induction of central and peripheral tolerance in mice against autoantigens, including heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) that has been shown to play a major role in the development of AS and RA. 2. Determination of the mediators of central and peripheral tolerance that are responsible for the T effector/T regulatory cell dysbalance in older age in general and in AS and RA in particular. 3. Translation of the results obtained in (a) and (b) into practical application for the prevention and treatment of AS and RA by appropriate vaccines. For all partners, important technical platforms will be available, including unique transgenic and knockout mouse strains, sophisticated models for in vitro and in vivo transfection of dendritic cells (DCs) and a well established Functional Genomics Facility.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2007-2.2-01 | Award Amount: 6.09M | Year: 2008
Medically related Life Sciences use the mouse as a model system to understand the molecular basis of health and disease in humans (>95% similarity of genes in humans and mice). An essential task for Biomedical Sciences in the 21st century will be the functional analysis of mouse models for every gene in the mammalian genome. The major bottlenecks identified by the user community will be proper characterization (Mouse Clinics), archiving and dissemination of mouse disease models to the research laboratories. The current capacities, governance structures and funding strategies of existing infrastructures will not be able to serve the upcoming urgent needs. Thus it is imperative to organise and establish now an efficient distributed infrastructure for the phenotyping, archiving and dissemination of mouse models on a well concerted, large-scale and pan-European level. This will be a prerequisite for maintaining Europes leading role in the functional annotation of the mouse genome. Infrafrontier will guarantee the accessibility of mouse models and will be essential to facilitate their exploitation. Infrafrontier integrates 15 European laboratories with exceptional track records to implement and run large-scale infrastructures. Infrafrontier builds on existing infrastructures under EMMA and EUMODIC and forms a coalition with a significant number of funding agencies to develop the prerequisites to a common European infrastructure. The Infrafrontier preparatory phase aims to organise a stable and sustainable infrastructure by 1) the identification of the most suitable legal form, 2) developing a business plan based on a sustainable funding concept, 3) reaching a legal agreement between all partners and 4) providing a strategic plan for the construction phase. Infrafrontier will therefore give Europe a leading position in the worldwide competition on resources and knowledge for medically relevant mouse models by providing a user-driven platform.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2011.9.5 | Award Amount: 1.63M | Year: 2011
The human brain can be seen as an immensely powerful, energy efficient, self-learning, self-repairing computer. If we could understand and mimic the way the brain works, we could revolutionize information technology, medicine and society. But to do so we have to bring together everything we know and everything we can learn about the inner workings of the brains molecules, cells and circuits. The goal of the Human Brain Project (HBP) is to do this by integrating our knowledge in massive databases and in computer models of the brain. This will require breakthroughs in mathematics and software engineering and an international supercomputing facility more powerful than any before. This is all possible. Experimental and clinical data is accumulating exponentially. Computers powerful enough to meet the projects initial requirements are already here. An international team led by Europes best neuroscientists, doctors, physicists, mathematicians, computer engineers and ethicists have assembled to begin the mission. As technology progresses and the project discovers new principles of brain design it will build ever more realistic models to probe ever deeper principles. The benefits for society will be huge, even before the HBP achieves its final goals. Models of the brain will revolutionize information technology, allowing us to design computers, robots, sensors, prosthetics and other devices far more powerful, more intelligent and more energy efficient than today. They will help us understand the root causes of brain diseases, and to diagnose them early, when they can still be treated. They will reduce reliance on animal testing and make it easier to develop new cures for brain disease. They will help us understand how the brain ages, and how to slow these changes and nurture a healthy brain for our children. In summary, the HBP is poised to produce dramatic advances in technology, a new understanding of the way the brain works and a new ability to cure its diseases.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.16M | Year: 2017
In the Roadmap for Mental Health and Wellbeing Research in Europe (ROAMER), top-priority is research into child and adolescent mental health symptoms. CAPICE (Childhood and Adolescence Psychopathology: unravelling the complex etiology by a large Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Europe) will address this priority. This network will elaborate on the EArly Genetics and Lifecourse Epidemiology (EAGLE) consortium, a well-established collaboration of the many European birth and adolescent population based (twin and family) cohorts with unique longitudinal information on lifestyle, family environment, health, and emotional and behavioral problems. Phenotypic and genome-wide genotypic data are available for over 60,000 children, in addition to genome-wide genotypes for over 20,000 mothers and epigenome-wide data for over 6,000 children. Combined with the enormous progress in methodology, the results of the research performed in this network will greatly expand our knowledge regarding the etiology of mental health symptoms in children and adolescents and shed light on possible targets for prevention and intervention, e.g. by drug target validation. Moreover, it will provide Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) with an excellent training in the psychiatric genomics field given by a multidisciplinary team of eminent scientists from the academic and non-academic sector highly experienced in e.g., gene-environment interaction and covariation analyses, (epi)genome-wide association studies, Mendelian Randomization (MR) and polygenic analyses. With a focus on common and debilitating problems in childhood and adolescence, including depression, anxiety and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, CAPICE will contribute to improving later outcomes of young people in European countries with child and adolescent psychopathology.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 4.07M | Year: 2013
DNA Nanotechnology is an emerging interdisciplinary area that will underpin the development of future nanoscience-based technologies for areas such as medicine, diagnostic tools, optics and electronics. DNA nanotechnology is based on the unique self-assembly properties of DNA which allow the rational design and synthesis of complex nanoscale structures with predictable form and function. Many other materials can be integrated in such DNA structures to create highly functional nanodevices. The Marie Curie ITN EScoDNA will establish a sustainable European School of DNA Nanotechnology. By providing high quality training to young scientists, EScoDNA will improve their career prospects in both public and private sectors; it will also strengthen the competitive position of European research and industry in this promising strategic field. A network of leading European researchers, two SMEs and a major commercial research institute will work together to foster the development of a new generation of scientists with the skills required to meet future challenges in DNA nanotechnology, from fundamental science to novel applications. The training program will involve collaborative research projects, including international secondments and exchange of data through a web-based Lab-Wiki Journal, and through summer schools and workshops. The industrial partners will be integrated in the training programme, and the two SMEs will coordinate training related to the commercial exploitation of new technologies, management and entrepreneurial skills. They will also take a lead in managing the protection and commercialization of new technologies arising from research with the ITN. The programme is designed to create a pool of highly qualified researchers prepared for a wide range of careers in bionanotechnology and nanofabrication and, especially, capable of contributing to the development of a strong European centre for the scientific and commercial development of DNA nanotechnology.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.1.2-2 | Award Amount: 15.68M | Year: 2013
The overall goal with INFECT is to advance our understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms, prognosis, and diagnosis of the multifactorial highly lethal NSTIs. The fulminant course of NSTIs (in the order of hours) demands immediate diagnosis and adequate interventions in order to salvage lives and limbs. However, diagnosis and management are difficult due to heterogeneity in clinical presentation, in co-morbidities and in microbiological aetiology. Thus, there is an urgent need for novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in order to improve outcome of NSTIs. To achieve this, a comprehensive and integrated knowledge of diagnostic features, causative microbial agent, treatment strategies, and pathogenic mechanisms (host and bacterial disease traits and their underlying interaction network) is required. INFECT is designed to obtain such insights through an integrated systems biology approach in patients and different clinically relevant experimental models. Specific objectives of INFECT are to: 1. Unravel specific mechanisms underlying diseases signatures though a bottom-up systems approach applied to clinically relevant experimental settings 2. Apply a top-down systems biology approach to NSTI patient samples to pin-point key host and pathogen factors involved in the onset and development of infection 3. Identify and quantify disease signatures and underlying networks that contribute to disease outcome 4. Exploit identified disease traits for the innovation of optimized diagnostic tools 5. Translate the advanced knowledge generated into evidence-based guidelines for classification and management, and novel therapeutic strategies We have gathered a team of multidisciplinary researchers, clinicians, SMEs and a patient organization, each with a unique expertise, technical platform and/or model systems that together provide the means to successfully conduct the multifaceted research proposed and efficiently disseminate/exploit the knowledge obtained.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2010-1.3-1 | Award Amount: 12.48M | Year: 2011
While there are standard procedures for product life cycle analysis, exposure, hazard, and risk assessment for traditional chemicals, is not yet clear how these procedures need to be modified to address all the novel properties of nanomaterials. There is a need to develop specific reference methods for all the main steps in managing the potential risk of ENM. The aim of MARINA is to develop such methods. MARINA will address the four central themes in the risk management paradigm for ENM: Materials, Exposure, Hazard and Risk. The methods developed by MARINA will be (i) based on beyond-state-of-the-art understanding of the properties, interaction and fate of ENM in relation to human health and the quality of the environment and will either (ii) be newly developed or adapted from existing ones but ultimately, they will be compared/validated and harmonised/standardised as reference methods for managing the risk of ENM. MARINA will develop a strategy for Risk Management including monitoring systems and measures for minimising massive exposure via explosion or environmental spillage.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-09-2015 | Award Amount: 28.14M | Year: 2016
Many HIV vaccine concepts and several efficacy trials have been conducted in the prophylactic and therapeutic fields with limited success. There is an urgent need to develop better vaccines and tools predictive of immunogenicity and of correlates of protection at early stage of vaccine development to mitigate the risks of failure. To address these complex and challenging scientific issues, the European HIV Vaccine Alliance (EHVA) program will develop a Multidisciplinary Vaccine Platform (MVP) in the fields of prophylactic and therapeutic HIV vaccines. The Specific Objectives of the MVP are to build up: 1.Discovery Platform with the goal of generating novel vaccine candidates inducing potent neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibody responses and T-cell responses, 2. Immune Profiling Platform with the goal of ranking novel and existing (benchmark) vaccine candidates on the basis of the immune profile, 3. Data Management/Integration/Down-Selection Platform, with the goal of providing statistical tools for the analysis and interpretation of complex data and algorithms for the efficient selection of vaccines, and 4. Clinical Trials Platform with the goal of accelerating the clinical development of novel vaccines and the early prediction of vaccine failure. EHVA project has developed a global and innovative strategy which includes: a) the multidisciplinary expertise involving immunologists, virologists, structural biology experts, statisticians and computational scientists and clinicians; b) the most innovative technologies to profile immune response and virus reservoir; c) the access to large cohort studies bringing together top European clinical scientists/centres in the fields of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines, d) the access to a panel of experimental HIV vaccines under clinical development that will be used as benchmark, and e) the liaison to a number of African leading scientists/programs which will foster the testing of future EHVA vaccines through EDCTP
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.3.4-2 | Award Amount: 3.46M | Year: 2011
Most African women face childbirth without access to skilled health workers when obstetric and neonatal emergencies arise. Providing and retaining skilled health workers is vital in attempts to save the 600,000 women and 7 million babies who die annually in Africa. In the modern world this tragedy is unacceptable and largely preventable. Education and training for health professionals is the key to improving healthcare for mothers and babies in Africa. Non-Physician Clinicians (NPCs) are an effective and retainable health solution for doctor-less rural and some urban areas of Africa. Task shifting to NPCs needs to be extended, enhanced, endorsed and supported by the healthcare community and will be the aim of Work Package 1 (WP1) and WP3. The project aims to develop, implement and evaluate clinical service improvement through clinical guidelines and pathways in WP2, structured education and clinical leadership training (WP3) and workforce development of NPCs and faculty (WP1, WP3). A key element will be continuing support for NPCs in the workplace using communications technology and mentorship from local and international physicians (WP1, WP3). All service improvements will be sustainable, scalable, cost-effective, transferrable and co-developed by professional partners in Africa. Bringing together key European and African partners with GE Healthcare to address the major issues of enhancing a sustainable healthcare workforce and enhancing appropriate training in the use of existing technologies should help to significantly reduce the loss of mothers and babies in Africa.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.4.4-1 | Award Amount: 7.59M | Year: 2012
The overall objective is to develop a novel preventative intervention for the blinding disease retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and other complications of prematurity. The PREVENTROP consortium proposes to conduct preclinical studies (pharmacological, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics and toxicological) in models and/or clinical studies (including phase III clinical trial) of an EU designated orphan medicinal product. This orphan medicinal product has been granted the EU orphan designation. We have completed both a Phase I study and the first section of the Phase II study administering the growth factor complex IGF-I/IGFBP-3 (Premiplex) successfully to preterm infants in order to prevent ROP a discovery that we have taken from bench to bedside. Due to improved neonatal care, the survival of preterm babies has increased dramatically during the last decades. The downside of this improvement in survival rates is higher morbidity affecting these vulnerable infants. It should be emphasised that in a preterm infant any lasting morbidity will have a negative impact on the quality of life for a whole life span for both the individual and their families. One of the most severe morbidities affecting these infants is retinopathy causing severe visual impairment and blindness. Our research findings have rendered several editorials pointing at the hope of prevention strategies which if successful will change the paradigm for ROP and other morbidities in preterm infants. There are three major impacts of the present proposal; (1) clinical availability of a new orphan designated drug product, Premiplex, and (2) improved care of preterm infants and (3) a significant contribution towards the goal of the International Rare Disease Research Consortium (IRDiRC) by delivering one new therapy for a rare disease.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.5-2 | Award Amount: 7.59M | Year: 2010
Autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterised by an antibody response to citrullinated proteins. Periodontitis (PD) is largely caused by infection, in which Porphyromonas gingivalis is a major pathogen. The two diseases combine specific HLA-DRB1alleles and smoking as risk factors, and have a similar pathophysiology characterised by destructive inflammation. A possible causative link between RA and PD is based on the ability of P. gingivalis to citrullinate proteins and thereby generate autoantigens that drive autoimmunity in RA. We hypothesise that anti-citrullinated protein antibodies can be generated, in genetically susceptible individuals, as a consequence of P. Gingivalis-induced citrullination in the gingiva. In the context of genetic risk factors, during chronic exposure to danger signals, such as bacterial lipopolysacharides and DNA, tolerance to citrullinated proteins may be broken, with production of a pathogenic antibody response, which at a later time point cross-reacts with joint proteins and causes chronic RA. We will use a multidisciplinary approach (genetics, epidemiology, molecular immunology and animal models) to study susceptibility factors and immune responses in RA and PD, with an aim to identify novel etiological and pathogenic pathways, forming the basis for new therapies.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.4-1 | Award Amount: 3.94M | Year: 2008
This medium-sized collaborative project will document and monitor the natural course and study the pathophysiology of Primary Antibody Deficiencies (PAD). PADs are rare inborn errors of the immune system with an estimated incidence of <1:25.000. The defective immunity in patients with PAD causes an increased susceptibility to recurrent infections of the respiratory- and gastro-intestinal tract as well as ill defined co-morbidity including granulomatous disease, lymphocytic organ infiltration and (paradoxically) autoimmunity. Our consortium cares for more than 1000 PAD patients, representing approx. 50% of the patients registered in Europe, many of them being children. We propose to: 1. Combine clinical and research data in a central online registry, complemented by a sample repository (WP1) 2. Elucidate the genetic cause of PADs by linkage analysis and candidate gene approaches (WP2) 3. Establish in vitro models for B cell differentiation steps that are defective in PADs such as in vitro class switch recombination, and siRNA knockdown models for PAD screening (WP3) 4. Create mouse models of PAD by using several technology platforms including knock-in and knock-out mice, shRNA mediated gene knock-down and humanised mice (WP4) 5. Perform translational research by taking the observations from the patients into the basic research projects and transfer these results back to the patients (WP5) The study of these immunodeficiencies represent an experiment of nature, uniquely enabling researchers to study the detrimental effects of mutations in specific genes involved in the immune system. Basic research results are translated into the development of new technologies, new knowledge, and new therapeutic tools. The clinical results will improve the diagnosis, management and quality of life of PAD patients, leading to future developments of new tests, preventive measures and treatment protocols.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.3-1;HEALTH-2007-3.3-4 | Award Amount: 4.78M | Year: 2009
Promoting healthy behaviors is multi-faceted and no health is possible without mental health. The ultimate outcome of unhealthy and risk-taking behaviors is suicide. Risk-taking and suicidal behavior can be prevented. A pilot intervention study will be implemented to assess the effects of three different health promoting / suicide prevention programs in 11000 students across 11 European countries: 1. TeenScreen - screening by professionals of at-risk students through a questionnaire. 2. QPR (Question, Persuade & Refer) a gatekeepers program, training all adult staff at schools (teachers, counselors, nurses etc.) and parents on how to recognize & refer a student at-risk of suicide or suffering from mental illness to mental-health help resources; 3. A general health promotion program targeting students awareness on healthy/unhealthy behaviors; Objectives of the research program are: I. Gather information on health and well-being in adolescents - Produce an epidemiological database for adolescents in Europe containing data on students healthy and at-risk lifestyles and their relation with health measured by well-being, depression and suicidality. II. Perform interventions in adolescents leading to better health trough decreased risk-taking and suicidal behaviors III. Evaluate outcomes of interventions in adolescents from a multidisciplinary perspective including social, psychological and economical aspects IV. Recommend an effective trans-cultural model for promoting health for adolescents in Europe -Provide information for evidence-based prevention programs for adolescents in culturally diverse populations -Increase awareness and knowledge in policy makers, professionals and the public. -Disseminate results through a public website, media, health promotion conferences and through events focused on adolescents such as pop concerts or sport events.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.5-2 | Award Amount: 3.76M | Year: 2009
Inadequate access to and use of research evidence to inform health policy limits the achievement of universal and equitable access to healthcare, hinders quality improvement and makes it difficult to use healthcare resources wisely. Poorly informed decision-making about health policies and systems is one of the reasons why services fail to reach those most in need, health indicators are off track, and it appears unlikely that many countries in Africa will meet the health MDGs. SURE will support improvements in health policies and systems in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) by improving access to and use of policy-relevant syntheses of research evidence that are contextualized and tailored to meet the needs of decision makers. SURE will develop, pilot and evaluate five strategies designed to strengthen access to and use of reliable and timely research syntheses in policymaking: user friendly formats for research syntheses, clearing houses for syntheses and policy relevant research, mechanisms for responding rapidly to policymakers needs for research evidence, methods for organizing and managing deliberative forums involving policymakers, researchers and others, and methods for involving civil society and the public in policy development. SURE will develop capacity for evidence-informed healthcare policy and undertake a comparative evaluation of initiatives between policymakers and researchers using these and other strategies. SURE will collaborate with the Evidence-Informed Health Policy Network (EVIPNet) and the Regional East African Community Health (REACH) Policy Initiativetwo international efforts to improve the use of research evidence in policy and health systems decisions via partnerships between policymakers, researchers and civil society. SURE will use a range of dissemination strategies. Global dissemination will be coordinated by and capitalise on WHO, with the aim of maximising the projects impact on health policy in Africa and othe
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.83M | Year: 2016
Metabolic disorders are at pandemic levels. Based on recent estimates, ~50% of Europeans are overweight, 20% are obese and 10% have type II diabetes. Obesity and insulin resistance impact European health to the tune of 110 billion per year. These disorders have genetic, nutritional and lifestyle causes. However, the molecular mechanisms that link nutrients and lifestyle to gene activity and chromatin are poorly understood, and drug targets are only starting to be identified. Pioneering experiments by ChroMe labs now reveal how sugars, exercise, the gut microbiome and novel drugs regulate chromatin. These novel links promise to substantially improve our understanding and treatment of metabolic disorders. National governments and the EU invest major resources to address the burden of the metabolic syndrome. However, there is an urgent need for expert human capital able to dissect metabolic diseases, exploit new targets and establish innovative therapies. No local nor international program currently provides adequate training at this emerging interface of chromatin and metabolism. ChroMe establishes a timely and intersectorial ETN that exploits Europes strengths in epigenetics, physiology and medicine to translate our molecular knowledge of chromatinmetabolism interactions into therapies. Our ESRs receive advanced training in emerging technologies, bioinformatic and translational approaches, and all engage in collaborative PhD projects co-supervised by academia and industry. ChroMes extensive transferable skills, dissemination and public engagement program equips our ESRs with the experience and personal network needed for a career in metabolic health. By systematically involving the non-academic sector at every level in our research, training and management, ChroMe will craft future European leaders with the necessary knowledge and skills to fight the metabolic syndrome pandemic.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IAPP | Award Amount: 2.66M | Year: 2013
Infertility is a serious medical concern preventing the parenthood in 10% of couples. Infertility treatment using assisted reproduction techniques (ART) is popular in Europe with up to 5% of children born thanks to medical help. Despite many technological improvements the overall pregnancy rate after infertility treatment using the most commonly practiced in vitro fertilization (IVF) remains only 30% per single cycle. The specific features of human reproduction include the high prevalence of diverse chromosomal pathologies in oocytes and early embryos, and significant dysregulation in gene expression in embryo and endometrial tissue, both being the risk factors for implantation failure and decreased pregnancy rate after IVF. Hence, the intrinsic motivation for the current SARM project stems from the perceived need to contribute to future IVF improvements and benefit from the recent breakthroughs in technological innovations. Our primary research objective is to unravel the molecular nature of human preimplantation embryo development and endometrial maturation. This ambitious goal will be achieved by exploiting highly sophisticated single-cell genomics tools, such as fine-resolution mapping of DNA copy-number changes by using SNP-arrays and sequencing platforms, and characterizing single-cell transcriptional landscape by RNA-sequencing. These studies are likely to propose novel embryonal and endometrial biomarkers useful for selecting the most competent embryos for transfer or identifying the causes of female infertility of endometrial origin. The SARM consortium consists of 2 industrial (IVIOMICS, Paterna/Spain and Competence Centre on Reproductive Medicine, Tartu/Estonia) and 3 academic (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm/Sweden; Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium and University of Tartu/Estonia) partners, forming a strong, stimulating and coherent research environment ensuring the pooling of complementary scientific skills in reproductive genetics and medicine.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 2.95M | Year: 2014
In many European countries at least 20% of young men exhibit sperm parameters below the lower WHO reference level and this will affect their fertility. Male infertility has a dramatic impact on the individual and couples psychological and social well-being and results in significant healthcare costs. Currently male patients that do not produce sperm have no therapeutic options to father children. Different therapeutic interventions for male infertility have to be developed depending on the severity of germ cell deficits in individual patients. In cases where undifferentiated germ cells are present in the testis, strategies based on sperm development from spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) in vitro or in vivo need to be established. However, if no germ cells are present in the testis, somatic cells of such patients will be the only option from which to develop their own sperm. Development of these potential therapies requires detailed understanding of the entire process of sperm production from stem cells through to functional sperm. This information is still incomplete and fragmented. The current proposal seeks to train young scientists in a network that joins together the complementary knowledge and expertise of several public and private EU partners from disciplines of physiology, cell biology, molecular biology, chemistry and medicine in the field of male reproduction to investigate three strategies for sperm development: (1) propagation of human SSCs in vitro followed by their transplantation, (2) sperm development in vitro from stem cells or early germ cells, (3) sperm development in human testis tissue grafts in vivo. By coaching young scientists in this inter-sectorial and multidisciplinary network, we will train the next generation of researchers within the EU who are then primed to become leaders in the field of male fertility that continue to investigate basic science and translational aspects leading to novel interventions and clinical applications.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.14M | Year: 2013
Euroclast proposes a research training program on osteoclast biology in the context of osteoclast-driven diseases. Osteoclasts are the complex, multinuclear cells responsible for bone breakdown. Many diseases of osteoclast malfunctioning manifest in bone loss, for example, osteoporosis, cancer-induced bone disease, periodontitis, or rheumatoid arthritis, all conditions set to increase in an ageing EU population. The Euroclast consortium (7 academic, 2 private and 1 ass. partner) focuses on osteoclast heterogeneity, a recent insight that poses new fundamental questions best tackled by a multi-partner consortium capable of assembling the sophisticated molecular, genetic and imaging tools required. We will analyze changes in gene and protein expression during osteoclast (trans)differentiation from different precursor cell pools and in various bone sites and relate this to osteoclast activity and sensitivity to therapeutics. The osteoclast resorptive apparatus will be studied using in depth and will define the key enzymatic and molecular machinery to be translated into novel site-specific drug targets or biomarkers. High throughput screening assays for therapeutics and ELISAs for biomarkers will be developed with our private partners. Our multidisciplinary and cross-sectorial approach will improve understanding and treatment of common disorders associated with osteoclast malfunction and train 11 early stage researchers (ESRs) in modern cell and bone biology. We will provide extensive training in generic skills and all ESRs will spend time with our private partners and be seconded to other academic partners to ensure they are well equipped for employment in research and industrial settings. Euroclast will produce an on-line repository for osteoclast protocols, make methodological and scientific advances in osteoclast and bone biology and create a sustainable network of ESRs and senior academics to tackle diseases of bone loss into the future.
Agency: European Commission | 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.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-03-2015 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2016
COSYN integrates outstanding European academic and three large Pharma to exploit genomic findings for intellectual disability (ID), autism, and schizophrenia. We capitalise on comorbidity, from clinic to cells and synapses, and have access to large existing samples. We focus on rare genetic variants of strong effect in patients with clinical comorbidity. Our aims are: (1) Understand comorbidity by comparing symptom and syndrome overlap with novel neurobiological criteria; (2) Elucidate mechanisms of comorbidity using neurobiology for the major genomic clue of synaptic dysfunction to unravel the cellular mechanisms of comorbidity; (3) Generate novel neuronal cell models by using advanced technologies to make neurons from carefully selected patients, and use genome editing to create or correct genetic variants. Multiple advanced neuroscience platforms are in place to evaluate an extensive set of molecular and cellular parameters, and to identify alterations in synaptic biology characteristic of ID, autism, and schizophrenia. These cellular models will, with Pharma partners, be up-scaled to provide industry-standard cellular assays for compound screening; (4) Refine diagnostic tools, use novel genomic and cellular features to improve disease classification and discriminate specific patient subtypes; and (5) Case studies in precision medicine: with Pharma partners, identify patients with a genetic change whose consequences can be reproducibly ameliorated in vitro by an approved medication. Recommend to the patient and clinician a double-blinded, N-of-one crossover case study to evaluate the clinical utility of a medication precisely indicated for that person. COSYN is an integrated, state-of-art, bench-to-bedside programme focused on personalised therapeutics. COSYN is a crucial next step in decoding the genetic findings via intensive focus on the clinical and molecular comorbidities of ID, autism, and schizophrenia.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-03-2015 | Award Amount: 5.10M | Year: 2015
Common mechanisms and pathways in Stroke and Alzheimers disease. It has long been recognized that stroke and (Alzheimers Disease) AD often co-occur and have an overlapping pathogenesis. As such, these two diseases are not considered fellow travelers, but rather partners in crime. This multidisciplinary consortium includes epidemiologists, geneticists, radiologists, neurologists with a longstanding track-record on the etiology of stroke and AD. This project aims to improve our understanding of the co-occurrence of stroke and AD. An essential concept of our proposal is that stroke and AD are sequential diseases that have overlapping pathyphysiological mechanisms in addition to shared risk factors. We will particularly focus on these common mechanisms and disentangle when and how these mechanisms diverge into causing either stroke, or AD, or both. Another important concept is that mechanisms under study will not only include the known pathways of ischemic vasculopathy and CAA, but we will explore and unravel novel mechanisms linking stroke and AD. We will do so by exploiting our vast international network in order to link various big datasets and by incorporating novel analytical strategies with emerging technologies in the field of genomics, metabolomics, and brain MR-imaging.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-21-2016 | Award Amount: 4.26M | Year: 2017
Screening for vision and hearing disorders in children has shown to be highly effective. EU-directive 16620/11 invites EU-member states to give priority to such screening programmes. Early detection and treatment of a lazy eye (prevalence 3%) prevents lifelong visual impairment. Early detection and treatment of hearing impairment (prevalence 0.15%) prevents delayed speech and language development. Across Europe inequity exists in the provision of childhood vision and hearing screening programmes (VAHSPs). High-Income Countries (HICs) have VAHSPs, but they vary with regard to age and frequency of testing, tests used, uptake, screening professionals, referral pathway and funding. This makes it difficult for healthcare providers and policy makers to decide what VAHSP to implement in Low- to Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) and how. In this study, cost-optimised, evidence-based VAHSPs will be implemented in two LMICs, based on collated evidence from existing VAHSPs in Europe. Data on VAHSPs, demography, administration, general screening, screening professions, uptake and treatment availability will be gathered in an established network of professionals in 41 European countries and used in a disease/health system modelling framework to predict benefits and cost in the most optimal health system, taking regional diversity and organisational and resource requirements into account. Model-developed VAHSPs will be tested in the county of Cluj in Romania for vision, and in three counties in Albania for hearing screening. A generic strategy for implementation will be developed by detailed tracking, and from identified requirements, facilitators and barriers. The decision-analytic modelling framework and the strategy for implementation will be packed into a transferable TOOLKIT that will assist healthcare providers and policy makers worldwide in their decisions to introduce or modify VAHSPs, and increase effectiveness, efficiency and equity of child healthcare.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRADEV-03-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 4.97M | Year: 2017
The INFRAFRONTIER RI integrates European Mouse Clinics and the European Mouse Mutant Archive with the common goal to ensure access to mouse models for basic research of human health and disease, and to translate this knowledge into therapeutic approaches for the benefit of the European society. The expanded INFRAFRONTIER2020 network, coordinated by the INFRAFRONTIER GmbH, includes 3 SMEs and is strategically responding to the INFRADEV3 call with aligned objectives to advance the long-term sustainability which are 1) development of business models and a stable legal framework; 2) raise awareness of the INFRAFRONTIER RI; 3) provide bespoke services aligned with user demands; 4) promote best practices in mouse phenogenomics; 5) enhance robustness of the INFRAFRONTIER IT infrastructure and use of the EMMA strain resource; and 6) improve business processes. Towards achieving these objectives key INFRAFRONTIER2020 project deliverables are: INFRAFRONTIER Business Plan2.0, and business models for all services Stable legal framework built on the INFRAFRONTIER legal entity INFRAFRONTIER annual stakeholder conferences Customised mouse model and secondary phenotyping pilot services INFRAFRONTIER advanced training schools in mouse phenogenomics Reengineered EMMA Database2.0 system Annotated mouse models of human diseases Quality management system for the legal entity INFRAFRONTIER2020 will 1) enhance the sustainable operation of the INFRAFRONTIER RI; 2) continue to structure the ERA, 3) foster innovation, and 4) address major societal challenges in human health by customised service pilots supporting research into common and rare diseases. A sustainable INFRAFRONTIER RI will ensure the quality of deposited mice and support the reproducibility of biological results. Outreach efforts will raise awareness of resources and services and facilitate sustainable engagement with industry and global consortia such as the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-4.2-3 | Award Amount: 3.77M | Year: 2010
The goals of the PREHDICT study are to determine prerequisites and strategies for vaccination in European countries and to predict the impact of vaccination on screening programmes. To achieve these goals, a multiple HPV type transmission model will be built to describe the type-specific incidence and clearance of HPV infections. This model will be linked to an individual-based simulation model used for modelling the impact of screening. For HPV-related diseases other than cervical cancer and genital warts, Markov models will be developed after critical review of the role of HPV. In the PREHDICT study, country-specific cost-effectiveness analyses will be performed for the vaccination and include determination of the vaccination age, the number of doses, the vaccination population, and the optimal catch-up vaccination age. Furthermore, the impact of vaccination on screening programmes will be assessed. This involves determination of the screening technology, screening frequency, and follow-up management of test-positive women. Special attention will be given to screening attendance and its relation to vaccination attendance. To have models with strong empirical support, the PREHDICT team will collect the most updated data on HPV infection, HPV-related disease, life-style factors, and demographics. Furthermore, HPV-type specific analyses will be performed on the outcomes of a vaccination trial, 3 large screening trials, and one self-sampling trial for screening non-attenders. By meta-analytical techniques, results will be pooled. The costs involved in the calculations will include the costs of organizing, running, and monitoring a vaccination and/or screening programme. The results of the PREHDICT study will be published in international peer-reviewed journals, posted on the WHO HPV information centre website and will also be systematically disseminated to all major stakeholders, in particular to decision makers at European, national and sub-national levels.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.4. | Award Amount: 12.42M | Year: 2013
The mouse shows great similarities in development, physiology and biochemistry to humans, which makes it a key model for research into human disease. The major challenges for mouse functional genomics in the 21st century are to: Develop a series of mutant alleles for every gene in the mouse genome Determine the phenotypic consequences of each mutation Identify mouse models for the complete disease spectrum in humans To further develop and exploit the emerging mouse mutant resource, mouse models must be preserved and made available to the European biomedical research community. To this effect, the Infrafrontier-I3 project brings together the leading European centers for systemic phenotyping of mouse mutants and the European Mouse Mutant Archive network. The Infafrontier-I3 partners aim to meet the future challenges presented by phenotyping, archiving and disseminating mouse models in the ERA as follows: Contribute to resource development by archiving of 1215 new mouse mutant lines Provide free of charge Transnational Access to mouse production and 1st line phenotyping capacities Offer a specialized axenic service to produce, maintain and to distribute germ-free mice Provide user friendly accession of Infrafrontier services, extensive manual data curation and cross referencing with other mouse database Improve user services by developing novel phenotyping and cryopreservation SOPs and by refining innovative research instrumentation Engage with the user community using a wide range of PR activities, a dedicated user meeting and an industry liaison workshop Offer state of the art cryopreservation and phenotyping training courses Benchmark Infrafrontier services with other major repositories The comprehensive physical and data resources that will be generated by Infrafrontier-I3 will contribute to link basic biomedical research to medical applications and thereby drive innovation and support the Europe 2020 Strategy.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 13.75M | Year: 2010
The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) has the goal of obtaining a comprehensive description of genomic, transcriptomic and epigenomic changes in 50 different tumour types and/or subtypes, with the aim of elucidating the genomic changes present in the many forms of cancers that contribute to the burden of disease throughout the world. We present a proposal for a European contribution to this effort through application of state-of-the-art approaches to the genomics of the most common form of renal cell cancer (RCC). RCC is of particular importance within Europe where the highest global incidence rates are observed. Disease incidence has increased over the last two decades, and it is now the 8th most common cancer in the EU. CAGEKID brings clinical and epidemiological resources that are unique worldwide together with the necessary genetics and genomics expertise required for this effort. In the first phase of the study, we will provide a full genomic characterisation of 100 matched pairs of DNA extracted from the tumour and constitutional samples. DNA will be completely sequenced, and the data brought together with those from whole genome transcript and methylation analyses. Follow-up studies of potential targets will be made in further samples. The results acquired will be relied to targeted protein analyses. The primary data will be made available to the scientific community, and the programme will contribute to establishing norms for the manipulation and storage of biological samples. CAGEKID will provide the first systematic analysis of this tumour site providing new insights into disease aetiology with application for diagnosis and treatment. It addresses a major need to identify new biological markers for renal cell cancer, one of very few tumour types for which there are currently no biological markers in routine clinical use. Renal cancer is not yet supported by any of the members of the ICGC.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NoE | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.1.2-2 | Award Amount: 15.96M | Year: 2011
Biological processes occur in space and time, but current experimental methods for systems biology are limited in their ability to resolve this spatiotemporal complexity of life. In addition, traditional omics methods often suffer from limited sensitivity and need to average over populations of cells at the expense of cell to cell variation. Next-generation systems biology therefore requires methods that can capture data and build models in four dimensions, three-dimensional space and time, and needs to address dynamic events in single living cells. In fact, recent advances in automated fluorescence microscopy, cell microarray platforms, highly specific probes, quantitative image analysis and data mining provide a powerful emerging technology platform to enable systems biology of the living cell. These imaging technologies, here referred to as Systems microscopy, will be a cornerstone for next-generation systems biology to elucidate and understand complex and dynamic molecular, sub-cellular and cellular networks. As a paradigm to enable systems biology at the cellular scale of biological organization, this NoE will have as its core biological theme two basic but complex cellular processes that are highly relevant to human cancer: cell division and cell migration. Methods, strategies and tools established here will be applicable to many disease-associated processes and will be instrumental for obtaining a systems level understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying human diseases as manifested at the living cell level. Through close multidisciplinary collaborations in our programme of joint activities this NoE will develop a powerful enabling platform for next-generation systems biology and will apply these tools to understand cellular systems underlying human cancer. This provides a unique opportunity for Europe to acquire a global lead in systems microscopy.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 10.28M | Year: 2009
The mouse shows great similarities in development, physiology and biochemistry to humans, which makes it a key model for research into human disease. The major challenges for mouse functional genomics in the 21st century are to: 1) Develop a series of mutant alleles for every gene in the mouse genome 2) Determine the phenotypic consequences of each mutation 3) Identify mouse models for the complete disease spectrum in humans To exploit this emerging resource, mouse models must be preserved and made available to the European biomedical research community. Building on EMMAs previous achievements as the primary mouse repository in Europe, EMMAservice aims to meet the future challenges presented by archiving and disseminating mouse models in the ERA as follows: - Archiving of 1224 new mouse mutant lines in support of individual depositors and also European mouse genetics programmes - Support of eligible customers with free of charge Transnational Access for up to 20% of requested mouse resources. - Technology development will underpin the archiving and distribution efforts by advancing current sperm freezing technology - Training courses will promote the shipment of frozen germplasm rather than live mice - EMMA informatics will support user services by setting new standards for user friendly accession of EMMA services, extensive data curation and cross referencing with other mouse database resources - Outreach efforts to attract users will be widened and addressed at the translational research community EMMAservice will contribute significantly to the development of a world leading repository and European capacity in mouse disease model archiving and distribution, supporting the needs of the wider European biomedical research community. The emerging mouse mutant and associated data resources will offer the opportunity to decipher molecular disease mechanisms and may, in some instances, provide the foundation for the development of diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic strategies.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 3.25M | Year: 2008
The input layer of the basal ganglia, the striatum, plays a critical role in the control of motor behaviour and cognitive function. It serves as a filter for cortical and thalamic signals and takes part in determining which actions should be performed at a given instant. Our goal is to define the cellular and network organisation underlying decision-making by analysing the microcircuitry of subpopulations of neurons in striatum (interneurons and projection neurons) concerned with the control of different patterns of behaviour, and their input from cortex (pallium), thalamus and the modulatory inputs from dopaminergic, histaminergic and 5-HT neurons. The microcircuitry will be studied in slices of striatum with patch electrode recordings from three or more identified subtypes of neurons at the same time, while synaptic and membrane properties are investigated and also the synaptic response to the different input systems. Specific synaptic connections of the recorded neurons will be identified by electron microscopy and quantitative aspects of the connections of the different classes of neurons will be defined. Striatal neuronal activity will also be studied in behaving animals with multiunit neuronal recording in relation to defined motor behaviours utilizing several vertebrate model systems (lamprey, rodent and primate). The primary focus will be on striato-pallidal projections indirectly controlling motor programs at the brainstem/spinal cord level, rather than via the thalamo-cortical forebrain projections since these projections cannot as easily be interpreted. Neuronal function and synaptic interaction at the microcircuit level will be subjected to a detailed computer modelling based directly on the outcome of the experimental analyses. Plasticity underlying motor learning/synaptic plasticity, particularly in relation to the dopaminergic, 5-HT and histaminergic inputs will also be characterized.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 16.16M | Year: 2013
Recently intense research identified around 4,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with human age related diseases such as metabolic disorders. Despite their highly significant association to pathology, the functional role of these genetic variants is, in most cases, yet to be elucidated. The evolutionary distance of most animal models from humans represents a major limitation for the functional validation of these SNPs. To overcome these difficulties, HUMAN will generate mouse models carrying human hepatocytes or pancreatic cells from either primary cells (hepatocytes) or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). This innovative approach offers the unique possibility of studying function of genetic risk variants associated with metabolic diseases in an integrated living system (the mouse body), but within human-derived organs, i.e. liver and pancreas. iPSCs used to generate hepatocytes and cells will derive from extreme phenotypes, i.e. patients affected by severe metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes (T2D) or subjects selected for exceptional healthy longevity (subjects over 105 years and offspring of nonagenarian sibships) all fully clinically and metabolically characterised and genotyped; they will be selected according to the best combination of risk and protective alleles. We will test the effect of different nutritional regimes (e.g. high fat diet, caloric restriction), to disentangle the complex molecular mechanisms and circuitry across organs (e.g. hypothalamus-liver axis) which lead to pathology. HUMAN associates a core of outstanding basic research institutions to leading European biotech SMEs, and has the capability to produce at least 500 humanised mice. HUMAN will generate iPSCs biobanks and comprehensively manage all associated information. HUMAN is uniquely situated to drive innovation towards a better knowledge of the genetic basis of human metabolic diseases, thereby contributing to healthier aging of European citizens.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.5.3 | Award Amount: 4.57M | Year: 2011
Synergy will develop a simulation environment and a decision-support system aiming at enabling deployment of systems medicine. The three core elements are a knowledge base (KB), an inference engine (IE), and a graphical visualisation environment (GVE). The project focuses on patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).The KB will include five well established physiological models addressing: 1) Central and peripheral O2 transport and utilization, 2) Pulmonary gas exchange, 3) Regional-lung heterogeneities in ventilation and perfusion, 4) Skeletal muscle bioenergetics, and 5) Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. These models will be written in systems biology markup language (SBML) and vertically integrated. Ontologies will be used as the default knowledge-representation system. The KB will include multi-level data from experimental studies (BioBridge), data from a multicentre longitudinal study on COPD phenotyping (PAC-COPD) and public datasets.The IE will enable to explore associations over the KB, perform transversal multi-scale model integration and related simulations including interactions among O2-availability/O2-utilization, ROS generation, systemic inflammation and abnormal tissue remodelling.The Web-based GVE will facilitate relevant simulations in a more intuitive way with respect to the state of the art, addressing two main user profiles: bio-researchers and clinicians.The focus will be on underlying mechanisms of COPD phenotypes associated with poor prognosis. Disease model validation and refinement will be done using a well-established, large dataset (ECLIPSE) together with experimental studies designed to test in silico generated hypotheses. Besides the use of the simulation environment by bio-researchers for optimal experimental design, the Synergy platform will be a relevant decision-support tool for integrated healthcare strategies aiming at modulating the evolution of COPDs.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.2.1-5 | Award Amount: 3.94M | Year: 2008
Neural circuits in the spinal cord, called central pattern generators (CPGs), can produce locomotor movements. The locomotor activity pattern is the result of the circuit design and the interplay between the firing properties of the CPG constituent neurons and their synaptic interactions. Spinal cord injury impairs the function of the locomotor circuitry and results in paralysis. An understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the assembly of the spinal locomotor circuitry, the function of its key excitatory components and the intrinsic plasticity in the healthy and injured spinal cord is a prerequisite for designing novel therapeutic methods to restore locomotor function after spinal cord lesion. The work-packages have been designed to elucidate the key molecular pathways responsible for the development and assembly of the spinal circuitry for locomotion. The intrinsic function and modulation the spinal circuitry will be examined in the healthy spinal cord by combining sophisticated molecular, anatomical, pharmacological and electrophysiological tools. The mechanisms of plasticity and reorganization of the circuitry will be examined in the injured spinal cord as will the mechanism to promote regeneration of the lesioned axons. This project will integrate knowledge on the development and normal spinal cord function together with biological interventions aiming at protecting and repairing the injured spinal cord. The gained understanding will offer molecular and cellular foundations that will be instrumental in developing strategies for restoring motor function following spinal cord injury.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.2-2 | Award Amount: 14.92M | Year: 2008
Fighting Aneurysmal Diseases (FAD) is a public health in EU, because of the ageing population. In the absence of intervention, aneurysms evolve towards rupture and death. The translational objectives of the project are to accelerate the acquisition of knowledge, and to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic tools for FAD in humans. The project innovates by integrating two different localizations differing in their initial etiologies but similar in their evolution. FAD will be built by pooling existing and new clinical & biological databases in EU. Tissue and cell banks will be constituted. The deliverables will be the standardization of clinical and biological procedures and the recording of all the material available in the consortium. These databases will provide a basis for genetic studies. Pathophysiology of aneurysms will be explored through human tissue and experimental models in transgenic animals, focusing on the role of proteases and their source within diseased tissues. Human databases, genetic & pathophysiological concepts will provide basis for the development of new diagnostic tools: genetic screening, identification of new surrogate markers, validation of candidate markers and discovery of new ones by proteomic approaches; and functional imaging, visualizing in situ various biological activities. These new molecules/cells of interest will be targeted in preclinical therapeutic approaches, using animal models, and by developing clinical trials. The objective of FAD will be achieved through the organization of a consortium, grouping 15 partners, integrating numerous medical and scientific disciplines. The consortium includes academic partners from 10 different EU countries, a Turkish research team, and 3 industrial partners. The acquired scientific and technological knowledges will be disseminated through training sessions, participation in European meetings, communication toward industry, and direct relationships with patient associations.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.2-3 | Award Amount: 16.09M | Year: 2008
EuroSyStem brings together elite European research teams to create a unique and world-leading programme in fundamental stem cell biology. By interconnecting complementary biological and computational expertise we will drive the generation of new knowledge on the characteristics of normal and abnormal stem cells. We will pave the way for application of systems methodology by measuring and modelling stem cell properties and behaviour. Information will be mined from studies in model organisms, but our primary focus is on the paradigmatic mammalian stem cells haematopoietic, epithelial, neural and embryonic. We will compare cellular hierarchy, signalling, epigenetics, dysregulation, and plasticity. Niche dependence, asymmetric division, transcriptional circuitry and the decision between self-renewal and commitment are linked in a cross-cutting work package. A multidisciplinary approach combines transgenesis, real time imaging, multi-parameter flow cytometry, transcriptomics, RNA interference, proteomics and single cell methodologies. SMEs will contribute to the development of enhanced resolution quantitative technologies. A platform work package will provide new computational tools and database resources, enabling implementation of novel analytical and modelling approaches. EuroSyStem will engage with and provide a focal point for the European stem cell research community. The targeted collaborations within the EuroSyStem research project will be augmented by federating European research excellence in different tissues and organisms. We will organise annual symposia, training workshops, summer schools, networking and research opportunities to promote a flourishing basic stem cell research community. This network will foster interaction and synergy, accelerating progress to a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of stem cell properties. In parallel EuroSyStem will develop WEB resources, educational and outreach materials for scientists and the lay community.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2010.3.2-01 | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2010
The SPECIAL project aims at delivering breakthrough technologies for the biotechnological production of cellular metabolites and extracellular biomaterials from marine sponges. These include a platform technology to produce secondary metabolites from a wide range of sponge species, a novel in vitro method for the production of biosilica and recombinant technology for the production of marine collagen. Research on cellular metabolites will be based upon our recent finding that non-growing sponges continuously release large amounts of cellular material. Production of biosilica will be realized through biosintering, a novel enzymatic process that was recently discovered in siliceous sponges. Research on sponge collagen will focus on finding the optimal conditions for expression of the related genes. Alongside this research, the project will identify and develop new products from sponges, thus fully realizing the promises of marine biotechnology. Specifically, the project will focus on potential anticancer drugs and novel biomedical/industrial applications of biosilica and collagen, hereby taking advantage of the unique physico-chemical properties of these extracellular sponge products. The consortium unites seven world-class research institutions covering a wide range of marine biotechnology-related disciplines and four knowledge-intensive SMEs that are active in the field of sponge culture, drug development and nanobiotechnology. The project is clearly reflecting the strategic objectives outlined in the position paper European Marine Strategy (2008); it will enhance marine biotechnology at a multi-disciplinary, European level and provide new opportunities for the European industry to exploit natural marine resources in a sustainable way. In particular the biotechnological potential of marine sponges, which has for a long time been considered as an eternal promise, will be realized through the SPECIAL project.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.4.5-1 | Award Amount: 8.34M | Year: 2012
Sixteen percent of adult Europeans suffer from hearing loss, great enough to adversely affect their daily life. Over the age of 80, 50% of the population is suffering from hearing loss. A large portion of this population is affected by sensoryneural hearing loss (SNHL), a consequence of a progressive degeneration of the primary auditory neurons (ANs), the afferent neurons of the cochlea. These ANs are the target cells of the neurotrophic cochlear implant a neural prosthesis that will be designed by the partners of NeuEar to provide both electric auditory cues and regenerative neurotrophic factor(s) to severe-profoundly deaf patients. The ongoing degeneration of ANs that occurs over time is a limiting factor in current cochlear implant efficacy. The exogenous application of neurotrophic factors can prevent these degenerative changes. This project aims to develop an encapsulated cell (EC) therapy device capable of long-term intracochlear neurotrophin production in combination with a cochlear electrode implant. The aim is also to develop a versatile encapsulated cell implant that could be used to deliver regenerative factors to the cochlea even without the electrode part in future applications. The project brings together an SME capable of making clinically and regulatory compliant EC therapy devices with an industrial partner already on the market with a successful cochlear implant. These companies will work closely with two academic partners with expertise and resources to select, evaluate, and validate the neurotrophic cochlear implant. It is the intention of this consortium to make a clinically relevant implant with an associated preclinical package for regulatory submission over the next three years. Another SME will implement an efficient exploitation and dissemination structure, including a patent strategy to enable partnering and fund-raising for further clinical development, regulatory approval, commercialization, and marketing.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.5-12 | Award Amount: 14.81M | Year: 2008
Objective: To delineate the biological and molecular pathways that initiate and drive chronic inflammatory disease and to transform the knowledge obtained into the development of novel anti-inflammatory interventions. Focus will be given to Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) since longitudinal data indicate that intensive treatment can prevent persistency and chronicity. State of the Art and beyond: The first generation of targeted therapies in chronic inflammatory disease used RA as prototype disease for clinical development. These therapies are now also used in other inflammatory disorders. Although treatments have been developed that are effective in a proportion of patients, they are aspecific, relatively toxic and do not mediate cure. Currently, it is unknown which molecular effects need to be induced and/or targeted to prevent induction or persistency of RA. However, this is within reach through a strong international consortium of world-leading European groups that cover both basic- and translational research. Work plan: The general strategy for the project is to enable parallel studies that are focussed on critical switch moments in the biological processes that drive chronicity of inflammation. As the consortium consists of a multidisciplinary team with basic- and clinical expertise, translational research will be conducted to delineate the molecular basis of dysregulated inflammation, the RA-specific autoimmune-response and organ specific pathobiology. The final aim is to develop novel- and specific anti-inflammatory therapies. Impact of the project: This project will (i) identify the molecular networks underlying chronic inflammation and thereby (ii) will define novel targets for drug-development as well as (iii) algorithms that will predict outcome of therapy. Moreover, within this project European SMEs will evaluate new interventions (iv) and this project will (v) offer a platform to rapidly develop ideas and patents into new therapies.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-01-2014 | Award Amount: 6.14M | Year: 2015
The objective of the ATHLOS Project is to achieve a better understanding of ageing by identifying patterns of healthy ageing pathways or trajectories, the determinants of those patterns, the critical points in time when changes in trajectories are produced, and to propose timely clinical and public health interventions to optimise healthy ageing. Moreover, a new definition of old age based on many characteristics rather than just the classical chronological definition of age will be used for calculating projections in each specific population and guide policy recommendations. To do so, the Consortium will create a harmonised dataset with over 341,000 individuals collated from existing longitudinal studies of ageing and including information on physical and mental health, biomarkers, life style habits, social environment and participation, among others. A single metric of healthy ageing using Item Response Theory (IRT) methods with individual items from the surveys will be used. Diverse statistical methods will be employed to define the trajectories (Generalised Estimating Equations, Structural Equation Modelling, Growth Curve Mixture Modelling, the TRAJ method and classification algorithms). Age Period Cohort will be used in the analysis to understand age cohort effects. Specific interventions both at the clinical and population level will be designed based on projects results and will be disseminated. Additionally, the impact of those interventions on healthy ageing will be assessed with the micro-simulation method. Stakeholders will participate in the definition of outcomes, the creation of interventions and dissemination of results. ATHLOS will make available to scientists and stakeholders its resources by providing access to the methodology of harmonisation and to the mega-data set of ageing cohorts. To maximise the policy impact, target audiences will be indentified and specific materials disseminated.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.4-1 | Award Amount: 7.86M | Year: 2008
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in European countries, and one of the most imminent health problems in the developed world. Innovative, so-called targeted therapies are urgently needed that aim specifically at cancer cells or to cells of the stroma that support tumor growth. The ultimate goal of a targeted therapy is to increase anti-tumor efficacy with lowest possible side effects. Rapid and efficient translation of basic scientific advances into reagents, and targeted molecular leads for preclinical and clinical research and development based on scientific rationales and state-of-the-art technologies, optimally requires an interdisciplinary, collaborative, team-oriented approach. EUCAAD represents a virtual research institute in Europe and consists of 9 research participants including 4 SMEs devoted to the discovery and evaluation of new antibodies for therapy of human cancers. The consortium consists of researchers from SMEs and scientific and clinical centres that have gained international acclaim in this area of research, many of who have worked together in previous EU funded applications e.g. ANGIOSTOP, EUCAPS, ESTDAB and ENACT. Within the consortium there is unique expertise regarding target discovery, target validation, antibody production and initiation of clinical trials. As part of its efforts to translate laboratory research into viable cancer therapies the individual partners has accumulated an extensive portfolio of intellectual property providing a competitive edge to this application. The focus of the grant is the development and evaluation of antibodies against new target structures on tumour cells and blood vessels supplying tumours which are responsible for tumour angiogenesis, progression and metastasis. Collectively, the activities of this consortium can improve the cancer treatment standards in Europe and provide economic benefit to European biotechnology and pharmaceutical research by providing novel immunopharmaceuticals.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.2-4 | Award Amount: 3.93M | Year: 2008
Malaria in pregnancy has been recently prioritised by the EC 7th Framework Program. In response, we propose to carry out a cohort observational study in pregnant women in 5 P. vivax endemic countries, broadly representing most of the worlds infections. The Indian and Papua New Guinean endemic sites are included because of their important contribution to the global burden of vivax malaria; PNG has a high prevalence of asymptomatic P. vivax infections resembling P. falciparum infection in sub-Saharan Africa, and India contributes to nearly 80% of malaria cases in Southeast Asia. In Latin America, 3 countries are selected, Guatemala, Colombia and Brazil. In Guatemala P vivax is responsible for almost all malaria cases, in Colombia and Brazil it co-exists in different proportions with falciparum. Pregnant women will be enrolled at each site during routine antenatal care visits (ANC) and followed-up at the health facility until delivery or end of pregnancy. P. vivax malaria parasitaemia will be assessed at enrolment, at every contact with the health facility and at delivery. In a sub-sample of women, peripheral blood will be taken for immunological/molecular studies, and placental samples will be collected. To assess with precision the prevalence of infection (estimated to be around 4% on average) and to obtain sufficient number of pregnant women with P vivax infection to determine the impact on birthweight, 2000 pregnant women per site will be enrolled. Due to the likely low prevalence of infection in pregnancy, the number of pregnant women with P. vivax per site will probably not be enough to assess specific impact for each site, thus a multicentric study design will be used. Immunological analysis will be performed to unveil whether there are pregnancy-specific immune responses. Phenotypic and genotypic analyses of parasites from the placenta should reveal their adhesive properties and whether the accumulation of infected erythrocytes unique parasite population.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 4.23M | Year: 2013
LAPASO will provide a unique training opportunity for 15 fellows in a highly interdisciplinary and intersectorial environment with the overarching scientific objective of advancing diagnostics in a wide range of critical medical conditions using advanced microfluidics and nanobiotechnology integration. Microfluidic particle fractionation based on the inherent properties of e.g. cells, microorganisms, organelles offers significant improvements over conventional techniques in terms of ease of handling and usage, speed and reductions in cost. We will consolidate the field at the European level and create a unique comprehensive training program that rests on solid experimental and theoretical foundations. Three leading experimental groups will provide the technological development of microfluidic label-free sorting based on dielectrophoresis, deterministic lateral displacement and acoustophoresis with strong support from leading theorists. The technology will be used to address key medical questions defined by our biomedical collaborators and partners in parasitology, bacteriology and oncology. Three companies are engaged to provide an industrial perspective on our work, specifically from a technological point of view with respect to treatment of infectious disease, advanced fluidics handling and DNA analysis and mass production of devices. To ensure an efficient transfer of knowledge across disciplines and across sectors the work will take place in close collaboration through frequent ESR/ER exchange between the partners. The training of a next generation of researchers will ensure the implementation and dissemination of these powerful novel key techniques to industry and end-users. Through the strong interdisciplinary and intersectorial character of the network, the ESR and ER will receive a uniquely comprehensive training above what a traditional postgraduate training would offer that in turn gives them a strong competitive advantage in both academia and industry.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2011.2.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 17.04M | Year: 2012
NEURINOX aims at elucidating the role of NADPH oxidases (NOX) in neuroinflammation and its progression to neurodegenerative diseases (ND), as well as evaluating the potential of novel ND therapeutics approaches targeting NOX activity. NOX generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and have emerged as regulators of neuroinflammation. Their role is complex: ROS generated by NOX lead to tissue damage in microglia-mediated neuroinflammation, as seen in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), while absence of ROS generation enhances the severity of autoimmune-mediated neuroinflammation, as seen for e.g. in multiple sclerosis (MS). The objective of the 5 years NEURINOX project is to understand how NOX controls neuroinflammation, identify novel molecular pathways and oxidative biomarkers involved in NOX-dependent neuroinflammation, and develop specific therapies based on NOX modulation. The scientific approach will be to: (i) identify NOX-dependent molecular mechanisms using dedicated ND animal models (ii) develop therapeutic small molecules either inhibiting or activating NOX and test their effects in animal models (iii) test the validity of identified molecular pathways in clinical studies in ALS and MS patients. NEURINOX will contribute to better understand brain dysfunction, and more particularly the link between neuroinflammation and ND and to identify new therapeutic targets for ND. A successful demonstration of the benefits of NOX modulating drugs in ALS and MS animal models, and in ALS early clinical trials will validate a novel high potential therapeutics target for ALS and also many types of ND. NEURINOX has hence a strong potential for more efficient ND healthcare for patients and thus for reducing ND healthcare costs. This multi-disciplinary consortium includes leading scientists in NOX research, ROS biology, drug development SMEs, experts in the neuroinflammatory aspects of ND, genomics and proteomics, and clinicians able to translate the basic science to the patient.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.1.3-3 | Award Amount: 8.14M | Year: 2013
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is still a leading cause of death in the European Union (EU) accounting for nearly half of all deaths in Europe (48%). In addition, CVD complications lead to a vast number of hospitalizations and thus to a great burden of health care costs in the EU. Atherosclerosis and its final complication, plaque rupture and subsequent infarct in heart or brain, is the main underlying pathology of CVD and atherosclerosis is responsible for 70% of all cases of CVD. Extensive studies into the pathology of atherosclerosis show that its etiology is found in a combination of dyslipidemia and a related inflammatory response with an established autoimmune component, while the major cause of acute CVD events, plaque rupture, due to an inflammatory destabilization of the atherosclerotic lesion. CVD is therefore an autoimmune-like disease in the context of a metabolic disease. Thus far, therapeutic approaches in CVD have been focused at normalizing dyslipidemia in order to lower plasma cholesterol. Statins and additional surgical approaches such as angioplasty have achieved a 30% risk reduction for CVD during the last 10-15 years. However, additional approaches to improve the treatment of dyslipidemia by for instance improving the level of the anti-atherogenic lipoprotein HDL have failed in a number of clinical trials. This implicates that new therapeutic approaches are urgently needed to narrow down the remaining 70% risk for CVD. We aim to develop a new immunomodulatory treatment, a therapeutic vaccine that permanently restores the immune balance within the arterial wall by inhibiting the inflammatory responses during atherosclerosis. The VIA consortium aims to develop a vaccine, dissect the immune pathways underlying the beneficial effect of the vaccine, optimize the vaccine, test its safety and perform a phase I clinical trial using the atheroprotective vaccine. The vaccine is foreseen to result in a substantial lowering of the risk for CVD.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.2-6 | Award Amount: 3.77M | Year: 2008
Inherited Neuromuscular Diseases (NMD) form a large group of diseases including Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophies (LGMD), Congenital Muscular Dystrophies (CMD), Duchenne and Becker Muscular Dystrophies (DMD/BMD), or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). Within a given disease group genetic and clinical heterogeneity is the hallmark. The precise diagnostic of neuromuscular diseases thus requires extensive clinical examination and targeted complementary tests. Additionally, since many of the disease causing mutations are known, molecular and genetic tests are performed to confirm and precise the diagnostic. According to presently available technologies, this is highly complex and time consuming. Thus, many patients remain devoid of genetic confirmation of their disease. More importantly, new cutting edge therapies cannot and will not be possibly envisaged in absence of a precise genetic diagnosis. New molecular diagnosis tools, enabling quick, reliable and cost-effective sequencing of numerous NMD genes are thus required. The development of such tools would allow performing the genetic diagnostic of NMDs patients. DNA chips have the potential to address this issue, in a time and cost effective way. The goal of this project is to i) design and validate a DNA Chip for sequencing genes responsible for LGMDs, CMDs, DMD/BMD, and CMTs, and ii) use the DNA Chip technology to identify new genes/mutations involved in these inherited NMD and increase the molecular diagnosis/patients ratio. This approach will be based on a gene candidate approach. NMD-Chip will thus lead to the development of a novel sensitive and reliable (98%) diagnostic tool, with time and cost effectiveness dedicated to neuromuscular disorders. In total, NMD-Chip, based on human genome knowledge and an advanced read out technology, will give patients an easy access to molecular diagnosis and will thus allow them to benefit from cutting edge therapies which are currently developed.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.1.4-2 | Award Amount: 7.65M | Year: 2012
Regenerative medicine focuses on repairing or replacing tissue or organ function lost due to damage or congenital defects using appropriate cells for therapy that have healing capacities like stem cells or progenitor cells. Although regenerative medicine has the potential for more effective therapeutic interventions major improvement in three areas are still needed for a wider establishment of such new concepts in clinical practise: identification of the appropriate cells with healing capacity for the use in therapy, homing of these cells to the damaged tissue, and monitoring of the therapeutic intervention and effect. Thus, a multidisciplinary consortium has set up IDEA, a 60 month collaborative project to develop and establish: Photonic methods that allow a contact and marker-free identification and selection of cells with healing capacity for vascular, musculoskeletal and neuronal tissue defects; Magnetic cell select devices that capture and transport cells with healing potential through the circulatory system to damaged tissue and organs improving homing; Tracer and imaging technologies to monitor the therapeutic effects of interventional regenerative medicine by showing anatomic structure AND demonstrating cellular function using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a new imaging technology known as magnetic particle imaging (MPI). The IDEA project is intended to provide collaboration between scientists and clinicians from Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden), Kings College (London, UK), Paracelsus Medical University (Salzburg, Austria) and Julius-Maximilians-University (Wrzburg, Germany) together with experts from SMEs specialized in photonic technologies for tissue engineering, medical device manufacturing with extensive experience in regulatory approval, the design, synthesis and up-scaling of nanoparticles for molecular imaging, and regulatory affairs. This multidisciplinary consortium will address scale-up, regulatory work and exploratory clinical investigations using the developed tools, technologies and devices in the time frame of the project.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-01-2014 | Award Amount: 6.22M | Year: 2015
A large body of evidence supports associations between exposure to anthropogenic chemicals and endocrine disruptive effects, leading to disorders in humans and wildlife. Based on the scientific documentation it is beyond doubt that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are of concern and need to be handled according to the risks they pose, as single chemicals or as mixtures. To develop chemical risk assessment to respond to these concerns, there is an urgent need to improve our understanding of the mechanisms and health effects of EDCs, in particular in mixtures. This will require selection, refinement and development of tools for assessment of EDC mixtures to bring current risk assessment procedures to a level where they can support risk management. This project is designed to promote the use of safe chemicals for the next generation. EDC-MixRisk aims to meet the societal need for improved decision-making regarding human exposure risks to mixtures of EDCs. EDC-MixRisk will determine risks for multiple adverse health outcomes based on molecular mechanisms involved after early life exposure to EDC mixtures. The task is approached through interdisciplinary cooperation between experts in epidemiology, experimental toxicology and molecular biology, and risk assessment. The value of this combined research effort is: i) Identification of EDC mixtures that are associated with multiple adverse health outcomes in three health domains (growth and metabolism, neurodevelopment and sexual development) in epidemiology; ii) Identification of molecular mechanisms and pathways underlying the associations between exposure and adverse health outcomes by the use and development of state-of-the-art experimental models and iii) Development of a transparent and systematic framework in risk assessment for integrating epidemiological and experimental research to facilitate the assessment of risk and societal impact, thus promoting better risk management for EDCs and their mixtures.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.2-2 | Award Amount: 8.19M | Year: 2011
Current interventional treatment of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) focused on re-establishing cardiac reperfusion has significantly improved clinical outcome by reducing infarct size and mortality due to cardiac ischemia.It is now recognized that events triggered at reperfusion also result in cell death and may account for as much as 50% of the infarct volume, this being termed ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). Mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening appears to be a responsible for IRI and a recent small clinical trial with cyclosporine A shows that it is a feasible target for the development of new therapies to treat it. Since total infarct size is a major determinant of a patients risk to develop heart failure, treating IRI is expected to further reduce morbidity, mortality and the need for regenerative medicine following cardiac ischemia. By harnessing a multi-disciplinary consortium of clinical and basic scientists along with four SMEs, MitoCare brings state-of-the art expertise together to 1) better understand IRI pathophysiology and factors directly or indirectly influencing patients recovery or response to treatment; 2) investigate the translational usefulness of preclinical models; and 3) compare selected treatments. These objectives will be reached through the following work plan: A) a medium-scale phase II clinical study will evaluate the efficacy of a novel complementary therapy to PCI, the new mPTP modulator TRO40303, while at the same time 1) perform extensive sampling from subjects in the study for analysis of standard and emerging biomarkers; 2) identify confounding factors influencing patients outcomes. B) Parallel investigations in preclinical in vitro and in vivo AMI models. C) Statistical analysis of data from clinical and preclinical studies, to identify better diagnostic and prognostic endpoints in man and assess predictive utility of preclinical models.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.4-1 | Award Amount: 3.92M | Year: 2008
Haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a rare and life-threatening inherited immune disorder of early childhood characterised by an uncontrolled immune response. Three disease causing genes have been identified in about half of the patients. Diagnosis is difficult, pathophysiology poorly understood, and treatment unsatisfactory with about 40% of the children dying from treatment failure or toxicity. All European scientists active in research and treatment of HLH have joined in a consortium to enforce collaboration, combine the various expertises, and provide access to material and data. In vitro studies and several murine models for HLH and diseases predisposing to HLH, will be used to get more insight into the pathophysiology of the diverse genetic defects. Studies will address the role of triggers and antigen-presenting cells, the influence of cytokines in the initiation and propagation of the uncontrolled immune response, the interaction of immune effector cells and soluble factors, and the mechanism of cytotoxicity in lymphocytes and natural killer cells. Data about geno-phenotype will be combined to evaluate how known and unknown genetic defects reflect on the clinical course and immunophenotype of the patients. A diagnostic algorithm, incorporating knowledge from the known defects, will be developed and optimised in all countries to facilitate earlier and reliable diagnosis, and to separate patients with unknown defects or acquired HLH. The identification of risk factors for treatment failure and toxicity will be used to design improved treatment strategies. An experimental treatment will be tested in a murine model and will be the basis for a less toxic treatment in the future. Earlier diagnosis, better insight into the pathophysiology, and development of less toxic treatments are the steps towards a higher cure rate in HLH. In a rare disease as HLH, only combined efforts on an European-wide level will be able to achieve these goals.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-09-2015 | Award Amount: 24.09M | Year: 2015
HIV-1 is responsible for a global pandemic of 35 million people, and continues to spread at a rate of >2 million new infections/year. It is widely acknowledged that a protective vaccine would be the most effective means to reduce HIV-1 spread and ultimately eliminate the pandemic, while a therapeutic vaccine may help mitigate the clinical course of disease and lead to strategies of viral eradication. However despite 30 years of research, we do not have a vaccine capable of protecting from HIV-1 infection or impacting on disease progression. This in part represents the challenge of identifying immunogens and vaccine modalities with reduced risk of failure in late stage development. To overcome this bottleneck some of the most competitive research groups in vaccine discovery from European public institutions and biotechs from 9 EU countries together with top Australian and Canadian groups and US collaborators, have agreed to join forces in EAVI, providing a pool of international expertise at the highest level. EAVI2020 will provide a platform for the discovery and selection of several new, diverse and novel preventive and/or therapeutic vaccine candidates for HIV/AIDS. Emphasis will be placed on early rapid, iterative, small Experimental medicine (EM) human vaccine studies to select and refine the best immunogens, adjuvants, vectors, homologous and heterologous primeboost schedules, and determine the impact of host factors such as gender and genetics. Animal models will be used to complement human studies, and to select novel immunization technologies to be advanced to the clinic. To shift the risk curve in product development we will develop innovative risk prediction methods, specifically designed to reduce the risk associated with late stage preventive or therapeutic vaccine failure, increasing the chance of discovery of an effective vaccine.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 3.32M | Year: 2009
Brain disorders, in particular neurodegenerative diseases and mental illnesses are among the most prevalent and debilitating diseases. Because they are chronic, quality of life and socio-economic prospects are dramatically impaired. Increased life expectancy further enhances the impact of brain dysfunction on society. In coming decades this burden will grow into one of most pressing and costly problems of the EU. Prevalent brain disorders are typically caused by the interplay of environmental factors and genetic variation in multiple genes, which is currently being mapped by large international efforts. Future brain research should aim at integrative projects as a next step to characterize complex interplay between these multiple genetic and environmental factors to reveal how this translates into disease. To succeed, a new generation of neuroscientists is needed, capable of integrating information across different levels, from genes and proteins to synapses, and from networks up to complex brain (dys)function. Eight leading EU institutes (Amsterdam, London, Paris, Heidelberg, Stockholm, Magdeburg, Leuven and Trieste) together with the Japanese RIKEN, five commercial partners and FENS have formed BrainTrain ITN. Partners were selected on their outstanding publication records and ability to integrate different disciplines. BrainTrain builds on our knowledge of genome information and exploits innovative technologies and infrastructure to integrate this to unravel the (dys)function of living neurons, networks and the whole brain. Local specialists offer network-wide training and meetings. Our existing EU funded resources (IP EUsynapse, NeuroCypres and Neuromics EST) will provide an excellent, multicultural and inspiring environment for a new generation of integrative neuroscientists. BrainTrain will deliver 15 skilled ESR prepared for future challenges in neuroscience with optimal career opportunities and the ability to contribute to the fight against brain disorders.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2007-4.0-4 | Award Amount: 14.37M | Year: 2008
The search for effective therapies and early detection strategies for Alzheimers Disease (AD), the major cause of dementia in Europe, is imperative. It is known that -amyloid (A) peptide plays a central role in neurodegeneration. In AD brain, A is released in a soluble form that progressively becomes insoluble forming aggregates; extracellular plaques mainly composed of A are a hallmark of post-mortem brains. These premises strongly suggest brain A as a possible target for therapy and diagnosis of AD. In addition, it is known that brain and blood A pools are in equilibrium via the blood-brain-barrier (BBB). Accordingly, it has been reported that removal of blood A may withdraw the excess of brain A by a sink effect. Thus, blood A is another potential target. The aim of this project is to utilize nanoparticles (NPs) specifically engineered for targeting brain A, for the combined diagnosis and therapy (theranostics) of AD. NPs (liposomes, solid lipid NPs, polymeric-NPs) will be multiple-functionalized with: i) a large arsenal of molecules (specific lipids, antiamyloidogenic drugs, polyphenols, heteroaromatic compounds, unnatural peptides and peptidomimetics, antibodies) interacting with A in all aggregation forms, ii) PET or MRI contrast agents detecting such interaction, iii) molecules stimulating BBB crossing via the transcytotic route. Several artificial and cellular models will be used to fine-tune such features and to improve NPs biocompatibility, non-immunogenicity, non-toxicity and physical stability. Eventually, absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion will be studied using animal models of AD. Different routes (i.v., oral, nasal) and protocols (two-step, NPs cocktails, aerosols) of administration will be utilized to boost NPs brain delivery. The prediction is that NPs will detect, disaggregate and remove A brain deposits. In any case, NPs will interact with blood A, withdrawing the excess of brain peptide by a sink effect.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.95M | Year: 2015
The recent explosion of next generation sequencing (NGS) data has caught Europe unprepared and led to a critical shortage of computational biology expertise. As NGS methods are expected to become pervasive from basic science to personalised medicine there is an urgent need for highly skilled young scientists trained in both computational biology and experimental wet lab biology. Our network addresses this important problem of the postgenomic era. We aim to provide multi-disciplinary skills for a solid foundation in computational biology and developmental genomics. Developmental genomics is central to understanding of ontogeny and many genetic and congenital anomalies, but was outside the scope of the landmark ENCODE and FANTOM projects. ENCODE highlighted the need for an in vivo vertebrate model that enables high throughput in vivo functional testing of hypotheses generated from genome scale annotation. Zebrafish is an ideal model for extending the scope of genomics to vertebrate development. We aim to comprehensively annotate functional elements, decipher genomic codes of transcription, as well as coding and non-coding gene function during development and enhance zebrafish as an attractive developmental, comparative and disease model. The participants include 7 non-academic members (2 of which are beneficiaries), major zebrafish genomics laboratories, eminent computational biologists and world class genomics technology experts active in FANTOM and ENCODE. The training program involves 15 ESRs, more than 40 intersectoral and interdisciplinary secondments totalling 19 months, 7 training courses and 2 workshops/conferences. The main outcome of this programme is a cohort of researchers with computational, experimental laboratory and transferable skills ready to further their career in academia, public health and the private sector.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.99M | Year: 2016
Breast and ovarian cancer constitute serious health challenges in the EU. To identify new improved cancer therapeutic approaches, we will pursue a multi-facetted synthetic lethal approach, which takes advantage of the inherent genetic instability of cancer cells. Most mutations acquired by cancer cells do not cause lethality, but the very same mutations may cause cell death when a second gene in a redundant pathway is inactivated. Thus, targeting a gene that is synthetic lethal together with a cancer-specific mutation will kill only cancer cells while sparing normal cells. Synthetic lethal approaches have been clinically pioneered by members of our consortium, by combining cancer-promoting mutations (e.g. in BRCA2) with inactivating combinations of DNA repair genes. We will use this approach as the scientific frame for our ETN (SYNTRAIN) consisting of 9 academic and 1 SME beneficiary as well as 3 partners. We aim to identify synthetic lethal interactions and exploit them to innovate future breast and ovarian cancer treatments through compound screening and development. SYNTRAIN consists of World leading researchers with complementary knowledge in genome maintenance and stress response pathways, and a critical mass of expertise for providing an excellent training in screening methodologies, mechanistic investigations, and drug discovery. We will offer a structured training program that exceeds the capacities of each individual member. We will educate a future generation of cancer researchers with a high innovative capacity and skills that enhances their career prospects in both academia and industry. Our aims are to train young researchers: i) in techniques preparing for a career in cancer research, ii) in complementary skills relevant for work in academia and the pharma industry and iii) to become creative and entrepreneurial, capable of bridging the gap between basic and applied research.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2010.4-01 | Award Amount: 1.12M | Year: 2011
The proposed project ECNIS2 aims at continuing the integrative and coordinative works initiated during ECNIS network with an ultimate goal of transforming network into a virtual centre, the European Centre for Research and Education on Cancer, Environment and Food (ECRECEF). ECNIS has already laid foundations for the development of the centre by bringing together researchers from different disciplines (epidemiology, chemical analysis, genetics, molecular biology, nutrition, exposure assessment, risk assessment, harmonisation and standardisation of methodologies and analytical techniques). The initiatives undertaken within ECNIS will be continued during ECNIS2 and will focus on the main pillars, so called ECNIS added values including: Molecular Epidemiology and Cancer (MEC) database, Core facilities for: standardized chemicals, antibodies and analytical methodology, European Standards Committee on Urinary DNA Lesion Analysis (ESCULA), and European Comet Assay Validation Group (ECVAG), ECNIS Repository, and Training and educational program. The works of as many as 21 ECNIS2 partner institutions from 13 countries (incl. 4 SMEs) will be organized within the framework of nine workpackages, five Infrastructural (WP1-ECNIS Centre establishment; WP2-Validation and Standardization; WP3 MEC database; WP4 Spreading of Knowledge; WP5- Education and training), three Thematic (WP6 - Biomarkers use for cancer prevention; WP7 - Dietary exposure and cancer risk as modified by genetic polymorphisms; WP8- Ethics, Communication and Gender) and Managerial WP9. Research coordination, education and dissemination will be key outputs, together with the formulation of strategy for transformation of ECNIS into the Centre (ECRECEF). ECNIS2 will facilitate the transformation of a dynamic European consortium into a durable structure of the co-ordinating centre.
News Article | November 22, 2016
Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a serious brain disorder and one of the primary complications in acute and chronic liver disease. The condition is caused by the inability of the damaged liver to remove toxins from the blood, leading to hyperammonemia and neuroinflammation. Main symptoms arise in the brain as impaired brain cell function gives the characteristic clinical manifestations of the disease. The most frequent form is associated with liver cirrhosis and leads to progressive impairments in sleep, personality, cognitive and motor function and subsequently may lead to coma and death. There are currently no treatments available that directly target these neurological symptoms, which have serious detrimental effects on the quality of life of both patients and relatives. Umecrine Cognition’s lead candidate GR3027 is a novel GABAA receptor modulating steroid antagonist (GAMSA) that acts on the neurosteroid enhancement of GABAA receptor activation. GABAA receptor activation is a key driver for the neurological symptoms associated with HE and GR3027 was previously shown to reverse the neurological symptoms associated with HE in two accepted disease models. The company recently announced positive top-line Phase I data which demonstrates lead candidate GR3027 reverses neurosteroid-induced, GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition of brain function in a human challenge study. Magnus Doverskog, CEO of Umecrine Cognition, said: “This financing represents a significant confirmation of progress and of our efforts to advance GR3027 to patients with liver cirrhosis and HE. Collectively, our previous findings indicate that GR3027 shows promise as novel treatment for HE, a medical condition with high unmet need. I am very pleased by the continued support from our current investors Karolinska Development, Fort Knox Förvaring AB, Partnerinvest Övre Norrland AB and Norrlandsfonden.” Viktor Drvota, Chief Investment Officer at Karolinska Development, comments: “We are encouraged with the progress Umecrine Cognition has made with GR3027 in HE. This financing achieves a key objective for Karolinska Development to ensure its companies have sufficient funding to reach these development milestones.” As a result of the new financing, Karolinska Development has increased its direct holding in Umecrine Cognition from 59.2% to 66.8% (fully diluted). The financing has no impact on Karolinska Development’s Fair value. For further information, please contact: Umecrine Cognition, a Karolinska Development (Nasdaq Stockholm: KDEV) portfolio company, is developing a potential therapy that represents a new target class relevant for several major CNS-related disorders. The primary focus is to develop a treatment for life-threatening overt Hepatic Encephalopathy and long-term treatment in minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy in patients with liver disease, a growing area with high unmet medical need. The current lack of therapeutics that directly addresses the neurocognitive signs and symptoms of Hepatic Encephalopathy makes a novel treatment likely to become a major contribution for the treatment of this disorder. For more information, please visit www.umecrinecognition.com Karolinska Development AB (Nasdaq Stockholm: KDEV) is a Nordic life sciences investment company. The company focuses on identifying medical innovation and investing in the creation and growth of companies developing these assets into differentiated products that will make a difference to patients’ lives and provide an attractive return on investment to its shareholders. Karolinska Development has access to world-class medical innovations at leading universities and research institutes in the Nordic region, including the Karolinska Institutet. The Company aims to build companies around innovative products and technologies, supported by experienced management teams and advisers, and co-funded by specialist international life science investors, to provide the greatest chance of success. Karolinska Development’s portfolio comprises 10 companies focusing on the development of innovative treatment for life-threatening or serious debilitating diseases. The Company is led by a team of investment professionals with strong investment backgrounds, experienced company builders and entrepreneurs, with access to a strong global network. For more information, please visit www.karolinskadevelopment.com
News Article | November 3, 2016
STOCKHOLM and UMEA, Sweden, Nov. 03, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Karolinska Development's portfolio company Umecrine Cognition AB, today announces positive top-line results from its Phase 1 first in human clinical trial with GR3027, a novel orally active GABAA receptor modulating steroid antagonist, in development for treatment of hepatic encephalopathy (HE) in patients with liver cirrhosis. The study demonstrated that GR3027 was safe and well tolerated, and also showed CNS target engagement. “We are very encouraged by the pharmacodynamic effect of GR3027 in our Phase 1 trials, along with its favorable safety and tolerability profile,” said Magnus Doverskog, CEO of Umecrine Cognition. “These findings show that oral GR3027 reaches the brain target with an expected mechanism of action and combined with our previous pre-clinical results  support our belief that GR3027 could be an attractive new therapy for patients with liver cirrhosis and hepatic encephalopathy.” Victor Drvota, Chief Investment Officer at Karolinska Development, said: “Umecrine Cognition’s strong early clinical results, together with its recent financing round, has placed the company in an excellent position to advance GR3027 into the next clinical studies needed to establish clinical proof of concept, a value inflection point.” Umecrine Cognition’s lead candidate GR3027 is designed to reduce GABAA receptor mediated inhibition of brain function by antagonizing endogenous inhibitory neurosteroids such as allopregnanolone. Enhanced GABAA receptor mediated signaling is a key driver for the neurological symptoms associated with HE. In the current trial, GR3027 was found to be well tolerated with no serious adverse events reported and with dose proportional pharmacokinetics. Assessment of Saccadic Eye Velocity and self-rated sedation after a challenge with allopregnanolone showed evidence that orally administered GR3027 antagonizes neurosteroid modulation of GABAA receptor function. The primary objectives of the study were to evaluate the safety and tolerability of GR3027 after single dose administration in healthy volunteers and to identify the Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD) or the Study Maximal Dose (SMD), if the MTD was not reached. The secondary objectives were to determine the single oral dose PK characteristics of GR3027 in healthy volunteers and to evaluate the capacity of GR3027 to antagonize allopregnanolone-induced activation of GABAA as determined by its pharmacodynamic effects on Saccadic Eye Velocity (SEV) and self-rated sedation. In the first part, 48 subjects were randomized to receive either GR3027 or placebo (6:2) at doses ranging from 1 mg to 200 mg. None of the pre-specified dose escalation stopping criteria were obtained and GR3027 was found to be well tolerated throughout the dose range up to the SMD of 200 mg. The pharmacokinetic profile obtained displayed dose linearity over the dose range applied. In the second part of the study, 18 subjects were randomized in a three-part cross-over design to receive either GR3027 at 3 mg (low dose) or 30 mg (high dose), or placebo. As expected, allopregnanolone administration decreased SEV in the placebo group. Prespecified statistical analysis of the difference between treatment groups with GR3027 and placebo showed a significant improvement with GR3027 in the high dose group (p=0.03; Wilcoxons Signed Rank Test). The results also provide evidence that the impaired self-rated sedation produced by allopregnanolone was also improved by GR3027. The company plans to announce further details and data of the trial at the 9th International Meeting – Steroids and Nervous System in Torino, Italy (February 11-15, 2017). For further information, please contact: Umecrine Cognition, a Karolinska Development (Nasdaq Stockholm:KDEV) portfolio company, is developing a potential therapy that represents a new target class relevant for several major CNS-related disorders. The primary focus is to develop a treatment for life-threatening overt Hepatic Encephalopathy and long-term treatment in minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy in patients with liver disease, a growing area with high unmet medical need. The current lack of therapeutics that directly addresses the neurocognitive signs and symptoms of Hepatic Encephalopathy makes a novel treatment likely to become a major contribution for the treatment of this disorder. For more information, please visit www.umecrinecognition.com Karolinska Development AB (Nasdaq Stockholm:KDEV) is a Nordic life sciences investment company. The company focuses on identifying medical innovation and investing in the creation and growth of companies developing these assets into differentiated products that will make a difference to patients’ lives and provide an attractive return on investment to its shareholders. Karolinska Development has access to world-class medical innovations at leading universities and research institutes in the Nordic region, including the Karolinska Institutet. The Company aims to build companies around innovative products and technologies, supported by experienced management teams and advisers, and co-funded by specialist international life science investors, to provide the greatest chance of success. Karolinska Development’s portfolio comprises 10 companies focusing on the development of innovative treatment for life-threatening or serious debilitating diseases. The Company is led by a team of investment professionals with strong investment backgrounds, experienced company builders and entrepreneurs, with access to a strong global network. For more information, please visit www.karolinskadevelopment.com This information is information that Karolinska Development AB (publ) (Nasdaq Stockholm:KDEV) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation
News Article | December 21, 2016
HONG KONG, Dec. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation ("HKSTP") and Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health ("GIBH") cohosted the second Hong Kong and Guangzhou International Conference on Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine on December 16. During this high-profile event which was attended by HKSAR Chief Executive The Hon CY Leung and a number of major government officials, the Chinese Academy of Science ("CAS"), a research and development authority in Mainland China, announced the setting up of the Guangzhou Hong Kong Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research Centre at Hong Kong Science Park ("HKSP"), under the auspices of its subsidiary GIBH. Remarking on this significant initiative, The Hon. Fanny Law, GBS, JP, Chairperson of HKSTP, said: "We see opportunities for Hong Kong to evolve into a cell therapy centre, capitalising on Hong Kong's world-class medical system, and credible clinical trial centres with data accepted by FDA, EMA as well as CFDA, which is unique to Hong Kong." "Our ambition is to grow an industry in advanced therapy medicinal products, leveraging on the complementary strengths of Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, to form a leading 'Cell Therapy Valley' where the latest technologies are being developed, tested and implemented for the benefit of ethnic Chinese patients who suffer from existing incurable diseases," Mrs Law said. Prof Bai Chunli, President of CAS, said that the proposed research centre "will create the environment for stakeholders to make connections, share information and tap into each other's academic resources for the benefits of the world", and the centre has the potential to mature into a platform that will "strengthen existing partnerships, maximise innovation capacities and reinforce strategic co-operations of the science and technology communities between China and Hong Kong". GIBH is yet another world-renowned biomedicine research authority to set up its base in HKSP, after Karolinska Institutet, which opened the Hong Kong node of its dedicated regenerative medicine facility, the Ming Wai Lau Centre for Reparative Medicine, at HKSP in October 2016. HKSP is also home to 14 other stem cell and cell therapy companies from around the world. At the conference, expert speakers shared their latest research discoveries and insights in stem cell therapy for liver fibrosis, cell therapy for diabetes, and epigenetic fingerprinting and tissue engineering that facilitate pre-clinical drug discovery for Alzheimer's disease, reaffirming stem cell therapy holds great promise in curing debilitating diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, spinal cord injury, diabetes and stroke and presenting great potentials for researchers in the field. As HKSTP is stepping up its effort to develop HKSP and Hong Kong as the ideal R&D base and hub for stem cell research and regenerative medicine, Mrs Law pointed out at the conference that a set of clear regulatory guidelines that facilitates clinical translation of advanced cell therapies while safeguarding the interests of patients is fundamental for realising this vision. World stem cell experts from the US, the UK, Mainland China, Europe and Australia attending the Stem Cell Conference joined Hong Kong colleagues in a pre-event round-table discussion to recommend the way forward for the regulatory environment in Hong Kong, referencing the regulatory structures in other countries. Group convenor Prof Marc Turner, who is the Medical Director of Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, reported at the conference that the group suggested a single stream of legislation covering supply of starting materials, manufacture, administration and follow up. "Since Hong Kong has a relatively clear space, our advice would be to join up tissue and cell legislation with cellular therapy and advanced therapy legislation all in one piece, to be consistent. That would be the most coherent way to do it, therefore in the longer term it will be the most efficient," he said. HKSTP Chief Executive Officer Mr Albert Wong said: "HKSTP has established a strong rapport with the global biomedical community. This is apparent in the sterling speaker lineup of our Stem Cell Conference. Stem cell R&D is a key pillar for supporting healthy ageing, which is one of the key priorities of HKSTP. We will redouble efforts in building the cell therapy ecosystem in Science Park and help the community excel and develop, so that we can ride on the global momentum of stem cell R&D to move forward in the advanced therapy value chain, as Hong Kong endeavours to develop an appropriate regulatory environment for this field." Comprising Science Park, InnoCentre and Industrial Estates, Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) is a statutory body dedicated to building a vibrant innovation and technology ecosystem to connect stakeholders, nurture technology talents, facilitate collaboration, and catalyse innovations to deliver social and economic benefits to Hong Kong and the region. Established in May 2001, HKSTP has been driving the development of Hong Kong into a regional hub for innovation and growth in several focused clusters including Electronics, Information & Communications Technology, Green Technology, Biomedical Technology, Materials and Precision Engineering. We enable science and technology companies to nurture ideas, innovate and grow, supported by our R&D facilities, infrastructure, and market-led laboratories and technical centres with professional support services. We also offer value added services and comprehensive incubation programmes for technology start-ups to accelerate their growth. Technology businesses benefit from our specialised services and infrastructure at Science Park for applied research and product development; enterprises can find creative design support at InnoCentre; while skill-intensive businesses are served by our three industrial estates at Tai Po, Tseung Kwan O and Yuen Long. More information about HKSTP is available at www.hkstp.org.
News Article | February 15, 2017
LA JOLLA -- (Feb. 14, 2017) Salk Professor Tony Hunter, who holds an American Cancer Society Professorship, has been awarded $500,000 as part of the $1 million Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' inaugural Sjöberg Prize for Cancer Research for "groundbreaking studies of cellular processes that have led to the development of new and effective cancer drugs." The prize ceremony, which is modeled after the Nobel Prize ceremony, will be held in Stockholm during the Academy's annual meeting on March 31, 2017, in the presence of His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen of Sweden. "Tony is an internationally recognized leader in the field of cancer research," says Salk President Elizabeth Blackburn. "He has made enormous contributions to our understanding of cancer's basic biology and his research has led to life-saving therapies. We are delighted that his pioneering accomplishments are being honored with this important new award." Hunter studied how normal cells become tumor cells, demonstrating that a special process was necessary: tyrosine phosphorylation of proteins. His discovery led to the development of a new type of cancer pharmaceutical, tyrosine kinase inhibitors. These have revolutionized the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia and also are of great benefit in several other forms of cancer. Hunter's work has led to a complete catalogue of the 90 human genes that encode tyrosine kinases, over half of which have become targets for the development of drugs to treat cancer and other human diseases. Currently, 26 tyrosine kinase inhibitors are FDA approved for human therapy, with many more in clinical trials. "It is a great honor to have been selected as an inaugural recipient of the Sjöberg Prize," says Hunter. "I have been fortunate to work in an inspiring and collaborative scientific community both at Salk and around the world, with excellent mentors, colleagues and students, all of whom contributed greatly to the breakthrough for which I am being honored." "I so clearly remember the floor meeting, some 40 years ago, where Tony first announced the phosphorylation of tyrosine by Rous sarcoma viral Src kinase," says Inder Verma, Salk professor. "It was thrilling at the time and now it is amazing to think that this finding has led to the making of drugs which are saving and extending the lives of cancer patients worldwide. That is the magic of basic science." The annual prize, which includes $100,000 as a personal award with $900,000 U.S. dollars designated as a grant for future research, is shared equally by the awardees. Hunter shares the honor with immunologist James P. Allison of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, whose work on the white blood cells known as T cells led to the development of immune checkpoint therapy drugs that promote the immune response to cancer, and are now widely used in cancer therapy. Hunter, who holds the Renato Dulbecco Chair in Salk's Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, is also the recipient of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge award in biomedicine, the Royal Medal in the Biological Sciences of the Royal Society, the Wolf Prize in Medicine and the Gairdner International Award, among other prestigious honors. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Born in 1943 in Ashford, Kent, in the United Kingdom, Hunter is also a fellow of the Royal Society of London. The Sjöberg Prize is awarded by the Sjöberg Foundation, which was established in 2016 with a donation of $2 billion Swedish krona by the late Swedish businessman Bengt Sjöberg -- one of the biggest donations in Swedish history. The annual prize totals $1 million U.S. dollars and is shared equally between the laureates, who are chosen by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The laureates will hold open lectures at the Karolinska Institutet on March 30. About the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was founded in 1739 and is an independent organization that aims to promote the sciences and strengthen their influence in society. The Academy takes special responsibility for the natural sciences and mathematics, but strives to increase the exchange between different disciplines. About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies: Every cure has a starting point. The Salk Institute embodies Jonas Salk's mission to dare to make dreams into reality. Its internationally renowned and award-winning scientists explore the very foundations of life, seeking new understandings in neuroscience, genetics, immunology, plant biology and more. The Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark: small by choice, intimate by nature and fearless in the face of any challenge. Be it cancer or Alzheimer's, aging or diabetes, Salk is where cures begin. Learn more at: salk.edu.
News Article | March 2, 2017
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden have contributed to a recent discovery that the heart is filled with the aid of hydraulic forces, the same as those involved in hydraulic brakes in cars. The findings, which are presented in the journal Scientific Reports, open avenues for completely new approaches to the treatment of heart failure. The mechanisms that cause blood to flow into the ventricles of the heart during the filling, or diastolic, phase are only partly understood. While the protein titin in the heart muscle cells is known to operate as a spring that releases elastic energy during filling, new research at Karolinska Institutet and KTH suggests that hydraulic forces are equally instrumental. Hydraulic force, which is the pressure a liquid exerts on an area, is exploited in all kinds of mechanical processes, such as car brakes and jacks. In the body, the force is affected by the blood pressure inside the heart and the size difference between the atria and ventricles. During diastole, the valve between the atrium and the ventricle opens, equalising the blood pressure in both chambers. The geometry of the heart thus determines the magnitude of the force. Hydraulic forces that help the heart's chambers to fill with blood arise as a natural consequence of the fact that the atrium is smaller than the ventricle. Using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging to measure the size of both chambers during diastole in healthy participants, the researchers found that the atrium is smaller effectively throughout the filling process. "Although this might seem simple and obvious, the impact of the hydraulic force on the heart's filling pattern has been overlooked," says Dr. Martin Ugander, a physician and associate professor who heads a research group in clinical physiology at Karolinska Institutet. "Our observation is exciting since it can lead to new types of therapies for heart failure involving trying to reduce the size of the atrium." Heart failure is a common condition in which the heart is unable to pump sufficient quantities of blood around the body. Many patients have disorders of the filling phase, often in combination with an enlarged atrium. If the atrium gets larger in proportion to the ventricle, it reduces the hydraulic force and thus the heart's ability to be filled with blood. "Much of the focus has been on the ventricular function in heart failure patients," says Dr. Elira Maksuti at KTH's Medical Imaging Unit and recent PhD from KI's and KTH's joint doctoral programme in medical technology. "We think it can be an important part of diagnosis and treatment to measure both the atrium and ventricle to find out their relative dimensions."
News Article | December 5, 2016
PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Avec un mode de vie plus sédentaire et habitudes alimentaires, l’humanité doit faire face aujourd’hui à des épidémies telles que l’obésité et le diabète de type 2. Même si la corrélation entre le poids corporel, la prise alimentaire et l’exercice physique est évidente, les mécanismes de régulation qui relient l’exercice, l’activité musculaire et la régulation hormonale et métabolique ne sont pas entièrement compris. Cette année, le colloque Médecine et Recherche de la série Endocrinologie de la Fondation IPSEN a pour objectif de donner une vue d’ensemble de ces mécanismes complexes, de présenter les différents systèmes biologiques impliqués et d'identifier de potentielles voies thérapeutiques. Cette conférence a été co-organisée par Bruce Spiegelman (Dana Faber Cancer Institute et Harvard Medical School, Boston, Etats-Unis) et la Fondation IPSEN (Paris, France), où douze experts internationaux sont invités à présenter leurs dernières découvertes. Les effets les plus évidents de l’exercice se focalisent sur les muscles squelettiques, en augmentant notamment le volume, la force et la contractilité musculaire. Toutefois, de manière plus importante, l’activité physique contribue à maintenir et à améliorer significativement la sensibilité des muscles à l’insuline et à modifier notre métabolisme en augmentant l’absorption de glucose par les muscles (Anna Krook, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Suède). Or, une diminution de la sensibilité à l’insuline est l’un des facteurs qui contribue à l’apparition d’un diabète de type 2. L’efficacité des activités physiques est modifiée par la disponibilité des nutriments : la composition du régime alimentaire et la périodicité des repas, en relation avec l’exerci