Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-01b-2014 | Award Amount: 10.52M | Year: 2015
SAPHIR aims to develop vaccine strategies effective against endemic pathogens responsible for high economic losses in livestock in order to strengthen the profitability of food animal systems, improve animal welfare and reduce xenobiotic usage in farming with a One Health perspective. SAPHIR will bring novel vaccine strategies to the market i) at short term, with several promising vaccines brought to demonstration (RTL6), ii) at long term, with cutting edge strategies brought at proof of concept (RTL3) and iii) in line with socio-economic requirements. SAPHIR has selected two representative pathogens of pigs (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae), chickens (Eimeria and Clostridium perfringens) and cattle (Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Mycoplasma bovis) to develop generic vaccine approaches applicable to other pathogens. SAPHIR will issue i) knowledge of immune mechanisms of protection, ii) affordable, safe and multivalent vaccines with DIVA properties, iii) efficient adjuvants targeting dendritic cells, optimal formulations, new mucosal and skin delivery systems, a new generation of DNA vectors and viral replicon platforms for fostering an earlier and longer duration of immunity including the perinatal period, and iv) basal biomarkers of individual immuno-competence for future breeding strategies. The SAPHIR dissemination and training programme includes creation of an integrated health management website, launch of a Global Alliance for Veterinary Vaccines and organization of workshops directed at food animal system stakeholders. This will ensure optimal research translation of SAPHIR outputs to market and field applications. SAPHIR brings together interdisciplinary expertise from fourteen academic institutes including a Chinese partner, five SMEs and two pharmaceutical companies.
Agency: Cordis | 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: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.88M | Year: 2016
Tendon Therapy Train is a research, training and innovation programme for human and equine tendon repair and regeneration that will exploit recent advancements in tissue engineering by self-assembly (TESA) technologies which have led to the clinical translation and commercialisation of advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs). Although TESA therapies have the potential to revolutionise healthcare for numerous clinical targets, a lack of researchers with the necessary interdisciplinary skillset to advance the field is limiting clinical translation. Tendon therapy train, a network of 8 beneficiaries and 8 partners (7 universities, 7 companies and 2 hospitals) from six countries across Europe, will train a cohort of 15 researchers to doctoral level in the interdisciplinary area of ATMPs. The innovative credentials of the research and training programme involve engineering suitable ex vivo culture environments that, by mimicking the native tendon tissue milieu (human and equine), will maintain the tenogenic phenotype of tendon derived cells and differentiate non-tendon derived cells (stem cells and dermal fibroblasts) towards the tenogenic lineage, subsequently enabling development of three-dimensional cell-assembled tissue equivalents, the clinical potential of which will be assessed in suitable preclinical models. The comprehensive Tendon Therapy Train programme will equip researchers with transferable inter- and multidisciplinary skills that will further European-based knowledge, innovation, competitiveness and leadership in the field of TESA / ATMP and ultimately enable clinical translation and commercialisation of the developed technologies.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-01b-2014 | Award Amount: 9.31M | Year: 2015
Helminth and ectoparasitic infections of ruminants and poultry have a huge impact on the biological efficiency of these vital food sources. Indiscriminate antiparasitic use has led to drug resistance across the globe. The main alternative to the dwindling supply of antiparasitics is vaccines. Here, in the PARAGONE project, findings from previous EU and other-funded projects on parasite vaccine development will be exploited to take a number of promising prototypes towards commercialisation. Partners from the Europe, China, Uruguay, SMEs and pharma, will directly move forward prototypes against the ruminant helminths Fasciola hepatica, Cooperia spp., Ostertagia ostertagi, Teladorsagia circumcincta and Haemonchus contortus and, the ectoparasitic mites, Psoroptes ovis (ruminants) and Dermanyssus gallinae (poultry). They will utilise novel adjuvants or delivery systems to maximise efficacy of some of the prototypes. Moreover, immunology studies will focus on pathogens that have previously proved problematic, often because they release immunosuppressive molecules that must be overcome for vaccines to work or because recombinant vaccines have failed to elicit protection observed with native prototypes. State-of-the-art technologies will be used to interrogate host/parasite interactions to define key signatures of protection that can be used to inform delivery systems that will enhance immunity, while other studies will define polymorphism in current vaccine candidates to ensure derived prototypes will be fit-for-purpose across geographic scales. Fundamental, is engagement of the scientists with pharma and other stakeholders (farmers, veterinarians, regulators) via many dissemination activities that will be used to obtain feedback on how the vaccines can be best deployed in the field. The output will be at least two prototypes to the point of uptake by pharma, government or philanthropic agencies, and a clear pathway to commercialisation for all prototypes studied.
GPLUSE - Genotype and Environment contributing to the sustainability of dairy cow production systems through the optimal integration of genomic selection and novel management protocols based on the development
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.1-01 | Award Amount: 11.61M | Year: 2014
The requirement for sustainable food production is a global issue to which the EU contributes as a major livestock producer. It is critical to improve animal production efficiency while sustaining environmentally friendly milk production. More profitable dairy production requires increased milk yield, cow health, longevity and fertility; reduced environmental footprint and optimised use of inputs. These are multifactorial problems to achieve. GplusE aims to identify the genotypes controlling biological variation in the important phenotypes of dairy cows, to appreciate how these are influenced by environmental and management factors and thus allow more informed and accurate use of genomic selection. GplusE will link new genomic data in dairy cows to a comprehensive array of phenotypic information going well beyond those existing traits recorded by dairy breeding organisations. It will develop systems that will focus herd and cow management on key time points in production that have a major influence on the rest of the productive cycle including efficiency, environment, physiological status, health, fertility and welfare. This will significantly advance the science, efficiency and management practices in dairy production well beyond the current state-of-the art. The major bioinformatics element of the proposal will illuminate the bovine genome and ensure a reverse flow of information to annotate human and other mammalian genomes; it will ensure training of animal scientists (PhDs & Postdocs) to a high skill level in the use of bioinformatics. The end result of this project will be a comprehensive, integrated identification of genomic-phenotypic associations relevant to dairy production. This information will be translated into benefits for animal breeding and management that will considerably improve sustainable dairy production. It will provide basic biological information into the mechanisms by which genotype, environment and their interaction influence performance.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-14-2015 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2016
The goal of BATCure is to advance the development of new therapeutic options for a group of rare lysosomal diseases - neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) or Batten disease. There are > thousand affected across Europe, with a combined incidence of c.1:100 000. The NCLs are devastating and debilitating genetic disorders that mainly affect children, who suffer progressive dementia and motor decline, visual failure and epilepsy, leading to a long period of complete dependence on others, and eventually a premature death. Existing palliative treatment can reduce, but does not eliminate, the burden of seizures and the progressively worsening effects on the whole body due to decreasing CNS influence and control. There are no curative treatments in the clinic for any type of NCL. We will follow a novel integrated strategy to identify specific gene and small molecule treatments for three genetic types of Batten disease that include the most prevalent world-wide, juvenile CLN3 disease, and in southern and mediterranean Europe, CLN6 and CLN7 diseases. To develop new therapies for these 3 types of Batten disease, BATCure will: 1. Create new models, tools and technologies for developing and testing therapies 2. Further delineate disease biology and gene function to identify new therapeutic target pathways utilising yeast and pluripotent stem cell models 3. Identify biochemical therapeutic target pathways, facilitate effective evaluation of preclinical therapies and improve diagnostics 4. Extend a comprehensive natural history beyond the brain to include cardiology, the spinal cord, PNS, psychiatric and metabolic changes 5. Identify new and repurpose existing small molecule therapy 6. Triage new compound treatments in zebrafish, a high-throughput small vertebrate model 7. Deliver and monitor new treatments using mouse models 8. Provide a novel mechanism to involve patients and their families to inform and fully contribute to therapy development and prepare for clinical trials
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.61M | Year: 2017
A well-functioning locomotor system is essential for human well-being. This is an important consideration in our aging population with the increased associated costs of ensuring high quality of life. Many people suffer from diseases of the locomotor system, such as bone defects or osteoarthritis, for which current treatments are insufficient. To develop new treatments, CarBon includes 6 academic partners, 3 companies and 3 charitable foundations, working together to train 14 young scientists. We will combine knowledge from the fields of tissue engineering, cartilage and bone developmental biology and pathobiology using skills from the disciplines of cell biology, computational modelling, biotechnology (bioreactors, biomaterials) and drug discovery. In a multifactorial approach the network of young scientists will identify the biological and physical factors that determine the fate of cartilage. Understanding and controlling the dual character of cartilage is pivotal: insufficient transition impairs bone healing, and undesired transition to bone leads to osteoarthritis. State of the art in vitro, in silico and in vivo models will be uniquely combined to elucidate how this transition is orchestrated and how it can be modulated. The main objectives of CarBon are: - To establish a network of 14 highly skilled early stage researchers (ESRs) equipped with essential knowledge, scientific expertise, transferable skills and societal awareness as a foundation for their future careers. ESRs will be trained in cutting edge technology, communication, intellectual property and valorisation. - To understand cartilage to bone transition, to identify targets to develop novel functionalised biomaterials and to discover therapeutic drugs that either prevent or stimulate cartilage to bone transitions. This will lead to new treatment options for large bone defects and osteoarthritis.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-ADG | Phase: ERC-ADG-2015 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2016
I seek to unify evolutionary and biomechanical research by achieving a functional synthesis in evolution that causally links phenotypes (anatomy) to actual performance. Did early, bipedal dinosaurs evolve advantages in their locomotor performance over other Late Triassic archosaurs (ruling reptiles)? This locomotor superiority hypothesis was first proposed to explain what made dinosaurs distinct from other Triassic taxa, perhaps aiding their survival into the Jurassic. However, the hypothesis remains untested or unfairly dismissed. I will test this question for the first time, but first I need to develop the best tools to do so. Extant archosaurs (crocodiles and birds) allow us to experimentally measure key factors (3D skeletal motions and limb forces; muscle activations) optimizing performance in walking, running, jumping, standing up, and turning. We will then use biomechanical simulations to estimate performance determinants we cannot measure; e.g. muscle forces/lengths. This will refine our simulations by testing major assumptions and validate them for studying extinct animals, overcoming the obstacle that has long limited researchers to qualitative, subjective morphological inferences of performance. Next, we will use our simulation tools to predict how ten Late Triassic archosaurs may have moved, and to compare how their performance in the five behaviours related to locomotor traits, testing if the results fit expected patterns for locomotor superiority. My proposal pushes the frontiers of experimental and computational analysis of movement by combining the best measurements of performance with the best digital tools, to predict how form and function are coordinated to optimize performance. Our rigorous, integrative analyses will revolutionize evolutionary biomechanics, enabling new inquiries into how behaviour relates to underlying traits or even palaeoecology, environments, biogeography, biotic diversity, disparity or other metrics.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-CAR | Phase: MSCA-IF-2015-EF | Award Amount: 195.45K | Year: 2016
Genetic selection for high yielding dairy cows has been associated with reduced fertility. Infertility remains the major reason for culling, decreasing longevity and reducing production efficiency. We propose that this trend could be reversed by identifying key genes involving reproductive function and selective breeding of more longlasting cows. The specific research objectives are: 1) to train the incoming researcher in bioinformatics methodologies related to analysis of large genomic datasets including SNP detection, genotyping, and evolutionary conserved DNA elements detection; 2) to use the methodologies to analyse dairy phenotypic and genomic data to highlight potential genic and regulatory regions of the cattle genome containing polymorphisms which are beneficial, with a particular focus on fertility; 3) to use appropriate tools to investigate the likely effects of both coding and regulatory variants on the expression of the candidate genes found in these regions; 4) to use pathway analysis to understand how the candidate genes may influence key molecular events and larger gene networks involved in reproductive phenotypes; 5) to recommend appropriate selection procedures to the EU dairy breeding industry to supplement current genomic methods. The project combines the expertise of Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e lanalisi dellEconomia agraria, Italy (CREA) and the Royal Veterinary College, UK (RVC) in farm animal genetics and genomics and dairy cow production. The objectives will be met by the mobility of Dr L Buggiotti to the UK, where she will work closely alongside two senior RVC scientists, Dr DM Larkin and Professor DC Wathes. She will transfer this expertise back to CREA on her return. Both groups are experienced in knowledge transfer to the dairy industry and are committed to use the information generated to breed more fertile cows, so improving longevity and promoting sustainability of the EU dairy industry.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2015-EF | Award Amount: 183.45K | Year: 2016
How tetrapods (vertebrates with digit-bearing limbs) became terrestrial is one of the most transformative yet enigmatic events in vertebrate history that set the stage for the diversification of tetrapods thereafter. Being on land imposes physical demands on the musculoskeletal system and weak bones can severely limit the capabilities of animals, yet the importance of bone strength in the evolution of terrestrial locomotion is not well understood. The proposed research integrates innovative approaches on the limbs of an early stem tetrapod, Ichthyostega, in order to: 1) quantify how well the limb bones in an early stem tetrapod could support locomotion on land, 2) compare the differences between the fore- and hindlimb bone mechanics, and 3) test the prevailing hypothesis that early stem tetrapods walked like extant salamanders. An interdisciplinary synthesis of cutting-edge techniques in engineering, 3D biomedical imaging, palaeontology, and biomechanics will be used to test the structural integrity of fossil limb bones in silico. Bone strength will be quantified with high-resolution -CT scans and finite element analysis, an engineering approach to estimate stresses and deformations in complex structures in response to physical demands. This novel dataset will address the ability of Ichthyostega to move on land, and what types of locomotor behaviours were not possible for an early stem tetrapod on land. Simultaneously, training and research activities in state-of-the-art engineering and 3D technology, evolutionary biomechanics, and public outreach will foster the development of the Experienced Researcher (ER) into an innovative and broadly trained researcher and science communicator. At a broader scale, tracing back the evolutionary steps to becoming terrestrial yields powerful insights into the tetrapod body plan, informing how ecological transitions influence functional innovation and how human anatomy is influenced by our ancestry from aquatic tetrapods.