Universitaetsklinikum Essen

Bad Essen, Germany

Universitaetsklinikum Essen

Bad Essen, Germany
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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 3.05M | Year: 2012

PEPMIP represents a joint European effort involving eleven partners aimed at the development of the next generation of dedicated separation materials, designed to recognize peptides and proteins, and the implementation of these materials in new high performance methods for peptide and protein analysis. Artificial receptors will be developed by various Molecular Imprinting techniques. This will be supplemented by a new class of generic peptide and protein fractionation tools that will be integrated in new formats to produce new protein/peptide separation and detection solutions. The research results will lead to technological advances having a major impact on 1) health care since it will profit from methods involving PEPMIPs for earlier, more reliable diagnosis of diseases, 2) drug discovery allowing a faster target or biomarker identification; and 3) biochemistry research laboratories in resulting in improved protein fractionation tools for revealing low abundant post translational modifications. The training will focus on 10 early stage researchers (ESRs) who, within four work packages, will develop a well-balanced spectrum of scientific, business and entrepreneurial skills that will be particularly attractive to European industry when the ESRs eventually leave PEPMIP.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 39.64M | Year: 2011

In response to the call for a high impact initiative on the human epigenome, the BLUEPRINT Consortium has been formed with the aim of generating at least 100 reference epigenomes and studying them to advance and exploit knowledge of the underlying biological processes and mechanisms in health and disease. BLUEPRINT will focus on distinct types of haematopoietic cells from healthy individuals and on their malignant leukaemic counterparts. Reference epigenomes will be generated by state-of-the-art technologies from highly purified cells for a comprehensive set of epigenetic marks in accordance with quality standards set by IHEC. This resource-generating activity will be conducted at dedicated centres to be complemented by confederated hypothesis-driven research into blood-based diseases, including common leukaemias and autoimmune disease (T1D), by epigenetic targets and compound identification, and by discovery and validation of epigenetic markers for diagnostic use. By focussing on 100 samples of known genetic variation BLUEPRINT will complete an epigenome-wide association study, maximizing the biomedical relevance of the reference epigenomes. Key to the success of BLUEPRINT will be the integration with other data sources (i.e. ICGC, 1000 genomes and ENCODE), comprehensive bioinformatic analysis, and user-friendly dissemination to the wider scientific community. The involvement of innovative companies will energize epigenomic research in the private sector by creating new targets for compounds and the development of smart technologies for better diagnostic tests. BLUEPRINT will outreach through a network of associated members and form critical alliances with leading networks in genomics and epigenomics within Europe and worldwide. Through its interdisciplinarity and scientific excellence combined with its strong commitment to networking, training and communication BLUEPRINT strives to become the cornerstone of the EU contribution to IHEC.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.60M | Year: 2012

The High field Magnetic Resonance (HiMR) Initial Training Network aims to train the future leaders of academic and industrial research in the fundamental science and novel applications of ultra-high field (UHF) in vivo magnetic resonance (MR), in order to address an increasing and currently unmet demand from academia and industry for such specialists. The highly complex and multi-faceted nature of UHF MR means that excellent training can only be provided by immersing ESRs in an environment that integrates different research areas, sectors and groups. The HiMR ITN is centred on a cutting edge, multidisciplinary research program that exploits the complementarities of the participants. This research programme is organised into four themes each focused on a crucial area of development of UHF. The first focuses on improved structural imaging, advancing our understanding of the origins of contrast in MRI scans and developing non-invasive biomarkers for multiple sclerosis. The second theme is centred upon exploiting UHF to develop ultra-high resolution functional MRI (fMRI) which will be very important in basic neuroscience research. It also aims to make fMRI more quantitative, thus encouraging its uptake in the clinic. The third theme aims to exploit the enhanced sensitivity of MR spectroscopy (MRS) at UHF in developing highly specific biomarkers. The final theme will develop novel hardware for both research and in the clinic, and methods of monitoring and correcting motion which limits in-vivo MR resolution. Finally the HiMR ITN will provide a unique opportunity to measure safety outcomes over a large group of workers. The proposed interdisciplinary and intersectoral training program, embedded in this research program, will provide a platform for training ESRs to become specialists in UHF MR, whilst also furnishing them with experience of a broad range of work environments, experimental techniques and theoretical knowledge relevant to the full range of in vivo MR.


Grant
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.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.1.4-1 | Award Amount: 7.85M | Year: 2013

The discrepancy between organ supply and demand remains the biggest challenge facing the transplant community today. In order to increase the amount of available donor organs, transplant specialists are increasingly turning to sub-optimal donor organs. Organs from such donors, usually have normal or near normal function before death, but retrieval, storage and transplantation cause progressive injury to the organ. Injury is predominantly caused by inadequate or absent delivery of oxygen and nutrients, either in the warm or cold preservation environment. New techniques to improve organ preservation are being developed and the COPE consortium including: Normothermic liver machine perfusion (NMP) Hypothermic kidney machine perfusion (HMP) Novel additives for preservation solutions These strategies are all directed to the vital period that starts at the time of circulatory arrest and extends to the point of transplantation. Specifically, they will tackle the following challenges: Exposure of donor organs to ischaemic injury whilst the organs remain in the donor. Progressive deterioration of the organ during conventional organ preservation. Repair of the organ during preservation using perfusate and pharmacological interventions. Identification of reliable predictors of organ viability using biological and other pre-transplant parameters. The COPE consortium is the official organ preservation task force of ESOT and consists of a number of European transplantation centers, front running transplantation research groups and a number of SMEs involved in developing perfusion fluids and technology. Together, they will be able to generate the statistical power and protocols necessary to test, validate and promote these new organ preservation techniques and increase the number of available solid donor organs.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.99M | Year: 2015

MELGEN (MELanoma GENetics) understanding and biomarking the genetic and immunological determinants of melanoma survival The MELGEN European Training Network (ETN) will create an environment for long-term, collaborative, inter-sectorial cancer genetics research with the ultimate aim of improving precision (personalised) medicine. In a 2012 report the European Science Foundation identified the importance of precision medicine and recommended that there should be 1) provision of comprehensive, accessible and interoperable datasets 2) improved models and decision-making processes, 3) interdisciplinary, public-private partnerships and translational research, and 4) dedicated funding including access to core technology and frameworks for education and training of professionals. This application addresses all four recommendations and applies them to melanoma. Considerable, but insufficient, progress has been made in understanding the genetic changes within melanomas that drive tumour progression, and how those drivers can be targeted to treat melanoma. Melanoma is also an especially immunogenic cancer and much more needs to be understood of how melanomas suppress host immunological responses. Understanding what controls immunity in melanoma will be potentially applicable to other cancers. Finally, we need prognostic and predictive biomarkers for selection of precision therapy. This ETN will recruit 15 early stage researchers (ESRs) to address these issues. It will bring together leaders in clinical research, genomics, statistics, bioinformatics, and the biotech industry to exploit the new genomic tools and tumour immunology. MELGENs commercial partners are developing immunological tests (ImmunID), bioinformatics (Eagle Genomics), commercial genomics (ServiceXS) and digital design/communications (Digitronix) and they will underpin an innovative, interdisciplinary training programme for the next generation of melanoma researchers.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.08M | Year: 2015

Approximately 45-60% of all cancer patients are treated with radiotherapy. Some of these patients have a good outcome, but in other cases their illness fails to be cured. This may result from distant metastases or from regrowth of the primary tumor. This training network is built on the premise that considerable advances in understanding radiobiology will open novel routes for effective therapeutic intervention with biological targets to improve the outcome of cancer treatment; this progress requires a European-wide effort. This network of radiobiologists, clinicians and scientists with complementary expertise will stimulate outstanding science, meeting the high demand for excellent young academics enhancing Europes competitive capability in this highly relevant but underrepresented and fragmented research area. We will strengthen collaborations and technological platforms to develop effective therapeutic strategies for cancer. The failure to eliminate the primary cancer can be placed into 2 categories: the radioresistance of the tumor and the sensitivity of surrounding normal tissue; and the effects of the tumor microenvironment leading to greater overall resistance and altering the immune response to the tumor. This will be combined with translational work designed to identify and implement new therapeutic strategies for use in radiotherapy. Students will benefit from the expertise of the whole, both academic and industrial including unique research technologies that will now be available throughout the network, including a variety of screening platforms, methodology for preclinical cancer therapy and novel radiation and imaging technologies. The European community will benefit from the pursuit of innovative hypotheses, training of new researchers, and dissemination of knowledge. By combating a major death-related disease in Europe this project will raise health and bring long-term benefit to the European and international community.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.4.1-1 | Award Amount: 7.43M | Year: 2012

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a highly aggressive, often lethal neuroendocrine cancer of the skin associated with the recently discovered, common Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV). With an incidence of 0.44 per 100,000 MCC is a very rare cancer. Notably, however, although MCC is 40 times less common than malignant melanoma, MCC has a dramatically higher mortality rate than melanoma rendering MCC to the most lethal skin cancer (37 versus 15 percent). This high mortality rate is largely due to the fact that to date none of the currently available therapeutic interventions is able to improve overall survival of patients suffering from metastatic disease. Consequently, new therapeutic strategies are needed for metastatic MCC. Since several lines of evidence indicate the outstanding immunogenicity of MCC, immune modulating treatment strategies are particularly attractive. IMMOMEC is a 5-year project to establish and investigate an innovative and effective immunotherapy for MCC, thus directly responding to the aims of the topic HEALTH-2011.2.4.1-1 Investigator-driven treatment trials for rare cancers. IMMOMEC will develop a rational immune therapeutic approach for treatment of patients with MCC that is based on the targeted delivery of interleukin-2 to the tumor microenvironment. However, IMMOMEC will not only provide a new therapeutic option for MCC patients, but will also establish the relevance of immune modulating strategies to treat solid cancers in general, establish and validate new tools to monitor patients receiving such therapies as well as compile prognostic and predictive biomarkers to individualize immune modulating therapies. Moreover, IMMOMEC will introduce a new immune modulating therapeutic produced by a European SME, which also holds the intellectual property rights. Objectives of IMMOMEC: I. Establish an effective therapy for Merkel cell carcinoma evaluated in a multicentre randomized clinical phase II trial II. Establish the feasibility of effective immunotherapy for solid cancers III. Identification and characterization of HLA-restricted immunodominant T cell epitopes specific for MCC to monitor the immune modulating effect and to develop specific therapeutics IV. Identification of prognostic and predictive biomarkers, i.e. search for markers foretelling the course of disease or treatment response in MCC, respectively V. Establish a European network for research and therapy of MCC


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IAPP | Award Amount: 1.19M | Year: 2014

Graves orbitopathy (GO), also known as thyroid eye disease, affects approximately 3 million people in Europe with an estimated socioeconomic burden of 6.4 billion euros per annum. GO is a complication of Graves disease which is an autoimmune disease and the commonest cause of an overactive thyroid gland. The treatment of GO remains unsatisfactory and the majority of patients report long-term impairment of quality of life. To improve the outcomes of people with GO and thus reduce long-term illness and cost to society, research is needed to address the identification of risk factors, develop a better understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease, devise approaches for early diagnosis during the pre-clinical stage of the disease, and create novel and safe interventions. INDIGO will refine and optimise animal and in vitro models of Graves disease and GO, which are urgently required to facilitate the study of the pathogenesis of GO. INDIGO will address the identification of risk factors for the initiation and perpetuation of autoimmunity that causes disease, using the latest generation technologies to study variations in the microbiome in Graves and GO patients and controls. The interaction of the gut derived antigens, from micro-organisms and nutrients on the autoimmune response in both the animal model by probiotic and contra-biotic intervention. State of the art technology will be used to search for biomarkers that will identify patients that will progress to GO, during the preclinical phase of the disease when intervention is most likely to be successful. The successful completion of the project will be ensured by a partnership involving 2 SMEs, 3 academic institutions and the European Group on Graves Orbitopathy, each contributing complementary expertise and technology, the project will involve 5 secondments and 3 recruitments that will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and training.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 7.93M | Year: 2013

The development of novel technologies to diagnose and clinically treat invasive Aspergillus fumigatus infections is the scope of this research consortium. A. fumigatus is a ubiquitous mould whose spores are airborne and thus frequently inhaled. Humans with impaired immunity, e.g. those with haematological malignancies or bone marrow transplant recipients, are at a dramatically increased risk of severe, invasive A. fumigatus infection known as invasive aspergillosis (IA). IA is a rare disease in Europe but causes tremendous costs to the public health sector. Currently definitive diagnosis of IA is only obtained at autopsy or relies on invasive biopsy, an extremely unpleasant procedure which is not always applicable in suffering patients. Thus, a convenient, fast and specific diagnosis of IA is not available forcing clinicians to administer antifungal drugs on spec if a standard antibiotic treatment failed to reduce fever in risk patients. It would be of high financial benefit for clinics and has the potential to increase the survival rates of immuno-compromised patients, if a definitive diagnosis of IA could be obtained early and its response to treatment be monitored. This would allow applying the correct therapy at a dose and duration exactly tailored to patient needs. Equally important is the development of new treatment options which can replace existing systemic antifungal drugs with their known severe side effects. The approach of the consortium is to develop new disease specific tracers based on monoclonal antibodies along with the combined molecular imaging technologies PET/MR and PET/CT. Newly developed tracers shall then be functionalised by a combined labelling with radio-isotopes allowing diagnostic PET imaging but also immuno-radiotherapy, thus representing truly anti-infectious theranostics. This would provide a framework for new tools in the management not only of this rare but life-threatening mycosis but principally also for other infectious hazards.

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