Odense, Denmark

The University of Southern Denmark, with campuses located in Funen, Southern Jutland and Zealand - is a research and educational institution with deep regional roots and an international outlook. Reaching even further south, the university offers a number of joint programmes in co-operation with the University of Flensburg and the University of Kiel. Contacts with regional industries and the international scientific community are strong. Wikipedia.

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University of Southern Denmark and University of Aarhus | Date: 2017-04-12

The present invention relates to glycosylated YghJ polypeptides from or derived from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) that are immunogenic. In particular, the present invention relates to compositions or vaccines comprising the polypeptides and their application in immunization, vaccination, treatment and diagnosis of ETEC.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-21-2016 | Award Amount: 7.07M | Year: 2017

ImpleMentAll will develop, apply, and evaluate tailored implementation strategies in the context of on-going eHealth implementation initiatives in the EU and beyond. Common mental health disorders account for an alarming proportion of the global burden of disease. Being regarded as an evidence-based psychotherapeutic eHealth intervention, Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT), has the potential to answer to this societal challenge by providing an efficacious and efficient treatment from which more people can benefit. As a result, various iCBT implementation projects are currently conducted across the world. We propose to use this natural laboratory to develop and evaluate a toolkit for tailored implementation strategies that is expected to make implementation trajectories more efficient. The objectives for ImpleMentAll are: 1) To develop a generic Integrated Theory-based Framework for Intervention Tailoring Strategies (the ItFits-toolkit) for data-driven tailored implementation of evidence-based eHealth services. 2) To demonstrate the impact of the ItFits toolkit on the implementation of eHealth for common mental disorders, in 9 European countries, 2 LMIC, and Australia. 3) To disseminate the validated toolkit in various healthcare contexts across Europe. ImpleMentAll is a true multidisciplinary international collaboration that unites key experts in clinical practice, health innovation, clinical research, and implementation science. Combined with its unique setup, ImpleMentAll will be able to test if tailoring implementation strategies lead to more efficient implementation. The resulting ItFits-toolkit will enable data driven evaluation of eHealth implementation projects in terms key performance indicators for process, effectiveness, and efficiency outcomes. Its methods, materials, and strategies will provide concrete guidance on tuning implementation interventions to local determinant of practice across a variety of health care systems.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FETPROACT-01-2016 | Award Amount: 4.24M | Year: 2017

Planning and mental simulation of actions and outcomes are a major cognitive trait of humans. We predict action consequences and perform goal-directed actions in proactive, forward-looking ways. By contrast, systems that lack predictive planning are reactive and dominated by reflex-like, cumbersome behaviors. Most currently existing brain-machine-interfaces (BMI) fall into this category. Plan4Act sets out to go beyond this by inferring actions from action-predicting neural activity of complex action sequences. Neurophysiology in non-human primates recently revealed that such encoding is far more widespread than previously thought. The goal of the Plan4Act project is to record and understand predictive neural activity and use it to proactively control devices in a smart house. The far-future vision behind this is to endow motor-impaired patients with the ability to plan a daily-life goal like making coffee and achieve it without having to invoke one by one every single individual action to reach this goal. To approach this complex problem, we record multi-unit action predicting activity in macaques (WP1), model this by adaptive neural networks (WP2), design therefrom an embedded (FPGA-based) controller (WP3), and interface it with a smart house (WP4) to control action sequences with a clear look-ahead property. The main outcome of this project is a system that integrates the above components at TRL4 for which we quantify improved reaction speed and robustness of this type of proactive BMI control. The understanding and use of predictive neural signals for machine control is novel and methods, algorithms, and hardware developed to translate predictive planning from neural activity to technology create the major general impact of this project. Potential translational and commercial interests will be assessed by our industrial partner, where specifically the embedded controller and its smart house interface are expected to create near-future commercial impact, too.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 2.43M | Year: 2017

Our society in Europe is still under prepared for the demographic changing situation of an ageing population which began several decades ago. This is visible in the age structure of the population and is reflected by the fact that the population aged 65 years and over is increasing in every European country. The growth in the elderly population may be explained by increased longevity, but at the same time, we also see an increase in debilitating conditions. However, it is also clear that the elderly are afflicted by challenging health conditions as a direct consequence of being elderly which impact their quality of life (QOL), e.g. living alone, depression, recovery from illness, immobility. This is what we would like to address. Living longer should be a privilege but there has been a collective failure to address social implications and QOL issues, where social care and the way it is funded are already in crisis. Our aim in this project is to couple the need for new societal approaches in addressing this changing demographic with improving the economy of green microenvironment sites, where health tourism and creating new jobs in this sector would in turn fund and provide benefits with respect to the well-being of the elderly. The ultimate outcome, through this pan-European academic and industrial project, will be: a) to derive cross-disciplinary and inter-sectorial knowledge of how to improve physical and mental well-being in the elderly, b) to characterise the environmental geology of Nemi and to correlate the identified features with improvements in health, well-being and recovery, c) to train a new generation of specialists in the sector of recreation and health for the tourism industry, d) the training of specialists in social and therapeutic horticulture (STH) as a way to improve physical and mental health, e) to create a model for health tourism, and f) to produce a business plan with an economic impact analysis.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-01-2016 | Award Amount: 16.02M | Year: 2017

The SYSCID consortium aims to develop a systems medicine approach for disease prediction in CID. We will focus on three major CID indications with distinct characteristics, yet a large overlap of their molecular risk map: inflammatory bowel disease, systemic lupus erythematodes and rheumatoid arthritis. We have joined 15 partners from major cohorts and initiatives in Europe (e.g.IHEC, ICGC, TwinsUK and Meta-HIT) to investigate human data sets on three major levels of resolution: whole blood signatures, signatures from purified immune cell types (with a focus on CD14 and CD4/CD8) and selected single cell level analyses. Principle data layers will comprise SNP variome, methylome, transcriptome and gut microbiome. SYSCID employs a dedicated data management infrastructure, strong algorithmic development groups (including an SME for exploitation of innovative software tools for data deconvolution) and will validate results in independent retrospective and prospective clinical cohorts. Using this setup we will focus on three fundamental aims : (i) the identification of shared and unique core disease signatures which are associated with the disease state and independent of temporal variation, (ii) the generation of predictive models of disease outcome- builds on previous work that pathways/biomarkers for disease outcome are distinct from initial disease risk and may be shared across diseases to guide therapy decisions on an individual patient basis, (iii) reprogramming disease - will identify and target temporally stable epigenetic alterations in macrophages and lymphocytes in epigenome editing approaches as biological validation and potential novel therapeutic tool. Thus, SYSCID will foster the development of solid biomarkers and models as stratification in future long-term systems medicine clinical trials but also investigate new causative therapies by editing the epigenome code in specific immune cells, e.g. to alleviate macrophage polarization defects.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.88M | Year: 2017

Improving quality of care has been given too little attention in health economic research in the past although it is the central goal of health care systems in Europe. The proposed ETN on Improving Quality of Care in Europe (IQCE) aims to address this gap and has the following aims: 1) Create new evidence and improve existing health economic research in the field of quality of care. Research gaps are addressed by empirical, theoretical and experimental approaches with a focus on innovative econometric methods using novel access to databases. 2) Establish a close link of the topical PhD projects to health policy and practice ensuring high relevance and practical applicability of results. Implementation of project results can potentially enhance performance of European health care systems. 3) Train PhD fellows to be experts in the field of quality of care and obtain excellent profiles for different career paths in health economic research or practice. 4) contribute to better coordination of currently fragmented health economic research in Europe. This will improve the competitive position of European health economic research. 5) serve as a model for joint doctorate programmes in health economics in Europe. This will drive the development of PhD programmes in health economics in Europe, which currently are scarce. To address these aims, the research programme consists of research clusters: (a) effectiveness & safety, (b) efficiency, (c) access & equitability, and (d) acceptability (WP2-5). Clusters also define secondments and joint research activities of one cluster. Across clusters, scientific training courses, soft-skill-courses and research-in-progress workshops will provide new skills and ensure interaction and exchange between PhD fellows (WP6). The strong participation of the non-academic sector in courses, workshops, acting as hosts, providing research data, or acting as practice mentors for PhD fellows will ensure transfer of research into practice (WP7).

Kouvaris C.,University of Southern Denmark
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

We impose new severe constraints on the self-interactions of fermionic asymmetric dark matter based on observations of nearby old neutron stars. Weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP) self-interactions mediated by Yukawa-type interactions can lower significantly the number of WIMPs necessary for gravitational collapse of the WIMP population accumulated in a neutron star. Even nearby neutron stars located at regions of low dark matter density can accrete a sufficient number of WIMPs that can potentially collapse, form a mini black hole, and destroy the host star. Based on this, we derive constraints on the WIMP self-interactions which in some cases are by several orders of magnitude stricter than the ones from the bullet cluster. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Thamdrup B.,University of Southern Denmark
Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics | Year: 2012

Our understanding of the players and pathways of the global nitrogen cycle has advanced substantially over recent years with discoveries of several new groups of organisms and new types of metabolism. This review focuses on recently discovered processes that add new functionality to the nitrogen cycle and on the organisms that perform these functions. The processes include denitrification and other dissimilatory nitrogen transformations in eukaryotes, anaerobic ammonium oxidation, and anaerobic methane oxidation with nitrite. Of these, anaerobic ammonium oxidation coupled to nitrite reduction by anammox bacteria has been well documented in natural environments and constitutes an important sink for fixed nitrogen. Benthic foraminifera also contribute substantially to denitrification in some sediments, in what potentially represents an ancestral eukaryotic metabolism. The ecophysiology of the novel organisms and their interactions with classical types of nitrogen metabolism are important for understanding the nitrogen cycle and its tight links to the cycling of carbon today, in the past, and in the future. © 2012 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Han Z.,University of Southern Denmark
Reports on progress in physics. Physical Society (Great Britain) | Year: 2013

Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) are electromagnetic (EM) modes propagating along metal-dielectric interfaces, in which surface collective excitations of free electrons in the metal are coupled to evanescent EM fields in the dielectric. Various SPP modes can be supported by flat and curved, single and multiple surfaces, exhibiting remarkable properties, including the possibility of concentrating EM fields beyond the diffraction limit, i.e. on the nanoscale, while enhancing local field strengths by several orders of magnitude. This unique feature of SPP modes, along with the ever-increasing demands for miniaturization of photonic components and circuits, generates an exponentially growing interest in SPP-mediated radiation guiding and SPP-based waveguide components. Here we review the current status of this rapidly developing field, starting with a brief presentation of the main planar SPP modes along with the techniques employed for their excitation and manipulation by sets of nanoparticles. We then describe in detail various SPP-based waveguide configurations that ensure two-dimensional mode confinement in the plane perpendicular to the propagation direction and compare their characteristics. Excitation of SPP waveguide modes and recent progress in the development of SPP-based waveguide components are also discussed, concluding with our outlook on challenges and possible future developments in this field.

Placenta has a wide range of functions. Some are supported by novel genes that have evolved following gene duplication events while others require acquisition of gene expression by the trophoblast. Although not expressed in the placenta, high-affinity fetal hemoglobins play a key role in placental gas exchange. They evolved following duplications within the beta-globin gene family with convergent evolution occurring in ruminants and primates. In primates there was also an interesting rearrangement of a cassette of genes in relation to an upstream locus control region. Substrate transfer from mother to fetus is maintained by expression of classic sugar and amino acid transporters at the trophoblast microvillous and basal membranes. In contrast, placental peptide hormones have arisen largely by gene duplication, yielding for example chorionic gonadotropins from the luteinizing hormone gene and placental lactogens from the growth hormone and prolactin genes. There has been a remarkable degree of convergent evolution with placental lactogens emerging separately in the ruminant, rodent, and primate lineages and chorionic gonadotropins evolving separately in equids and higher primates. Finally, coevolution in the primate lineage of killer immunoglobulin-like receptors and human leukocyte antigens can be linked to the deep invasion of the uterus by trophoblast that is a characteristic feature of human placentation. © 2012 the American Physiological Society.

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