News Article | May 11, 2017
Cold Spring Harbor, NY - Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has been awarded a research subcontract by Leidos Biomedical Research to lead a Cancer Model Development Center (CMDC) for pancreatic, breast, colorectal, lung, liver and other upper-gastrointestinal cancers. The project is 100% supported by U.S. federal funds (NCI Contract No. HHSN261201500003I, Task Order Number HHSN26100008). CSHL Cancer Center Director Dr. David Tuveson and CSHL Research Director Dr. David Spector will lead the multinational collaborative effort with Dr. Hans Clevers of the Hubrecht Institute, Dr. Aldo Scarpa and Dr. Vincenzo Corbo of the ARC-Net Centre for Applied Research on Cancer at the University of Verona, Italy, and Dr. James Crawford of Northwell Health and Dr. Peter Gregersen of Northwell's Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. The new center will generate three-dimensional organoid culture systems of cancers - next-generation models that improve upon current two-dimensional model systems used to study cancers and develop therapeutics. "CSHL is excited to lead this international team to develop more effective research models for cancer that can be shared broadly with the scientific community in order to accelerate discoveries for improved diagnosis and treatments for cancer patients," said Dr. Tuveson. Dr. Priya Sridevi from CSHL is the lead project manager for this CMDC. Under the contract, the CSHL-led CMDC will establish up to 150 organoid models in one and a half years, contributing to a larger international effort to generate 1,000 new cancer models. The Human Cancer Model Initiative (HCMI) was announced in July 2016 by the National Cancer Institute, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom (UK), Cancer Research UK, and the foundation Hubrecht Organoid Technology. As part of NCI's Precision Medicine Initiative in Oncology, this new project is timed to take advantage of the latest cell culture and genomic sequencing techniques to create models that are representative of patient tumors and annotated with genomic and clinical information. This effort is a first step toward learning how to use these tools to design individualized treatments. Dr. Tuveson, the project's principal investigator, led an effort to develop pancreas cancer organoids, establishing CSHL as an instructional site offering courses in organoid development to the professional scientific community worldwide. Organoids can be established from healthy human tissue as well as from a variety of tumor tissue types. The power of the organoid is that it faithfully recapitulates the tissue from which it is derived. It can be genetically manipulated using technologies like shRNA (short hairpin RNA) that can turn genes on and off, or the revolutionary gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9. Moreover, organoid models are amenable to drug screening approaches so they can be used to validate therapeutics. The pioneer of the organoid model system, Dr. Clevers, is a key member of the new CSHL-led center. "We have laid the foundations for this collaborative program through informal exchanges of our young scientists," said Dr. Clevers. "It is very exciting that we can now turn this into a mature, well-funded endeavor that will create next-generation cancer models, as close as possible to what we find in individual patients." In support of the project, the ARC-Net team led by Dr. Scarpa and Dr. Corbo will leverage the biobanking infrastructure coordinated by Dr. Rita T. Lawlor at ARC-Net. "We are very proud to be part of this international research group," said Dr. Corbo. "This collaboration brings together world-leading expertise in cancer genomics and cancer modeling with the potential of accelerating the implementation of personalized medicine. We see an unprecedented opportunity to develop better models of cancers that will enable researchers to interrogate the wealth of genomic information available today for the rational development of cancer therapeutics." "Northwell Health and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research are very excited to be part of this international effort, as it will help lay the foundation for new standards in clinical care that incorporate ex vivo studies of cancer tissues to guide cancer therapies," said Dr. Gregersen, Professor and Director of the Feinstein Institute's Boas Center for Genomics and Human Genetics. Dr. Crawford, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, noted: "Through this multi-institutional collaboration, Northwell Health will also be well-positioned to help advance the clinical trials necessary for bringing such advances into the realm of clinical care." CSHL entered into a strategic alliance with Northwell Health in April 2015, with the objective of providing CSHL researchers access to Northwell's growing network of clinical services encompassing more than 16,000 new cancer cases annually. For CSHL and Northwell Health, this CMDC project demonstrates the power of their strategic affiliation to establish closer links between research and the clinic for the benefit of cancer patients. The multinational HCMI effort aims to speed up development of new models and to make research more efficient by avoiding unnecessary duplication of scientific efforts. Genetic sequencing data from the tumors and derived models will be available to researchers, along with clinical data about the patients and their tumors. All information related to the models will be shared in a way that protects patient privacy. The goal is to give scientists around the world access to the best resources to be able to easily study all types of cancer. These new cell models could transform how we study cancer and could help to develop better treatments for patients,Scientists will make the models using tissue from patients with different types of cancer, potentially including rare and pediatric cancers, which are often under-represented or not available at all in existing cell-line collections. The new models will have the potential to reflect the biology of tumors more accurately and better represent the overall cancer patient population. The Hubrecht Institute, founded in 1916, is a research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), situated on Utrecht Science Park "The Uithof" of the largest university in the Netherlands (Utrecht). Research at the Hubrecht Institute focuses on developmental biology and stem cells at the organismal, cellular, and molecular level. A variety of biological processes are being studied, mainly concerning embryonic development and development and homeostasis of organs. Presently there are 19 research groups, including the research group of Hans Clevers, with a total of about 220 employees. Prof. Dr. Hans Clevers discovered methods to grow stem cell-derived human epithelial 'mini-organs' (organoids) from tissues of patients with various diseases including cancer. Clevers' international reputation has brought him numerous grants and prestigious awards. For more information, visit https:/ ARC-Net, Applied Research on Cancer Network, is a university research centre that was established in 2007 through a joint initiative between the University of Verona, the University Hospital Trust of Verona and the Cariverona Foundation. ARC-Net represents Italy in the International Cancer Genome Consortium where the Centre coordinates the effort of the Italian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Project to the molecular characterization of rare pancreatic tumors. ARC-Net is organized into 5 core facilities platforms, which include a cancer tissue biobank that collects biological material and associated clinical, pathological and epidemiological data. To date the biobank has material from over 5,000 consented patients and has produced over 150 patients-derived xenografts of pancreatic cancer and other cancer models. For more information, visit http://www. Northwell Health is New York State's largest health care provider and private employer, with 21 hospitals and over 550 outpatient facilities. We care for more than two million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 61,000 employees - 15,000+ nurses and nearly 3,400 physicians, including nearly 2,700 members of Northwell Health Physician Partners -- are working to change health care for the better. We're making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. And we offer health insurance through CareConnect. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu. Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. CSHL has been a National Cancer Institute designated Cancer Center since 1987. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,100 people including 600 scientists, students and technicians. The Meetings & Courses Program hosts more than 12,000 scientists from around the world each year on its campuses in Long Island and in Suzhou, China. The Laboratory's education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a graduate school and programs for middle and high school students and teachers. For more information, visit http://www.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: WATER-1b-2015 | Award Amount: 8.77M | Year: 2016
INTCATCH will instigate a paradigm shift in the monitoring and management of surface water quality that is fit for global waters in the period 2020-2050. INTCATCH will do this by developing efficient, user-friendly water monitoring strategies and systems based on innovative technologies that will provide real time data for important parameters, moving towards SMART Rivers. The business model will transform water governance by facilitating sustainable water quality management by community groups and NGOs using a clouds data linked to a decision support system and eco-innovative technologies. The INTCATCH project will use demonstration activities to showcase eco-innovative autonomous and radio controlled boats, sensors, DNA test kits and run-off treatment technologies. Actions which develop and evaluate these in a range of catchments will address the important innovation barriers to uptake, notably, a lack of knowledge of new technologies and their capabilities, identified by the European Innovation Plan (EIP) on water. By conceptually moving the laboratory to the field, the monitoring techniques that will be developed aim to supersede the inefficient, time dependent, costly and labour-intensive routine sampling and analysis procedures currently deployed to understand the quality of receiving waters. It will compliment routine monitoring that is required for baseline datasets, but also enable cost-effective impact and management investigations. INTCATCH will incentivise stakeholder innovation in monitoring and will facilitate new financing for innovation through its innovative franchise business model and empowerment of community groups and NGOs. The market ambition is that the INTCATCH business will facilitate an eco-innovative approach to deliver good quality water bodies across Europe and beyond. This will support green growth, increase resilience to climate change and capture greater market-share for Europes innovative industries.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2016
In the face of the increasing global consumption of fossil resources, photosynthetic organisms offer an attractive alternative that could meet our rising future needs as clean, renewable, sources of energy and for the production of fine chemicals. Key to the efficient exploitation of these organisms is to optimise the conversion of Solar Energy into Biomass (SE2B). The SE2B network deals with this optimisation in an interdisciplinary approach including molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics and biotechnology. Regulation processes at the level of the photosynthetic membranes, integrating molecular processes within individual proteins up to flexible re-arrangements of the membranes, will be analysed as a dynamic network of interacting regulations. SE2B will yield information about the similarities and differences between cyanobacteria, green algae, diatoms and higher plants, the organisms most commonly employed in biotechnological approaches exploiting photosynthetic organisms, as well as in agriculture. The knowledge gained from understanding these phenomena will be directly transferred to increase the productivity of algal mass cultures for valuable products, and for the development of sophisticated analytic devices that are used to optimise this production. In future, the knowledge created can also be applicable to the design of synthetic cell factories with efficient light harvesting and energy conversion systems. The SE2B network will train young researchers to work at the forefront of innovations that shape the bio-based economy. SE2B will develop a training program based on individual and network-wide training on key research and transferable skills, and will furthermore disseminate these results by open online courses prepared by the young researchers themselves.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-11d-2015 | Award Amount: 9.78M | Year: 2016
SOLSA is the first automated expert system for on-site cores analysis. With access to data on-line, great savings are expected on the number of drill holes, the accuracy of geo-models and economic evaluation of ore reserves. SOLSA responds perfectly to the need for New sustainable exploration technologies and geo-models of SC5-11d-2015. The objective is to develop new or improved highly efficient and cost-effective, sustainable exploration technologies. It includes (1) integrated drilling optimized to operate in the difficult lateritic environment with the challenge of a mixture of hard and soft rocks, extensible also to other ore types, (2) fully automated scanner and phase identification software, usable as well in other sectors. SOLSA combines for the first time the non-destructive sensors X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction, vibrational spectroscopies and 3D imaging along the drill core. For that purpose, SOLSA will develop innovative, user-friendly and intelligent software, at the TRL 4-6 levels. To minimize the risk and capitalize on the newest technologies, the subsystems for the hardware, will be selected on the market of miniaturized sensors. To align SOLSA to the industrial needs and to guarantee market uptake at the end of the project, the SOLSA multidisciplinary consortium includes an end-user (ERAMET) with mining and commercial activities in laterite ores, the case study selected for the project. Industrially driven, the consortium is composed of LE, SMEs and academic experts (ERAMET (PI), F; SSD, NL; BRGM, F; INEL, F; Univ. Vilnius, Lt; CNRS-CRISMAT, F; Univ. Trento, I; Univ. Verona, I; TU Delft, NL) covering exploration, database management, instrumentation and software development, drilling rigs, analytical prototypes and marketing strategies. SOLSA is expected to revolutionize exploration and push Europe in front, by reducing the exploration time at 50%, the analysis time from 3 - 6 months to real-time and thus the environmental footprint.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-24-2015 | Award Amount: 4.34M | Year: 2016
The MURAB project has the ambition to revolutionise the way cancer screening and muscle diseases are researched for patients and has the potential to save lives by early detection and treatment. The project intends to create a new paradigm in which, the precision of great medical imaging modalities like MRI and Ultrasound are combined with the precision of robotics in order to target the right place in the body. This will be achieved by identifying a target using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and then use a robot with an ultrasound (US) probe to match the images and navigate to the right location. This will be done thanks to a new innovative technique, which will be developed in the project and called Tissue Active Slam (TAS) which will use different techniques and modalities, like elastography, in order to cope with the deformation of the tissues. Such a procedure has the potential to drastically improve the clinical workflow and save lives by ensuring an exact targeting of (small) lesions, which are visible under MRI and not under US. Technologies developed within MURAB also have the potential to improve other clinical procedures. Clinically, two applications will be targeted and validated in the project: breast cancer diagnostics (MUW and ZGT) and muscle disease diagnostics (UMCN). Considering the potential for the market, industrial partners are involved with expertise in the delivery of safe robotics components and applications (KUKA), as well as with great knowledge and ambition in pushing innovation to the medical market (SIEMENS).
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: CIRC-05-2016 | Award Amount: 3.38M | Year: 2017
RES URBIS aims at making it possible to convert several types of urban bio-waste into valuable bio-based products, in an integrated single biowaste biorefinery and by using one main technology chain. This goal will be pursued through: - collection and analysis of data on urban bio-waste production and present management systems in four territorial clusters that have been selected in different countries and have different characteristics. - well-targeted experimental activity to solve a number of open technical issues (both process- and product-related), by using the appropriate combination of innovative and catalogue-proven technologies. - market analysis whitin several economic scenarios and business models for full exploitation of bio-based products (including a path forward to fill regulatory gaps). Urban bio-waste include the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (from households, restaurants, caterers and retail premises), excess sludge from urban wastewater treatment, garden and parks waste, selected waste from food-processing (if better recycling options in the food chain are not available), other selected waste streams, i.e. baby nappies. Bio-based products include polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and related PHA-based bioplastics as well as ancillary productions: biosolvents (to be used in PHA extraction) and fibers (to be used for PHA biocomposites). Territorial and economic analyses will be done either considering the ex-novo implementation of the biowaste biorefinery or its integration into existing wastewater treatment or anaerobic digestion plants, with reference to clusters and for different production size. The economic analysis will be based on a portfolio of PHA-based bioplastics, which will be produced at pilot scale and tested for applications: - Biodegradable commodity film - Packaging interlayer film - Speciality durables (such as electronics) - Premium slow C-release material for ground water remediation
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: WATER-1b-2015 | Award Amount: 9.77M | Year: 2016
SMART-Plant will scale-up in real environment eco-innovative and energy-efficient solutions to renovate existing wastewater treatment plants and close the circular value chain by applying low-carbon techniques to recover materials that are otherwise lost. 7\2 pilot systems will be optimized fore > 2 years in real environment in 5 municipal water treatment plants, inclunding also 2 post-processing facilities. The systems will be authomatisedwith the aim of optimizing wastewater treatment, resource recovery, energy-efficiency and reduction of greenhouse emissions. A comprehensive SMART portfolio comprising biopolymers, cellulose, fertilizersand intermediates will be recoveredand processed up to the final commercializable end-products. The integration of resource recovery assets to system-wide asset management programs will be evaluated in each site following the resource recovery paradigm for the wastewater treatment plant of the future, enabled through SMART-Plant solutions. The project will prove the feasibility of circular management of urban wastewater and environmental sustainability of the systems, to be demonstrated through Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing approaches to prove the global benefit of the scaled-up water solutions. Dynamic modeling and superstructure framework for decision support will be developed and validated to identify the optimum SMART-Plant system integration options for recovered resources and technologies.Global market deployment will be achieved as right fit solution for water utilities and relevant industrial stakeholders, considering the strategic implications of the resource recovery paradigm in case of both public and private water management. New public-private partnership models will be explored connecting the water sector to the chemical industry and its downstream segments such asthe contruction and agricultural sector, thus generating new opportunities for funding, as well as potential public-private competition.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: YOUNG-3-2015 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2016
The ENLIVEN research models how policy interventions in adult education markets can become more effective. Integrating state-of-the-art methodologies and theorisations (e.g. Case-Based Reasoning methodology in artificial intelligence, bounded agency in adult learning), it implements and evaluates an innovative Intelligent Decision Support System to provide a new and more scientific underpinning for policy debate and decision-making on adult learning, especially for young adults. It utilizes findings from research conducted by European and international agencies and research projects, as well as from the ENLIVEN project. It will enable policy-makers at EU, national and organizational levels to enhance the provision and take-up of learning opportunities for adults, leading to a more productive and innovative workforce, and reduced social exclusion. The project comprises 11 workpackages in 4 clusters. WPs1-3 examine programmes, governance and policies in EU adult learning, looking at the multi-dimensional nature of social exclusion and disadvantage. WP4 examines system characteristics to explain country/region-level variation in lifelong learning participation rates, with particular reference to disadvantaged and at-risk groups, and to young people. WPs 5-7 examine the operation and effectiveness of young adults learning at and for work, undertaking cross-country comparative institutional analysis. WPs 8 -9 develop the knowledge base for, and develop and trials, an Intelligent Data Support System (IDSS) for evidence-based policy-making and debate. The ENLIVEN team comprises leading scholars with a full range of methodological skills in lifelong learning research and related areas, as well as advanced computer science skills. It will maintain a continuing interaction with policy makers and key research networks, make targeted interventions in policy and scientific debate, and deliver a state-of-the-art IDSS to improve lifelong learning for young adults across Europe.
Donadelli M.,University of Verona
Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS | Year: 2014
An ever-increasing number of studies highlight the role of uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) in a broad range of physiological and pathological processes. The knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of UCP2 regulation is becoming fundamental in both the comprehension of UCP2-related physiological events and the identification of novel therapeutic strategies based on UCP2 modulation. The study of UCP2 regulation is a fast-moving field. Recently, several research groups have made a great effort to thoroughly understand the various molecular mechanisms at the basis of UCP2 regulation. In this review, we describe novel findings concerning events that can occur in a concerted manner at various levels: Ucp2 gene mutation (single nucleotide polymorphisms), UCP2 mRNA and protein expression (transcriptional, translational, and protein turn-over regulation), UCP2 proton conductance (ligands and post-transcriptional modifications), and nutritional and pharmacological regulation of UCP2.