New grant to kickstart international research into Alzheimers – University of Copenhagen

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17 November 2016

New grant to kickstart international research into Alzheimers

Alzheimers

The international ROADMAP consortium has just received a major European grant of EUR 4.4m. The funds are for research into Alzheimers and SUND will have an important role in the project.

Hjerne

The starting gun has gone for a major international research project. The project is a collaboration between European universities and companies and the aim of the project is to research Alzheimers. In Denmark, this will include several research institutes, including SUND by way of Professor Søren Brunak's researcher group from the Disease Systems Biology Program, which is part of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research.

"If we can identify a pattern, we may be able to find patients in at-risk groups at an earlier stage and make a start on treatment, whilst also seeing whether there are different groups of patients that therefore require different treatments

Mette Beck PhD

”The project is about Alzheimers and dementia. Our focus is based on system biology and our role will especially be to investigate hospital data from Denmark but also other European countries. By analysing data, we intend to see whether we can identify systematic disease pathways in patients in the run up to the onset of disease. If we can identify a pattern, we may be able to find patients in at-risk groups at an earlier stage and make a start on treatment, whilst also seeing whether there are different groups of patients that therefore require different treatments," says Mette Beck PhD, who is a member of the Danish research team.

Unique data and interdisciplinary approach
The Danish part of the research has been awarded EUR 250,000 and the project has just held its first kickoff meeting in Barcelona. Alzheimers affects 7.7 million people worldwide every year, and despite massive research into the field, scientists have still not been able to identify a cure for the dreaded disease.

"We hope that by pulling together the best competencies in Denmark, we can gain unique knowledge and data that would otherwise be difficult to obtain when operating in small groups that often do not have the statistical basis for being able to identify overarching patterns in complicated diseases

Mette Beck PhD

”We hope that by pulling together the best competencies in Denmark, we can gain unique knowledge and data that would otherwise be difficult to obtain when operating in small groups that often do not have the statistical basis for being able to identify overarching patterns in complicated diseases. Our research will also be boosted by having an interdisciplinary approach to the project. We have scientists doing basic research, some from the pharma sector and others are clinicians. Medically, we should get much further in this way," says Mette Beck.

The ROADMAP programme is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme and the European pharmaceutical industry (EFPIA). A total of 22 parties from the academic and private sectors are in the programme. Read about it here

Contact:
Mette Beck PhD, Novo Nordisk Foundation for Protein Research, e-mail: mette.beck@cpr.ku.dk

Professor Søren Brunak,  e-mail: soren.brunak@cpr.ku.dk, mobile: +45 2067 2477

Press Officer Kristine Snedker, e-mail: kristine.snedker@sund.ku.dk, mobile: +45 2364 8842