Tag Archives: Research Funding

Test tubes.In light of the United Kingdom’s 2016 referendum on membership to the European Union, the Medical Research Council (MRC), which represents the UK at the JPND Management Board, affirms that it will continue to pursue a collaborative, international research agenda and sees European science links as highly important within the international scientific landscape.

The MRC will continue to play a full and active role in both JPND and the Network of Centres of Excellence in Neurodegeneration (COEN), and will provide ongoing support for the participation of UK researchers in existing consortia as well as within future calls.

Nature Communications“Laser capture microscopy coupled with Smart-seq2 for precise spatial transcriptomic profiling” has been published in Nature Communications. This research was supported in part by JPND through the DAMNDPATHS project, selected under the 2013 cross-disease analysis call.

Ten international JPND working groups recommended for funding

The EU Joint Programme Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) has released the results of a “rapid-action” call to support working groups of leading scientists to bring forward novel approaches that will enhance the use of brain imaging for neurodegenerative disease research.

Ten working groups have been recommended for funding to address the methodological challenges facing different imaging modalities, among them MRI, PET, ultrasound, MEG and EEG, as well as multimodal approaches. The working groups cover a range of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Frontotemporal dementia and Huntington’s disease.

“Brain imaging has made enormous progress in recent years and is currently one of the most promising avenues in neurodegenerative disease research,” said Professor Thomas Gasser, Chair of the JPND Scientific Advisory Board. “If we can solve the challenges in the field, brain imaging could rapidly lead to faster and better diagnoses as well as a deeper understanding of the fundamental aspects and mechanisms of neurodegeneration.”

Although imaging techniques have brought about a dramatic improvement in the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases, there remain a number of significant challenges in the field. These include the execution of multi-centre clinical trials of an unprecedented scale, data transfer across imaging centres and the use of imaging for diagnostics and for measuring clinical outcomes.

To address these questions, on January 8, 2016, JPND launched a call for community-led working groups on harmonisation and alignment in brain imaging methods. The proposals recommended for funding are for top scientists to come together and propose, through ‘best practice’ guidelines and/or methodological frameworks, how to overcome key barriers to the use of imaging in neurodegenerative disease research.

The call attracted proposals with partners from across Europe and beyond, including Asia, Australia, North America and South America. A notable number of groups based in the United States were involved in responses to the call. Funding decisions were based upon scientific evaluation and recommendations to sponsor countries by a JPND peer review panel.

“This call perfectly embodies JPND’s mission and objectives,” said Professor Philippe Amouyel, Chair of the JPND Management Board. “The purpose of JPND is to strengthen coordination and collaboration in neurodegenerative disease research across different countries. We want to ensure that research efforts are not duplicated, to build consensus and to accelerate a path toward a cure that works. This call convenes groups of leading experts to hammer out the hard questions, including the challenges of interoperability and shared and open data, to allow researchers to more rapidly and more fully exploit imaging techniques going forward.”

Each working group is expected to run for a maximum of 9 months. The outputs of the working groups are to be produced by the end of the funding period, and will be published on the JPND website and used for further JPND actions. In addition, a common workshop will be organised to bring together and present the recommendations of each working group, encouraging the further exchange of ideas and wider dissemination to different stakeholder groups.

For more information on the working groups recommended for funding, click here.

Today the Lancet Neurology Commission released a major report detailing the state of research and patient care for Alzheimer´s disease and other dementias and providing recommendations for the future. The conclusion: A concerted effort and long-term economic commitment are critical to meeting the global challenge of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

The comprehensive report, which was the result of a collaborative effort between more than 30 leading researchers from around the world, will also be presented to the European Parliament Commissioners today in Brussels.

The Lancet Neurology Commission, initiated by Lancet editors, is led by Professor Bengt Winblad of the Center for Alzheimer Research at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. Winblad is also a member of the JPND Scientific Advisory Board and was the coordinator of BIOMARKAPD, a JPND project on Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Three other members of the JPND Scientific Advisory Board, Prof. Martin Knapp (United Kingdom), Prof. Bruno Dubois (France), and Prof. Philip Scheltens (Netherlands), as well as the Chair of the JPND Management Board, Prof. Philippe Amouyel, participated as experts in this report. The commission was formed with the aim of providing expert recommendations and information to politicians and policymakers about Alzheimer´s disease and related dementias.

The report encompasses the fields of health economics, epidemiology, prevention, genetics, biology, diagnosis, treatment, care and ethics. To reduce the burden of dementia, the commission advocates that public governmental agencies form large multinational partnerships with academic centres and pharmaceutical companies to deploy capital resources and share risk.

“To defeat Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, united actions are needed, not only within research, but also within the political arena on all levels,” said Winblad. “My hope is that our work will stimulate increased national and international collaboration.”

Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, accounts for approximately 60 percent of cases. The most important risk factor is age, and as life expectancy increases, the number of people with dementia is also expected to rise. In 2015, almost 47 million individuals around the world were estimated to be affected. By 2030, the number is expected to reach 75 million. By 2050, up to 131 million people are expected to be burdened by the disease. So far, no treatment is available to effectively halt or reverse the disease.

Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders are one of the major targets of JPND, which as the largest global research initiative aimed at tackling the challenge of neurodegenerative diseases is cited in the report as an example of the sort of action needed to make meaningful progress. “To speed up progress even more, ” the report asserts, “this global collaboration must be extended to even more countries.”

For Winblad, the onus is now on governments to take action — and quickly: “What we need now is for the politicians to realise that this is a growing problem that already costs society tremendous amounts of money,” he said. “We need investments of resources in research in all areas involved in this disease, to find better drugs, but also to improve compassionate care and prevention.”

The ERA-NET NEURON has launched a new call for research proposals that will aim to address key questions relating to external insults to the central nervous system. These insults often cause permanent disability and constitute a heavy burden for patients and their families.

The call will accept proposals ranging from understanding basic mechanisms of disease through proof-of-concept clinical studies in humans to neurorehabilitation. The focus of the call is on primary physical insults to the central nervous system, i.e. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). The call covers acute traumatic events over the entire lifespan.

Excluded from this call are research projects on haemorrhage and hypoxia. Moreover, research on psychological/mental consequences of insults, including stress-related disorders (e.g. post-traumatic stress disorder), is not part of the present call. Research on neurodegenerative disorders will not be eligible in the present call.

The ERA-NET NEURON funding organizations particularly aim to promote multi-disciplinary work and to encourage translational research proposals that combine basic and clinical approaches, for the benefit of the affected patients.

The deadline for pre-proposal submission is March 14, 2016.

Visit the ERA-NET NEURON website to learn more about the call and to apply.

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) has launched a new call for research proposals that will aim to accelerate the development of medicines in a number of key areas, including neurological disorders.

The Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease topic of the call focuses on better understanding how the protein tangles found in both diseases spread through the brain, with the ultimate goal of establishing new drug targets.

The IMI initiative, a partnership between the European Union and the pharmaceutical industry association EFPIA, aims to stimulate the development of safer and more effective medicines.

Other topics in the call, known as IMI 2 – Call 7, include safety, pain, cancer, eye diseases, and big data. Call 7 has a budget of €46.8 million from IMI, which will be matched by €46.8 million from the EFPIA companies in the projects. The submission deadline for this call is March 17, 2016.

IMI simultaneously launched a second call, known as IMI 2 – Call 8, for research proposals on Ebola and related diseases.

Visit the IMI website to learn more about the call topics and to apply.

The EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) has announced a rapid-action call inviting leading scientists in the field to bring forward novel approaches that will enhance the use of brain imaging for neurodegenerative disease research.

Imaging techniques such as MR, PET and EEG mapping have brought about a dramatic improvement in the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. In recent years, access to cutting-edge imaging technologies and platforms has expanded, and advances have been made in the harmonisation of acquisition procedures across scanners and vendors. However, fully capitalising on the use of brain imaging technologies for neurodegeneration research will require the development of new methodologies and the ability to achieve image acquisition and analysis at scale and at the global level.

The aim of the call is to establish a limited number of transnational working groups to address the key challenges facing the use of new and innovative brain imaging techniques in neurodegenerative disease research. The working groups will be community-led and will establish ‘best practice’ guidelines and/or methodological frameworks to overcome these barriers. Each working group can bid up to €50,000 for the support of its activities, which are expected to run for a maximum of 9 months.

According to Professor Philippe Amouyel, Chair of the JPND Management Board:

“JPND recognises that state-of-the-art brain imaging techniques are a vital resource for neurodegenerative disease research. However, achieving scalability for these technologies poses new challenges. For this reason, we’ve launched a rapid-action call inviting international research teams to address the most urgent issues in harmonisation and alignment in neuroimaging. The establishment of effective new guidelines and methodological frameworks will represent a critical step toward the full exploitation of brain imaging in neurodegenerative disease research.”

The following neurodegenerative diseases are included in the call:

  • Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
  • Parkinson’s disease and PD‐related disorders
  • Prion diseases
  • Motor neuron diseases
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA)
  • Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)

Proposals must be submitted by 23:59H C.E.T. on March 10, 2016.

For more information about the call, please click here.

 

The Joint Programming Initiative “A Healthy Diet for A Healthy Life” is launching a new joint transnational call for research proposals on “Nutrition and Cognitive Function”.

The call aims to support small transnational research consortia with innovative and interdisciplinary approaches tackling the interrelationships between nutrition and cognition.

The call is scheduled to be launched on March-30, 2015 with the deadline for proposal submission scheduled for June 8th, 2015.

The pre-call announcement is available here and through the link below:

 

Three leading research funders from the UK and North America have joined forces to launch a new global initiative called MEND or, MEchanisms of cellular death in NeuroDegeneration, with a fund of $1.25 million USD for targeted research into brain diseases that cause dementia, such as Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s Research UK, the Alzheimer’s Association based in the U.S. and the Weston Brain Institute in Canada, whose participation in MEND is funded by Selfridges, announce the collaboration in response to the G7 health leaders’ commitment to collectively and significantly increase funding for dementia research, as announced at their December 2013 summit. G7 health leaders met in Bethesda, Maryland (U.S.A), last week to review progress on their goal to identify a cure or disease-modifying treatment by 2025.

MEND is open to applications from scientists around the globe, and researchers will be encouraged to collaborate on projects, sharing knowledge and resources in order to speed up progress. It’s hoped the scheme will also help answer fundamental questions about the similarities and differences between different diseases, such as whether the underlying mechanisms that cause cell death differ from one disease to another, and why each disease affects different types.

Source:  Medical News.net

In acknowledgement of the high societal relevance of neuroscientific research, a joint transnational call on “Ethical, Legal, and Social Aspects (ELSA) of Neuroscience” was launched by the ERANET-NEURON network on January 9, 2015.

The aim of the call is to facilitate multinational, collaborative research projects that will address important questions regarding ethical, philosophical, legal and socio-cultural aspects related to neuroscientific research and recent advances in the field.

Deadline for pre-proposal submission: March 09, 2015; 14:00 CET

Source:  ERANet- Neuron