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Understanding disease: systems medicine


Specific challenge: The development of new, evidence-based treatments relies on an improved understanding of the often very complex pathophysiology of diseases. Systems (bio) medicine approaches have the potential to tackle this complexity through the integration of a variety of biological and medical research data and computational modelling. A European collaborative approach is required to assemble the necessary multidisciplinary expertise (e.g. biology, medicine, mathematics, computational technologies) for implementing systems (bio) medicine approaches.

Scope: Proposals should focus on new avenues for understanding the complexity of clinical phenotypes in multifactorial diseases and/or their co-morbidities. This should entail the development/optimisation and/or application of systems medicine approaches, and integration of biomedical and clinical data to produce or refine disease models using advanced statistical, computational and mathematical approaches. The predictive value of such models should be validated in well-phenotyped patient cohorts, taking due account of gender, and their clinical potential thoroughly investigated.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 4 and 6 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: This should provide:

  • Leverage of existing investments in Europe in the field of systems biomedicine
  • New directions for better disease detection, prognosis and therapy development
  • Systems medicine tools and approaches tailored for medical research and/or the clinic, which represent an improvement over established practice.

Type of action: Research and innovation actions