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Personalised blueprint of chronic inflammation in health-to-disease transition


Personalised approaches for disease prevention seek to determine the predisposition to disease and deliver timely and targeted prevention measures. Understanding the risk factors that trigger the health-to-disease transition is essential for delivering personalized prevention measures or reducing the burden of chronic diseases.

A large body of clinical evidence has accumulated over the past decade demonstrating that chronic inflammation is a process implicated in chronic diseases/disorders. Inflammatory response is a physiological process helping the body to heal against harmful entities, but when dysregulated it could lead to unresolved chronic local or systemic inflammation. The later in combination with the person’s genotype, phenotype, medical history, nutritional and well-being status, life-style and/or occupational/environmental/life stressors is likely to be involved in driving the health-to-disease transition, leading to the onset of chronic diseases.

Proposals should be of multidisciplinary nature involving all relevant stakeholders and may cover several different stages in the continuum of the innovation path (from translational research to validation of the findings in human studies etc.), as relevant.

Proposals are expected to develop and implement data-driven, personalised approaches to identify the drivers of chronic inflammation that may determine the transition from health to pre-symptomatic and early stages of chronic diseases/disorders. The topic does not exclude any diseases/disorders. The human studies and human data utilised/generated should be compatible to an age range as representative as possible to the pre-disease phase and onset of the disease to be studied, in order to boost the fast translation of the research results into proof-of-concept studies.

Proposals should develop personalised diagnosis and/or prevention strategies linked to chronic systemic/local inflammation and assess the effects of different types of interventions and/or their combinations i.e. pharmacological, non-pharmacological, nutritional supplements, diet and life-style modifications, as relevant. Sex and gender differences should be investigated, wherever relevant.

The proposals should address several of the following areas:

  • Integrate state-of-the-art knowledge and data from suitable human studies (i.e. medical/clinical, well-being, life-style etc.) to identify actionable factors linking chronic systemic and/or local inflammation to the health-to-disease transition. Take stock of omics (i.e. genomics, metabolomics, nutrigenomics, microbiomics etc.), of dynamic measurements of the health and well-being status, and of data-driven analytical tools in order to identify biomarkers and other health indicators linked to the health-to-disease transition.
  • Understand at the systems-level the human biology and physiology underlying chronic inflammation in connection to the tissues/organ dysregulation, organ cross-talk and homeostasis breakdown triggering the health-to-disease transition, taking into account the person’s genotype, phenotype, medical history, nutritional and well-being status, life-style and/or occupational/environmental/life stressors.
  • Develop and deploy robust sensors, devices and/or mobile apps and other innovative technologies to monitor dynamically the individual’s health status and to identify objective indicators of chronic inflammation correlative to the health-to-disease transition.
  • Implement proof-of-concept human studies to assess the beneficial effect of diverse prevention and/or interventions strategies with the aim to demonstrate improved health outcomes.
  • Test suitable interventions with the aim to demonstrate the reduction and/or reversion of the pre-disease state linked to chronic systemic and/or local inflammation.

Proposals should adopt a patient-centred approach to inform and empower patients, promote a culture of dialogue and openness between health professionals, patients and their families, and unleash the potential for social innovation.

The proposals should adhere to the FAIR[[FAIR data are data, which meet principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability.]] data principles and adopt wherever relevant, data standards and data sharing/access good practices developed by existing European health research infrastructures.

All projects funded under this topic are strongly encouraged to participate in networking and joint activities, as appropriate. These networking and joint activities could, for example, involve the participation in joint workshops, the exchange of knowledge, the development and adoption of best practices, or joint communication activities. This could also involve networking and joint activities with projects funded under other clusters and pillars of Horizon Europe, or other EU programmes, as appropriate. Therefore, proposals are expected to include a budget for the attendance to regular joint meetings and may consider to cover the costs of any other potential joint activities without the prerequisite to detail concrete joint activities at this stage. The details of these joint activities will be defined during the grant agreement preparation phase. In this regard, the Commission may take on the role of facilitator for networking and exchanges, including with relevant stakeholders, if appropriate.