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Translational Science for Vascular Inflammation and Remodelling

Final Report Summary - TRANSVIR (Translational Science for Vascular Inflammation and Remodelling)

TranSVIR was an Initial Training Network (ITN) for Translational Science for Vascular Inflammation and Repair funded by the EU FP7 Marie Curie Programme and co-ordinated at the Clinical Institute of Pathology at the Medical University of Vienna by Professor Andy Rees (www.transvir.org). The TranSVIR program was designed to equip early stage and experienced researchers (ESR and ER, respectively) with a broad understanding of human disease processes allied to specific research expertise in a particular discipline. Its aims were to:

• Develop an internationally excellent multidisciplinary program of translational research in the area of inflammatory vascular disease
• Build an inter-sectorial cooperation between biology, clinical research and applied research to strengthen the European Research area
• Deliver a comprehensive training program in translational science for 11 ESR and one ER to equip them for productive careers in Academia or Industry.

TranSVIR had six Partners to prosecute these aims - four from Academia and two from Industry. Each had a recognised expertise in translational science and a specific interest in vascular inflammation and repair. The Academic partners were: Medical University of Vienna, Clinical Institute of Pathology, Austria (Prof AJ Rees); University of Cambridge, Cambridge Institute of Medical Research, UK (Prof KG Smith); Leiden University Medical Centre, Department of Nephrology, Netherlands (Prof C van Kooten); and Trinity College Dublin, Department of Biochemistry, Ireland (Prof LA O’Neill). The Industry partners were AstraZeneca, Macclesfield, Cancer/Inflammation, UK (Dr J Jurgensmeier) and Hycult biotechnology bv, Uden, Netherlands (Dr H Rutjes, and from January 2013 Dr G Schilders).

The TranSVIR network was initiated on 1st December 2009 and evolved into a highly collaborative network with twelve outstanding Marie Curie Fellows – eleven from nine different EU Member States and one from Pakistan. The training program had five elements: (i) rigorous research training in a specific translational discipline in one of the Partner’s laboratories - as a PhD project for the ESRs or an Industry based project for the ER; (ii) broader training in the relevant translational science through taught courses and regular scientific meetings; (iii) a targeted training program in generalisable skills for biomedical scientists; (iv) specific training in the particular skills required by scientists working in Industry; (v) a unique program to facilitate mobility of scientists within Europe.

Vascular inflammation and remodelling are central to the pathogenesis of most severe inflammatory and malignant neoplastic diseases currently requiring more effective treatments. Fellows were appointed to individual projects were related rather than interconnected, which maximised opportunities for exchange of expertise as well as formal collaborations. The partners’ distinctive expertise in specific aspects of translational science together with a shared interest in vascular inflammation and remodelling ensured the success of the program. All the ESR have completed the experimental work of their PhD projects and will submit their theses soon (see www.transvir.org for details).

The Network organised two State-of-the-Art Meetings: Immunology of Renal Disease (Vienna, January 2011) and Systems Biology, linked to the Cambridge Immunology Forum of Systems Immunology (Cambridge, September 2011). It held four workshops open to outside researchers: “Imaging the Immune System” (MUW, Vienna, February 2011 - Professor Renate Kain); DNA and Protein Sequencing, Transcriptomics and High-throughput Screening for Translational Science” (Sanger Centre, Cambridge, September 2011); “Drug Discovery” (AstraZeneca, Alderley Park, February 2012); and Innate Immunity (TCD, Dublin, July 2012). In addition TranSVIR organized a Summer School on “Complement in Health and Disease” (Leiden, August 2011) and a Winter School on “Histopathology for Translational Scientists” (MUW, Vienna, February 2013). Details of these events are available on the TranSVIR website (www.transvir.org).

Three years after being appointed, the MCF have presented their work at 26 International and National Meetings. They have published a total of 9 papers and a further 8 have already been submitted; 13 more should be submitted within the next two months. Three assays developed within TranSVIR have already been commercialised and are available for sale through Hycult (Hbt Partner 6). Negotiations have been instigated to commercialise research findings from three other research partners.


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- Contact details:
Project Coordinator:
Prof Andrew Rees
Clinical Institute of Pathology
Medical University of Vienna
Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna
Phone: +43 1 40400 3681
Email: andrew.rees@meduniwien.ac.at

- Website address: www.transvir.org

The system would not accept the logo and consequently, Appendix 1 contains the Publishable Summary with the Logo.