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Genomic & Epigenomic Complex Disease Epidemiology

Final Report Summary - GEOCODE (Genomic & Epigenomic Complex Disease Epidemiology)

Publishable summary

The overall aim of this joint exchange programme (GEoCoDE: Genomic and Epigenomic Complex Disease Epidemiology) was to establish a multilateral network of researchers active in genetic and epigenetic epidemiology, strengthen research capacity through exchange of knowledge and expertise in both areas and develop integrated approaches to investigate both genetic and epigenetic aspects of complex disease. The joint exchange programme involved 25 partners and was executed through a series of short and long term periods of staff exchanges between European and Third Countries and two workshops at which all participating partners were represented. The programme has been co-ordinated by the University of Bristol (UK).

The programme was concerned with genetic and epigenetic epidemiology and work undertaken was of direct relevance to a wide variety of complex diseases including cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and perinatal health problems. The overall aim of the proposed exchange programme was to stimulate synergy and support internationally recognised research in this rapidly evolving field in the ERA and in participating Third Countries.

The aims and main objectives of the exchange programme were achieved through conducting 91 researcher exchange visits representing 184 exchange months. Despite only undertaking 68% of proposed exchange visits, the programme exceeded its target deliverable with 2.7 times more grants awarded and 3.9 times more papers published than forecast.

GEoCoDE has had a very positive impact on research in the field of genetic and epigenetic epidemiology, especially in capacity building and engagement of Third Countries. It has served to consolidate collaborative relationships and many members of the exchange network continue to collaborate closely. The findings emerging from this area of research are helping to shape the field and inform future biomedical research and drug discovery.