CORDIS - EU research results

Next generation training in cardiovascular research and innovation

Final Report Summary - CARDIONEXT (Next generation training in cardiovascular research and innovation)

CardioNext was an innovative training proposal organised by researchers at the Spanish National Centre for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) to achieve three key aims: i) Recruit talented and motivated graduate students to be trained as a new generation of translational researchers in cardiovascular disease; ii) Create a well-developed and inter-connected network of academic scientific researchers and private sector companies to generate innovation and implement last-generation technologies for cardiovascular research; and iii) Develop basic and applied innovative aspects in cardiovascular research ranging from the generation of computational models of the ischemic heart (based on high resolution microscopy, large scale data-gathering and integrative bioinformatics analysis) to the implementation of novel imaging and therapeutic strategies to repair the post-ischemic heart.
The CardioNext project was officially launched in the kick-off Meeting held in Madrid on February 17th, 2014 with the attendance of most of the 24 Associated Partners (APs) among private and public academic institutions. Management boards and strategies for collaboration and secondments were established at that point. Regular contacts have been maintained among CNIC researchers and the APs and they met together for updating on the progress of the CardioNext project on June 17th, 2015. A final scientific meeting was hold by June 2016 to share and discuss the results obtained.

During the CardioNext project 12 talented graduate students from eight different countries were recruited by CNIC, enrolled in a PhD program at a Spanish University and have or are in the process to defend their Doctoral theses. The ESRs formed a multidisciplinary team that included engineers, computer scientists, chemists, biologists and clinicians working together to approach the same biomedical problem, myocardial infarction, one of the leading cause of death in developed countries.

CardioNext scientific project focused on cardiac ischemia/reperfusion in the pig as a pre-clinical model with direct translational applicability. CardioNext has been successful on generating basic knowledge, developing new diagnostic tools, and implementing novel therapeutic strategies for myocardial infarction. These knowledge and tools will have a positive impact on the society by allowing a better diagnosis and stratification of patients with coronary ischemic disease and providing novel therapeutic options for improvement of cardiac function and prevention of heart failure; this will reduce the economic burden associated to treatment of these patients.

More importantly, following the CardioNext essence of training ESRs on innovative translational cardiovascular research, the ESRs have been exposed to state-of-the-art technologies, performed secondments in top international private or academic sector institutions, and participated in dissemination and outreach activities to make accessible cardiovascular research to the general public. Scientific results obtained by the ESRs have been presented in International Meetings and Conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals and books (12 published; 1 invited; 9 posters). More details about CardioNext aims and activities can be found at:

CardioNext has finally fulfilled its main goal, forming a new generation of translational cardiovascular researchers who will provide fresh perspectives to research and bring back to Europe and worldwide novel solutions for biomedical problems as myocardial infarction. The impact of CardioNext will also be visible during the ESRs’ future careers since all of them will continue in biomedical research, mostly in academy but also nurturing hospitals and private companies and even leading to entrepreneurship.