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Cardio Renal Paradigms ElucidateD through an International Exchange ScheMe

Final Report Summary - CARPEDIEM (Cardio Renal Paradigms ElucidateD through an International Exchange ScheMe)

Cardio Renal Paradigms ElucidateD through an International Exchange ScheMe (CARPEDIEM) combines a unique approach and common interest to employ novel sophisticated technologies to understand the relationship between oxygen deprived tissues (hypoxia) and sympathetic hyperactivity in cardiorenal pathology.

Cardiovascular diseases are increasing in epidemic proportions globally. Hence there is an essential need for novel insights, ultimately leading to new treatments. The connection between kidneys, heart and brain in cardiovascular pathology offers exciting new research perspectives that are waiting to be explored. We propose that hypoxia (often but not always secondary to ischaemia or hypoperfusion) in heart, brain and kidneys and the over-activity of sympathetic nervous system is not simply a consequence of cardiovascular disease but rather is intimately involved in driving the progression of disease and loss of tissue function even before any histological damage is apparent (Fig. 1).

By sharing knowledge and expertise between leading researchers at 6 recognized centres of excellence; 3 in Europe: (Bristol (UK), Uppsala (SE) and Utrecht (NL), and 3 outside Europe: Tokyo (JP), Melbourne (AUS) and Auckland (NZ), we are convinced that significant progress can be achieved in answering important research questions that one institution could never do on its own. Combining our strengths we can now address in a systematic, collaborative and multidisciplinary way the association, induction and reversibility of hypoxia, identify/relate gene expressions and molecular mechanisms in pathological signalling and by using large animal models, computational modelling and imaging in humans translate towards the clinic.

The exchange programme consists of 2-6 month visits for PhD students, postdoctoral early stage and experienced researchers distributed into three work packages: 1) Management and Coordination; 2) Exchange of new methodologies (Fig. 2); and 3) Knowledge sharing & development of existing and new research programmes. These work packages will address project management, personnel exchange, symposia, summer courses, seminars, (video) conferences, formulating new collaborative research projects, exploring means of funding for long-term collaboration and publish joint scientific papers.

This joint international research exchange programme will assist in promoting and reflecting upon knowledge transfer between EU and non-EU countries in order to satisfy the urgent need for new insights in cardiovascular pathophysiology, ultimately leading to new treatment paradigms.

Main achievements
Since the beginning of Carpediem we have had a kick-off meeting in Amsterdam, a symposia in Tokyo and one in Mussoorie, participated in several scientific conferences and completed 20 secondments. This has significantly reinforced our collaborations making our exchange program a platform to generate international competitive research. Furthermore our website ( has come online and we have published 8 peer reviewed articles, and submitted 12 research project applications, of which 5 were accepted for additional funding to continue our research that is linked with the Carpediem collaboration.