Three IDIBELL researchers receive funding from the EU H2020 program


Three IDIBELL researchers have received funding from the European Union to develop research projects within the framework of the Work Program on Health of Social Challenges, in the context of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, in its 2019 call. H2020 is an extremely competitive research program, with a strong focus on excellence, innovation and responsibility with society. Dr. Fernando Fernández Aranda (Bellvitge University Hospital-IDIBELL) has received € 148,988.75 (for 5 years) to carry out the PRIME project; Dr. Francesc Xavier Bosch (Catalan Institute of Oncology-IDIBELL) has received € 378,125 (for 5 years) for the RISCC project; and Dr. Josep Alfons Espinàs (Catalan Institute of Oncology-IDIBELL), has received € 526,575 (for 5 years) for the 4-IN THE LUNG RUN project. The three projects have started this January.

PRIME is based on the study of insulin signaling as a key mechanism underlying the multimorbidity of mental and somatic diseases. Researchers show that the impact of “insulinopathies” is still largely underestimated, since it also extends to the brain, where altered insulin signaling seems implicated in dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease and, according to a pilot work, in mental illnesses characterized by compulsivity, such as obsessive compulsive disorder and autism. PRIME brings together a multidisciplinary team to broaden the understanding of insulin multimorbidity throughout life, understand the causes that link somatic and mental diseases related to insulin, and develop tools for early diagnosis, an improvement in clinical care and the prevention of multimorbidity. PRIME wants to bring new knowledge to society, based on the identification of new targets for drug treatment, in the definition of new biomarkers, in the improvement of existing medical guidelines… And also wants to develop educational materials to inform clinicians, patients and citizens.

The RISCC project is based on cervical cancer screening, a public health policy recommended worldwide. Many risk factors are known for this type of cancer, but so far only equal screening programs have been implemented for the entire population, which provide suboptimal protection for high-risk women. RISCC will develop a risk-based screening, screening history, HPV vaccination status and other relevant factors. In the context of the project, open applications of digital health solutions and mobile-assisted health will be developed, using risk-based screening algorithms to support the implementation of real programs. The focus of the project is closely linked to open and citizen science, and is directed towards a personalized screening model.

Finally, the 4-IN THE LUNG RUN project is based on the optimization of lung cancer screening by computerized tomography (CT). With 338,000 deaths a year in the EU, lung cancer is a devastating problem. CT screening can potentially prevent ten thousands of deaths from this cancer every year. The central objective of 4-IN-THE-LUNG-RUN is to conduct a randomized controlled trial of 24,000 people, which assesses whether it is safe to have less intensive screening intervals based on risk after a negative baseline CT. Several methods will be assessed to improve the participation of people with difficult access in five different health environments. Innovative morbidity reduction strategies will be tested, including other CT image markers. Cost impact and effectiveness analyzes will guide its implementation. This proposal will be the basis of evidence for risk-based lung cancer screening with great benefits for the EU, both in health outcomes, cost savings and long-term innovation.

PRIME: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 847879

4-IN THE LUNG RUN: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 848294

RISCC: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 847845

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