The University of Exeter Medical School (UEMS) provides a world-class research environment for clinical genomics research. It has recently invested >£100 million to further enhance its facilities and capacity in functional genomics. The Complex Disease (Epi)genomics Group is based at the Wellcome Wolfson Medical Research Centre (opened December 2013), a new £28 million facility that brings together key clinical and biomedical scientists working in genomics, cell biology, neuroscience and human physiology. The University of Exeter Medical School is improving the health of the South West and beyond, through the development of high quality graduates and world-leading research that has international impact. As part of a Russell Group university, we combine this world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction. The University of Exeter Medical School’s Medicine programme is ranked 11th in the Guardian University Guide 2016. Exeter has over 19,000 students and is one of the global top 100 universities according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-16, positioned 93rd. Exeter is also ranked 7th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016, 9th in the Guardian University Guide 2016 and 10th in The Complete University Guide 2016. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), the University ranked 16th nationally, with 98% of its research rated as being of international quality. Exeter’s Clinical Medicine research was ranked 3rd in the country, based on research outputs that were rated world-leading. Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care research also ranked in the top ten, in joint 9th for research outputs rated world-leading or internationally excellent. Exeter was named The Times and The Sunday Times Sports University of the Year 2015-16, in recognition of excellence in performance, education and research. Exeter was The Sunday Times University of the Year 2012-13.
Drug Target ID (DTID), Ltd., was founded as a spin-out company of the Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands and is an SME that is specialized in large-scale, genome-wide (genetic and expression) data analysis, integration and interpretation. More specifically, DTID has pioneered a unique and highly innovative approach to build molecular landscapes for complex genetic disorders in order to provide insights into the biological processes underlying these disorders and to reveal novel, disorder-specific diagnostic biomarkers and drug targets (website: www.drugtargetid.com). Our unbiased ‘molecular landscape building approach’ involves the application of gene enrichment and protein-protein interaction tools as well as extensive, thorough and time-intensive systematic literature evaluations to/of the top-ranked genes that have been identified through several types of genetic, epigenetic and expression studies as well as studies on (genetic) animal models and pharmacological/pharmacogenetic studies, and that have been ranked and weighted using statistical approaches.
Thus far, we have successfully built molecular landscapes for a number of complex genetic diseases, including the neurodevelopmental disorders attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), dyslexia, motor coordination problems, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and the neurological diseases Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s disease (HD), multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Furthermore, we have applied the approach to complex non-neurological disorders, such as acute lymphatic leukemia (ALL), breast cancer, congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT), cleft lip/palate (CL/P) and pelvic organ prolapse (POP). In principle, our ‘molecular landscape building approach’ is applicable to any complex genetic disease for which big (genetic) data are available. We are currently building molecular landscapes for several disorders including aggression/conduct disorder, myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) and Tourette syndrome (TS) (as a part of the EU-funded projects MATRICS, OPTIMISTIC and TS-EUROTRAIN), bipolar disorder (BPD) and schizophrenia (SZ).
Within the PRISM project, Dr. Klemann will use the molecular landscape building approach – under supervision of Dr. Poelmans and Professor Martens – to pinpoint the most clinically relevant molecular and biological processes underlying high social withdrawal (and associated) cognitive deficits, symptoms shared by the three disorders that will be studied, i.e. SZ, major depressive disorder (MD) and AD, and based on available/literature-derived, to-be-processes and to-be-generated (genome-wide) genetic, epigenetic and expression data. The insights about the biological substrates for high social withdrawal and cognitive deficits derived from the built landscape will then be used to inform and guide subsequent work packages of PRISM, including the creation and phenotypic testing of genetic mouse models of selected key landscape genes.
Founded in 1989, Biotrial is a leading CRO with extensive experience in conducting Non-Clinical and Clinical Studies from Phase I through to Phase IV for a global client base of pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Based in France, the UK, Canada and the USA, with 350 employees and 300 beds, Biotrial performs hundreds of studies each year and offers tailor-made solutions.
Available as stand-alone or full packages, Biotrial’s services include:
– Non-Clinical Pharmacology
– Regulatory Affairs
– Phase I Clinical Pharmacology Trials
– Data Management, Biostatistics and Medical Writing
– Management Phase II to IV Patient Trials
– Core Lab services (ECG & EEG over-reading)
– Bioanalytical services
– Oncology studies (Non-Clinical & Clinical)
Biotrial has broad experience in CNS drug evaluation and has conducted many different trials involving full assessments of psychoactive properties of compounds. The Biotrial EEG Core Lab services can be used in any clinical setting throughout the drug development process, from Non-Clinical to First-in-Human trials through global Phase II, III & IV trials.
The Psychiatry Section of the Department of Biomedical and NeuroMotor Sciences is part of the University of Bologna. Clinical facilities are implemented within the Section. The clinical section comprises approximately 24 psychiatric beds, in addition to an Outpatients Unit covering the Bologna area. Residents and post docs work within this environment performing both clinical and research activities. The Section is involved in a number of international and national collaborations which produce an average of 40 papers per year published in high Impact Factor journals (H-Index of the PI = 66). The scientific activity is supported by national and international grants which total over one million Euro over the last 5 years.