Blood Biomarker-based Diagnostic Tools for Early Stage AD

During the “Rome Training Meeting” of the European Horizon2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie project “Blood Biomarker-based Diagnostic Tools for Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease” held at the Sapienza University of Rome (March 19th-21st, 2018), senior and early stage researchers of several Countries have discussed a new plan for the monitoring of blood biomarkers, cognitive functions, and lifestyle in patients with Alzheimer’s disease by innovative graphene-based devices and information and communication technology services.

Alzheimer’s diseaseis the most diffuse progressive neurodegenerative disease worldwide, belonging millions and millions of seniors to severe cognitive deficits (dementia) and death in few years. The urgent need for new largely available and cost-effective procedures for continuous monitoring of Alzheimer’s disease over time has been discussed during the “Rome Training Meeting” of the European Horizon2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie project “Blood Biomarker-based Diagnostic Tools for Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease (BBDiag, 2017-2020)”, held at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology “Erspamer” of Sapienza University of Rome few days ago (March 19th-21st, 2018). In the BBDiag project, 13 early stage researchers are involved in an advanced flow of technological and scientific research for three years, aimed at developing innovative graphene-based devices and information and communication technology (ICT) services to monitor blood biomarkers and real-world information on cognitive functions and lifestyle habits (e.g. smoking, physical exercise, diet, social interactions, etc.) in seniors at risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The BBDiag Academic Units and Small Medium Enterprises comprise the European UNIVERSITY OF PLYMOUTH (United Kingdom), DANMARKS TEKNISKE UNIVERSITET (Denmark), NORDIC BIOSCIENCE COMPOUND DEVELOPMENT A/S (Denmark), IRCCS MARIO NEGRI INSTITUTE (Italy), PROGNOMICS LTD (United Kingdom), SWANSEA UNIVERSITY (United Kingdom), CENTRO DE INVESTIGACION BIOMEDICA EN RED ENFERMEDADES NEURODEGENERATIVAS (Spain), UNIVERSITY OF ROSTOCK (Germany), ADVANCED MEDICAL PROJECTS SOCIEDAD LIMITADA (Spain), and SAPIENZA UNIVERSITY OF ROME (Italy).

The local organizer, Prof. Claudio Babiloni (Department of Physiology and Pharmacology “Erspamer”, Sapienza University of Rome), opened the Meeting introducing the concept of “Italian Baroque” as a useful metaphor in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease. In the Council of Trent (1545–63), Pope Paul III set up a commission of cardinals to regain people to Roman Catholic Church in response to the Protestant Reformation (earlier 16th Century). This commission practically produced guidelines of Baroque style aimed at making catholic religious buildings very attractive and pleasant to devotees to renovate the faith in the Roman Catholic Church. In consonance with Italian Baroque, the BBDiag new ICT services may use the periodic monitoring of blood biomarkers, cognitive functions, and lifestyle in Alzheimer’s diseasepatients not only to enrich clinical decision making but also to provide a continuous virtual encouraging feedback promoting healthy lifestyle and interest in the social world outside the home. Afterwards, Prof. Carlo Della Rocca (Dean of the local Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine) presented educational, technological, scientific, and human resources that the Sapienza University of Rome and his Faculty offer for the research on personalized Medicine.

External Lecturers of the Meeting dealt with important challenges in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease. Prof. Ferdinando Nicoletti (Sapienza University of Rome) depicted a new provocative scenario where the pathophysiological diagnostic biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease (i.e. amyloid beta 1-42 protein) and its underlying biological substrate may represent a physiological resource rather than an enemy in the drug discovery pathway. Dr. Fulvio Galeazzi and Dr. Valeria Ardizzone (GARR, Italy) described the significant resource of innovative biomedical services of the GARR platform “DECIDE” for the biomarker-based diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, Prof. Laura Bonanni (University of Chieti, Italy) emphasized the issue of specificity in the discovery of new biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease, especially at the border with other progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Lewy Body diseases.

During the Meeting, all early stage researchers and their mentors (see the Meeting Agenda in the following) presented main objectives, milestones, and deliverables of investigations planned in the BBDiag project. The discussion was very fruitful paving the plan of secondments of the early stage researchers and shared protocols, databases, analysis tools, and other resources (including those for exploitation of the discoveries in the reference market) for successful research along the project. In this context, these researchers will be involved in the development of graphene-based devices for the measurement of new blood biomarkers in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease and selected seniors with preclinical (before cognitive deficits) or prodromal (mild cognitive deficits) stages of that disease.

The Coordinator of BBDiag project, Prof. Genhua Pan (University of Plymouth), chaired the general discussion of the project towards its ambitious objectives.

The Meeting was video recorded and enriched by short interviews to all early stage researchers, mentors, and external lecturers for the dissemination of the core messages through social media in the coming weeks. During the pauses of the Meeting (e.g. coffee breaks), pictures and music of Italian Baroque livened up the environment. Furthermore, a lecture entitled “Italian Baroque in Music” was held by M° Stefano Rotondi (flute) and Mrs. Rebecca Rotondi (cello) before the social dinner of March 20th.

Mentors (first row) as well as early stage and invited researchers (second and third row) participating to the “Rome Training Meeting” of the European Horizon2020 Marie Skłodowska Curie project “Blood Biomarker-based Diagnostic Tools for Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease (BBDiag)”, held at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology “Erspamer” of the Sapienza University of Rome (March 19th-21st, 2018).

First row from the left. Prof. Paul Davey (University of Plymouth, United Kingdom), Dr. Diego Albani (IRCCS Institute Mario Negri of Milan, Italy), Prof. Claudio Babiloni (local organizer; Sapienza University of Rome, Italy), Prof. Anja Bräuer (University of Rostock, Germany), Dr. Kim Henriksen (Nordic Bioscience, Denmark), Prof. Genhua Pan (Coordinator; University of Plymouth, United Kingdom), Prof. Emmanuel Ifeachor (University of Plymouth, United Kingdom), Prof. Stefan Teipel (University of Rostock, Germany), Prof. Martin Dufva (Danmark Technical University, Denmark), andProf. Shaofeng Liu (University of Plymouth, United Kingdom).

Second row from the left. Mrs. Jagriti Sethi (Early stage researcher, ESR; University of Plymouth, United Kingdom), Mr. Aronne Bolelli (ESR; Advanced Medical Projects Sociedad Limitada, Spain),Mrs. Silvina Samy (ESR; Prognomics, United Kingdom), Mrs. Ourania Tzara (ESR; Nordic Bioscience, Denmark), Dr. Rocio Diaz (Centro de Investigacion Biomedica En Red Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas, Spain), Mrs. Jie Zheng (ESR; University of Plymouth, United Kingdom), Mrs. Jessica Janson (ESR; Sapienza University of Rome, Italy), and Mrs. Maria Teresa Pascarelli (PhD fellow, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy).

Third row from the left (standing position). Mrs. Hina Abbasi (ESR; University of Swansea, United Kingdom), Mrs. Arianna Toppi (ESR; Danmark Technical University, Denmark), Mrs. Soraya Moradi (ESR; IRCCS Institute Mario Negri of Milan, Italy), Mr. Michiel Van Bulck (ESR; Centro de Investigacion Biomedica En Red Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas, Spain), Mrs. Fatemah Sakr (ESR; Sapienza University of Rome, Italy), Dr. Roberta Lizio (senior researcher; Sapienza University of Rome, Italy), Dr. Giuseppe Noce (post-doc researcher; Sapienza University of Rome, Italy), Mrs. Marina Selivanova (ESR; Sapienza University of Rome, Italy), Dr. Ivano Antonio Triggiani (senior researcher; Sapienza University of Rome, Italy), and Dr. Claudio Del Percio (senior researcher; Sapienza University of Rome, Italy).

Reference information on the project:

Title of the project: Blood Biomarker-based Diagnostic Tools for Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

Project ID: 721281

Funded under:  H2020-EU.1.3.1. - Fostering new skills by means of excellent initial training of researchers

Topic(s): Marie Sklodowska Curie Action (MSCA) - Innovative Training Networks (ITN) 2016 

Call for proposal: H2020-MSCA-ITN-2016

Funding scheme: Marie Sklodowska Curie Action (MSCA) - Innovative Training Networks (ITN) - European Training Networks (ETN)

 Time: from January the 1st, 2017, to December the 31rd, 2020

EU contribution: EUR 3,465,749

Coordinated in: United Kingdom (Prof. Genhua Pan, University of Plymouth)

http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/205430_en.html

http://bbdiag-itn-etn.eu

 

AGENDA of Rome Training Meeting 19th-21st of March 2018

Avenue:Department of Physiology and Pharmacology "V. Erspamer" (Building CU027) Sapienza University of Rome

 

Monday March 19th, 2018

12.00

Lunch and Registration

Buffet area at Best Western Globus Hotel,Viale Ippocrate 119.

13.30

Opening of the Meeting at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology “V. Erspamer”, Sapienza University of Rome, Prof. Carlo Della Rocca (Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine) and Dr. Roberta Lizio (local Organizer).

Library "Fabrizio Eusebi", Sapienza University of Rome.

14.00

Lectio magistralis:“DECIDE ICT-based platform of GARR for Biomedical services in the assessment of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease” (part 1, part 2 and part 3), Dr. Fulvio Galeazzi and Dr. Valeria Ardizzone - GARR, Italy. Chairman: Prof. Claudio Babiloni.

Library "Fabrizio Eusebi", Sapienza University of Rome.

14.55

Lectio magistralis: “Amyloid and Alzheimer Disease: loss of function or toxic gain of function?”, Prof. Ferdinando Nicoletti - Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. Chairman: Prof. Claudio Babiloni.

Library "Fabrizio Eusebi", Sapienza University of Rome.

15.50

Coffee break

Room Cerquiglini, Sapienza University of Rome.

16.20

Talk: Prof. Genhua Pan (Graphene-based multiplexed biosensor arrays & embedded electronics) and Ph.D. student Jagriti Sethi (Multiplexed Biosensor arrays for the detection of blood based biomarkers) - Plymouth University, United Kingdom (UK).

Lecture Hall Luciani, Sapienza University of Rome.

17.00

Talk: Prof. Martin Dufva and Ph.D. student Arianna Toppi (Multiplex digital analysis of serum samples for Alzheimer’s disease diagnostics) – Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, Denmark.

Lecture Hall Luciani, Sapienza University of Rome.

17.40

Talk: Partner of Prof. Owen Guy and Ph.D. student Hina Abbasi (Development of Graphene based Biosensors for Early detection of Dementia) - Swansea University, UK.

Lecture Hall Luciani, Sapienza University of Rome.

18.20

General discussion: how to progress BBDiag research and technological innovation (20 min).

Lecture Hall Luciani, Sapienza University of Rome.

20.00

Dinner

Ristorante Casa dell’Aviatore, Viale dell'Università, 20, Roma.

 
 

Tuesday March 20th, 2018

09.00

Talk: Dr. Daniele Doneddu and Ph.D. student Silvina Samy (Effective packaging design of an in vitro diagnostic medical device for Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis and progression monitoring) – Prognomics, UK.

Library "Fabrizio Eusebi", Sapienza University of Rome.

09.40

Talk: Prof. Emmanuel Ifeachor (Machine Learning and Intelligent Data-Driven Technologies for Dementia) and Ph.D. student Chima Eke (Intelligent Data Analysis and Alzheimer’s Disease Biomarker Discovery) – Plymouth University, UK.

Library "Fabrizio Eusebi", Sapienza University of Rome.

10.20

Talk: Prof. Diego Albani and Ph.D. student Soraya Moradi (Preclinical and clinical early Alzheimer disease (AD) biomarker discovery using proteins carried by exosomes) – Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Italy.

Library "Fabrizio Eusebi", Sapienza University of Rome.

11.00

General discussion: how to progress BBDiag research and technological innovation.

Library "Fabrizio Eusebi", Sapienza University of Rome.

11.20

Coffee break

Room Cerquiglini, Sapienza University of Rome.

11.40

Talk: Dr. Kim Henriksen and Ph.D. student Ourania Tzara (Identification and exploration of neuronal protein fragments in serum as biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases ) – Nordic Bioscience, Denmark.

Lecture Hall Luciani, Sapienza University of Rome.

12.20

Talk:Prof. Ana Perez and Ph.D. student Michiel Van Bulck – Centro de Investigacion Biomedica En Red Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas, Spain.

Lecture Hall Luciani, Sapienza University of Rome.

13.00

General discussion: how to progress BBDiag research and technological innovation.

Lecture Hall Luciani, Sapienza University of Rome.

13.15

Lunch

Buffet at Best Western Globus Hotel, Viale Ippocrate 119.

14.45

Talk: Prof. Claudio Babiloni (The neural underpinning of vigilance in Alzheimer’s disease) and Ph.D. student Marina Selivanova (Exploring the relationship between blood biomarkers and brain structure/function in MCI: an EEG study using sMRIand EEG biomarkers) – Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.

Lecture Hall Luciani, Sapienza University of Rome.

15.25

Talk: Prof. Stefan Teipel (Biomarker/Working Paper), Prof. Anja Bräuer (Lipids and Alzheimer‘sDisease), and Ph.D. student Fatemah Sakr (Patho-mechanistic targets of Alzheimer’s disease in its initial stages ) – University of Rostock, Germany.

Lecture Hall Luciani, Sapienza University of Rome.

16.15

General discussion:“State of the art of our review on blood biomarkers of AD in relation to the relevant literature”: Prof. Stefan Teipel (University of Rostock, Germany), Prof. Claudio Babiloni (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy), and Prof. Genhua Pan (University of Plymouth, UK).

Lecture Hall Luciani, Sapienza University of Rome.

16.55

General discussion: How to progress BBDiag research and technological innovation.

Lecture Hall Luciani, Sapienza University of Rome.

17.15

Coffee break

Room Cerquiglini, Sapienza University of Rome.

17.35

Supervisory Board Meeting (45 min).

Lecture Hall Luciani, Sapienza University of Rome.

18.20

End of the work

19.45

Pullman meeting point

Sapienza University of Rome (more detail in due course).

20.00

Dinner

Hotel Savoy Roma - Ristorante Granet, Via Ludovisi, 15.

 

Wednesday March 21st, 2018

09.00

Talk: Prof. Claudio Babiloni (Beyond the Hospital in the Assessment of Alzheimer’s Disease) and Ph.D. student Jessica Janson (ICT-based platform of services for the collection and analysis of life-style markers, cognitive markers and blood biomarkers for Alzheimer´s disease research) – Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.

Library "Fabrizio Eusebi", Sapienza University of Rome

09.40

Talk: Partner of Dr. Rosario Perona and Ph.D. student Aronne Bolelli (Development of biosensor to measure telomere length in blood sample in Alzheimer’s Disease) – Advanced Medical Projects Sociedad Limitada, Spain.

Library "Fabrizio Eusebi", Sapienza University of Rome.

10.20

General discussion: how to progress BBDiag research and technological innovation.

Library "Fabrizio Eusebi", Sapienza University of Rome.

10.35

Publications and patents in the BBDiag project: All.

Library "Fabrizio Eusebi", Sapienza University of Rome.

11.20

Coffee break

Room Cerquiglini, Sapienza University of Rome.

11.50

Talk: Prof. Shaofeng Liu (Context of ESR-11 project. Innovative business model) and Ph.D. student Jie Zheng (Network Management for Small and Medium-sized enterprises under open business model) – Plymouth University, UK.

Lecture Hall Luciani, Sapienza University of Rome.

12.30

Closing Lecture: “At the border of Alzheimer’s Disease: Clinical Features and Biomarkers of Dementia with Lewy Bodies”, Dr. Laura Bonanni - University of Chieti “G. D'Annunzio”, Italy. Chairwoman: Dr. Roberta Lizio, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.

Lecture Hall Luciani, Sapienza University of Rome.

13.30

Lunch

Buffet at Best Western Globus Hotel, Viale Ippocrate 119.

 

End of the Meeting

 

Short interview of the Participants

Prof. Genhua Pan (Coordinator of BBDiag project, University of Plymouth, United Kingdom)

Dott. Valeria Ardizzone  (GARR, Italy)

Prof. Laura Bonanni (University of Chieti, Italy)

Prof. Anja Bräuer (University of Rostock, Germany)

Prof. Carlo Della Rocca (Dean of the local Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy)

Dott. Fulvio Galeazzi  (GARR, Italy)

Prof. Eugenio Gaudio (Rector of Sapienza University of Rome, Italy)

Prof. Emmanuel Ifeachor (University of Plymouth, United Kingdom)

Prof. Ferdinando Nicoletti (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy)

Prof. Ana Perez Castillo (CIBERNED, Spain)

Prof. Stefen Teipel (University of Rostock, Germany)

 

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