The Partners

The consortium is heavily supported by contributions of SMEs in key areas of the proposed research: biomarker testing, data handling and analysis, assay development and project management.

The project has 15 principal partners.

University of Glasgow websiteUniversity of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow undertakes leading-edge, internationally-competitive research and is a major research powerhouse with an annual research income of more than £116m. In the latest independent UK research survey, RAE 2008, nearly 70% of the University's research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent. The University is structured into four colleges of which the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences in the largest. The strategic priorities of the College are focused around six multidisciplinary institutes with translational research agendas. The Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences (within the purpose built BHF Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre) is one of the top strategic priorities of the University and integrates the expertise of clinicians and basic scientists. A dedicated clinical research facility and cutting edge imaging modalities are available within the Centre with close links to clinical services within NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (covering more than 50% of the Scottish population). The Institute has a successful track record of EU funding with the FP6 Networks of Excellence InGenious HyperCare and EURATools as well as the FP7 Programme EURATRANS. There are also a state-of -the-art genomic, proteomic and metabolomic core facilities with excellent bioinformatic support and systems medicine approaches to data integration and analysis

Unviersity of Glasgow website

Emergentec Biodevelopment GmbH websiteEmergentec Biodevelopment GmbH

Emergentec biodevelopment GmbH is a SME founded in 2002 in Vienna, Austria. Emergentecs core business is aimed at data handling and integration for supporting the development of novel diagnostics and therapy specifically by deriving biological models resting on an integration of clinical data with molecular models of disease. For this they have specifically developed a molecular network representation, clustered into functional molecular units, covering the entire human protein coding genes coming with deep annotation on co-morbidities, associated biomarkers and drugs. This platform has already been successfully applied in biomarker discovery in the cardiorenal area, resulting in numerous publications and four patent applications covering biomarkers for risk assessment. Furthermore we have strong academic partnership in the area of kidney disease and associated cardiovascular complications. In MASCARA we will utilize this platform for coming up with molecular functional units, further linking these to specific patient cohorts displaying specific CVD outcome. Machine learning algorithms will be applied for delineating CVD risk scores. MASCARA aims and objectives are thus perfectly in line with our scientific and technological expertise.

Emergentec Biodevelopment GmbH website

Kite Innovation (Europe) Limited websiteKite Innovation (Europe) Limited

KITE Innovation was established in 2006 to help bridge the gap between the academic and business sectors in supporting collaboration, enterprise, and knowledge-based business development. KITE provides hands-on practical support to all types of initiative in this business space. As an intermediary operating in the market space between business and academia, KITE interacts with many R&D based businesses as well Universities and Research Institutes. KITE can manage a wide variety of research & innovation projects on behalf of companies, academics and business support organisations. In particular expertise in the management of FP7 projects is offered to organisations that are coordinating projects. FP7 Project Management Support services cover all the management and reporting requirements of the Commission allowing the coordinator to focus on leading the scientific and research aspects of the project. All project managers possess scientific research backgrounds, and are trained in project management as well as FP7 requirements, ensuring that they can provide informed support in a wide variety of FP7 projects.

Kite Innovation (Europe) Limited

 La Fundación para la Investigación del Hospital Clínico de la Comunidad Valenciana INCLIVA website La Fundación para la Investigación del Hospital Clínico de la Comunidad Valenciana

The University Hospital Clinic and its Research Institute was set up in 2000 working both in basic and translational or applied research. Our main research areas, among others, are cardiovascular, oncology and metabolism and tissue damage. During the last year, our new facilities have to improve the quality and the environment of clinical trials and research. In order to provide the complex environments requiring current biomedicine, our foundation has created new units to support research and structures to adapt ourselves to modern times, such as Genotyping and Genetic Diagnosis Unit, Metabolomics Platform, Bio bank, etc. The University Hospital has all facilities necessaries to attend patients and provides a great support for Clinical Research. The organization is recruiting two cohorts of subjects: a) a general population study of 1500 subjects and 800 hypertensives, previously untreated.

INCLIVA

ACS Biomaker logo websiteACS Biomaker

ACS Biomarker was founded in 2007 and its main focus is to identify novel biomarkers for cardiovascular disease. The identification of novel biomarkers and the development of new diagnostic assays will lead to an improved prognosis, more personalized care and a better disease management. ACS Biomarker was built on the discovery of the serological biomarker for heart failure, galectin-3. In 2010 a diagnostic assay that quantatively measures galectin-3 in serum of heart failure patients was approved by the FDA. The company also focusses on the diagnostic implications of circulating microRNAs, a new and emerging field of biomarkers. With the discovery of miR-423-5p, ACS Biomarker is one of the first companies to perform large scale miRNA screenings on extensive cohorts of cardiovascular patients.

ACS Biomaker website

Istituto Auxologico Italiano websiteIstituto Auxologico Italiano

AUX is a Clinical Research Institute coordinated by the Ministry of Health of Italy, and has research and teaching agreements with the Universities of Milan, Milan-Bicocca and Turin. Its fields of excellence are Pathophysiology and treatment of hypertension, Neural control of circulation, Neural control of the kidney; Renin-angiotensin system; Computer analysis of cardiovascular signals, Stroke prevention and treatment, Genetics of hypertension, cardiorenal diseases, stroke, obesity and metabolic diseases. AUX has cardiovascular research laboratories with computer network and dedicated server; Heart Failure and Stroke units; Outpatient clinics for hypertension, heart failure and cardiorenal diseases; Cardiology Department with intensive cardiac unit, haemodynamic and electrophysiology labs, Heart Failure unit; Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit; clinical neurology and neurorehabilitation facilities; a Medical Genetics Laboratory equipped with an IIlumina high throughput platform for assessment of genomic background of cardiovascular, renal, metabolic and neurological diseases. Main tasks attributed to the organisation include the coordination of enrolment, follow-up and phenotyping of high risk patient cohorts, recruitment and follow-up of hypertension patients and genomic study.

Istituto Auxologico Italiano website

Randox Clinics LimitedRandox Clinics Limited

Randox Testing Services (RTS) is a spin-out company of Randox Laboratories and offers state of the art laboratory facilities that can analyse a wide range of biomarkers. During the last few years, RTS has provided this service to an eclectic mix of clients including pharma, academic research, sporting institutions and police departments. As a result of the latter collaboration, the lab is accredited to handle forensic specimens and to provide results that can withstand the full scrutiny of law. In addition, RTS has access to a revolutionary technology known as biochip array technology (BAT). BAT is designed to measure multiple analytes from a single patient aliquot and is ideally suited to this type of project where the diagnosis and risk stratification of patients is highly likely to consist of a number of biomarkers. Randox Testing Services will firstly receive and then analyse the collected samples for a range of predetermined immunological biomarkers that have been identified as potentially being important in the diagnosis and risk-stratification of cardiovascular disease.

Randox Clinics Limited website

Maastricht Unviersity websiteMaastricht Unviersity

The research infrastructure of the University of Maastricht (UNIMA) and especially Cardiovascular Research Institute UM (CARIM) are considered as “excellent and stimulating high-profile research”. CARIM is a leading institute in the field of cardiovascular research with a total of 109 international senior researchers, publishing in high impact journals, such as Nature, Nature Medicine and Journal of Experimental Medicine. CARIM/UNIMA offers an excellent and well‐organized multidisciplinary and translational research environment for studies on biomarkers and heart failure within the Research Group of Cardiology. CARIM has a lot of experience in the follow up of heart failure patients, and in analysing gene factors and microRNAs in human samples. The TIME-CHF cohort and related blood samples are now part of CARIM.

Maastricht Unviersity website

Fundación Investigación Médica Aplicada websiteFundacian Para la Investigacion Medica Aplicada FIMA

The Foundation for Applied Medical Research (FIMA) was established on 10 December 1998 according to the legislation in force, as a foundation with legal entity and full capacity to act, on a non-profit-making basis, in order to promote and finance undertakings and projects that further basic and clinical research in the area of health and bio-medicine. The FIMA, in collaboration with the University of Navarra furthered the creation of a new research centre in health sciences, the Centro de Investigación Médica Aplicada (CIMA), based in Pamplona on the campus of the University mentioned heretofore, in order to achieve scientific and clinical progress in four divisions focused on thematic areas of relevant biomedical research: Gene Therapy and Hepathology, Cardiovascular Sciences; Neuroscience and Oncology. FIMA owns and is responsible for the running of this centre. FIMA is involved in workpackage 6. Professor Díez is leader of WP6, contributing to the overall rationale design, coordination, data analysis and global dissemination of results. His team will assess the biomarkers of myocardial remodelling in blood samples from WP1 and WP2. The Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, under the direction of Professor Javier Díez, and in particular the laboratory of Hypertensive Heart Disease has a long standing reputation in the characterization of the main structural and functional alterations present in hypertensive myocardial remodelling (comprising enhanced cardiomyocyte cell growth, excessive cardiomyocyte apoptosis and accumulation of interstitial and perivascular fibrosis) and in the development of non-invasive circulating biomarkers of the process.

Fundación Investigación Médica Aplicada website

Mosaiques Diagnostics GmbH websiteMosaiques Diagnostics GmbH

Mosaiques Diagnostics GmbH is the leading specialist in clinical proteome and CE-MS analysis, currently the most advanced technology to identify disease-specific polypeptide biomarkers in body fluids. Mosaiques has published more than 100 manuscripts in leading journals and has also led the consortium that defined standards for clinical proteome analysis. Mosaiques current research activities are identification of urinary biomarkers for human diseases; sequencing of peptide biomarkers, identification of naturally occurring posttranslational modifications, development of software to analyze multidimensional data; and establishment of proteome maps of human body fluids. Among the major clinical areas of interest are coronary artery disease and chronic kidney disease. Mosaiques’ proprietary technology enables reproducible analysis and evaluation of hundreds of urine samples with mass spectrometry in a short time, based on a unique and proprietary database of proteins and peptides in human urine from over 10.000 participants.

Mosaiques Diagnostics GmbH website

Medizinische Universitaet Graz websiteMedizinische Universitaet Graz

The Department of Cardiology is part of the Medical University of Graz, one of the three Austrian Medical Universities. It has a staff of 57 physicians and researchers involved in all aspects of Clinical Cardiology, as well as basic and clinical research in the field of cardiovascular disease. The research teams involved in EU-MASCARA have long standing experience in the conduct of publicly funded longitudinal epidemiological trials and investigator-initiated clinical studies. Currently, over 3000 participants are enrolled with a 5 years follow-up for most. These projects have a focus on biomarker identification, evaluation and validation. 2 new cohorts in Graz have started recruitment in 2010: a 1000 participants prospective cohort in individuals with intermediate-high risk for cardiovascular events (project BioPersMed= Biomarkers for Personalised Medicine), and 2 heart failure trials with 700 participants within the Framework of a new Cardiovascular Research Institute at Graz (LBI.HF). For the conduct of these studies, a state-of-the-art 400m2 Clinical Research Centre for high-quality subject phenotyping and sample handling is currently established and will be available for the new studies in May 2011. All biosample handling follows established SOPs and are stored at the central ISO-certificated Biobank at MUG. In addition, the Centre for Medical Research (ZMF) at MUG proveds first-class biomedical research infrastructure including well-equipped core facilities for genomic, metabolomic and proteomic analyses. Further biomarker studies are conducted in cooperation with SMEs and large industry including Bayer Healthcare and Roche Diagnostics.

Medizinische Universitaet Graz website

Medizinische Hochschule Hannover websiteMedizinische Hochschule Hannover

The MHH was founded in 1969 and has established itself as one of the leading university hospitals in Germany with a very strong research agenda. The Department of Nephrology and Hypertension is employing 45 medical doctors and 15 scientists. Research activities are very broad and have led to important contributions to the field of nephrology over the last 10 years. Some of them are: Resistance index as marker for renal artery stenosis, identification as ADMA, circulating endothelial progenitor cells, free circulating endothelial cells, and angiopoetin as markers and risk factors for vascular and renal damage. Furthermore the department is actively involved in more than 30 clinical trials and has a large renal biopsy program (>1.000/year). All blood and urine samples from the Ingenious Hypercare family cohort (>2000 patients) and from the ROADMAP trial (>2000 patients) are stored in the MHH biobank. Furthermore, the department has access to all samples from 3000 patients with stage III kidney disease collected in the German CKD Study and to samples from 3000 patients with COPD presently collected in the COSYCONET network. The centre will be in charge for measuring oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in the EUMASCARA project.

Medizinische Hochschule Hannover website

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca websiteUniversita Degli studi di Milano-Bicocca

University of Milano-Bicocca is a young, dynamic and multidisciplinary university, which in the space of ten years has created an extensive network that includes many world-famous universities, research centres and top corporations. In this project the University of Milano-Bicocca provides a cohort a hypertensive patients in whom all anagraphic, clinic, biochemistry and ultrasonographyc data to measure cardiovascular risk profile has been obtained. Moreover the same data have been obtained in a group of normotensive subjects. For each subject DNA has been obtained and frozen. The research group has a solid and proven experience in observational studies.

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca website

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven websiteKatholiejke Universiteit Leuven

Founded in 1425, the K.U.Leuven bears the double honour of being the oldest existent catholic university in the world and the oldest university in the Low Countries. The university of Leuven is also the largest of Belgium. The Studies Coordinating Centre (SCC) is part of the Division of Hypertension and Cardiovascular Rehabilitation, Department of Cardiovascular Diseases. SCC has a long-standing and world-wide recognised experience in the coordination of large-scale epidemiological studies and randomised clinical trials in Europe, Asia, and Africa. In EU-MASCARA K.U.Leuven has a key role in the validation of diagnostic and predictive value of genetic markers in population samples and patient cohorts with long-term follow-up and associated tasks. The patient cohort FLEMENGHO was recruited by LEU between 1985-2010 and is one of the patient cohorts to be recalled and rephenotyped during EUMASCARA.

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven website

Charité - Universitaetsmedzin Berlin websiteCharité - Universitaetsmedzin Berlin

The Charité is the largest university hospital in Europe. The Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin is the medical school for the Free University of Berlin and the Humboldt University of Berlin. Each location provides patients with the full range of medical treatments available in modern medicine. However, special research and therapy focuses exist, such as the German Cardiology Center Berlin at the Campus Virchow Klinikum, the Center for Outer Space Medicine at the Campus Benjamin Franklin, the German Rheumatology Research Center at the Campus Charité Mitte, and the Center for Molecular and Clinical Cardiology at the Campus Berlin Buch. The research group is working on isolation, identification, and physiological characterization of endogenous CVD mediators. They made breakthrough findings on new CVD mediators and on new cardiovascular messengers in CKD. The research activities on this mediator from renal tubular cells may constitute a novel mechanism by which tubular cells control renal perfusion in CVD.

Charité - Universitaetsmedzin Berlin website