The Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM, National Institute of Health & Medical Research) is the only public sector research organization in France exclusively dedicated to human health. Under the dual aegis of the Ministries of Health and Research, INSERM has a budget of 998 million euros and employs 15,000 scientists, engineers and technicians all with one shared objective, namely to promote health—by advancing knowledge about living organisms and their diseases, developing innovative treatment modalities and conducting research on public health. INSERM is a world leader in the health innovation sector. In 2017, INSERM is the 9th most innovative public research institution in the world (Thomson-Reuters 2016 ranking). With a portfolio of more than 1,650 patents, it is the top-ranking European academic institute in terms of the number of patents filed in biomedical research and in the pharmaceutical sector, ranking in second place in the biotechnology sector, and sixth in France for all sectors combined (classification of the European Patents Office). In addition, INSERM is at the forefront of clinical research with its 36 Centers for Clinical Investigation (CIC), bringing together, in the same research unit researchers and clinicians.

INSERM will be participating with 4 teams in CARDIATEAM, all members of the Thematic Multi-Organization Institute «Physiopathology, Metabolism, Nutrition »:

The  Institut Cochin (INSERM U 1016), CNRS UMR 8104, Paris)

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:

Institute Mondor of Biomedical Research :

  • Prof. Genevieve Derumeaux is Head of the Ageing Exploration Platform, Head of the Cardiology Outpatient Department at Hôpital Henri Mondor and Head of the IMRB Team on “Senescence, Metabolism and Cardiovascular
  • Prof. Christian Boitard  is Professor of Clinical Immunology at University Paris Descartes; Director of the INSERM Institute Pathophysiology, Metabolism & Nutrition since 2008.
  • Prof. Etienne Audureau is a professor in epidemiology and biostatistics with an expertise in complex modelling of biological, clinical and patient reported outcomes (102 original articles in international peer reviewed journals).
  • Dr Anne Pizard is a full time scientist at INSERM. As collaborator of Pr Geneviève Derumeaux, she is largely implicated in the scientific management of CARDIATEAM taking advantage of the expertise she gained during her previous scientific co-coordination of two FP7 -funded projects (HOMAGE & FIBROTARGETS).      

CarMeN lab Lyon :

  • Jennifer Rieusset is director of research at INSERM and leader of the team MERISM (Mitochondria-Endoplasmic Reticulum Interactions and Signallingin Metabolic health and dieseases) in CarMeN laboratory at Lyon, France. She is an  expert of molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance in the context of  obesity and type 2 diabetes, with a strong expertise in mitochondria,  cellular signalling and mouse phenotyping. Her research focuses on the role of ER-mitochondria contact sites called MAMs (Mitochondria-Associated Membranes) in metabolic health and diseases (ORCID: 0000-0002-1587-2253, ResearchId: F-1595-2018,  h-index: 44).

I2MC Toulouse:

  • Frank Lezoualc’h, PhD, Director of Research at INSERM, head of the laboratory “Signaling and Pathophysiology of Heart failure” at I2MC. 

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

  • In WP1, INSERM will be leader to ensure overall coordination of CARDIATEAM project.
  • In WP2, INSERM will be leader in charge of the CARDIATEAM clinical study and more specifically in the recruitment of 100 patients via the Hospitals of Nantes and Grenoble. Inserm is also the sponsor for the French recruiting centers in the CARDIATEAM study.
  • In WP3, INSERM will contribute to set up standardized procedures for large-scale multi-centric non-invasive imaging (T3.1) and supplementary imaging protocols to identify specific pathophysiological pathways involved in DCM (T3.3) more specifically on ultrafast ultrasound (UFUS) imaging.
  • In WP4, INSERM will contribute to develop a centralized database for all centres involved in the clinical study (T4.1), to elaborate  a statistical analysis plan (T4.2); to assess data preparation, filtering and quality control (T4.4) and work on phenotypic cluster identification (T4.5)
  • In WP6, INSERM will lead the supervised analyses for diagnostic and prognostic characterization of the clusters (T6.2) and causal inference modelling (T6.4)
  • In WP7, INSERM will be the leader and contribute to collate data from existing pre-clinical models of metabolic disorders mimicking T2DM and developing cardiac dysfunction (T7.1), to in vivo investigations in preclinical models to identify DCM and follow evolution towards heart failure (T7.2) and will lead T7.3 aiming to design new in vivo models to explore innovative pathways underlying the development of a diabetic cardiomyopathy

CIBER is the Public Consortium holding main biomedical research groups in Spain, governmentally-funded by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III. CIBER group, CB16/11/00292, is located at the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón (CIBER-FIBHGM). Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón (HGUGM) is the large tertiary hospital in Madrid. The research group of CIBER at HGUGM is the Coordinating group for the CIBER Thematic Area devoted to Cardiovascular Research.The Department of Cardiology of HGUGM has a > 20-year trajectory in academic collaborative research, focused on clinical and preclinical research in heart failure, myocardial damage, arrhythmias, stem-cell therapy and cardiac imaging.

CIBER will participate with four groups to CARDIATEAM:

  • Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón (CIBER-FIBHGM)
  • Hospital Vall d’Hebron (CIBER-VHIR)
  • Hospital Clinic-IDIBAPS
  • Research Institute of Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (CIBER-IR-HSCSP)


Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:


  • MD, PhD. Javier Bermejo leads a consolidated multidisciplinary research group accounting engineers, physicists, surgeons, veterinarians and technicians, both at pre and post-doctoral level. 


  •        Dr. Jose Rodriguez-Palomares is a cardiologist with large scientific track in cardiac imaging and myocardial diseases. He is the current coordinator of the Cardiac Imaging Unit and has a long-standing trajectory in the analysis of myocardial damage using MR.


  • Prof. Lina Badimon is the Director of the Cardiovascular Science Program (ICCC) at the Hospital Santa Creu Sant Pau, Director of the Cardiovascular Research Chair of the Autonomous University of Barcelona and Director of the UNESCO Chair in Biomedical Sciences Training and Research


  • Dr. Marta Sitges is Professor of Medicine at University of .Barcelona. Her research interests include cardiac imaging, valve heart disease and cardiac remodelling. She will be the key person in supervising the project at IDIBAPS and will be closely working with other researchers

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

All tasks from WP2

In WP7, the CIBER-IR-HSCSP Badimon’s group will develop small (Zucker Diabetic and ZF rats) and large (streptozocin-induced DM in pigs) animal models of diabetic cardiomyopathy with HFpEF.

Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) is the biggest teaching hospitals in Europe, federating 39 different hospitals and groups of hospitals mainly located in Paris and its suburban area. This is also the largest employer in the Paris region with 90,000 people working for this public institution representing more than 150 different jobs. With more than 19,000 medical staff, 3000 hospital physicians, including 1000 professors and more than 6000 residents and medical students, AP-HP’s staff cover all the major medical specialities. 

As public health institution, AP-HP pursues 3 main missions: healthcare delivery, medical and paramedical teaching and biomedical and clinical research. AP-HP’ teams develop high quality research activities, including European and International Research projects. In particular, AP-HP is involved and/or coordinates more than 60 European research projects supported by the Research and Technological Development Research Programme from the European Union.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:   

  • Prof Alain Luciani, radiologist, Hôpital Henri-Mondor
  • Prof Jean-François Deux, radiologist, Hôpital Henri-Mondor
  • Dr. Vania Tacher, radiologist, Hôpital Henri-Mondor
  • Prof Jean-François Gautier, diabetologist, Hospital Lariboisière
  • Prof Etienne Larger, diabetologist, Hospital Cochin

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

In WP2: Recruitment of 500 patients (Hospital Henri Mondor, Hospital Cochin and Hospital Lariboisière) all investigated in Henri Mondor Hospital (Physiology department & Radiology department). The radiology team will perform the cardiac and liver magnetic resonance imaging for the 500 patients to be recruited in Henri Mondor, Cochin and Lariboisière hospitals


WP3 :  Draft of  the SOP on cardiac and liver magnetic resonance and coordination of the corelab for cardiac and liver magnetic resonance

The Netherlands Heart Institute (NL-HI) is a unique cooperation of the cardiology departments of all eight university hospitals in the Netherlands. The NL-HI fosters excellent cardiovascular research on national and international level, both basic science and clinical research. We aim to promote cooperation between university medical centres in the Netherlands.

The NL-HI will be participating with 4 institutions: Maastricht University Medical Center/Clinical Trial Center Maastricht (MUMC/CTCM), University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), VU medical center (VUmc) in Amsterdam, and University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU).

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:   

Maastricht University Medical Center/Clinical Trial Center Maastricht:

  • Prof Dr. Stephane Heymans leads a clinical care and research program in heart failure, in particular non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy and HFPEF.

University Medical Center Groningen:

  • Prof. Dr. Rudolf A. de Boer is a professor of cardiology and is head of the experimental cardiology.

VU medical center (VUmc) in Amsterdam :

  • Prof. Joline WJ Beulens is Professor of Epidemiology at the department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics of VU Medical Center. Petra Elders, MD PhD is Associate Professor at the department of general practice of VU medical center.

University Medical Center Utrecht:

  • Prof. Folkert W. Asselbergs is professor in cardiovascular genetics and consultant cardiologist at the department of Cardiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Professor of Precision Medicine at the Institute of Health Informatics, University College London, and chief scientific officer of the Durrer Center for Cardiovascular Research, Netherlands Heart Institute (

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

In WP2, they will recruit 100 patients across the consortium’s participating clinical centers.

In WP4, they will make the statistical analysis plan, and perform the unsupervised phenotype clustering, which they will do together with the unsupervised data analysis of the OMICs in WP6.

In WP7, they will collate models to provide a long awaited animal model for HFpEF. UMCG provides an unique mouse model of HFpEF, with elderly female mice subjected to high fat diet to provoke T2DM and angiotensin II to provoke hypertension( UMCG only).

University of Dundee is one of the world’s top 200 universities, according to the Times Higher Education, and their global Top 20 of young universities. 

UNIVDUN is the most research-intensive medium-sized research University in the UK, with leading strengthts in inter-disciplinary and impact. 

This university coordinates more than 25 Horizon 2020 projects and is a beneficiary partner in a further 26.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

  • Professor Chim C Lang (Group Leader) is a translational cardiologist with a major reputation in relation to his research in diabetes and heart failure. He has published >200 papers in major journals, including NEJM, Lancet, EHJ, JACC and Circulation. He has an H factor of 52. He was the Work Package lead for validation cohort for the FP-7 funded BIOSTAT-CHF.
  • Professor Emanuele Trucco directs the VAMPIRE initiative and co-leads the Computer Vision and Image Processing (CVIP) group in Computing, UNIVDUN. He has grown VAMPIRE into an internationally recognised and sought after tool for retinal biomarker studies in humans and recently in animals.

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

Our main task in WP3 is to deliver the Retinome, a collection of quantitative retinal data and representations including retinal microvascular parameters (RMPs), for all patients of the CARDIATEAM cohort). Retinal fundus photographs are easily accessible and inexpensive to acquire. The VAMPIRE team (Vessel Assessment and Measurement Platform for Images of the Retina; Dundee and Edinburgh Universities) has grown a software suite for semi-automated, high throughput quantitative characterization of the retinal microvasculature that has enabled the semi-automatic generation of rich descriptions of the retinal vasculature (~130 parameters per retina).

Second University Hospital in France, Louis Pradel Hospital is one of the several hospital groups of HCL and includes all units depicted below. It includes cardiology (medical and surgery), endocrinology, pneumology and vascular surgery.

The work group is part of Louis Pradel Hospital includes in a single center : a 12-bed cardiology outpatient clinic, a 6-rooms Echolab dedicated to noninvasive imaging technologies, a radiology unit (Creatis) high-expertise MRI,  and a diabetic and metabolic medical unit (Pr Moulin).

HCL is participating with its linked third Party: CERMEP-Imaging Platform-France.

CERMEP is an imaging platform with different biomedical imaging modalities located on a single hospital site: A microPET, a 7-Tesla MRI, a clinical PET/CT, a clinical PET-MRI, a 1.5T MRI, a 3T MRI, a spectral scanner, a MEG +  a PET radiochemistry laboratory, a PET radiopharmacy, a radiopharmacology lab, a radiological operating room, an animal facility. This unique vicinity of preclinical and clinical imaging allows translational studies from animal model to the patient.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

  • Dr C.Bergerot (MD) in charge of clinical unit. Responsible for recruitment and enrollment
  • Dr. Danielle Ibarrola (PhD), CNRS research engineer specialized in MRI imaging (CERMERP)

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

HCL will recruit 150 patients for WP2. CERMEP-Imaging platform will support MRI imaging for HCL recruited patients.

The University of Aix Marseille is participating with two departments: 

Center for CardioVascular and Nutrition research (C2VN) is a Center for CardioVascular and Nutrition research whose scientific interest is cardiovascular health and disease, micronutrition and dysoxia, combining laboratory and clinical scientific approaches.

Centre de Résonance Magnétique Biologique et Médicale (CRMBM) specializes in the development and applications of MR methods (imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS)) and instruments for the morphologic, metabolic and functional exploration of animal models (rodents) and humans, in particular in the field of cardiovascular pathologies including diabetes.

AMU is the biggest university in France (and largest French-speaking University in the world) with the highest number of students, personal staff and budget. 

It gathers more than 76,000 students including 10,000 international students, 7,680 administrative staffs, lecturers, researchers, engineers and technicians, 12 doctoral schools and nearly 3,650 PhD students. AMU hosts 132 research structures (118 research units and 14 federal structures) in conjunction with leading research organizations. 

At the last international Shanghai ranking published in August 2018, AMU is ranked 114 over the world’s 500 ranked universities and 4th among French universities.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

Center for CardioVascular and Nutrition research:

  • Prof Anne Dutour, Prof of physiology , head of department of diabetology and nutrition, member of FORCE (Fcrin); head of group on ectopic fat development.

Centre de Résonance Magnétique Biologique et Médicale:

  • Dr. Monique Bernard, research director at CNRS, biophysicist, head of CRMBM and of the cardiovascular team, coordinator of the Marseille node of the national infrastructure France Life Imaging, specialized in applications of magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy to cardiac pathophysiology.
  • Bénédicte Gaborit, Professor of Endocrinology dans  “Center for Cardiovascular Reserach and Nutrition Research” et Frank Kober, research director at CNRS, Co-head of the Cardiovascular Team dans “Centre de Résonance Magnétique Biologique et Médicale”.

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

WP2 Patients recruitment, clinical exploration and WP3 MRI explorations (cardiac function and ectopic fats).

The University Hospital Aachen of the Rheinisch Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) is one of the largest University Centers of Germany.

One major focus of the Medical Faculty and University Hospital is Cardiovascular Medicine. The Department of cardiology of the university hospital Aachen is one of the largest units for cardiovascular medicine from a clinical and research point of view in Germany.

The main clinical and research topic relates to Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease with the focus on Heart Failure aiming to identify novel mechanisms, drug targets, and disease relevant biomarkers.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

  • Prof Dr. Nikolaus. Marx (NM-male) is director and chair of the department of cardiology at the university hospital of Aachen. His main interest is heart disease and atherosclerosis in diabetes. He is involved as one of the main investigators in many major CVOTs in patients with diabetes and is member of the board of the german society for cardiology.
  • Prof Dr. Dirk Müller-Wieland (DMW-male) is diabetologist (president of the german diabetes association) with special interest in diabetes and heart failure.

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

The team will be especially involved in WP2 (cohorts of patients with type 2 diabetes, HFpEF, HCM) and also deeply involved in WP3 (MRI imaging).

Heidelberg University is the oldest university in Germany (founded 1368).

The medical faculty is largest faculty of the university and the clinical units are forming the Universitäts Klinikum Heidelberg (UKL-HD).

UKL-HD is one of the most renowned and largest medical institutions in Europe. The Dept. of Int. Medicine III Cardiology, Pulmology and Angiology (IM III), led by Prof. Dr. Hugo A. Katus, is the largest single university cardiology in Germany, staffed with 95 clinical / scientific employees providing cutting edge clinical care.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

  • Prof. Dr. med. Benjamin Meder, head of the Lab. of Mol. Gen. and Translational Biotech. at IM III., received scholarships from Efellows, BAYER AG.

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

UKL-HD will recruit 100 HCM patients.

The University of Leuven was founded 1425 by Pope Martin V. As such, KU Leuven bears the double honour of being the oldest existent Catholic university in the world and the oldest university in the Low Countries. At present, KU Leuven caters to more than 55,000 students from more than 150 nations.

The lab on cardiovascular imaging and dynamics is part of the department of cardiovascular sciences (faculty of medicine) and focuses on the development, validation and application of new imaging methodologies that can help in obtaining more insight in the patho-physiology of the heart and – as such – contribute to a better diagnosis and therapy of the individual cardiac patient. The lab is embedded in the Medical Imaging Research Centre that is located in the core of the University hospitals.

Historically, ultrasound imaging has taken a central role in the lab’s research activities although other imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging and optical coherence tomography are part of its research program as well.

The lab exists of 3 staff members and about 25 temporary co-workers (post-docs, PhD, research fellows). It has served as a pioneer in functional cardiac ultrasound imaging (i.e. strain imaging) and is organizer of an annual meeting on this topic.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

  • Prof. Frank Rademakers Scopus h-index: 45; research focus is on physiology and pathophysiology of cardiac mechanics and hemodynamics using several imaging modalities.
  • Prof. Jan D’hooge Scopus h-index: 51,  has his research focus on the development of new ultrasound imaging modalities with the associated automatic image quantification.
  • Bart Jacobs, MD cardiologist-intensivist, junior PhD researcher in the field of echocardiography and hemodynamics.

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

KU Leuven will be responsible for: i) the coordination of WP3 on non-invasive imaging; ii) running the core-labs focusing on morphology/functional assessment using ultrasound and iii) dissemination activities.

The Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) is a public research organization for translational biomedical research.

Its mission is to generate knowledge on disease mechanisms and contribute to the development of new diagnostics, innovative therapies and clinical applications that impact the healthcare of Luxembourgish and European citizens.

The activities of the Luxembourg Institute of Health are developed within the following research topics: Oncology, Infection and Immunity, Population Health.

During the last years, LIH was involved in more than 270 projects, 43 public-private partnerships and signed 192 agreements.

LIH will participate with two departments:

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

Cardiovascular research unit:

  • Yvan Devaux PhD is Head of the Cardiovascular Research Unit at LIH with >15 years of experience in cardiovascular disease research and omics analyses.

Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg:

  • Hermann Thien PhD, Director and Head of IBBL, with more than 15 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical sector
  • Mesele Valenti MSc, Clinical Research Project Manager and contact person, with more than 10 years of experience in Cardiovascular and Cancer research  

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

CVRU will be a partner in WP5 (Multiple sample Analysis) in which it will contribute to omics analyses and biomarker identification. CVRU will also contribute to WP6 (Disease modelling) for unsupervised analyses to identify multi-omics signatures, characterization of patient clusters, and pathway analyses. 

LIH-IBBL will be a partner in WP5 (Multiple sample Analysis), acting as the central Biobank for the project and responsible for the re-distribution of samples to relevant analytical centres. LIH-IBBL will also be responsible for the review and distribution of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for sample collection, as well as for the QC of plasma and serum samples prior to their use in downstream analyses.

The University of Turin (UNITO) is one of the largest and most prestigious Italian universities, with about 70,000 students, 4,000 employees and 1,800 research fellows over 27 Departments, encompassing all scientific disciplines.

UNITO is involved in about 450 international cooperation agreements with institutions from all around the world and manages roughly 500 research projects per year, among which 115 FP7- and 82 H2020-funded projects so far, including 7 ERC grants and 9 Research Infrastructure projects.

UNITO Department of Medical Sciences (DMS) largely covers multidisciplinary research activities, from basic biology to clinical application, and is ranked among the top biomedical Departments in Italy.  The cardio-metabolic area is one of the 4 main research areas of DMS.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

  • Prof Giuseppe Matullo is Associate Professor of Human Genetics at the Dept. of Medical Sciences, University of Torino (Italy), School of Medicine.

    Dr. Alessandra Allione PhD, biologist, project manager and research contact.

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

We will be involved in the system biology approach for data analysis using data from multiple sample analysis (WP4) and in the genomics/epigenomic/transcriptomic analyses (WP5), and supporting bioinformatic analyses of omics data (WP6).

Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU) is the German Research Center for Environmental Health and it is one of 18 research centres within the Helmholtz Association, the largest scientific organisation in Germany (39,193 employees).

HMGU has approximately 2340 employees of 68 different nationalities organised in 49 institutes or research units.

The institute of epidemiology (EPI) has established the human KORA (Kooperative Gesundheitsforschung in der Region Augsburg) cohort. KORA is a population-based adult cohort study in the Region of Augsburg, Southern Germany. KORA was initiated in 1984 and four surveys were conducted with 18 079 participants recruited until 2001. Research builds on the unique resources of the KORA cohort and the KORA myocardial infarction registry with broad information on diseases and related risk factors.

The Metabolism group from the EPI characterized biomarkers of diseases of interest including T2DM and CVD by using OMICs data derived from the KORA cohort.

The group uses machine learning, as well as statistical and bioinformatical approaches to integrate metabolomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics, genomics data, and information from public databases to better understand the pathophysiological mechanisms and identify candidate biomarkers or potential drug targets, with the final goal to translate our discoveries into clinical practice.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

  • Rui Wang-Sattler (PhD) is physicist and will be responsible for generating proteomic and metabolomic data, and contribute expertise in disease modelling.
  • Siyu Han (PhD Student) is bioinformatician and will contribute to QC and disease modelling using unsupervised methods. 

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

  • In WP3, we will contribute expertise gained from the KORA cohort and KORA myocardial infarction registry. 
  • In WP5, we will provide SOPs, generate proteomics and metabolomics data and perform QC.
  • In WP6, we will contribute to disease modelling using unsupervised methods and pathway analyses based on available OMICs data from the KORA cohort.

A member of the Russell Group of the UK’s 24 top research-intensive universities Queen’s University Belfast is an international centre of innovation and excellence, providing world-class education underpinned by world-class research. 

The Centre for Experimental Medicine is a recently opened state of the art research institute where cutting edge research is performed including work in the strategic health research themes of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, including clinical trials, pre-clinical models, and omics based biomarker research.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

  • Dr Chris Watson is a Lecturer in Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in Queen’s University Belfast. Dr Watson’s expertise focus on biomarker discover activities for heart failure and diabetic cardiomyopathy (proteomics, RNA sequencing, and DNA methylation profiling), and in vivo models of cardiovascular disease including diabetic cardiomyopathy, hypertensive heart disease, myocardial infarction.

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

  • WP7, Task 7.1: In vivo models, for example, diabetic cardiomyopathy (STZ, high fat diet) and comparator models if required (myocardial infarction, pressure overload). Associated in vivo imaging, ex vivo tissue analysis, RNA sequencing and DNA methylation profiling. 

The SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics is a non-profit organisation that coordinates research and education in bioinformatics throughout Switzerland and provides high quality bioinformatics services to the national and international research community. 

Vital-IT is a Competency Centre in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology that provides infrastructure, support and technological R&D for life science and clinical research in Switzerland and internationally. 

It is a collaboration between partners with highly complementary competences: 

  • the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB),
  • the Universities of Lausanne, Geneva, Bern and Fribourg,
  • the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research,
  • the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL).

Vital-IT partners with scientists to build computational solutions facilitating their research or to transform their ideas into production-quality software.

Vital-IT also coordinates the use of information technology and bioinformatics resources in life sciences. In particular, it supports research through integration with the genomics, proteomics and imaging core facilities in south-west Switzerland and by taking part in several national and international projects.

Vital-IT supports postgraduate education through training and workshops in coordination with SIB and institutional partners. Additionally, the group serves as an interface between academic research and its users and customers in the commercial world.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

  • Dr. Mark Ibberson is a senior computational biologist in the Vital-IT group of the SIB since 2009 working on projects related to diabetes (IMIDIA, RHAPSODY, BEAt-DKD), cardiovascular disease, cancer and immunology. Before moving to Vital-IT, he worked for 9 years at Merck Serono as a computational biologist in the areas of genomics, integrative data analysis and knowledge management.
  • Dr. Robin Liechti is a senior computational biologist in the Vital-IT group since 2006 where his expertise in scientific data visualization, data managment, database and web application development has been used in several research projects including IMI IMMUCAN, RHAPSODY and IMIDIA project.
  • Dr. Olivier Martin is a software developer at Vital-IT since 2006 where he specializes in Java programming and web/software development for both international and local projects.

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

Set up of a centralized database and secure hosting servers; Curation, structuring and harmonization of data; Systems biology and statistical analysis (WP4&WP6).

OPALE combines IT consulting and solutions integration, in a sustainable company dedicated to professional computer graphics, medical imaging and clinical studies.

OPALE solutions and services are based on the 30-years experience of an in-house multidisciplinary expert team.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

  • Alain Cazals is the technical Director / Group leader.
  • Sonia Prévost is the Project Manager – contributing from needs analysis to solution implementation – qualified for the management of any person relevant to the project construction

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

OPALE will organize and manage all aspects of data workflow (WP3 task 3.2 – WP4 tasks 4.1 & 4,3):

  • Appliance for standardization, anonymization and secured transmission
  • Anonymized Imaging bank
  • eCRF for clinical data and corelab data
  • Cardiateam secure dashboard

Metabrain is an innovative and pioneer biotechnology company specialized in the treatment and prevention of Metabolic Ageing, a cluster of glucometabolic disorders (from diabetes and obesity that progressively evolve toward frailty and fatal complications).

Benefiting from its R&D platform, Metabrain leverages its expertise to bringing therapeutic customized solutions to elderly and frail patients and allowing their treatment efficacy tracking.

Engaged in solving big challenges in healthcare by translating innovative research and technology into products (Advances Diagnostics, Personalized Medicines/Solutions) that make people’s lives better, Metabrain has placed scientific excellence and value creation at the core of its business model.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

  • Valérie Autier As CEO and founder, Valérie Autier is a scientist by training (PhD in Cellular & Molecular Biology). She has a 20 y-experience in research and formerly worked as Head of Metabolic Drug Discovery & Preclinical Development at Merck Serono.
  • Micheline Kergoat is a scientific expert in metabolic disorders (PhD in Nutrition & Nutrition Pathophysiology

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

WP7: Characterization of cardiopathy in a spontaneously type 2 diabetic rat model, the GK rat. Measurement of several biomarkers of diabetic cardiopathy in plasma and tissue samples of human and animal models.

Founded in 2000, Inserm Transfert SA is the private subsidiary of the French National Institute of the Health and Medical Research (INSERM), dedicated to technology transfer (from invention disclosure to industrial partnership).

Inserm Transfert runs a comprehensive set of technology transfer activities from classical value chain activities to unique solutions :

  • Scouting & Intellectual property management, with a philosophy of giving a chance to all innovations (in 2016: 294 invention disclosures analyzed, 168 new patent applications filed, a portfolio of 1555 patent families)
  • Early development & Proof-of concept support for therapeutics and diagnostics (biomarkers), with a philosophy of maximum consolidation of the earliest phases, approximately €2m invested in 44 projects in 2016, and more than €13m since 2009 with the objective to create value. About 30 transfers (17 collaborations, 18 licensees, 11 start-up creations)
  • Setting up public multi-private partnerships on cohorts, databases, biobanks & public health management
  • Collaborative Research Funding: setting up proposals and managing collaborative research projects (FP7, H2020, IMI, national programmes, etc.).

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

  • Kristina Fiedler M.A.  Senior Project Manager,  joined Inserm-Transfert in 2011 at the Department of European Affairs and has now more than 10 years of experience in the management and coordination of FP7 and H2020 funded research and CSAs (Coordination and support) projects. She holds a Master degree in European Studies with a specialty in Management of European funded projects from the University of Cergy-Pontoise in France (2011) as well as a German Master degree in Social Sciences (Diplom-Sozialwirtin) from the University of Göttingen in Germany (2006).

Main tasks in the project per WP:   

IT will be assisting the coordinator and project leader in the overall project running, supporting for the legal and administrative management of the consortium and for the coordination of the dissemination and exploitation of foreground and management of Intellectual property (all WP1). The main tasks can be summarized as follows:

  • Ensure a professional driving of the project with adapted management internet based tools and in accordance with administrative, financial and legal issues defined by the IMI contract; (Task 1.1 )
  • Provide the partners with adequate communication tools (website, logo, leaflet, press releases) (Task 1.3)
  • Offer a logistic support for the organization of meetings and writing of minutes; (Task 1.1)
  • Contribute to a professional management of the IP of the project. (Task 1.3 )

SANOFI Aventis Research and Development is a legal entity of SANOFI.

The Chilly Mazarin Site in France (Paris Area) hosts a large part of the R&D value chain, ensuring continuum between R & D and innovation in various fields such as cardiovascular disorders, fibrosis, and neurodegenerative disorders. 

It brings together the skills and talents for the discovery and development of innovative therapeutic solutions, medicines addressing major public health issues and the needs of patients.

Integrated within a fertile biomedical ecosystem SANOFI is connected to the global network of innovation in the field of health.

Key Staff Members who  undertook the work:  

  • Philip Janiak Philip received his PharmD from the Paris University in 1984 and his PhD in Cardiovascular Pharmacology from the University of Iowa, USA in 1989.  After completing his PhD he joined the Servier Research Institute in 1989 where he directly contributed to the discovery and the preclinical development of ivabradine (Procoralan®).  In 1996 he joined SANOFI as the head of Pharmacology in the Cardiovascular-Thrombosis Research Department before taking larger research responsibilities progressively over the years. 
  • Matthias Gossel Matthias Gossel is Global Alliance Manager, Public Private Partnership and has been working in SANOFI for almost 25 years
  • Werner Kramer Scientific & Biomedical Consultant; Werner Kramer (MD, PhD) has 35 years of experience in biomedical research & development and has tenured several leadership positions in R&D at Hoechst AG, Hoechst Marion Roussel, Aventis and SANOFI including Member of the Board of SANOFI-Aventis Germany

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

SANOFI participated in WP2 and WP7 (co-lead).  SANOFI scientists were  involved in the definition of cohorts, statistical analysis, preclinical models definition and the clinical variables. They also contributing in WP5 for the analysis of transcriptomics.

Bayer Pharmaceuticals is the pharmaceutical division of Bayer AG.

We aim to improve people’s quality of life with our products. To achieve this, we concentrate on the research and development of innovative drugs and novel therapeutic approaches.

At the same time, we are constantly improving established products. In this context, Bayer Pharmaceuticals uses the experience it has gained from over a century in the business.

We concentrate on the following major therapeutic groups in which we make fundamental contributions to medical progress: Cardiovascular and blood diseases, Oncological diseases, Ophthalmology, and Women’s healthcare.

Bayer Pharmaceuticals has been involved in several projects since the beginning of IMI and has initiated this call with its EFPIA partners to assess the uniqueness of diabetic cardiomyopathy relative to other forms of heart disease.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

  • Dr. Jutta Meyer Jutta Meyer received her Diploma in Biology (Microbiology) at the University of Duesseldorf, Germany, in 1989 and her PhD in molecular biology from the University of Duesseldorf, Germany in 1993. Jutta joined BAYER in 2010 as lab head (in vivo pharmacology) at BAYER and conducts drug discovery for cardiovascular and vascular disorders in the department of pre-clinical pharmacology
  • Dr. Daniel Freitag received his Diploma in Molecular Medicine in 2009 from the University of Bonn, Germany. . Since 2017 he is the director of the cardiovascular data sciences group, responsible for the identification, acquisition and analysis of complex, large-scale datasets for all areas of cardiovascular disease.

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

BAYER will participate in WP4 and WP6:

  • BAYER scientists will be involved in the initial definition of the statistical analysis plan and the clinical variables to be included in the bioinformatics analyses.
  • BAYER will contribute to and provide guidance on the unsupervised machine learning on deep phenotypic data to identify phenotypic clusters.

Lilly was founded in 1876, with Headquarters located in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A and with operations based in the US and EU, Eli Lilly is now the 15th largest pharmaceutical company in the world. Across the globe, Lilly has developed productive alliances and partnerships that advance our capacity to develop innovative medicines at lower costs.

Eli Lilly is a research-based pharmaceutical company committed to create value for all stakeholders by accelerating the flow of innovative medicines that provide improved outcomes for individual patients and to help people live longer, healthier, more active lives.

Eli Lilly clinical research for testing new drugs is being conducted in more than 55 countries, with research and development facilities located in 6 countries and manufacturing plants located in 13 countries. Lilly products are marketed in 120 countries.

Eli Lilly and Company has been a global leader in diabetes care since 1923, with the introduction of the world’s first commercially available insulin product.

Over 90 years later Eli Lilly and Company remains committed to meeting the needs of people with diabetes through a broad range of marketed medicines and support programs, including investments in a large diabetes drug discovery and development pipeline.

Diabetes research and drug development is focused on new medicines to improve care of individual patients with diabetes and incorporates active biomarker research within most pipeline projects.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

  • Flora Sam, MD is a cardiologist, advanced heart failure cardiologist, clinician and physician-scientist.  In 2019 she joined Imbria, a start-up biotech, as the CSO. In 2020 she joined Lily as Senior Medical Fellow, Early Phase Cardiovascular Research, Research & Development & Clinical Research in Diabetes and Complications. At Lily, as the heart failure cardiologist, she shapes drug development in discovery, pre-clinical models of HF and builds and drives drug development in clinical studies (Phase 1-3). She plays a key role in sustaining and growing the success of Lilly’s initiative to developing new therapies for the treatment of heart failure and cardiovascular diseases. Dr Sam also holds a joint appointment as a Full Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at Boston University School of Medicine.

  • Dr. Hana Baker has conducted cardiovascular and metabolic disease drug discovery at Schering Plough Research Institute and Lilly for almost 18 years

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

Lilly will participate to WP5 (co-lead) and WP7.Lilly researchers will be involved in shaping the depth and breadth of clinical OMICs analysis and provide bioinformatics expertise in order to assist/drive data analysis and deconvolute the complex biomarker data sets across different patient groups.  Lilly will provide guidance and characterize new animal model of diabetic cardiomyopathy based on the findings of the human OMICs analyses.

Maastricht University (UM) is the most international university in the Netherlands and, with nearly 22,000 students and 4,400 employees, is still growing. The university distinguishes itself with its innovative education model, international character and multidisciplinary approach to research and education.The School of Cardiovascular Research (CARIM) within the University of Maastricht (UM) is one of the top institutes for translational cardiovascular research in Europe. It is among the world leaders on translational research in the fields of cardiovascular and thrombotic disorders, arrhythmias and heart failure.

Key Staff Members who will be undertaking the work:  

  • Prof.Dr. Stephane Heymans, Cardiologist
  • Dr. Job Verdonschot, Geneticist, Cardiology experience
  • Dr. Miranda Nabbent, Molecular Biologist, Cardiac metabolism.

Main tasks in the Project per WP:

In WP 4: UM together with other partners (INSERM and SIB) will analyze the deep phenotypic data measuring cardiac, vascular, pulmonary, renal and skeletal muscle function using unsupervised clustering techniques. The data will have had undergone extensive quality control in WP4.4 to make sure that there are no outlier patients and that the patient data collected from different centers or generated using different platforms are comparable


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 821508. 
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