Call for cardiovascular scientists to contribute data to multinational platform

Topics: Cardiovascular research, data sharing, big data

The first international platform for sharing cardiovascular data has been launched by euCanSHare, an EU-Canada funded project being implemented by 17 partners, led by the University of Barcelona (UB)1 and including the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).2 Cardiovascular researchers are encouraged to use the platform to browse, deposit and analyse data.

The project brings together information on more than one million individuals from 35 cardiovascular cohorts in the EU, Canada and beyond. It aims to accelerate research in personalised medicine for cardiovascular disease and to promote the responsible exchange of data while reducing cultural, behavioural and technological barriers to Open Science.

Project coordinator Dr. Karim Lekadir of the University of Barcelona, Spain said: “euCanSHare is an unprecedented effort to create a long-awaited international data platform for more responsible sharing and more efficient exploitation of large-scale cardiovascular research studies across institutions. euCanSHare will facilitate access to information on available cardiovascular datasets, while increasing trust through well-established and highly secure data management mechanisms.”

The platform, which is hosted on the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre’s (BSC’s) cloud, holds metadata on social and demographic factors, “omics” (DNA/RNA/proteins), cardiac imaging, lifestyle behaviours, and clinical data including outcomes.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide: ischaemic heart disease and stroke were responsible for the most deaths globally in 2019.3 The majority of heart attacks and strokes can be prevented with healthy lifestyles including physical activity and a nutritious diet, controlling body weight, and not smoking. Management is most effective when conditions are diagnosed early, and treatments are tailored to individual patients.

Personalised management relies on the discovery of individual biomarkers that identify who is at risk of cardiovascular disease and who will respond to a particular therapy. Research in this field requires integrating large amounts of cardiovascular data, including molecular, imaging and clinical data as well as lifestyle and demographic information from heterogeneous population and patient cohorts. This presents fundamental challenges for data storage, management and analysis, IT capacity, and accessibility4 – which are addressed by euCanSHare, the most comprehensive cardiovascular data catalogue ever assembled.

Consortium member Professor Steffen Petersen of Queen Mary University of London, UK, and president-elect of the ESC’s European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI) said: “My research focuses on how to prevent, diagnose and treat heart failure in at-risk diabetic patients. Using multiple diverse cohorts from euCanSHare increases the statistical power of my research and enables me to more thoroughly investigate the role of lifestyle, ethnicity and genetics.”

“euCanSHare provides the privacy and governance mechanisms for the secondary use of data,” said Professor Bartha Maria Knoppers (McGill University, Canada) who together with Professor Pascal Borry (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium) leads the work package on ethics and interoperability.

The euCanSHare platform covers the entire research path, from data access to distribution of results. Features include: 1) a cohort browser and catalogue enabling professionals to search for cohorts to use in their research; 2) a controlled access manager user interface for providing credentials and requesting permission to use selected information (which will go live next year); 3) a data manager tool for new data depositions; 4) a data analyser workspace for approved users; and 5) written instructions and a helpdesk to guide new users of the platform.

In particular, the catalogue provides a detailed description of available datasets, including key variables, access policies and harmonisation status across cohorts. In the current version, the catalogue provides information on 310,000 individuals from 30 studies.

Consortium member Dr. Josep Lluis Gelpi of the BSC said: “The platform is cross-linked to well-established data infrastructures, such as the European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) and the European Research Infrastructure for Imaging Technologies in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (Euro-BioImaging), to enhance and standardise data deposition, data security, harmonisation and sharing procedures.”

Funding: euCanSHare is a 4-year (2018-2022), €6 million Research and Innovation Action funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme (grant agreement No 825903), under the call H2020-SC1-BHC-2018-2020 (Better Health and care, economic growth and sustainable health systems). All Canadian partners are funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS).

euCanSHare Consortium

1. Universitat de Barcelona, Spain (Project Coordinator);

2. Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Canada;

3. Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany;

4. Lynkeus, Italy;

5. Erasmus Universitair Medisch Centrum Rotterdam, Netherlands;

6. Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom;

7. Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University, Canada;

8. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium;

9. Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain;

10. Fundacio Centre de Regulacio Genomica, Spain;

11. European Society of Cardiology, France;

12. Biobanks and Biomolecular resources Research Infrastructure – European Research Infrastructure Consortium (BBMRI-ERIC), Austria;

13. Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Canada;

14. Terveyden ja Hyvinvoinnin Laitos, Finland;

15. Universitätsmedizin Greifswald, Germany;

16. Nostrum Biodiscovery, Spain;

17. University of Pompeu Fabra, Spain.


1For more information on EU-funded research projects, with Karim Lekadir’s involvement visit:

2For more information on ESC EU-funded research projects visit:

3World Health Organization. Global Health Estimates: Life expectancy and leading causes of death and disability. Available at

4Kirchhof P, Sipido KR, Cowie MR, et al. The continuum of personalized cardiovascular medicine: a position paper of the European Society of Cardiology. Eur Heart J. 2014;35:3250–3257.

About the University of Barcelona

The University of Barcelona is the major public university in Catalonia and one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in Spain.

About the European Society of Cardiology

The European Society of Cardiology brings together health care professionals from more than 150 countries, working to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people lead longer, healthier lives.

HealthyCloud: Defining the Strategic Agenda for the European Health Research and Innovation Cloud

● Funded by the European Commission, HealthyCloud will contribute a strategic Agenda towards the European Health Research and Innovation Cloud
● The project will work in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders to ensure that all voices are included and that the results are technically and ethically sound.

Advances in health and biomedical sciences require that health research is performed timely, efficiently and oriented to high-quality results. To meet this need and to maximise the impact of health research, adopting best practices in health data management is essential. Accordingly, one of the priorities of the European Commission 2019-2025 is the creation of a
European Health Data Space (EHDS).

The EHDS will be a means to improve health research and its translation to healthcare at all levels: from public health to personalised medicine, through secondary use of health data. HealthyCloud will deliver a Strategic Agenda for the implementation of the European Health Research and Innovation Cloud (HRIC), which will be one of the cornerstones of the EHDS.

“In the HealthyCloud project, we have joined forces from multiple health and healthrelated domains to shape the future Health Research and Innovation Cloud”, said Juan González-García, Biocomputing Unit Manager at the Institute for Health Sciences in Aragon (IACS) and HealthyCloud Co-coordinator.

“HealthyCloud will pave the way for an effective health-related data sharing across Europe, contributing to the realization of the European Health Data Space. It is important to understand existing barriers that limit the effective exchange of healthrelated data. This effort will allow us to propose ethically sound, legally compliant and technically feasible open standards and protocols to overcome them”, said Salvador Capella, Spanish National Bioinformatics Institute (INB) Coordination Node Leader at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and HealthyCloud Co-coordinator.

The Strategic Agenda will incorporate consolidated feedback from a broad range of stakeholders, including the European Commission, the Member States and regional, national, European and international relevant initiatives. These agents will be invited to be part of the HealthyCloud Stakeholder Forum, designed to facilitate the dialogue among them and the
Consortium, and to act as an umbrella to bring together similar efforts in specific domains.

HealthyCloud has been organised around four fundamental objectives that cover:

  1. interactions with stakeholders to ensure their voices are included as part of the Strategic Agenda;
  2. inclusion of Ethical, Legal and Societal aspects in the design of the future HRIC ecosystem;
  3. sustainable access, use and re-use of health-related data, available in several data collections spread in data hubs, considering a progressive adoption of the FAIR principles; and
  4. technological solutions in terms of computational facilities and mechanisms to enable distributed health data analysis across Europe.

The project is driven by two real-world use cases on cancer and atrial fibrillation, which will ensure that propositions by domain-specific and technological experts are technically and ethically sound and legally compliant. The ultimate goal is to propose the blueprint to create an
ecosystem that builds and reinforces the trust of patients and citizens in the use of their health data for research actionable through a portal that serves as an interface to interact with the cloud services.

About HealthyCloud
HealthyCloud (Health Research & Innovation Cloud) is funded by the European Commission with a budget of €3 million and is active from 1 March 2021 to 31 August 2023. It brings together 21 organizations from 11 countries with broad and yet complementary expertise, including
European Research Infrastructure Consortiums, national public health institutes, data hubs and academic institutions. The partners of the project are Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud (IACS), Sciensano, European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN), EGI Foundation,
Biobanks and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure Consortium (BBMRI-ERIC), European Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure in Medicine (EATRIS), EuroBioImaging, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), Technologie Und Methodenplattform Fur Die Vernetzte Medizinische Forschung Ev (TMF), Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL),
Austrian National Public Health Institute (GÖG), Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Servicio Andaluz de Salud (SAS), University of Luxembourg (UNILU), Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), CSC – IT Center for Science, University of Tartu, German Network for Bioinformatics Infrastructure (de.NBI-Cloud), Serviços
Partilhados do Ministério da Saúde Epe (SPMS), Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC).

Further information:
Contact: Esther Dorado, HealthyCloud Dissemination Officer,

EuCanImage: A new large-scale international project funded by the European Commission to build a secure and federated imaging platform for next-generation artificial intelligence in oncology

The EuCanImage consortium is pleased to announce that its €10-million grant proposal has been selected for funding by the European Commission, with a perfect evaluation score of 15/15 points. EuCanImage will build a federated, secure and scalable European cancer imaging platform, with capabilities that will enhance the potential of artificial intelligence in oncology. This 4-year research project will start on 1st October 2020 and will comprise 20 world-renown research institutions, companies and clinical centres across Europe and the United States.

The EuCanImage platform will be populated with a new data resource totalling over 25,000 subjects, which will allow to investigate unmet clinical needs like never before, such as for the detection of small liver lesions and metastases of colorectal cancer, or for estimating molecular subtypes of breast tumours and pathological complete response. Moreover, the cancer imaging platform, leveraging the well-established Euro-BioImaging infrastructure, will be cross-linked to biological and health repositories through the European Genome-phenome Archive, allowing to develop multi-scale AI solutions that integrate organ-level, molecular and other clinical predictors into dense patient-specific cancer fingerprints. Furthermore, to foster international cooperation and leverage existing success stories, the consortium comprises the coordinators of The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA), the US cancer imaging repository funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Karim Lekadir, EuCanImage’s Project Coordinator from the University of Barcelona, declared: “EuCanImage is an unprecedented opportunity to create a long-awaited European platform for sharing and leveraging large-scale cancer imaging and non-imaging data. It will leverage world-renown expertise in the fields of radiomics/radiogenomics, artificial intelligence, data protection, data management, and clinical oncology”.

The EuCanImage consortium consists of the following partners:

  1. Universitat de Barcelona, Spain (Coordinators)
  2. Universiteit Maastricht, Netherlands
  3. Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, Euro-BioImaging Node, Netherlands
  4. Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain
  5. Centre for Genomic Regulation, Spain
  6. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences / The Cancer Imaging Archive, United States of America
  7. Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure, Austria
  8. Universidad del País Vasco, Spain
  9. Lynkeus Srl, Italy
  10. Collective Minds Radiology AB, Sweden
  11. OncoRadiomics SA, Belgium
  12. Siemens Healthcare GmbH, Germany
  13. European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research, Austria
  14. European Society of Oncologic Imaging, Austria
  15. European Association for Cancer Research, United Kingdom
  16. Università di Pisa, Italy
  17. Fundació Clínic Recerca Biomèdica / Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Spain
  18. Umeå Universitet, Sweden
  19. Gdański Uniwersytet Medyczny, Poland
  20. Kauno Klinikos, Lilthuania

Access to Research Infrastructure

For more information on how to access our research infrastructure, click here.

euCanSHare: EU-Canada joint data platform to facilitate multi-study cardiovascular research

Brussels, 11 December 2018

Today, the European Society of Cardiology’s (ESC) office in Brussels hosted the kick-off meeting for the EU-funded project, euCanSHare. The project will create a translational research platform to facilitate cardiovascular data sharing among sixteen leading research centres in the European Union (EU) and Canada. Once established, researchers will benefit from a consolidated one-stop, data shop to perform efficient and effective research that results in tailor-made patient treatment and better cardiovascular disease outcomes.

Even with recent declines in deaths, cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to be the number one killer in Europe, causing 3.8 million deaths per year across Europe and the Mediterranean (1.8 million deaths in the European Union alone), with 30% premature deaths. Technology and data sharing through compiling and analysing large amounts of cardiovascular data holds the key to reducing premature deaths and increasing quality of life for those living with heart disease. There is a need for data-driven approaches that link molecular, imaging, functional and clinical data. This integration presents a formidable challenge to data storage, management and analysis, IT capacity and accessibility. The euCanSHare project is designed to fill this gap.

The project integrates the most well-established data infrastructures, namely the European Genome-Phenome Archive (EGA), Euro-BioImaging and BBMRI-ERIC, to enhance and standardise data deposition, harmonisation and sharing procedures. It integrates more than 35 Canadian and European cohorts that make up over 1 million records. These cohorts include -omics (genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, just to name a few) cardiac imaging and clinical data.

The platform will promote the responsible exchange of data and demonstrate the potential for cardiovascular research in personalised medicine. euCanSHare is committed to reducing the cultural, behavioural and technological barriers to Open Science. This will also allow better policy making as data driven policies unlock the innovation potential and develop better prevention and treatment methods.

The project coordinator, Karim Lekadir, said, “this is an unprecedented opportunity to create a longawaited platform for sharing cardiovascular data across the Atlantic. It can prove a model for expanding data sharing to other disease areas, and in effect, deliver personalised care to reduce premature deaths and improve quality of life.”

euCanSHare is a 4-year (2018-2020), €6-million Research and Innovation Action funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme (grant agreement No 825903), under the call SC1-BHC05-2018 (“International flagship collaboration with Canada for human data storage, integration and
sharing to enable personalised medicine approaches”). All Canadian partners are funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS).

The euCanSHare project will actively collaborate with other joint Canada-EU projects funded as part of the same aforementioned research call (SC1-BHC-05-2018). These projects are EUCANCan, iReceptor Plus, EUCAN-Connect, CINECA and RECODID, which will cover other biomedical domains such as oncology, immunology, genetics and infectious diseases.

euCanSHare structure and participants
The Consortium consists of sixteen partners coming from academia, medical associations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research centres and data infrastructures:

  1. University of Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Spain (Project Coordinator)
  2. Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), Canada
  3. University Hospital of Hamburg (UKE), Germany
  4. Lynkeus (LYN), Italy
  5. Erasmus University Medical Centre (EMC), Netherlands
  6. Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), United Kingdom
  7. The Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University (MCGILL), Canada
  8. KU Leuven (KUL), Belgium
  9. Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC), Spain
  10. Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Spain
  11. European Society of Cardiology (ESC), France
  12. Biobanks and Biomolecular resources Research Infrastructure – European Research Infrastructure Consortium
    (BBMRI-ERIC), Austria
  13. Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University (MCM), Canada
  14. National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Finland
  15. University of Medicine Greifswald, Germany
  16. Nostrum Biodiscovery (NBD), Spain

CORBEL 2nd Open Call for Research Projects

The CORBEL partners are launching a 2nd Open Call for research projects to meet the prevailing need for combined service provision from multiple research infrastructures across Europe. Taking on board lessons learned from the 1st CORBEL Open Call launched in 2016 and the services running since then, this will continue to provide all academic and industrial scientists in Europe with the opportunity to accelerate their research.

Europa om de hoek Kijkdagen 2016

In Nederland zijn er heel veel verschillende projecten die financieel worden ondersteund door de diverse Europese fondsen. De Europese Commissie en de Nederlandse overheid vinden het belangrijk om te laten zien wat er met dit geld gebeurt. Daarom organiseren we ieder jaar de ‘Europa om de hoek Kijkdagen’.

De zesde editie van de Kijkdagen staat gepland voor 13 en 14 mei. Tijdens de Europa om de hoek Kijkdagen openen een groot aantal projecten voor jou hun deuren om te laten zien wat zij precies doen.

Voor meer informatie:


Europa om de hoek, May 8-10, 2015

Dit jaar organiseren diverse Europese subsidieprogramma’s in Nederland voor de vijfde keer gezamenlijk de Europa om de hoek Kijkdagen. Tijdens deze dagen willen we zo veel mogelijk mensen laten zien wat er  – bij hen om de hoek – allemaal gebeurt met Europees geld.

EIBIR Summerschool August 24-28, 2015

The EIBIR Summer School on Neurology Imaging is a multidisciplinary summer school, uniting 50 young researchers coming from a variety of backgrounds. The high scientific level and the relaxed atmosphere invite a close and productive interaction between everybody present, both participants and staff.


  • Imaging modalities (MR, PET, CT)
  • Quantitative image analysis
  • (Open-source) tools for image analysis
  • Neuro- and population imaging and image analysis in clinical practice
  • Validation and open-source databases
  • Atlases
  • Applications in the clinic
  • Small animals and clinical trials

For more information click here.

EIBIR SUMMER SCHOOL on Neurology Imaging

August 26-30, 2013, Dubrovnik / HR

The EIBIR Summer School on Neurology Imaging is a multidisciplinary summer school, uniting 50 young researchers coming from a variety of backgrounds. The high scientific level and the relaxed atmosphere invite a close and fruitful interaction between everybody present, both participants and staff.

Imaging modalities (MR, PET, CT), quantitative image analysis, (open-source) tools for image analysis, neuro- and population imaging and image analysis in clinical practice, validation and open-source databases, atlases, applications in the clinic, small animals and clinical trials.



The Perspectief Program “Population Imaging Genetics (ImaGene)” has been granted

Objective of the Program: The objective of the Program is to develop and evaluate novel methods to fully exploit imaging and genetics data from population studies in an integrated manner, for (early) disease detection, diagnosis, prognosis, therapy planning and therapy monitoring.  Prof. Dr. W.J. Niessen is program Leader.

Projects part of the Program:  

Project 1: Search for the yet unknown, projectleader: A.W.M. Smeulders (UvA / CWI), with participants: UvA, CWI, Euvision 

Project 2: Visual Analysis in Population Imaging Research, projectleader: Dr. C.P. Botha (TU Delft / LUMC), with participants: TU Delft EWI, LUMC Image Processing / Radiology, Erasmus MC, Medis, Synerscope, Treparel 

Project 3: Genes in Space, projectleader: B.P.F. Lelieveldt (LUMC / TU Delft), with participants: TU Delft EWI, LUMC Image Processing / Radiology / Molecular Genetics, Erasmus MC, Percuros, Skyline Diagnostics, Treparel 

Project 4: Advanced diffusion tensor MRI based phenotyping for imaging genetic studies, projectleader: Dr. F.M. Vos (TU Delft / AMC), with participants: Erasmus MC Epidemiology,  TU Delft TNW, Erasmus MC BIGR, Biotronics 3D, Philips Healthcare 

Project 5: Imaging Genetics to unravel the causes of Alzheimer’s Disease, projectleader: Dr. M.A. Ikram (Erasmus MC), with participants: Erasmus MC Epidemiology, Erasmus MC BIGR, Erasmus MC Radiology, GE Healthcare, IBM, Quantib 

Project 6: High-field (7T) MR Imaging genetics for early prediction of neurocognitive impairment in diabetes, projectleader: Prof.dr. E. Formisano (Maastricht University Medical Center), with participants: UMCU Image Sciences, UMCU Radiology, NKI Medical Oncology, NKI Bioinformatics, Guerbet, Philips Research 

Project 7: Computer-aided risk assessment of breast cancer using gene-correlated dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI, project leader: Dr. K.G.A. Gilhuijs (UMC Utrecht), with participants: UMCU Image Sciences Institute, Radiology, NKI Medical Oncology, NKI Bioinformatics, Guerbet, Philips Research

Project 8: Cardiovascular phenotype-genotype analysis within a CT based lung cancer screening trial, projectleader: Dr. I. Išgum (UMC Utrecht), with participants: UMCU Image Sciences Institute, UMCU Radiology, UMCU Medical Genetics, Medis, PIE Medical Imaging, 3mensio Medical Imaging

 Activities on Program Level:  A Program Committee will be installed. This program committee is responsible for overseeing the overall progress of the programme, the coherence of the programme, and interdependencies between projects. The following member are taking part in this Program Committee: Prof Dr. M. Breeuwer (Philips, TUE), Dr. Ir. B. Goedhart (Medis), Prof. Dr. Ir. B.P.F. Lelieveldt (LUMC, TU Delft), Prof. Dr. W.J. Niessen (Erasmus MC, TU Delft), Prof. Dr. A.W. Smeulders (CWI)

Meetings:  A Kick Off meeting will be organized in November/December 2012.  Two times per year programme meetings will be organized in workshop style in which all projects present their progress. Confidentiality arrangements apply or are made per project. In case it is necessary to share confidential information on program meetings, arrangements can be made by STW.

 Start of the Projects: We aim to start the programme on January 1, 2013. STW wants to have all project started before July 1, 2013. Before a project can start, the contractual arrangement as mentioned below needs to be in place for all projects. 

 Contractual Arrangement per Project: For all projects the STW conditions apply. In particular the ‘general funding conditions’ and ‘ guidelines task and working method of user committee’ apply. These regulations include arrangements on IPR, publication and confidentiality. Per project, the academic partners that receive the funding will receive and sign for approval a letter confirming the amount of funding. Per project, the in kind and/or cash contribution of an industrial partner will be laid down per project and per industrial partner by letter. STW will send the letter to the industrial partner concerned. Per project and in case the in kind and/or cash contribution of an industrial partner exceeds 10% of the project budget, this industrial partner can be offered an option agreement. With this option agreement the partner has the first right to acquire exploitation rights on IPR developed in the project, provided it falls within  a specific application field that is of interest to the industrial partner. STW will take the lead in arranging this option right either per contract or per letter as referred to above.

STW strives to have all contractual arrangements mentioned above in place on 1 January 2013.

Contact persons STW:  All program and project matters: Dr. Piet Lommerse, Program Officer; 030-6001311. Contractual and IPR matters: Sandra Oudejans LL.M., MSc, adjunct head legal department,, 030-6001282.

Medical Delta dient aanvraag in bij EFRO voor versterking Population Imaging

Medical Delta heeft een aanvraag ingediend bij het Europees Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling van de Europese Commissie (EFRO) om haar positie op het gebied van Population Imaging verder te versterken.

Population Imaging is het systematisch maken en analyseren van medische beelden in grote groepen gezonde mensen of patienten. Belangrijke organen die bestudeerd worden zijn hersenen en bloedvaten, gericht op dementie, beroerte en hart- en vaat-ziekten. Het doel van dit soort onderzoek is het ontdekken van biomarkers om in een vroeg stadium de ontwikkeling van ziekten te voorspellen en te voorkomen. Een goede infrastuctuur om op grote schaal beelden te maken en automatisch en systemetisch te analyseren ontbreekt nog. In het project worden MRI scanners ingezet, die met een IT infrastructuur aan elkaar worden verbonden. Zo ontstaat een unieke grootschalige onderzoeksinfrastructuur, die vele  kansen biedt voor nationale en internationale bedrijven en daarmee de regionale economie versterkt. Rotterdam heeft reeds veel ervaring met Populatie Imaging, bijvoorbeeld in de ERGO studie. De drie betrokken universiteiten zijn zeer sterk in het analyseren van beelden. Het is nu de tijd om deze voorsprong te gebruiken voor de opbouw van een research infrastructuur die door locale, regionale, nationale en internationale onderzoekers en bedrijven gebruikt kan worden. (

Boudewijn Lelieveldt has been appointed professor

On 19 October, Boudewijn Lelieveldt (EEMCS) delivered his inaugural address as a professor of Biomedical Imaging at TU Delft and LUMC. In his address, Lelieveldt stated that medical science can often make excellent use of technologies from other fields. For example, knowledge from automatic facial recognition can also be used for medical analysis of images of organs. This is one reason why collaboration between technologists and doctors is essential. Lelieveldt actually puts his vision into practice, as he is occupying a chair shared by Leiden University and TU Delft.

Role for Population Imaging in the Medical Delta Initiative

The Medical Delta initiative is based on the synergy of the universities of Leiden, Rotterdam, and Delft. Located within a radius of 14 km where scientists work closely together to revolutionize medical technology and develop novel research infrastructure.

Currently, a significant part of the healthcare budget in the Netherlands is used for treatment of cardiovascular and neurovascular diseases. These costs are expected to rise because the prevalence of these diseases increases with age and the growing number of elderly in our society.

Imaging technology has made a major contribution to the improvement of the perspectives of patients suffering from cardiovascular and neurovascular diseases. Innovations in imaging technology will continue to improve the outcome of these patients, and at the same time help to decrease healthcare costs associated with these diseases.

Many projects in varying sizes are part of the Medical Delta program which are run by many involved scientists. Some are particularly committed to several Medical Delta focus fields, a.o. Prof. Dr. Wiro Niessen (Erasmus MC/TU Delft) with “Imaging and image guided medicine”.

Population imaging is going to play an important roll in the Medical Delta Initiative.

ESF Research conference grant proposal

We are excited to announce that our Letter of Intent for a new Research Conferences Series in collaboration with the European Science Foundation has been selected for development into a full proposal. The ESF Research Conferences Scheme (see also provides the opportunity for leading scientists and young researchers to meet for discussions on the most recent developments in their fields of research. It acts as a catalyst for creating new synergistic contacts throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Our proposed new series will encompass Population Imaging in a broad sense, aiming to bring together stakeholders from various disciplines, including epidemiology, radiology, image processing, clinical sciences, health services research and policy makers, to discuss challenges and opportunities in the emerging field of Population Imaging. In the beginning of May 2011, a funding decision will be made by the ESF governance and the Chief Executive. Allocation of ESF funds to our proposal will enable us to organize the first International Conference on Population Imaging in Rotterdam in 2012!

Research MR Scanner for Generation R

The Generation R Study is a prospective cohort study from fetal life until young adulthood in a multi-ethnic urban population in the Netherlands. The study is designed to identify early environmental and genetic causes of normal and abnormal growth, development and health from fetal life until young adulthood. In total, 9778 mothers with a delivery date from April 2002 until January 2006 were enrolled in the study. Extensive data have been collected during pregnancy and children are being followed at set ages after birth. Eventually, results forthcoming from the Generation R Study have to contribute to the development of strategies for optimizing health and healthcare for pregnant women and children. An important recent breakthrough is that funding has been completed to start building an MRI suite for an MRI scanner dedicated to the Generation R project. This will enable the acquisition of advanced brain (including functional MRI) and cardiac MRI data in all children. This will generate an important and unique contribution to the already impressive Generation R study project.

Workshop Population Imaging in Europe

In November 2010, the first international workshop on Population Imaging in Europe was held in Rotterdam. The meeting was a big success, with over 60 participants from 9 European countries. The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges and opportunities for Population Imaging in Europe. A brief summary of the workshop and a list of all participants can be found here. 


NWO launches strategy 2011-2014

On June 23, 2010, the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) will present its strategy for 2011-2014, with the message: making a joint investment will eventually lead to knowledge growth. Jos Engelen, NWO chairman, will hand the strategy to Marja van Bijsterveldt, State Secretary of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) and responsible for science policy. After a short response of Van Bijsterveldt, Ruud Lubbers en Els Goulmy will give their vision on the new strategy of NWO. Ruud Lubbers is former Prime Minister and chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN). Els Goulmy is Professor in Transplantation Biology and chairman of the Dutch Network of Women Professors (LNVH). She received the NWO-Spinoza price in 2002.

The NWO strategy 2011-2014 will be online at 16.00 hrs on (in Dutch)

Source: NWO

GlaxoSmithKline endorsement for TI Pharma

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the leading innovative pharmaceutical and healthcare companies in the world, regrets the decision of the Dutch government for only granting bridging finance to Top Institute Pharma (TI Pharma). The resigning cabinet passes the decision making for long-term financing on to the next cabinet. The coming 4 years TI Pharma will need public funding for 60 million Euro. The survival of this important public-private collaboration in the field of drug research is at risk with this decision.

Source: ANP Pers Support (in Dutch)

ICTRegie dissolved after 2010

ICTRegie, the national management body for ict-research and innovation, is likely to lose its mandate after 2010, and will therefore stop its work. A steering group, on behalf of two ministries and the research grant-giving NWO, have decided on this. The decision was made after disappointing results over de past 5 years and because of the lack of a new state budget for the management of ict. The employees are disappointed. ICTRegie was established by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and NWO. 14 Innovation Platforms are connected to ICTRegie. It has 10 employees, all of them working at their office  in the Hague.

Source: Computable (in Dutch)

Fast growth in early childhood increases risk of overweight in adolescence

Children who quickly put on weight between the ages of two and seven have a 25 to 35 times greater chance of developing obesity later in life. Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy have an even higher chance. Children with symptoms of depresseion of who are impulsive also have a higher chance of becoming overweight. This was discoverd by Eryn Liem, researcher at the University Medical Centre Groningen. She will be awarded a PhD by the University of Groningen on June 9, 2010.

Liem conducted her research with the framework of TRAILS (Tracking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey), a large-scale, long-term research project on the mental, physical and social development of about 2,500 adolescents in the North of the Netherlands. The researcher examined the DNA profiles of about 1,200 sixteen-year-olds, with particular attention to genetic variations in two genes (FTO and MC4R) associated with obesity. She then compared the profiles with measures of body fat.

Source: UMCG

Congress Priority Medicines ZonMw

The five Priority Medicines research programs of ZonMw organize a joint congress on December 9, 2010. These subsidy programs arose after publication of the WHO report ‘Priority Medicines for Europe and the World’. The purpose of the congress is to inform policymakers, researchers and representatives of practice organisations about these subsidy programs, to stimulate networking and to promote multidisciplinary working.

For more information and registration: ZonMw

President of KNAW in NOS News

On Juni 1, 2010, Robbert Dijkgraaf, president of the KNAW, spoke in the eight-o-clock news of the NOS, about the importance of science and innovation for society. The broadcast is part of a series of the NOS news about vital social sectors, ahead of the elections of June 9.

The video of this broadcast can be viewed here: KNAW

For more information and PDF files of the Jaarrede and Strategic Agenda of the KNAW please click here

KWF makes available 4 million for child cancer

Despite great improvement in the field of child cancer, still a quarter of the children with cancer does not recover and a considerable part suffers from long term side effects. To further stimulate research for child cancer, KWF makes available an amount of 4 million euro. With this amount a cooperation of 4 researchers of the child oncology departments of the EKZ/AMC Amsterdam and the Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam, is financed. Purpose of the program is to develop new treatments for child cancer. The EKZ/AMC researchers Caron and Versteeg will focus on the neuroblastoma and the Erasmus MC/ Sophia researchers Pieters and Den Boer on acute lymphatic leukemia (ALL). Both forms of child cancer with a high death risk.

Source: KWF