The event day
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The Venue: Real Colegio Universitario El Escorial María Cristina
- P.º de los Alamillos, 2, 28200 San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid
- The building is just opposite to the REAL MONASTERIO DE EL ESCORIAL. By car from airport/AVE station: 55 min approximately Taxi: from 70-90 EUR Bolt/Uber/Cabify: 75 EUR By regional train (Line C3a): over 1 h, then walk or taxi from station
- By car from airport/AVE station: 55 min approximately Taxi: from 70-90 EUR Bolt/Uber/Cabify: 75 EUR By regional train (Line C3a): over 1 h, then walk or taxi from station
- Taxi: from 70-90 EUR Bolt/Uber/Cabify: 75 EUR By regional train (Line C3a): over 1 h, then walk or taxi from station
- By regional train (Line C3a): over 1 h, then walk or taxi from station
Last meeting in El Escorial was a complete success, with lots of new objectives set for the upcoming Halt RONIN project.
After the arrival of all assistants to the Real Centro Universitario Escorial – María Cristina, Prof. Javier Cubero (UCM) and Jose Ramón Regueiro, Vice Dean of Research studies at UCM started the event welcoming all our colleagues and highlighting the importance of collaborative international projects for the progress of science and, more specifically, deepening our understanding of inflammation processes in the liver. Prof. Regueiro also pointed out the engagement of the UCM with the Halt-RONIN project as a collaborating and coordinating institution.
The working project presentations started with a brief introduction by Prof. Javier Cubero setting the context of this event in the Halt-RONIN european project and presenting its structure and new objectives. Both communication and coordination between the different working packages were set as keystones for success of the project. Grant agreement and project management were also discussed during this introductory talk.
Then, Leonard Nelson (University of Edinburgh) presented the different research lines of the groups participating in the project. Those ranged from studies with hepatic cell lines to chronic hepatic inflammation animal models, including also human samples, organoid-based studies and even cohort studies with patients from different national and international hospitals. This summary gave some context on the different approaches to the study of hepatic chronic inflammation as well as updated the attendees with the latest discoveries from their colleagues.
Jordi Muntané (Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío, Sevilla) presented his research on the molecular mechanism of therapeutic effectiveness of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. His work with 2D and 3D culture of primary cells, stellate cells and Kupffer cells as well as with animal murine models makes him and his group great candidates to enter the consortium, which was confirmed by the acceptance of all attendees.
According to the program, Prof. Yulia Nevzorova (UCM, Madrid) and Prof. Özlen Konu (Bilkent University, Ankara) described the DUAL animal model in different organisms and gave some clues on proper animal experimentation with these in vivo models, as well as transposing clinical models to both murine and zebrafish DUAL models.
The second part of the working packages presentations started with Judith Farrés, Head of Collaborative Research at Anaxomics, giving some recommendations for the application of Anaxomics’ systems biology tools in biomarker discovery and machine learning in network-based modeling.
The following intervention by Paula Iruzubieta (from Javier Crespo’s group in IDIVA, Santander) presented the recent advances in the current cohorts of patients under study in the Marqués de Valdecillas Universitary Hospital. Some of these cohorts were the Cantabria Cohort, IMID Population, HEPAMET Cohort, APOLLO-NASH, EMOTION, DIS/NAFL Cohort and the SteatoSITE Cohort, all addressing different aspects of liver inflammatory diseases.
Ismael Álvarez (Servicio Andaluz de Salud, Málaga) commented the ethical regulation that had to be taken into account during the research conducted in the framework of the Halt-RONIN project. These standards must be firmly followed by the participating research groups throughout the whole length of the project, specially concerning animal experimentation regulations. His talk was complemented by Alberto Borobia (IdiPAZ, Madrid), external ethical advisor of the project, which concisely explained all the ethical certifications, european regulation and monitoring of the project requested by the funding institution. The collaborative work being carried out by both Ismael and Alberto will be crucial for the further endorsement of the project by the European Commission, in which a strict following of the Guidelines for elaboration of the Ethics Plan constitutes a cornerstone. It was also strongly recommended to the attendees to review the Legal framework of clinical research in Europe.
During the time allocated for questions, some members of the consortium presented their doubts about the certification of authorizations for animal experimentation vis-à-vis the European Commission, considering the heterogeneity of the certificates in the different countries participating in the project.
Furthermore, considering the interest of some members of the consortium on learning cell culture techniques or even refining the already-acquired ones, Michel Kranendonk (NOVA Medical School, Lisbon) presented a 2-days workshop on HepaRG organized by Biopredic International in Rennes, France.
The majority of the members of the consortium insisted on the need to communicate and set up common objectives and collaborations to ensure success of the project and accomplishment of the set milestones, indicating a consensus and a will to establish an international collaborative environment.
Overall, this kick-off meeting has allowed setting up a good starting point for the success of the Halt-RONIN project, which will certainly give many interesting results and increase our knowledge on the understanding of liver chronic inflammation.