Maastricht University (MU), Maastricht, The Netherlands

UM Description of organization

Maastricht University, the most international university in The Netherlands, stands out for its innovative approach to learning and international outlook. With 14,500 students and 3,500 staff, UM offers a wide choice of academic programmes, all of which are designed to bring out the best in its students. Researchers at UM work in multidisciplinary teams and in close cooperation with international institutes, business and industry. Maastricht University's research portfolio continues to attract national and international top researchers.

The Institute for Public Health Genomics (IPHG) is the Centre of Excellence in the field of Public Health Genomics in Europe providing multidisciplinary integrative translational research "from cell to society". It is unique in Europe and has a lot experience in coordinating successfully EU projects as well as in policy advice in areas such as personalised healthcare on the national, European and global level. Key expertise and industrial collaborations include Health Technology Assessment, development of the LAL model™, and expertise in knowledge transfer to SMEs. The IPHG closely collaborates with the Department of International Health being the first and leading institute for European Public Health and having as well a lot experience in coordinating successfully EU projects, in particular in health literacy, cross-border healthcare and health information.

 

Partner Maastricht University will further be represented by the Department of Toxicogenomics (currently ~45 fte) which is chaired by Prof. Jos Kleinjans, and by the Department of Radiation Oncology (MAASTRO) directed by Prof. Philippe Lambin (see www.maastro.nl)

Both are embedded within the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences which forms, with the Academic Hospital Maastricht, MUMC+ (Maastricht University Medical Centre).

 

Previous experience

Angela Brand is coordinator of the large EU DG SANCO project Public Health Genomics European Network (PHGEN I and II) which recently developed European best practices for personalised healthcare, which had been endorsed and will be implemented in the EU Member States in the upcoming years. She is partner in several EU FP7 and DG SANCO projects such as EPIRARE, RICHE or RareBestpractices and is Advisory Board Member of the EU IMI project OncoTrack. Helmut Brand has coordinated 12 big EU projects. The topics are on health information, health reporting and eHealth (HLS-EU, RHINE, HIEMS, EVA-PHR; PIA-PHR,) and health system analyses (CEPHES, BEN I, BEN II, EUREGIO I, EUREGIO II, Health Equity 2020, TACTICS). David Townend has coordinated the EC-funded PRIVILEGED (FP6) and PRIVIREAL (FP5) projects on data protection and privacy law.

 

The focus on research at the UM Department of Toxicogenomics is on genetic toxicology and chemical carcinogenesis, with an emphasis on toxicogenomics. Work emphasizes on in vitro approaches, as well as on studying gene-environment interactions in human volunteers, in patients, and in environmentally exposed groups, with a particular focus on the exposome .

The main areas of interest of MAASTRO are directed towards translational research in Radiation Biology with a specific focus on tumour hypoxia, functional imaging (CT-PET), lung and rectum cancer. Another focus is "treatment decision support system" based on multiparametric databases containing clinical, imaging, biological and therapeutic information, and taking into account patient preferences (se websites managed by MAASTRO: www.predictcancer.org; www.cancerdata.info, www.eurocat.info).

 

Profile of staff members

Angela Brand is Founding Director and Full Professor of the IPHG at Maastricht University, as well as Adjunct Professor at the Manipal Life Sciences Centre of Manipal University, India. She is Paediatrician and Specialist in Public Health Medicine, holds a PhD in pathology and a MPH from Johns Hopkins University, USA. She is President of the Section Public Health Genomics within the European Public Health Association (EUPHA), Edtor-in-Chief of the international journal Public Health Genomics, Excecutive Director of the Public Health Genomics international network GRaPH-Int, Steering Committee Member of the "Forward Look on Personalized Medicine" of the European Science Foundation. She is Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation, USA, and of the 21st Century Trust of the Wellcome Trust, UK. Helmut Brand is Jean Monnet Professor in European Public Health and head of the Department of International Health at Maastricht University. He holds the first Jean Monnet chair in Health worldwide. He is President of the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER) and President of the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) - the most important Health Policy event in Europe. He had been director of the State Institute of Public Health in North Rhine-Westfalia (NRW), Germany and head of the biggest (NRW) and the oldest (Hamburg) Cancer Registry worldwide. He is an experienced policy advisor for the European Commission, WHO Europe and Ministries of Health in Europe. David Townend is Associate Professor of the Law of Public Health and Care at Maastricht University. He is an expert in data protection and privacy law and also researches and publishes in the areas of intellectual property, the concept of property in law, and the relationship between law, ethics and other social norms. He is a member of the UK Department of Health "Emerging Science and Bioethics Advisory Committee".

 

Prof. Kleinjans heads the Netherlands Toxicogenomics Centre. He has furthermore coordinated a MarieCurie training programme on environmental health, as well as the FP6 projects NewGeneris and carcinoGENOMICS. He is currently coordinating the FP7 project diXa. He is also partner in the FP7 projects EnviroGenoMarkers and Exposomics.

Philippe Lambin is a clinician, Radiation Oncologist, pioneer in translational research with a focus on hypoxia and Decision Support Systems. He has extensive experience with clinical trials. He is one of the international experts in the Flims workshop "Methods in Clinical Cancer Research organised jointly by the FECS, AACR and ASCO and he is leading several clinical trials (see www.clinicaltrials.gov: his name is mentioned as Principal Investigator in 11 clinical trials). He is currently involved in several successful European grants (e.g. CDPT, Biocare, Euroxy, Metoxia, euroCAT (as PI), Eureca) and one NIH grant ("Radiomics").

 

Webpage

Maastricht University

 

 

Recent publications relevant to the project

1 Cesuroglu T, van Ommen B, Malats N., Sudbrak R, Lehrach H, Brand A. Public health perspective: from personalized medicine to personal health. Personalized Medicine 2012 9(2): 115-119

2 Lal JA, Schulte in den Bäumen T, Morre SA, Brand A. Public health and valorization of genome-based technologies: a new model. J Translat Med, 2011 9:207

3 Becla L, Lunshof JE, Gurwitz D, Schulte in den Bäumen T, Westerhoff HV, Lange BM, Brand A. Health technology assessment in the era of personalized health care. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, 2011 27:118-126

4 Sørensen K, Van den Broucke S, Fullam J, Doyle G, Pelikan J, Slonska Z, Brand H and (HLS-EU) Consortium Health Literacy Project European. Health literacy and public health: a systematic review and integration of definitions and models. BMC Public Health, 2012 12:80

5 Townend D, Ruyter K. Overriding the Impasse of Consent in Biobank Research Through Active Citizenship: Consent Management Portals and Licence Structures for Benefit Sharing. Lex Medicinae, 2011 16:5–23


TGX:

• van Delft J, Gaj S, Lienhard M, Albrecht M, Kirpiy A, Brauers K, Claessen S, Lizarraga D, Lehrach H, Herwig R, Kleinjans J.

RNA-seq provides new insights in the transcriptome responses induced by the carcinogen benzo[a]pyrene.

Toxicol Sci. 2012 Aug 13. [Epub ahead of print]

• Hochstenbach K, van Leeuwen DM, Gmuender H, Gottschalk RW, Løvik M, Granum B, Nygaard U, Namork E, Kirsch-Volders M, Decordier I, Vande Loock K, Besselink H, Törnqvist M, von Stedingk H, Rydberg P, Kleinjans JC, van Loveren H, van Delft JH.

Global Gene Expression Analysis in Cord Blood Reveals Gender-Specific Differences in Response to Carcinogenic Exposure In Utero.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print]

• van Leeuwen DM, Gottschalk RW, Schoeters G, van Larebeke NA, Nelen V, Baeyens WF, Kleinjans JC, van Delft JH.

Transcriptome analysis in peripheral blood of humans exposed to environmental carcinogens: a promising new biomarker in environmental health studies.

Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Nov;116(11):1519-25

MAASTRO:

• Valentini V, van Stiphout RG, Lammering G, Gambacorta MA, Barba MC, Bebenek M, Bonnetain F, Bosset JF, Bujko K, Cionini L, Gerard JP, Rödel C, Sainato A, Sauer R, Minsky BD, Collette L, Lambin P. Nomograms for predicting local recurrence, distant metastases, and overall survival for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer on the basis of European randomized clinical trials. J Clin Oncol. 2011 Aug 10;29(23):3163-72.

• Development and external validation of a predictive model for pathological complete response of rectal cancer patients including sequential PET-CT imaging. van Stiphout RG, Lammering G, Buijsen J, Janssen MH, Gambacorta MA, Slagmolen P, Lambrecht M, Rubello D, Gava M, Giordano A, Postma EO, Haustermans K, Capirci C, Valentini V, Lambin P. Radiother Oncol. 2011 Jan;98(1):126-33.

• Philippe Lambin, Ruud van Stiphout, Maud Starmans, Emmanuel Rios Velazquez, Georgi Nalbantov, Hugo Aerts, Erik Roelofs, Wouter van Elmpt, Paul Boutros, Pierluigi Granone, Vincenzo Valentini, Adrian Begg, Dirk De Ruysscher, Andre Dekker. Predicting outcomes in radiation oncology-multifactorial decision support systems. Nature Rev Clinical Oncol. In Press. 

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