(Vienna, Timisoara, 24 November 2016) MedUni Vienna has joined forces with OncoGen, the first gene therapy research centre in Romania, to launch an EU research project in the field of allergy research. Apart from building up an international-standard allergy research centre, the project is focussed on research into pollen from ragweed, which is very widespread in Romania.
"INSPIRED" (INnovative Strategies for Prevention, diagnosis and therapy of ragweed pollen Induced REspiratory Diseases) is being funded by the EU as part of the "Competitiveness Operational Programme 2014-2020". The aim is to establish an institute in Romania that is able to perform high standard research at European level. In this way, the institute should be prepared for the participation for Horizon 2020 or other major EU projects.
The INSPIRED project is focusing on the identification and characterization of clinical relevant ragweed allergens. The findings should help to improve the diagnosis and treatment of ragweed allergies allergy and also to develop new prevention strategies. Ragweed is a fast spreading plant and its pollen represents a source of aggressive allergens.
When the application was submitted for the INSPIRED project, it was internationally assessed and rated. It was ranked 2nd out of 200 project submissions. The project is based in the OncoGen Center, a research establishment of the "Pius Brinzeu" Emergency Clinical County Hospital in Timisoara. The immunologist Kuan-Wei Chen from the Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research is heading up the three-year project on behalf of MedUni Vienna.
The Scientific Advisory Board is composed of Rudolf Valenta (MedUni Vienna), Marianne van Hage and Hans Grönlund (both from the Karolinska Institutet Institute, Sweden).
MedUni Vienna’s Vice Rector, Michaela Fritz, and University Council Chair Erhard Busek, travelled to Timisoara for the kick-off meeting, together with MedUni Vienna immunologists Rudolf Valenta, Winfried Pickl and Hannes Stockinger.