(Vienna, 05-06-2015) The Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) "Multifaceted CaSR" project led by MedUni Vienna has been successfully completed. The project focused on the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) and produced important new findings about its role in cardiovascular diseases and especially in the development and/or metastasis of various types of cancer.
Coordinated by MedUni Vienna
Enikö Kallay of the Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research headed up this ITN as project coordinator and, together with Sabina Baumgartner-Parzer (Co-PI) of the Clinical Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism of the University Department of Internal Medicine III, was responsible for supervising the young scientists at MedUni Vienna in their research work. In addition to learning experimental methods specific to the project and laboratory, the young scientists also completed special training courses in systems biology, E-learning, ethics, project, quality and risk management and learnt presentation techniques and how to write scientific texts.
A total of eleven young scientists from six European universities worked very successfully on this project. By establishing new cell culture models, using CaSR knock-out mice and producing systems biology models, they were able to characterize the signal transduction pathways and function of the CaSR in cardiovascular diseases as well as the dual role of the CaSR in the development and progression of bowel and breast cancer.
Many publications and awards
The research results were presented at national and international conferences in the form of 102 lectures or poster sessions, as well as 33 presentations at internal ITN meetings. The project has so far attracted 40 scientific prizes and given rise to 23 publications (including 12 lead authorships) and a further 10 lead authorships that have already been submitted in manuscript or are still in progress. The "1st and 2nd International Symposium on the CaSR", which were organized for the first time in the context of this ITN and took place in Vienna in 2012 and San Diego in 2015, were greeted with international interest and will be continued on a biennial basis.
Much of the above-mentioned success must be attributed to the MedUni Vienna team, comprising PhD students Irfete Fetahu, Abhishek Aggarwal and Samawansha Tennakoon, who between them have an impressive total of 52 presentations, 15 publications (25 authorships, including 9 as lead authors) and 31 prizes to their name.
The fact that two out of the three young scientists supervised at MedUni Vienna have completed their PhDs (with outstanding results) and are already working as postdoctoral researchers at Harvard Medical School or have been accepted for a postdoctoral position at Stanford, is testament to the high quality of supervision provided for this project at MedUni Vienna.
About "Multifaceted CaSR"
The "Multifaceted CaSR" project led by MedUni Vienna is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network, which was funded under the 7th EU Framework Programme ("People") for the period 01.01.2011–31.12.2014 to the tune of €2,915,948, of which MedUni Vienna received €774,032. The project focused on the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) and produced important new findings about its role in cardiovascular diseases and especially in the development and/or metastasis of various types of cancer.
Partner institutions were the Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens (F), Cardiff University (UK), University of Oxford (UK), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (NL), the University of Florence (I) and AstraZeneca UK Limited (UK). Amgen-GmbH and FH Johanneum GmbH Austria and AHT-Management Kft from Hungary also took part in this programme as associate partners.