MeDALLFP7: Health

MeDALL aims to generate novel knowledge on the mechanisms of initiation of allergy from early childhood to young adulthood, in order to propose early diagnosis, prevention and targets for therapy. A novel definition of phenotypes of allergic diseases and an integrative translational approach are needed to understand how a network of molecular and environmental factors can lead to complex allergic phenotypes.

We propose a novel, stepwise, large-scale and integrative approach led by experts in allergy, epidemiology, allergen biochemistry, immunology, molecular biology, epigenetics and genomics, functional genomics, bioinformatics, computational and systems biology, combining the strengths of previous and on-going EU projects.

Role of U4 partners

The department of Pulmonary Medicine (Ghent University) has a long standing tradition in the field of clinically oriented research into asthma, nasal polyposis and COPD. The laboratory focuses on fundamental aspects of the lung immune response with special emphasis on lung dendritic cells, and uses cutting edge flow cytometry and transgenic technology to study lung immunity. The role of this group will be in WP 8; animal models confirming the mechanisms of allergy epidemic in vivo. Animal models of asthma will be used to discover epigenetic regulation of asthma related genes, and critical pathways,identified by other consortia members, will be validated. The Groningen Research Institute of Asthma and COPD (GRIAC) participates in Guide, a governmentally approved research institute, located in the UMCG. It is a true multidisciplinary institute for research on basic and clinical science. UMCG plays different roles within the MeDALL story (WP6,2,3,4,7 and 8). The collaboration between Ghent University and UMCG teams is in place. Mouse and human hypermethylated models have been compared and checked if genes can be matched. Genes which are identified in mouse models by WP8 should be added to the Illumina chip for epigenetics. There are several relevant molecules identified in the in vitro experiments performed in MeDALL that are of interest for epigenetic studies.


Ghent University
Bart Lambrecht
+32 9 332 87 84
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University of Groningen
Dirkje Postma
+31 50 361 3532
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