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Early warning signals of ageing in human stem cells and age-related disorders

systemage-logoFP7-cooeuflagFinancing: European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement nº 306240
Duration: 01/01/2013 – 31/12/2017
Web of the project: http://systemage.eu/

Consortium description

The Project Coordinator is Dr. Anne-Claude Gavin (EMBL). The SyStemAge consortium involves three hospital departments that are active in implementing innovative treatment strategies of leukaemia and MDS: Almazov Federal Center for Heart (RU), Blood & Endocrinology, Department of Medicine V of the University Hospital Heidelberg (DE) and Nuffield Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at the University of Oxford (UK). While the academic beneficiaries bring a unique portfolio of diverse animal models and cell systems and a series of complementary “-omics” and systems biology technologies: German Cancer Research Center (DE), Keio University (JP), Institute for Research in Biomedicine (ES), and European Molecular Biology Laboratory (DE). Anaxomics and the second commercial partner ProQinase (DE) will joint efforts and expertise in the translation of biomedical models in novel therapy strategies in humans. SyStemAge is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between the clinical, biomedical and natural sciences and immediately contribute to bio-gerontology.

Project Description

The regenerative power of a living organism is linked to the potential of its stem cells to replace the corresponding damaged tissue. Therefore organisms are as old as their stem cells. Whereas the vulnerability to cancer and chronic inflammation is associated with a decline of the immune system, the latter is in turn a sum product of interactions among hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), endothelial cells (EC) of the vascular systems and the microenvironment in the bone marrow, among others. Hence loss of regenerative function and propensity to contract cancers can be interpreted as harbingers of ageing at the level of somatic stem cells. Using HSC and their microenvironment as a model, our principal goal is to develop a systems-level understanding of the molecular mechanisms of ageing in somatic stem cells, the consequences, and means to correct these age-related alterations and diseases. We intend to apply integrative systems biology approaches to characterize the molecular players, genes and pathways that are associated with physiological processes of ageing and two age-related disorders, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL). We will use the resulting models of ageing to develop novel molecular targeted strategies to treat age-related diseases.