3rd Annual Plenary Meeting EUMITOCOMBAT

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3rd Annual Plenary Meeting EUMITOCOMBAT

Location: Hoofddorp, The Netherlands

Introduction

The EUMITOCOMBAT project is a Sixth Framework Programme Integrated Project granted by the European Commission and is entitled “Rational Treatment Strategies Combating Mitochondrial Oxidative Phosphorylation (OXPHOS) Disorders” (Contract No LSHM-CT-2004-503116).

The EUMITOCOMBAT consortium (www.eumitocombat.org) consists of 12 participating universities/institutes with 21 scientific group leaders from 9 different European countries.EUMITOCOMBAT will combine mitochondrial research expertise into one, pan-EuropeanConsortium, aiming at an understanding of the underlying basic molecular mechanisms of OXPHOS disease and at the eventual development of treatments for these devastating disorders. The official starting date of the EUMITOCOMBAT project is the 1st July 2004 and the duration shall be 48 months.

Goals
The major objectives, around which the scientific and technological work is structured, apply to each of these disease categories:

  • To understand properly the natural history of the disease, its clinical manifestations and their time-course, and the relationship between genotype and phenotype. The eventual goal will be to provide routine and rapid diagnosis, which will form the rational basis for future therapy.
  • To elucidate the pathophysiology of the disease by the analysis of biological models, thus revealing potential new therapeutic strategies or targets.
  • To characterize in detail the cellular machinery primarily affected by the disease process (i.e. complexes I and IV, the components involved in their assembly, and the machinery of mtDNA maintenance and expression). A complete understanding of basic biological processes underlying OXPHOS will lead to the discovery of novel drug targets.
  • To apply the knowledge gathered from such approaches to the rational design and testing of therapeutic agents and manipulations to ameliorate the manifestations of OXPHOS disease.

Workshop

Since the start of the EUMITOCOMBAT project in 2004, plenary meetings are organized annually together with the ENMC. In 2007 the 3rd Annual Plenary Meeting EUMITOCOMBAT was organised from 24 - 25 May in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands.

The workshop was a meeting open to all researchers involved in the EUMITOCOMBAT consortium. About fifty participants from Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom met in Hoofddorp. The most important goal during this meeting was to present and review the progress of the scientific work. Therefore each of the researchers involved, gave a presentation of the research work within their action line (starting date, progress, eventual deviations, deliverables, etc.). The meeting was closed with a discussion between the research leaders (Consortium Council and Consortium Board) about the main conclusions and consequences for the final 12 months of project period. During this meeting the external reviewer of the project (Italy) was present as well as a representative from the Scientific and Ethical Advisory Committee (Spain).

Participating universities/institutes

Participants from the following universities/institutes attended the meeting:

Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (ASCR), Czech Republic; Charles University (CU), Czech Republic; European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Germany; Institut National de la Santé et de la Reserche Médicale (INSERM), France; Karolinska Institute (KI), Sweden; Ugichem, Austria; Medical Research Centre (MRC), United Kingdom; National Institute of Neurology “C. Besta” (INN), Italy; Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (RUNMC), the Netherlands; University of Bari (UBAR), Italy; University of Bologna, Italy; University of Newcastle (UNEW), United Kingdom; University of Tampere (UTA), Finland; University of Zaragoza (UNIZAR), Spain; University of Madrid, CSIC, Spain.