ACTION 1.1.4 Attracting high-level personnel from abroad in order to enhance the RD capacity 
Project title: Molecular Profiling of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms and Acute Myeloid Leukemia for Designing Early Diagnostic, Prognostic and Treatment Strategies (MYELOAL – EDIAPROT)
ID / Cod My SMIS: P 37_798/106774
Contract No: 149/26.10.2016


General objective:

The project relates to the national priority area – HEALTH and its major objective is to establish a high level nucleus of competence in studying molecular mechanisms of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs), their transformation into Secondary Acute Myeloid Leukemia (sAML) and de novo AML with normal karyotype (dnAML), in a medical institute from Romanian Academy, under the leadership of a researcher with trail-blazing discoveries in the field and remarkable international experience in the private research sector (Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research, Ltd.), as well as in academic research (Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique Belgium (FNRS) and Université catholique de Louvain).

The project specific objectives are:

1. Implementation in the study of MPNs, secondary acute myeloid leukemia (sAML) and de novo AML with normal karyotype of state of the art approaches as: deep sequencing of primary patient cells, genotyping of primary individual colonies and of xenografts, mass spectrometry and multiplex proteomic approaches in our newly developed facility ONCOVIR (POSCCE O2.2.1- 433/2012-2015). This objective will aim to consolidate the research, development and innovation (RDI) capacity of the institute for integration in the European teams and participation in Horizon 2020 EU projects.

2. Investigation/identification and validation of new biomarkers and regulatory elements crucial for MPN progression, AML pathogenesis and early diagnosis of the transition of MPNs to sAML. Understanding how the identified biomarkers interact and influence disease initiation, clonal evolution and blast crisis and use of the integrated results in a molecular profiling protocol for early diagnosis of MPN progression.

3. Transfer and implement the new molecular technologies and the molecular profiling established protocol from research to direct clinical practice with extending and optimizing the portfolio of laboratory services.

Through these three specific objectives, the project is subscribed to the objectives of the national priority area – HEALTH, subdomains: 5.1. Early diagnosis, personalized treatment, monitoring and prognostic in oncology; 5.7 Personalized/group therapy and therapeutic monitoring.

4. Investigation of selective and personalized treatments with the application of new methodologies (mutagenesis, cloning, validation in primary colony, high throughput screening) to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals for scientific purposes (the 3Rs) and, at the same time, to improve the clinical management of these types of neoplasms. This objective is also subscribed to the intelligent specialization domain 1. BIOECONOMY, subdomain 1.4. Pharmaceutical science: 1.4.1 In vitro/ in vivo evaluation in the process of the generic drug design; 1.4.4. Molecular design, (bio)synthesis, semi-synthesis, high-throughput screening.

5. Expansion of the research capacity of the institute with highly specialized young researchers, after supporting PhD and postdoctoral fellows to work in the team of specialists led by a high-profile researcher with broad expertise in coordinating international PhD and postdoctoral projects in oncology. Through this objective, the project is contributing also to the fulfilment of the transversal specific objectives OS5 and OS6 of the National RDI Strategy 2014-2020 with attaining, by year 2020, a critical mass of researchers able to advance economy.

6. Increase the awareness on science-based health information, clinical management, and eventually, therapy of MPN and AML, via conferences and scientific publications, based on close collaborations between our team of scientists and clinicians that are highly qualified to disseminate scientific information.

The project will consolidate the RDI capacity of the Romanian institute making it eligible to participate at Horizon 2020 EU programs. At the same time, some of the project results (molecular profiling kits, small molecule high-throughput screening kits) will be transferred to the economic sector and might qualify those to production implementation via action 1.2.1 Innovation projects.