Consortium description

University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila” (http://www.umf.ro/)

UMP “Carol Davila” plays a major role in the research on cancer in Romania; it has recently benefited from a number of competitive funding schemes leading to the expansion of its research infrastructure and capabilities. All these gave an important boost to both quantity and quality of the research undertaken. In addition, UMP “Carol Davila” is open to business and international collabo­rations contributing to the effectiveness of public research. UMP “Carol Davila” will coordinate the overall project and will be responsible for collecting data and samples, for managing ethical issues and for disseminating the final results of the project.

Its Intensive Computing and Computational Medicine Centre – CCIMC (http://portal.medgrid.ro/) will build and host the database of the project and will maintain data completion and coherence.

Several clinical/non-clinical departments will contribute to achieve the proposed objectives:

  • Urology Clinic Theodor Burghele – UCTB– recruitment of PrCa cases
  • Department of General Surgery and Emergency III – SUUB – recruitment of BrCa and CRC cases
  • The Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology Clinic at the Military Hospital – SUUMC – recruitment of CRC cases
  • Clinic of General Surgery St. Mary – CSSM – recruitment of CRC and BrCa cases
  • Clinic of Thoracic Surgery Marius Nasta – CTSMN– recruitment of LuCa cases
  • Intensive Computing and Computational Medicine Centre – CCIMC (http://portal.medgrid.ro/) – database management
  • Department of Genetics – genetic data interpretation

National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) (http://www.insp.gov.ro/)

NIPH is placed directly under the Romanian Ministry of Health and acts as a national competence institution. NIPH is working to improve the health, quality of life and legal protection of the population. National and international research and health surveillance gives valuable insight into factors that affect public health. The NIPH collaborates with the WHO, EU, IARC, national health authorities and other institutions on health issues and how it can be improved.

NIPH will be responsible for designing the epidemiological study (design and validation of questionnaires for BrCa and LuCa, pathology forms, construction of the variables dictionnaire, data coding), training of the investigators in each recruitment center, codification of the data and data entering. NIPH will be responsible for the biological samples management, preparation of samples and shipment to the genetic laboratories in Iceland. NIPH will contribute to the data management and analysis and will be involved in the dissemination of the results relevant at the public health level.

deCODE Genetics (http://www.decode.com/)

deCODE is widely recognized as a centre of excellence in human genetic research and participates in numerous international collaborative projects with diverse dissemination and exchange schemes. Results of the company’s discoveries have been extensively published, including more than 30 papers reporting genetic variations that associate with risk of different types of cancer. deCODE currently participates in 7 NIH funded projects and over 20 FP7 funded projects. The company is located close to the main campus of Reykjavik University (RU) and has active collaborations with faculty members of the university that are partners in this proposal (A Manolescu, B Halldorsson).

deCODE will be responsible for DNA isolation, exome (potentially whole-genome) sequencing and chip gentoyping. Furthermore, statisticians at deCODE will work with the partners from RU and Romania (UMPCD, NIPH) in the analysis of genetic data. deCODE’s laboratory staff will assist in the training of researchers from the other partner institutions in all stages of the project. The informatics department with 30 full time employees will assist in data handling, including transfer of data to the NIPH, the construction of software systems as needed and training of members of the Romanian groups. deCODE will contribute GWAS data from more than 10,000 cancer cases (PrCa, LuCa, BrCa and CRC) as well as 60,000 controls from the Icelandic population. Candidate genetic risk factors identified in the project will be followed up in case control sample sets from deCODE’s collaborators (including sample sets from The Netherlands, Spain, USA).

Reykjavik University RU (http://www.en.ru.is/)

Reykjavik University (RU) (http://www.ru.is) is located in Reykjavik, Iceland and it is the second university in the country by size, with five distinct schools whereof the School of Science and Engineering (SSE) is the largest one, with almost 200 faculty staff. The SSE has programs in mathematics, physics, statistics, computer programming, bioinformatics, molecular biology, biomedical engineering, and also other topics less relevant for the present project. A powerful research group on biomedical and neuronal engineering is active at the SSE. A PhD program in bioinformatics was initiated by Bjarni Halldórsson in 2010. Several PhD and Master’s students are enrolled in programs in biomedical and biostatistics fields. Bjarni Halldórson and Andrei Manolescu are faculty members of the SSE and they both have extensive experience with statistical genetics through their collaboration with deCODE genetics. Their role will be to perform statistical analyses of genetic data and to supervise and train the Romanian students and scientists in statistical genetics, such that during the project the Romanian partner receives the corresponding know-how and qualification for this type of work.