Significant EU-funding for the research of vascular anomalies

Professor Lauri Eklund and doctoral student Prateek Singh from the University of Oulu together with their European partners have received nearly 3.8 million euro funding for the H2020-MSCA-ITN project called V.A. Cure.  The goal is to provide doctoral education for early-stage researchers in the field of vascular biology, and to uncover the disease causing mechanisms to establish novel therapeutic strategies for vascular anomalies.

Vascular anomalies are a diverse group of more than forty rare diseases defined by blood- or lymph vessel dysfunction causing chronic pain, disabilities, and even sudden death, and for which effective treatments are still lacking.  

V.A. Cure assembles seven world-leading academic laboratories and five companies in Europe. The consortium will apply an intersectoral four-step approach: (1) the identification of novel genes involved in vascular anomalies in patients, (2) the dissection of molecular mechanisms behind the diseases by in vitro modelling, (3) the in-depth analysis of pathophysiological mechanisms through in vivo models, and (4) pre-clinical testing of identified treatment strategies. 

”The knowledge gained will not only be relevant for the understanding of vascular anomalies but also for aberrant vascular function in other vascular-related diseases, including cancer and complications of diabetes,” Singh and Eklund explain. 

Professor Eklund will be the academic partner in the project providing expertise in endothelial cell and vascular biology, advanced imaging and for disease modeling.

FinnAdvance, a startup from Oulu, headed by Singh, will develop a microfluidic vasculature-on-a-chip model for understanding of physical factors and flow effects in vascular anomalies and for pre-clinical testing. Microfluidic Organ-on-a-chip devices are readily being used to replace animal models, with a rapid setup and the ethics-free approach. These skills are limited to few specialized institutes and facilities, FinnAdvance being one of them.

Further information:

Lauri Eklund
Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Biocenter Oulu
University of Oulu
Tel. 029 448 6073

Prateek Singh
Tel. 0406537049

More information about the funder: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks


Last updated: 5.7.2018