CVON-ARENA awarded

UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS (15-12-2011) - Professor Leon de Windt (Maastricht University) and Professor Yigal Pinto (UvA) received confirmation of their successful CVON (Cardiovasculair Onderzoek Nederland) grant application entitled“Approaching Heart Failure By Translational Research Of RNA Mechanisms” (CVON-ARENA).

CVON, a mutual initiative of the NHS, KNAW, ZonMW and NFU, aims to improve the national and international position of cardiovascular research in the Netherlands, by supporting large and strong research themes. The ARENA project is supported with 5 M€ in 5 years.

The ARENA project, an acronym for “Approaching Heart Failure By Translational Research of RNA Mechanisms”, is a collaboration between principal investigators (PI’s) of five University Medical Centers in the Netherlands. The consortium consists of researchers at AMC (PI Prof. Yigal Pinto), UM/MUMC+ (PI's Prof. Stephane Heymans and Leon de Windt), UMCG (PI Prof. Voors), VUMC (PI Prof. Paulus and Dr Van de Velden), Erasmus MC (Prof Duncker). Professor Pinto and Professor De Windt will be the research coordinators of the consortium.

Recent advances in the field of microRNAs provide novel possibilities that are on the brink of clinical application. The surprising stability of circualting microRNAs has opened the possibility to develop next generation biomarkers. Inhibition of selected microRNAs is powerful and holds great promise to become the next generation therapeutics. Since microRNAs and their targets are genomically encoded, genetic principles apply and create 'microRNA genetics' as a source of individual variation. ARENA aims to mine the wealth of these ncRNA mechanisms to enable the development of next generation RNA based diagnostics and therapeutics. Each work package is based on recently generated data within the consortium to provide necessary prove of concept. ARENA is to be expected to address the clinical added value of newly identified RNA based mechanisms and to use the unique models combined in ARENA to mine the wealth of ncRNAs in Heart Failure.

For more information, please visit the CVON website (only in Dutch) or contact the coordinators Prof. Yigal Pinto or Prof. Leon de Windt.