The prevalence of diabetes will rise to ~592 million in 2035. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a leading cause of death through its vascular complications. High glucose increases the risk for complications, and thereby suffering for patients and costs for society. It is important that patients with T2D receive an optimal therapy that lowers blood glucose. Metformin is first-line T2D therapy. However, ~30% of patients do not respond to metformin. Currently, there are no biomarkers that predict the response to metformin. We discovered blood-based epigenetic markers that could discriminate between responders/non-responders to metformin in drug-naïve patients with T2D. This epigenetic tool may be further developed to help patients with T2D receive an optimal therapy. The aim of PROCEED is therefore to develop and commercialize our pharmacoepigenetic tool. We expect this biomarker tool to aid clinical decision-making in T2D therapy.
Since March 2020, the world is facing the Covid-19 pandemic. As of September 2020, over 900 000 people have died of the disease, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The WHO recommendations in order to limit the spread of the virus are to “test, trace and isolate”. To be successful, this strategy requires fast and massive testing. Today, tests are performed using PCR, a resource-intensive process requiring extraction of the viral RNA before nucleic acid amplification. PCR tests are slow (several hours) and require an army of advanced laboratory equipment or automated diagnostic workflow setups for the various steps, and thus prevalent in centralized facilities testing samples in large batches. Consequently, the turn-around time for these tests has proven to be 24-48 hours globally. Here, we propose to develop a new Covid-19 test, 1-SWITCH, consisting of a single step switchable fluorescent probe assay. The 1-SWITCH technology will use low cost reagents, and therefore will be cheaper than current available Covid-19 tests. The sensitivity of the test will be superior to the one of antigen tests and comparable to the one of PCR tests. This 1-step, 1-tube method will detect the virus directly within minutes and eliminates the assay complexity, thus facilitating smoother workflows in laboratory diagnostics as well as point of care screening. This will consist of a major breakthrough in clinical diagnostics. Plans for bringing our research finding to a commercial innovation are presented.
The field of combustion is of utmost societal/industrial importance while at the same time posing outstanding scientific challenges. In order to handle these, it is extremely important to develop and apply non-intrusive laser-diagnostic techniques with high spatial and temporal resolution for measurements of key parameters such as species concentrations and temperatures. Such techniques have been developed and applied by the PI for more than thirty-five years and the home institute has one of the most advanced instrumentations in academia world-wide. The proposal activities will be divided into two areas including five main Work packages: 1. Development of new diagnostic techniques. We will concentrate on concepts based on structured illumination which will add a new dimension to present diagnostics based on temporal, intensity and spectral properties. It will allow for multiscalar measurements and efficient suppression of background light. Furthermore, we will work with femto/picosecond lasers for investigating the diagnostic applicability of filamentation, new aspects of non-linear techniques, and diagnostic aspects of photodissociation phenomena. 2. Phenomenological combustion studies using advanced laser diagnostics. A very important aspect of the project is to use the developed and available diagnostic techniques to assure experimental data in extremely challenging environments and together with modeling experts enhance the understanding of combustion phenomena. Studies will be carried out on three different topics: - Flame structures in laminar flames at high pressure as well as turbulent flames at atmospheric/high pressure. - Biomass gasification, where complex fuels require new techniques to measure nitrogen, alkali, chlorine and sulfur compounds, as well as for measurements inside fuel particles. - Combustion improvement by electric activation which can be introduced to handle flame oscillations and instabilities.
SUperSAFE "SUrrogate measures for SAFE autonomous and connected mobility" will address the problem of the safety evaluation of the interaction between conventional vehicles and connected and automated vehicles (CAVs). The project builds on the notion that vehicle automation is posing new risks that the traditional accident-based and proactive safety analysis methods are unable to investigate. In SUperSAFE, I will select the relevant variables drew on the newly identified risks posed by CAVs, and with these I will develop a new proactive method based on surrogate measures of safety for studying the effects of the physical and digital infrastructure on the interaction between road users in a mixed-mobility environment. Also considering the benchmarks for cities’ liveability and transport sustainability that include road casualties as a primary factor, the European White Paper on Transport calls to reach zero fatalities by 2050 following Vision Zero’s policy (zero serious casualties). Recent statistics indicate a reduction of traffic accidents but also that this development has slowed and additional efforts are required. At the same time, CAVs are already a reality. Tendency towards vehicle automation is even more evident in the European policies which encourage member states to push with the introduction of vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems. However, the road towards full automation is still not open because there is a fear of crashes/injuries and low acceptance of potential CAV accidents. This is mainly because the CAVs’ behaviour vis-a-vis the conventional vehicles on the road and the digital and physical infrastructure is still unknown. To meet these rapidly approaching needs, I propose SUperSAFE, which will contribute to attaining the aforementioned European goals by developing a scientifically rigorous method of estimating risk based on the road users’ real needs to improve traffic safety in the transition period to fully automated driving.
Urban sharing of assets has emerged as a prospective solution to sustainability challenges faced by cities. But, its sustainability potential and institutionalisation pathways have not been systematically examined. Urban Sharing aims to examine, test and advance knowledge about urban sharing organisations (USOs) across 5 cities from 5 continents: Amsterdam, Toronto, São Paolo, Seoul and Melbourne by undertaking a novel multi- and inter-disciplinary study with three objectives: 1. DESIGN: To examine how USOs are designed and operate and how they vary in different city contexts 2. PRACTICES: To study the sustainability impacts of USOs and how they vary across cities 3. PATHWAYS: To advance theoretical understanding of institutionalisation pathways of USOs across cities Using a combination of methods, including case studies, mobile research labs, interviews, expert panels, in-situ field work, Urban Sharing will provide: 1. Unique international empirical evidence about design and operations of USOs across five cities that creates foundation for further research on emerging phenomenon of urban sharing, 2. A sustainability assessment framework to evaluate economic, environmental and social impacts of USOs that helps USOs and cities operationalise their sustainability ambitions, 3. Advanced theoretical understanding of institutionalisation pathways of USOs in diverse cities bridging disparate sciences: organisational, institutional and sustainability. This will produce a step-change in scholarship, open up new horizons for further research on urban sharing and new avenues for fostering sustainability in society. The PI’s skills and commitment to the project and level of staffing (3 seniors, 1 post-doc and 2 PhD students) will be complemented by a prominent Advisory Group. Detailed pilot work has proven the methodological feasibility of this research.