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University of Amsterdam

4 Projects, page 1 of 1
  • Funder: ANR Project Code: ANR-17-HDIM-0006
    Funder Contribution: 249,288 EUR
    Partners: University of Gothenburg, Universite de Pierre et Marie Currie, University of Amsterdam
  • Funder: ANR Project Code: ANR-21-CHIP-0001
    Funder Contribution: 207,393 EUR
    Partners: SOAS RADIO, Middlesex University London, University of Amsterdam, Centre Asie du Sud-Est
  • Funder: ANR Project Code: ANR-10-ORAR-0011
    Funder Contribution: 199,999 EUR
    Partners: Health Policy Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, INSTITUT DE RECHERCHE POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT - IRD, University of Amsterdam, UNIVERSITE PARIS 7

    This project explores the ways in which biomedical research generates memory and how its past practices are remembered, memorialized, commemorated, erased and lived with in African institutions, populations and landscapes. Combining archival and ethnographic methods, we focus on the material forms and practices of remembering (and forgetting) medical research around three medical research stations in Sub-Saharan Africa. Located in formerly French, German and British colonies, the sites of Ayos (Cameroon), Muheza/Amani (Tanzania) and Niakhar (Senegal) share long histories of medical research that link up distant and proximate pasts of glory, dilapidation, rehabilitation and hope. _x000D_ We open these sites to inquiry in three methodological strands. The first, Ruination & Renovation treats the materialisations of research within these sites as archives; that is, as repositories of memory about the succession, coexistence and collision of past scientific practices and processes. The second, Living Memory & Amnesia explores how the materials of past research are inhabited and described, as well as ignored and omitted, by research(ed) communities. In the third, Memory Work, we turn to the deliberate creation, collection, ordering and preservation of materials for remembering past research._x000D_ _x000D_ By investigating the built, archived, inhabited and recounted pasts of medical research in these sites, we will excavate the political and material histories of these field laboratories; ascertain the affective resonance of their past purposes in their present form; and describe how remembering and forgetting are woven into the social texture of their everyday life. In drawing insights across these cases, we aim to shed light on how international public health practices have evolved in response to colonial, developmental and neoliberal visions of Africa and the ways in which landscapes, bodies, personal memories and institutions in Africa have been differently inscribed by the trajectories of medical science._x000D_ This collaborative enterprise thus seeks to enrich comparative imperial and post-colonial history, sociological understandings of science, the anthropology of African modernities, and international medical research ethics._x000D_

  • Funder: ANR Project Code: ANR-21-JPW2-0004
    Funder Contribution: 1,501,490 EUR
    Partners: Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Université Laval, RMIT University, University of Amsterdam, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Nutrition et Neurobiologie intégrée

    Finding suitable and easily measurable early biomarkers for neurodegeneration and cognitive dysfunction represents the next frontier for prevention and early intervention strategies in diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Our collective work in preclinical models has demonstrated that early-life adversity, such as stress or poor nutrition, can increase AD vulnerability, aggravate neuropathology and accelerate cognitive dysfunction. Neuroinflammation (driven by the brain’s primary immune cells, microglia) has been increasingly acknowledged as an important player in AD pathology and early-life adversity primes microglia, rendering them more sensitive to subsequent challenges. In addition, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and their derivatives play a key role in modulating microglia. N-3 PUFA (omega-3) metabolism is altered by early-life adversity and, recently, specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs; derivatives of omega-3) have been found to be altered in post-mortem AD brains. Finally, inflammation and metabolism are tightly connected in the context of early-life adversity and AD, presenting an opportunity to use metabolic sensors as potential biomarkers of (neuro)inflammation. We thus propose a translational project that will leverage data and bio-samples from four established human cohorts as well as more than 10 established in vivo and in vitro mouse and rat preclinical models. We will use these to identify early biomarkers of neurodegeneration and establish the causal role of and detailed mechanisms for early-life adversity and omega-3 in microglial priming in increasing the risk of neurodegeneration and AD. SOLID will complete a discovery program in humans aimed at identifying early biomarkers of neurodegeneration and cognitive decline. The second, parallel, work program will be to back-translate candidate and newly identified biomarkers to validated animal models of cognitive decline and AD and test the temporal and causal relationship of these biomarkers to the central neuroinflammatory changes. We will use several innovative approaches including microglial functional assays, microglia depletion strategies, omega-3 and SPM assessment, organotypic slice cultures, and transgenic rodent models; testing the causal role of early-life adversity, omega-3 and microglia. The third work program will test the potential for early supplementation with omega-3 to protect against early-life adversity-induced aggravation of neurodegeneration in AD mice and against cognitive deficits in a healthy aging human population. On completion of this proposal, we will have identified i) unique profiles of early biomarkers (cytokines, PUFAs, SPMs and metabolic sensors) predictive of cognitive dysfunction and neurodegeneration; ii) the causal role of early-life adversity in predisposition to AD; and iii) an omega-3 and SPM strategy for alleviating these effects.