EPSRC: Intelligent Technologies to Support Collaborative Care

EPSRC have issued an advanced warning for a call and briefing event that will go live on 2 November.

EPSRC’s Information and Communication Technologies, Healthcare Technologies and Digital Economy themes will be inviting outline proposals which address the need for new technologies which can reliably and intelligently interpret multiple inputs from multiple sources and initiate actions as appropriate to support the self-management of chronic health conditions.

There will be a briefing event for the call on 3 December in London.

Further details on the Call and briefing event will go live on the EPSRC website on 2 November

Cancer Research UK International Symposium on Oesophageal Cancer

The Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre, Cancer Research UK, Cambridge Cancer Centre and Chinese Hospital Chinese Academy of Medical Science (CICAMS) have come together to host an International Symposium on Oesophageal Cancer.

The symposium is being co-organised by Professor Xin Lu, Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald and Professor Qimin Zhan. Speakers that cover the breadth and depth of Oesophageal Cancer Research will be in Oxford on June 6-7th for this innovative event.

We are pleased to confirm that registration is now open and details can be found here.

Why oesophageal cancer?

Investigating oesophageal cancer presents unique opportunities for advances on two fronts: addressing the substantial unmet clinical needs of this disease; and uncovering molecular mechanisms with broad implications for our understanding of tumorigenesis.

The oesophagus provides an unusual yet accessible tumour context. In the lower oesophagus, the squamous epithelium of the oesophagus meets the columnar epithelium of the stomach and oesophageal adenocarcinoma is often preceded by epithelial cellular changes in an inflammatory condition called Barrett?s oesophagus. This setting thus presents a unique model for studies of the fundamental principles of interactions among different epithelial cell types, how signalling and differentiation are disrupted in cancer development and the influence of immune responses and inflammation on cell fate. On a global scale oesophageal squamous cell cancer is a major cause of cancer related death with some very high incidence areas thus providing further opportunities for investigating the epidemiology and causation of this disease and potential avenues for treatment.

Oesophageal cancer research is thus an ideal forum to bring together cell biologists, geneticists, immunologists and clinicians.

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Multidisciplinary Project Award

This call is for multidisciplinary research projects that involve both cancer researchers and scientists from engineering and physical science disciplines, where the aim is to generate original research ideas and explore their applicability in cancer research.

Up to £500k can be requested to support a project over a period of up to 4 years.

Applications should ideally include:

  • a minimum of two PIs working in distinct scientific disciplines
  • at least one PI working in cancer research at any career stage
  • at least one PI from an engineering/physical science discipline at any career stage

With a primary focus on multidisciplinary research, the research themes within remit for this award include:

  • The direct application of physics, engineering, chemical or mathematical concepts to address the underlying physical processes of cancer, including tumour initiation, growth and metastasis.
  • The development and translation of technologies for direct applications in, or a clear path to, a direct application in the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of cancer. Proposals for the first applications of technologies in cancer research and those which demonstrate potential clinical applicability are encouraged.

The call deadline is 17 November 2014. Full information can be found at this link.

If you are thinking of applying to this call please let me know.

MHEALTH – EC Consultation. Your chance to shape future developments

The European Commission has today launched a consultation on existing barriers and issues related to mobile health (mHealth) deployment.

mHealth is part of eHealth whereby Information and Communication Technologies are used to support medical and public health practice. The focus of mHealth is on support through mobile devices, such as mobile phones or personal digital assistants.

The Commission’s Green Paper on mHealth considers the potential of mHealth with respect to healthcare (e.g. through increased efficiency in delivering care and patient empowerment), as well as its market potential.

Stakeholder views are are sought on questions in the following areas:

  • data protection, including security of health data;
  • big data;
  • state of play on the applicable EU legal framework;
  • patient safety and transparency of information;
  • mHealth role in healthcare systems and equal access;
  • interoperability;
  • reimbursement models;
  • liability;
  • research and innovation in mHealth;
  • international co-operation;
  • access of web entrepreneurs to the mHealth market.

Alongside the Green Paper, the Commission has published a Staff Working Document which aims to give a non-exhaustive description of EU legislation applicable to lifestyle and wellbeing apps. Interested parties are invited to respond to the consultation by 3 July 2014.

mHealth in Horizon 2020
A number of mHealth-related projects received funding under FP7, including NEPHRON+, which looks at personalised treatment and management of patients with chronic renal failure, and REACTION, aimed at developing a platform to support improved long-term management of diabetes.

Funding for research in the area of mHealth is provided also under Horizon 2020, e.g. through topic PHC-26-2014 ‘Self-management of health and disease: citizen engagement and mHealth’ (budget: EUR 59.6 million) within the Societal Challenge on ‘Health, demographic change and wellbeing’.

See the website for the full UKRO article and links to relevant documents http://www.ukro.ac.uk/subscriber/Pages/140410_mhealth_consultation.aspx


If you have contacts in the US now could be a good time to consider a collaboration (depending on your field of interest).

RCUK and America’s NSF have signed a document which provides and overarching framework to encourage collaborations between our two countries. They’ve launched a pilot programme in the area of Bio-Sciences with a maximum of £2 million per project (100% FEC). More details: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/funding/internationalfunding/nsfbio-lead-agency-pilot.aspx

Projects at the intersection of the following topics are invited:

  • BBSRC Strategic Research Priorities, Responsive Mode
    Data Driven Bioscience
    Systems Approaches to the Biosciences
    Synthetic Biology (September 2015 submissions only)
  • NSF/BIO Solicitations
    Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Solicitation NSF 13-510
    Division of Biological Infrastructure Solicitation NSF 12-567

The intersection areas include systems biology, computational biology, bioinformatics and synthetic biology (Autumn 2015 only).

The deadline for the intent to submit is 30 May 2014, and the full application deadline is 24 September 20104.

Let me know if you are interested in submitting something.