Europe has produced some of the most important recent findings on allergy and asthma, but research tends to be fragmented in different institutes, and even departments of the same institution. Findings are not always shared nor rapidly translated into changes in practice. A “network of excellence” can help strengthen the impact of Europe's research by stimulating interaction between different teams and by communicating information beyond the research community to doctors, patients, policy makers and industry.
GA²LEN, Global Allergy and Asthma European Network, is a project funded by the EU under the Sixth Framework Programme for Research.
Its objectives in Allergy and Asthma are:
- Enhance the quality and relevance of research and address all aspects of the disease
- Create a permanent and durable structure that will maximize the scientific contribution of Europe to this area
- Accelerate the application of research results to clinical practice, patients' needs and policy development
- Promote training and integration between the public and private sectors
- Eventually decrease the burden of allergy and asthma throughout Europe
Sixteen European countries are participating in GA2LEN with with 25 scientific partners, selected for their scientific excellence, with evidences of multidisciplinary working, training and educational activities and international collaboration. EAACI, European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology is currently a major partner of GA2LEN.
GA2LEN in practice
Nine topics were selected for research: nutrition, infection, occu-Nine topics were selected for research: nutrition, infection, occupation, pollution, gender, IgE sensitisation, airway remodelling, clinical care, and genetics. New networks for larger scale studies in the field of allergy and asthma are being developed. Scientists will also benefit from the bio-, gene- and docu-banks that are established, programmes for mobility and exchanges as well as a platform for communication.
For junior researchers
GA2LEN promote the development of a high-level, large scale, international and multidisciplinary scientific community. Training courses, mobility grants, e-learning facilities and website for junior scientists support the clinical or research activities of the young researchers.
For health care professionals
The target groups are chest physicians, allergists, paediatricians, ENT specialists and those in other allergy-related medical or paramedical specialities. A common, European system for ensuring quality in scientific research, clinical care, training and education is proposed.
Provision for patients, public and policy makers
GA2LEN adapts, translates and disseminates on a regular basis
evidence-based prevention guidelines.