MeDALL program to abate allergies on track after first year
International research team of EU funded project draws positive balance
Paris, 23 January 2012 – After one year of research on the causes explaining the epidemic of allergic diseases, the international MeDALL research team have reached important milestones that help to generate novel knowledge on the mechanisms of initiation of allergy. The researchers are reporting on their work package outcomes and the next steps at the 2nd Annual MeDALL meeting, which is being held on January 23rd to 24th 2012 in Paris, France. MeDALL stands for Mechanisms of the Development of ALLergy.
MeDALL core achievements in the first year
- Successful Expert meeting for the re-definition of classical phenotypes of allergic diseases in collaboration with WHO with agreement on working definitions
- Establishment of a common database for classical and novel phenotyping using historical data for children in birth cohorts for comparison
- Testing of inhalant and food allergens including novel food allergens and bacterial superantigens and distribution of the list among MeDALL researchers
- Performance of an extensive literature study to select the most promising candidate genes involved in allergic diseases like atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis and asthma
- Construction of a house dust mite model of asthma confirming the mechanisms of allergies in-vivo
Jean Bousquet (Inserm and Montpellier University, France) is the MeDALL coordinator and states that “in the first year, the MeDALL team has done excellent work to form a strong collaborating community combining a wide range of expertise. I am sure that the knowledge generated by MEDALL will eventually help physicians to propose early diagnosis, prevention and targets for therapy. Allergy is a major health problem that is undervalued by doctors, patients, politics and the media. This has to change.”
Scientific coordinator Josep M Anto (CREAL, Barcelona, Spain) summarizes: “MeDALL has achieved significant results in 2011 and in particular advanced the understanding of the IgE-associated allergic diseases and their phenotypes. We’re looking forward to 2012.”
MeDALL is an international four-year research project supported by the EU, which started in December 2010. The MeDALL consortium encompasses 23 public and private institutions, including 3 European SMEs whose specific complementary scientific expertise will contribute to MeDALL objectives. The project is coordinated by the Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM), Paris, France and the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain. MeDALL has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) under grant agreement n° 261357.
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