Money to improve European ageing research

A large European network, including the research group of Natal van Riel, received a COST Action to improve European ageing research. With the money, researchers want to create an interactive and flexible multi-disciplinary European network (MouseAGE) to develop, test and standardize preclinical interventions in ageing mice models across Europe.

The average age of the European inhabitant is increasing. Age comes with a higher risk of diseases like cancer, heart diseases, diabetes and other chronic diseases. To tackle this problem, it is necessary to have good preclinical mouse models available and to use them.

MouseAGE aims to develop, test and standardize preclinical interventions in ageing mice across Europe. Within this COST Action, computational biology and modelling, such as developed for metabolism and age-associated metabolic diseases in the group of Natal van Riel, are one of the key technologies.

Researchers use the computational modelling to characterize the murine phenotype with much greater accuracy and sensitivity. They also establish predictive models to directly test interventions, hereby reducing the number of animal experiments substantially and increasing the speed of testing. Besides, it will allow the simulation of parameters which change between mouse and humans, potentially giving more accurate predictions when translating from the preclinical models to the human cohort.

This COST Action is coordinated by Professor Ilaria Bellantuono from Sheffield Medical School. COST is an intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, allowing the coordination of nationally-funded research on a European level.