Daniel Fuster, MD PhD.
The European commission has recently opened a public funding call for research named Horizon2020, which is aimed to fund scientific research between the years 2014 and 2020.
In contrast to its predecessor, the 7th Framework Program, Horizon 2020 is aimed to foster international collaborations as well as collaborations between academic institutions and the private sector. Also, there is a special interest in funding translational research focused in a change of the current treatment paradigm that can be implemented in the near future. Therefore, the increment of generalizable knowledge seems a reason not enough to receive funding and a direct impact in every day clinical practice should be expected of the research that is funded.
Medical research is included in the first social challenge of the Horizon 2020 call, which is entitled “health, demographic change and well being”. Among the four areas of medical research challenges (ageing population, drug development, understanding disease and chronic and infectious disease burden) there is a growing interest in personalized medicine.
Personalized medicine is defined in the Horizon 2020 call as a medical model that uses molecular profiling for tailoring the right therapeutic strategy for the right person at the right time, and/or to determine the predisposition to disease and/or to deliver timely and targeted prevention.
However, areas that also receive special attention such as how nanotechnology, genomics, pharmaco-epidemiology or information technologies can have an impact on how healthcare is delivered could also be included in a broader and more inclusive definition of personalized medicine. In addition, patient empowerment through the use of new computer applications is among the topics where more research is suggested.
It will be interesting to see how the therapeutic paradigm of how health care is delivered changes with this upcoming research.
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