Horizon 2020 EU funding to the PainFACT-project and Bente Halvorsen

Bente Halvorsen
Bente Halvorsen

The PainFact project has a total budget of €7,3 mill, and have been awarded €6 mill from the Horizon 2020-programme. The project is coordinated by The Norwegian Public Health Institute (Folkehelseinstituttet).

OUS with Bente Halvorsen at The Research Institute of Internal Medicine in front is a major collaborating partner in the project. Other partners in the consortium are, amongst many: Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona), University of Strasbourg, deCode Genetics Iceland, The Quibim, Spain, and Tataa, Sweden (companies) and Dr. Christopher S. Nielsen, FHI as coordinator.

Chronic pain (CP) is the leading cause of disability, and is strongly associated with fatigue, anxiety and depression ─ also major contributors to disability, and with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. Twin studies indicate that these associations are a consequence of common causal mechanisms. The main objective of PainFACT is to identify these mechanisms.

Aims of the Molecular Mechanism Associating Pain with Fatigue, Affective Disorders, Cardiovascular Disease and Total Comorbidity-project – PainFACT

Using hypothesis-free genomic, proteomic, transcriptomic and brain-imaging discovery in available human studies and in a large cohort of outbred mice with multiple comorbidities, we aim to identify biomarkers that are associated across conditions. Predictive algorithms will be developed through machine learning techniques and tested in prospective analysis. Mendelian randomization approaches will be applied to test for causality. Mechanistic studies will be carried out in validated behavioral and atherosclerotic mouse models. Predictive markers will be tested as possible mediators of effects of lifestyle and obesity.

Unique features of this program of research is the strong emphasis on experimental pain models and brain imaging techniques, facilitating translation of findings between mice and humans, and exploitation of the largest study of experimental pain worldwide and of multiple clinical datasets ranging in size from tens of thousands to 1.1 million. A custom protein panel will be developed together with sex and age stratified algorithms, with expected impact for the prediction and monitoring of disease and comorbidity, and for tracking effects of life-style changes. It is also expected that PainFACT results will have major impact on the diagnostic criteria and classification of affective disorders and CP. The identification of novel causal biomarkers will provide new targets for development of medicines and yield new insight into the causes of comorbidity.

OUS and Bente Halvorsen will contribute in several work packages with genomics, proteomics, transcriptomic, mouse-model studies, etc.


Read about the project on the Horizon 2020 website: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/848099/en

RIIM homepage: ous-research.no/riim

Home page of Bente Halvorsen's Atherosclerosis and related metabolic disorders research group

Bente Halvorsen's publications


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