Glossary

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The following glossary contains terms used to describe the SUMMIT consortium, diabetes and its associated complications. The links to the source have been provided. 

A

  • Animal Model is an animal that mimics human diseases. It is used in research to better understand the development and progression of diseases and to test new treatments before they are given to humans.

      (http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary?CdrID=43996) 

 

  • ​Atherosclerosis is the thickening and the loss of elasticity of the walls of the blood vessels due to build up of the fatty material inside the blood vessel wall. 

      (http://www.online-medical-dictionary.org/definitions-a/atherosclerosis.html)

 

B

  • Biological Marker (Biomarker) is a biological molecule found in tissues, blood, and other body fluids that is measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological process, of a disease or condition. A biomarker may be used:  

 

  1. to identify those patients with a disease or abnormal condition (eg, elevated blood glucose concentration for the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus)

  2. as an indicator of disease prognosis (eg, lowering of blood glucose)

  3. to predict and monitor clinical response to an intervention (eg, blood glucose  concentrations to determine the the risk of heart disease).

      (http://www.nature.com/clpt/journal/v69/n3/full/clpt200113a.html)

 

  • Biocomputing: the construction and use of computers that simulate biological processes. The results of these simulations are then compared to experimental results when necessary the biological model to be improved. 

 

  • Bioinformatics: the generation and maintenance of databases of biological information, whereby researchers can both access existing information and submit new entries.

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C

  • Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) are a group of disorders of heart and blood vessels.The kinds of CVD that accompany diabetes include angina, myocardial infarction (heart attack), stroke, peripheral artery disease, and congestive heart failure. In diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood glucose levels, and other risk factors contribute to increase the risk of cardiovascular complications.(http://www.idf.org/diabetesatlas) 

 

  • ​Clinical endpoint is a characteristic or variable that reflects how a patient feels, functions, or survives.Clinical endpoints are the most credible characteristics used in the assessment of the benefits and risks of a therapeutic intervention in randomized clinical trials.

      (http://www.nature.com/clpt/journal/v69/n3/full/clpt200113a.html)

 

  • Cohort is a group of individuals who share a common trait, such as birth year. In medicine, a cohort is a group that is part of a clinical trial or study and is observed over a period of time. 

      (http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary?CdrID=43996)

 

  • Consortium is an association of two or more individuals, companies, organizations or governments (or any combination of these entities) with the objective of participating in a common activity or pooling their resources for achieving a common goal. 

      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consortium)

 

D

  • Data mining, also known as knowledge discovery, is a computer-assisted process of information retrieval from various data sets aiming at detecting patterns and similarities among data sets.

 

  • Diabetes is a chronic conditions that occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or the cells do not effectively respond or use insulin. Insulin allows the glucose - the sugar - from food to enter the body's cells. In diabetes patients, the cells do not take up glucose properly, and the glucose circulates in blood, causing hyperglycemia - high blood sugar levels. 

 

      There are two main types of diabetes:

 

  1. Type 1 diabetes: Insulin-producing cells in pancreas fail to produce insulin. The affected patients, usually children and young adults, require daily injections of insulin in order to control the circulating high glucose levels in blood.    

  2. Type 2 diabetes: The most common type of diabetes, is a conditions in which cells do not properly respond to the insulin effects, hence leading to build-up of glucose in blood. It usually occurs in adults, but is also seen in children and adolescents.

      (http://www.idf.org/diabetesatlas) 

  • Diabetes Complications occurs as a result of persisting high blood glucose levels. These can lead to serious diseases affecting heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. Diabetes is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower limb amputation.

      (http://www.idf.org/diabetesatlas)

 

  • DIRECT is a pan-European consortium on diabetes research funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). It aims at identifying novel surrogate markers that can be used for patients stratification to determine best treatment options for each patients. 

      (http://www.direct-diabetes.org/)

 

E

  • European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA)  represents the pharmaceutical industry operating in Europe. Through its direct membership of 31 national associations and 35 leading pharmaceutical companies, EFPIA is the voice on the EU scene of 1,900 companies committed to researching, developing and bringing to patients new medicines that will improve health and quality of life around the world.

      (http://www.efpia-annualreview.eu/index.php?page=efpia-governance)

 

  • European Union (EU). The aim of the EU investment in Health research is to improve the health of European citizens, to address global health issues and to boost the competitiveness of European health-related industries. With a budget of € 6.1bn over the duration of the Seventh Framework Programme, health research is a major priority for the European Union. Projects are supported in various thematic domains (Medical Research, Infectious Diseases etc). 

      (http://ec.europa.eu/research/health/health-research-intro_en.html) 

 

G

  • Genetic Marker is defined as a specific gene or DNA sequence with a known location on the chromosome. Genetic markers associated with a disease can be used to determine whether an individual is at risk for developing an inherited disease. 

 

  • Genomics is a systematic study that analyzes the function and structure of the complete DNA of an organism using DNA sequencing methods and bioinformatics.

 

  • Genotype is the genetic makeup of a cell, an organism, or an individual (i.e. the specific alleles present at each gene locus of the individual) usually with reference to a specific characteristic under consideration. 

      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genotype)

 

I

  • The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is Europe's largest public-private partnership aiming to improve the drug development process by supporting a more efficient discovery and development of better and safer medicines for patients. With a €2 billion euro budget, IMI supports collaborative research projects and builds networks of industrial and academic experts in Europe that will boost innovation in healthcare. Acting as a neutral third party in creating innovative partnerships, IMI aims to build a more collaborative ecosystem for pharmaceutical research and development (R&D). 

      (http://www.imi.europa.eu/content/mission)

 

  • IMIDIA, supported by the EU IMI Joint Undertaking, is laying the foundation for a paradigm shift in the treatment of Diabetes - from symptomatic treatment to pancreatic beta cell focused cure of this emerging pandemic disease. IMIDIA brings together leading European experts from fourteen academic research institutions, eight pharmaceutical industry research organizations and one biotech company in the area of pancreatic beta-cell research.

      (http://www.imidia.org/index.php)

 

  • In silico modelling initially coined as "performed using computer simulations" make use of computers to design models that predict or find relations between molecules as well to define and understand the role of these molecules in human disease. 

 

  • Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreas. It plays major roles in the regulation of sugar and fat metabolism. Insulin causes the cells in liver, skeletal muscles and fat tissue to take in glucose from blood. 

      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insuline)

 

L

  • Lipidome describes the lipid profile of an organism. 

 

  • Lipidomics is a large-scale study that involves the identification and quantitation of thousands of pathways and networks of cellular lipids, their interactions with other lipids, proteins and other moieties through application of the analytical methods of mass spectrometry (MS) or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).

      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipidomics)

 

 

M

  • Metabolome refers to the complete set of small-molecules metabolites of an organism.

 

  • Metabolomics is a systematic study that measures and analyzes the metabolites such as sugars and fats in the cells of organisms at specific times and under specific conditions through the use of analytical processes such as spectroscopy, chromatography, and multivariable analysis. Metabolomics allows scientists to measure physiological effects and to monitor for adverse reactions to drugs.

      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolomics) 

 

  • Macrovascular complications  is a disease of any large (macro) blood vessels in the body including the coronary arteries, the aorta, and the sizable arteries in the brain and in the limbs.

      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macrovascular_disease)

 

  • Microvascular complications is a disease of any small (micro) blood vessels in the body. Microvascular disease usually affects the whole body to some degree and the most serious complications are caused by damage to the vital organs including heart, brain, kidneys, and liver. 

      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microvascular_disease)

N

  • Nephropathy also known as kidney disease is more common in people with diabetes and is one of the leading causes of chronic kidney disease. The disease is caused by damage to small blood vessels and consecutive occlusion of the vessels and impairment of blood flow. These conditions can cause kidney to be less efficient or to fail all together.

      (http://www.idf.org/diabetesatlas

R

  • Retinopathy, a term that describes an Eye Disease, harms sights, and cause blindness, is common in diabetic patients The network of blood vessels that supply the retina - a neural tissue at the back of the eye that collects and processes the light entering through the lens - can become blocked and damaged in retinopathy, leading to permanent eye loss. Retinopathy can be managed by regular eye checks and keeping glucose levels close to normal.

      (http://www.idf.org/diabetesatlas) 
 

S

  • Surrogate Endpoint is a biomarker that is intended to substitute for a clinical endpoint. A surrogate endpoint is expected to predict clinical benefit (or harm or lack of benefit or harm) based on epidemiologic, therapeutic, pathophysiologic, or other scientific evidence.
    (http://www.nature.com/clpt/journal/v69/n3/full/clpt200113a.html)

T

  • Transcriptome is a term that describes the collection of all RNA molecules, including mRNAs, rRNAs, tRNAs and other non-coding RNAs produced by a cell or an organism.

 

  • Transcriptomics is the study of the complete transcriptome by using next generation sequencing technologies - RNAseq - or other high-throughput technique such as DNA microarray technology. 

     

MISSION

To DISCOVER, DEVELOP and QUALIFY potential MARKERS that empower:

  • the identification of patients at high risk of diabetes complications

  • the monitoring of the complications' progression and patients‘ response to therapy 

To use the discovered markers as SURROGATE ENDPOINTS in clinical trials.



Thereby, SHORTEN the long lasting CLINICAL TRIALS to bring about EARLIER availability of NEW THERAPY to diabetic patients.

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