After exiting the bone marrow, reticulocytes mature to form red blood cells (RBCs) which are highly adapted cells that travel through our circulation during their entire lifetime of in average 120 days. This means they are in constant move and adapt to their surrounding by shape changes. While on the move, RBCs have to deal with continuous changes in oxygen tension and pH, have to scavenge reactive oxygen species, and need to balance their responses towards the chemical and mechanical challenges. However, most of the knowledge about RBCs as well as diagnostic methods rely on RBCs in relative stasis. Furthermore, when taken from the circulation, the flow of the RBCs is suddenly terminated and they experience a completely different environment that is likely to impair their properties.
The objective of EVIDENCE project (Erythrocytes properties and viability in dependence of flow and extra-cellular environment) is the exploration of the properties and behaviour of RBCs under flow conditions and in vivo to understand pathophysiology and to design novel diagnostic devices. Excellence of research in the field will be strengthened by the establishment of a high-quality, international and intersectorial joint training program for early-stage researchers and aims to enhance researchers' employability, providing them with new career perspectives to face current and future societal challenges.
Promoting integration and dissemination of already existing knowledge on red blood cell behaviour is of key interest to ERN-EuroBloodNet, directly in line with one of its key specific objectives on disseminating cutting-edge knowledge and facilitate continuing medical education in the field of rare haematological diseases. Moreover, by the implementation of a high quality international educational program, EVIDENCE aims to promote the improvement in the access to specialized and transversal knowledge while facilitating research and the understanding of the mechanisms underlining red cell pathologies, thus increasing the generation of new knowledge, objective totally in line with ERN-EuroBloodNet key specific aim on fostering European cooperation in highly specialised procedures for diagnosis, innovative treatments and research.
EVIDENCE is a Marie Curie - Innovative Training Networks project coordinated by Prof. Lars Kaestner (Saarland University), with the involvement of 12 internationally recognzized partners, such us the EuroBloodNet experts Dr. Maria del Mar Mañú Pereira (Fundació Hospital Universitari vall d'Hebron - Institut de Recerca) and Prof. Richard van Wijk (UMC Utrecht).
The project Kick off meeting has been held last 24-26 January 2020 in Amsterdam where all the partners were presented and ESR candidates were introduced. The second and third days included rounds of interviews with the ESR candidates for their final selection.