As of the first of January 2018 Redoxis is a part of the international consortium COSMIC.
COSMIC systems medicine training and research programme kicks off! An international consortium
coordinated by the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam received funding from the H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie
programme to implement COSMIC (COmbatting disorders of adaptive immunity with Systems MedICine; Programme Webpage). COSMIC will deliver 14
next generation systems medicine professionals who are capable of successfully combating complex human disorders.
COSMIC will provide a dedicated and appealing international training programme to young researchers assigned to
specific research projects. COSMIC aims to contribute to the European systems medicine infrastructure through
collaboration with existing initiatives, and by contributing to best practices that reduce time and costs to
address clinical needs.
COSMIC is a systems medicine project. Systems medicine has recently emerged as a new concept added to the toolbox
of clinical and biomedical researchers to address key questions in complex (immunological) human diseases. It
pursues an integrative and holistic approach by involving different sectors, integrating disciplines, and
combining experimental and computational approaches to the benefit of patients. We focus on mechanisms of
immunological memory and antibody formation as part of the adaptive immune system, and how these are involved in
the pathogenesis of B-cell lymphoma (BCL) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
The adaptive immune system is a key component of our defence against agents that cause infection or disease and
refers to the antigen-specific immune response. This system comprises highly specialised cells and processes, and
its humoral component is responsible for memory B-cell formation and high-affinity antibody production resulting
from affinity maturation in germinal centres (GC). GCs are specialised anatomical sites typically found in
secondary lymphoid tissues where immune cells interact, differentiate and undergo antibody gene alterations.
Perturbations of the GC reaction contribute to the emergence of transformed/malignant cells that give rise to BCL,
or clones expressing autoreactive antibodies involved in RA pathogenesis. COSMIC focusses on BCL and RA thereby
establishing a unique cross-fertilization between the oncology and autoimmunity research fields. Despite recent
progress in elucidating molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the GC reaction, a precise understanding of
its dynamics and its role in BCL and RA pathogenesis has yet to emerge. The complexity of the GC will be addressed
by the development, application and integration of computational and experimental approaches. COSMIC aims to
elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the GC reaction to understand the development and evolution of
BCL and RA. This is expected to lead to the identification of markers that can be exploited for preventive,
diagnostic, and/or (personalised) therapeutic purposes to achieve best outcome and leverage the cost-effectiveness