Researcher microscope

DTU Biosustain involved in two Clinical Academic Groups

Friday 02 Oct 20
by Anne Lykke, Anders Mønsted

Four new Clinical Academic Groups have been established. DTU Biosustain is involved in two; one focusing on metabolic modelling of the endothelial cells and one on multi-resistant bacterial infections.

Technologies and knowledge about cells, metabolic modelling and data management, which are being developed at DTU Biosustain, also find applications within health science. The Greater Copenhagen Health Science Partners (GCHSP) has launched four new Clinical Academic Groups (CAGs). A CAG aims to bring research to clinics faster, and DTU Biosustain is involved in two of these.


Center for Endotheliomics: Profiling metabolites in blood

A new Center for Endotheliomics led by Rigshospitalet and involving DTU Biosustain will detect metabolites of cells lining the blood vessels of the body to save the lives of patients at risk of multiple organ failure. 


Center for Endotheliomics will be headed by Professor Pär I. Johansson from the Department of Clinical Immunology at Rigshospitalet, and its ambition is to make breakthroughs in treatment of critically ill intensive care patients entering hospitals with e.g. severe internal bleedings, cardiac arrest, or severe blood poisoning (sepsis). These deadly conditions are often caused by the breakdown of endothelial cells – the cells lining all the blood vessels of the body. Therefore, the aim is to study what happens in the endothelial cells during trauma.


“We provide the CAG with critical capabilities in profiling metabolites in blood, and with sophisticated data analytics and computational modeling. We are very honored to be part of this collaboration that will hopefully improve knowledge sharing between academia and hospitals for the benefit of patients,” said Bernhard Palsson, CEO of The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain) at DTU.


The goal is both to get better and faster methods for diagnosis and to find new treatments to save the lives of patients at risk of organ failure.


“The challenge is to link the data we measure from patients with clinical outcomes. That is where mechanistic modeling in combination with -omics data shines because it allows us to build a systems-level understanding of the entire process,” explained Senior Researcher Douglas McCloskey, who is involved in the -omics generation and analysis at DTU Biosustain. Read more about Center for Endotheliomics here and in Rigshospitalet’s press release (Danish).


BACINFECT: Fight against multi-resistant bacteria

The other CAG involving DTU Biosustain is ‘Novel Strategies to Diagnose and Treat Bacterial Infections’ (BACINFECT). This CAG aims at discovering and diagnosing bacterial infections at an early stage to prevent them from becoming chronic (persistent).


Bacterial infections are becoming increasingly difficult to treat with antibiotics, and the WHO predicts that within a few decades infectious diseases will pose a greater risk to human health than cancer. For a large number of patients, infections often survive treatment with antibiotics, resulting in persistent or chronic infections. Therefore, it is crucial to detect an infection at an early stageto diagnose  and treat it correctly to get rid of the infection before it develops.


Professor Helle Krogh Johansen from Rigshospitalet and Professor Søren Molin from DTU Biosustain want to improve the survival of patients with infectious diseases.


”BACINFECT has as a major goal to develop sustainable treatment of severe and persistent bacterial infections. Through detailed investigations of relevant bacterial pathogens, which often resemble those used in biotechnology, we aim at translational delivery from fundamental studies of bacterial metabolism and evolution and tests of novel antimicrobial compounds, to clinical applications that improve diagnosis and treatment in a sustainable way,” said Professor Søren Molin.


The CAG collaboration in BACINFECT will develop methods to kill the bacteria that cannot be treated with antibiotics. By linking health science knowledge about infections from hospitals with new technologies and artificial intelligence, researchers will identify patterns in genes and tissues to find biomarkers to identify resistant bacteria. Read more about BACINFECT.



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