Bilkent University is a beneficiary of Halt-RONIN, a HORIZON-HLTH-2022-STAYHLTH-02/101095679 project funded with over 6 million €, in which 15 European institutions and 3 UK partners participate and the coordinator is Prof. Javier Cubero (UCM, Madrid). The project is based on the identification of biomarkers for early detection of chronic inflammation in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) that may advance to liver cirrhosis, failure or hepatocellular cancer.
Assoc. Prof. Ozlen Konu from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics will lead the research conducted at Bilkent University for Halt-RONIN with contributions from Assoc. Prof. Can Alkan at the Department of Computer Engineering and a team of graduate and post graduate researchers.
The Bilkent Halt-RONIN team will contribute to the project by:
1) developing novel preclinical zebrafish models to test the role of genetics and diet for the onset and progression of inflammation in NASH;
2) applying omics technologies and systems biology approaches to profile the molecular changes in the transition from fatty liver to NASH in the zebrafish models; and
3) collaborating with partners from Halt-RONIN for comparisons within and across species in finding biomarkers for early detection of NASH.
Halt-RONIN will last for four years and is expected to generate strong international scientific ties with significant translational output to improve the diagnosis and treatment of chronic liver diseases associated with considerable health and financial burden world-wide.
Project name: Discovering chronic inflammation biomarkers that define key stages in the Healthy-to-NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) transition to inform early prevention and treatment strategies