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Success story: Eadgene - FOOD-CT-2006-506416

European Animal Disease Genomics Network of Excellence for Animal Health and Food Safety
(from 1 September 2004 to 28 Feb 2010)

Genomic tools that elucidate host-pathogen interactions offer new opportunities to devise sustainable solutions to existing and arising problems, through novel diagnostics, intervention, breeding and husbandry strategies. However, relevant genomics research is fragmented and the restructuring of the European research capacity is required to create the scale and breadth of competencies needed to realise these opportunities.
The Network of Excellence “European Animal Disease Genomics Network of Excellence for Animal Health and Food Safety” (EADGENE -over 100 researchers, 13 partners, 10 countries) in the genomics of host-pathogen interactions in animals was set up to bring together sufficient excellence and resources to make a real difference to animal and human health, and improve the quality of animal products.

"Six years ago, many were sceptical about NoE: What was the meaning of integration?
Could you really carry out research in a NoE?
Fortunately, some of us were enthusiastic enough about this idea to get it started. Gradually, ongoing collaborations have been strengthened, new collaborations have been facilitated, exchanges of people and resources have been taking place, people have got to know each other and we have had the pleasure of meeting at our workshops, partner meetings, yearly EADGENE days… and a real Network arose!

The “Success Stories” presented in this brochure [pdf] provide true evidence of the significant outputs and impacts of the EADGENE NoE; which would not have happened otherwise… and many additional successes we didn’t even think about when we started!

You may be amazed by the diversity and the quality of achievements. You will read about integrating resources, developing and sharing up-to-date technologies and tools, successful collaborative research outputs on host-pathogen interactions in several models, bridging the gaps between research and industry, increasing exchanges of ideas and knowledge through mobility, workshops and meetings, while challenging ourselves with ethical concerns. However, we will continue as a “European Research Group”, an informal grouping of our institutions, and fortunately with the EADGENE_S project (2-year ECCSA project, 2011-2012).

Activities will also continue through joined projects in which many of our partners participate, e.g. the NADIR (Network for animal diseases/infectiology research infrastructures initiative with 15 partners from within and outside EADGENE project)."

One of the primary objectives of the EADGENE Network is to coordinate and facilitate access and sharing of biological resources and advanced technological facilities through a “virtual laboratory”. To this extent the partners have established databases of available resources and facilities, a model Material Transfer Agreement to regulate Intellectual Property issues, and a list of elements to consider for contracts between a visitor and a hosting facility. It was also important to agree on common sets of rules regarding experimental procedures such as Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Quality Assurance/ Quality Control (QA/QC).
Ingrid Olsaker, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Norway

Genome sequences, cDNA resources, and micro-array expression studies all involve the generation of thousands if not millions of data points. It is essential that these data are handled correctly and made available to the wider scientific community in a user-friendly format, conducive to furthering the understanding of the biological systems being investigated. Therefore, up-to-date bioinformatics tools are critical in all studies including genomic data types.

One of the major contributions from EADGENE’s bioinformatics group has been the production of up-to-date annotation files, allowing the extraction of biological knowledge from the microarray experiment results (see ‘Virtual Lab’).
Christophe Klopp, INRA, France

The EADGENE Analytical Tools Group shares expertise from throughout the Network to provide practical solutions and guidance for analysis of animal disease genomics data. The work of this group is very much demand-led, based on an initial survey, with new topics added as the technologies and the analysis methods have evolved: a training course for the design and statistical analysis of micro-array experiments, that is being given regularly, a workshop on the analysis of micro-array data, a joint EADGENE-SABRE working group on post-analyses of micro-array data, and a workshop on bioinformatics and data handling methods.
The successes of this group can be attributed to the willing cooperation and active participation of the various researchers from our EADGENE partner institutes, and the willingness of research groups to share their data and results. In particular, the publication of 19 scientific papers provides a concrete and long-lasting output from this group and is a good example of the collaborative work that can take place within a Network of Excellence.
Dirk-Jan de Koning, The Roslin Institute and R(D)SVS, University of Edinburgh, UK

Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), France
Wageningen Unversity (WUR), The Netherlands
Animal Science Group Lelystad (ASG-Lelystad), The Netherlands
Institute for Animal Health (IAH), UK
Roslin Institute and R(D)SVS, University of Edinburgh (UEDIN), UK
University of Aarhus Faculty of Agricultural Sciences (formerly DIAS), Denmark
Liege University, Belgium
Ljubljana University, Slovenia
Cordoba University, Spain
Norwegian School of Veterinary Science (NSVS), Norway
Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Germany
Parco Tecnologico Padano (PTP), Italy
European Forum of Farm Animal Breeders (EFFAB)
University of Copenhagen (CeBRA), Denmark
Institute for Pig Genetics (IPG), The Netherlands

EADGENE - FOOD-CT-2004-506416:
European Commission scientific officer:
Jean Charles Cavitte:

Project coordinator: Marie-Hélène Pinard-van der Laan
Address: UMR Génétique Animale et Biologie, Intégrative - bât 211, Equipe Génétique, Immunité, Santé, INRA - Dépt. de Génétique Animale; F-78352 Jouy-en Josas Cedex, France
Brochure: Download [pdf file]