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Genomics to Combat Resistance against Antibiotics in Community-acquired Lower Respiratory Tract Infections in Europe (GRACE)

Launch of European Research Network

Brussels, 17 March 2006


Presentation of “GRACE”

17 March 2006
(presentations from 9:15, press conference at 12:30)

Sheraton Brussels Airport hotel near Brussels, Belgium

On 17 March 2006 the EU-funded research project GRACE will be launched at the Sheraton Brussels Airport hotel near Brussels. GRACE is a Network of Excellence supported by the EU’s Sixth Research Framework Programme and focuses on the complex and controversial field of community-acquired lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI), such as bronchitis, one of the leading reasons for seeking medical care. GRACE is exceptional as it brings together investigators from basic laboratory sciences, clinical medicine, and health economics. In the jointly executed research programme, 17 academic groups, spread across 9 EU Member States and 5 SMEs will participate.

GRACE will organise professional education, including web-based teaching and practical courses, through two leading European scientific societies (European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and European Respiratory Society) to disseminate the excellence of the programme. A high level of co-ordination will be obtained through a professionally IT-supported and rigorous management structure, so that all the component parts of the project work together in the best possible way.

The promiscuous use of antibiotics to treat LRTI accounts for a major part of the community burden of antibiotic use and contributes dramatically to the resistance to antibiotics found in the majors causes of disease in humans. The overall objective of GRACE is to combat antimicrobial resistance through integrating centres of research excellence and exploiting our knowledge of genes in the investigation of community-acquired LRTI. Microbial and human genomics will be integrated with health sciences research consisting of clinical observational and intervention studies, health economics and health education to specifically change practice in managing community-acquired LRTI. The aim is to develop a genomic laboratory network in 8 European countries and a primary care research network in 11 European countries during the first 18 months of the project, and then to build on this infrastructure to create the jointly executed research programme. The consortium may in time develop into a virtual “European LRTI Research Centre”.

For the thematic priority on “life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health” in the
Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) see also:

Conference programme (17 March 2006)

Chairs: Birgitta Henriques-Normark (Sweden) – Toni Torres (Spain)

8.45 – 9.15 Registration and Coffee

9.15 – 9.35 Lower Respiratory Tract Infections in Primary Care: Gaps, challenges and opportunities
Theo Verheij (Leader of Work package 9), Netherlands

9.35 – 9.45 Discussion

9.45 – 10.15 GRACE: the first Network of Excellence on Primary Care in Europe
Herman Goossens (Co-ordinator of GRACE), Belgium

10.15 – 10.25 Discussion

10.25 – 10.40 Future European policy on antimicrobial resistance research
Anna Lönnroth, DG Research, European Commission, Brussels

10.40 – 10.45 Discussion

10.45 – 11.00 Coffee break

11.00 – 11.15 Presentation of the budget and Consortium Agreement
Katherine Loens (Manager of GRACE), Belgium

11.15 – 11.30 Contractual rules of a Network of Excellence
Anastasios Kentarchos, European Commission, Brussels

11.30 – 11.40 Discussion

11.40 – 12.15 The obstacles of research networking in Europe, a continent with an unparalleled richness of cultures and languages.
Richard Hill, the author of the book “We Europeans”

12.15 – 12.30 Discussion

12.30 Presentation of the GRACE logo and website

12.30 Lunch and Press conference

Additional information on this press event:

  • As mentioned in the programme, a press conference will take place between 12:30 and 13:15.

Katherine Loens,
Tel.: +32 3 821 36 72, Fax: + 32 3 825 42 81, E-mail:
Anna Lönnroth
Tel.: +32 2 299 42 10, Fax: +32 2 295 53 65, E-mail:

Media contact

Michael H. Wappelhorst, Press and information officer
Information and communication Unit, Research DG, European Commission
Tel: +32.2.298 75 75, Fax: +32.2.295 82 20

Spokesperson for Science and Research
Antonia Mochan, Press and Communication DG, European Commission
Tel.: +32.2.2996 9921

Fax: +32 3 825 42 81, E-Mail:



Project presentation/launch GRACE
Sheraton Brussels Airport hotel in Brussels (Belgium),
17 March 2006

[ ] Yes, I would like to attend the press conference on 17 March 2006 between 12:30 hrs and 13:15.

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[ ] one night of accommodation in the Sheraton Brussels Airport hotel (March 16)

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