Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre (LBMC) welcomed the leading scientists of INTEGROMED consortium- Prof. Charlotte Ling (Lund University, SE), Prof. Ewan Pearson (University of Dundee, UK) and Prof. Eran Segal (Weizmann Institute of Science, IL). The first session of the kick-off meeting was opened by Prof. Jānis Kloviņš and followed by presentations of Diabetes Mellitus research excellence and applications in clinical practice by project partners.
Prof. Ewan Pearson introduced LBMC researchers with UKs exemplary health and research data management for precision medicine, introducing with The Scottish Care Information – Diabetes Collaboration (SCI-DC) and SHARE platforms, that are one of the most comprehensive clinical data capture systems in the world. Other topics were the diabetes patients stratification by genetic and metabolic data and connected pharmacogenomics of antihyperglycemic drugs, taken together this knowledge can significantly improve the lives of patients and specific cases were also presented. Prof. Charlotte Ling’s presentation answered some very important questions like- do epigenetic alterations play a role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes? What causes these alterations and what is the potential clinical importance of epigenetics as biomarkers and as a theoretical base for the development of new therapies? Prof. Eran Segal presented results of The Personalized Nutrition Project where an artificial intelligence algorithm made personalized nutrition programs for participants based on the microbiome and phenotype, and this algorithm-developed program had a significantly better effect on post-meal glucose response than Standard of Care diet that is prescribed for pre-diabetic patients now. Other results of computational biology projects in his lab showed successful metabolite level prediction from diet data, as well as how bacterial genes affect their host phenotypes. Prof. Eran Segal also emphasized that for reproducible microbiome studies large cohorts are needed.
Taken together, the attendants were informed about many aspects of personalized and precision medicine in Diabetes, the directions where science is turning from benchside to beside applications and questions that are needed to be addressed by scientists in this widespread disease. In the following closed session, leading scientists of INTEGROMED consortium and researchers directly involved in the project discussed the best ways of knowledge transfer to increase excellence at LBMC and potential future collaborations to tackle Diabetes Mellitus epidemy.