This project aims to consolidate collaboration between three research groups focusing on Pain, Cardiovascular Disease and Immunology, such that these groups form a cohesive unit in EU applications. Research conducted by our groups has shown a strong relationship between pain sensitivity and mortality. Furthermore, we have been able to identify a set of immune biomarkers that are associated with pain sensitivity, suggesting that autoimmune mechanisms are critical to pain perception and development of chronic pain. Importantly, these findings overlap with findings from the cardiovascular field. It is therefore plausible that atherosclerosis and pain share common determinants and that this explains the excess mortality among individuals with low pain tolerance.
We aim to replicate and extend these findings, with data from Tromsø Study, which includes state of the art clinical measurements of atherosclerosis and experimental pain. We will perform a broad scan of immune biomarkers, and test their associations with pain, atherosclerosis and cancer. We will then test to what extent these immunological mechanisms account for the association between pain and mortality. The analyses will be conducted in collaboration with partners in Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, France, and the UK. The Tromsø Study is the largest study of experimental pain study worldwide and among the most comprehensive large-scale studies of cardiovascular disease. The quality of our data, the strength of preliminary findings, and the strong clinical relevance for the number one causes of death (cardiovascular disease, cancer) and disability (chronic pain) provide a unique opportunity to secure major research funding.
Our primary aim is to secure EU funding for the consortium as a whole. In addition, all three groups have existing collaborations with EU partners and individual grant applications will be considered. However, as Horizon 2020 calls place limitations on the number of partners from the same country, some partners are included as collaborators whereas others are included as partners in application for EU funding.
Innvilget Horizon 2020 prosjekt - 6M Euro
This project aims to consolidate collaboration between three research groups (five institutional partners), focusing on Pain, Cardiovascular Disease and Immunology, so that these groups function together as a cohesive unit in EU applications. Our proposal builds on a specific scientific program of research aimed at identifying causal mechanisms underlying the comorbidity between cardiovascular disease and pain. To provide preliminary data and proof of concept, we aim to perform proteomics analysis of a population-based sample with clinical measures of experimental pain, carotis stenosis and myocardial infarction. This will also enable us to join two EU consortia that are highly relevant to our program of research. Extensive network building will occur during the project period with exchange of visits between research groups, join analysis of pilot data, invitation of guest researchers, etc. Through this process we aim to strengthen existing collaborations, and select among existing partners, those most appropriate for upcoming EU calls. We also plan to expand our network with one commercial partner and one partner in the area of cancer and immunology. We aim to submit one joint application to the call: SC1-BHC-01-2019: Understanding causative mechanisms in co- and multimorbidities. At least one individual funding application will also be submitted (ERC consolidator grant) during the project period. Our competitive advantage lies in our access to an exceptionally well-characterized sample (Tromsø Study Registry) and associated biobank, and our strong network and track-record of international collaboration.