DohART-NET – Periconceptional Programming of Health Training Network

Altered conditions during the periconceptional (PC) period of gamete maturation and early embryonic development have long lasting effects on the health of the progeny, including the childhood, adolescent and adult-life onset of cardiovascular, metabolic and neurological diseases (‘Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concept).

Increasing evidence from epidemiological and animal model studies shows that children worldwide exhibit conditions and disease risks associated with the exposures of their parents, including chemical stressors before and during pregnancy, reproductive failure, adverse pregnancy outcome, diabetes, obesity and nutritional compromise.

Babies born following human ART (“testtube”)interventions render this population (over 6 million world-wide) one of the largest well-defined clinical cohorts to be studied for a better understanding of the future risk of disease for current and succeeding generations in Europe.

The DohART-NET project

  • focus on the integration of pre-clinical (animal and stem cell-models) and clinical studies and
  • apply data linkage, bioinformatics and network science for the identification and validation of mechanisms of diseases common in early development
  • we will exploit our new understanding to promote efficient disease prevention and potential personalised therapeutic interventions in both the general and ART populations to overcome adverse disease pathways

DohART-NET is optimized for training ESRs due to the facts that:

  • the topic is progressive and much needed to improve public health over several generations, and it is integrating basic pre-clinical, translational clinical and in silico modeling approaches
  • the partnership has a highly multi- and interdisciplinary scientific and training expertise and excellence
  • there is an existing synergy by collaborations and links that the partners wish to strengthen both in science and lasting training programs in a highly inter-sectorial setting

Specific ESR individual projects will make a major contribution to the goals of the project and along with secondments are fully integrated into the  overall research programme.