Final symposium and IMI neurodegeneration initiatives

AETIONOMY, an IMI funded project, will present its results and the research of related IMI initiatives on 29th & 30th November 2018 in the hotel Hilton, Bonn. Additionally, this will be the final General Assembly of the AETIONOMY Consortium.

We are looking forward to propose AETIONOMY’s new taxonomies for the Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease and to present current results of further related IMI initiatives on neurodegeneration and dementia. IMI made both to a European priority, and experts from science and medicine will describe different approaches to improve diagnostics and therapies.

WP2 – VDC modelling and implementation workshop AMU, FR 15/16 Feb 2018 – Marseille (F)

Researchers from Work Packages 2 meet to integrate 3D brain simulation based on structural and functional connectivities, Bayesian modelling of patient features, and genetic data to generate a Virtual Dementia Cohort (VDC). The first approach to generate an ‘avatar’ to overcome ethical and legal hurdles is based on the Alzheimer’s cohort data set ADNI.

WP3-5 Workshop & Datathon – UCB Pharma, Slough (GB),  April 27 2018

Researchers from Work Packages 3 and 5 meet in Slough at partner site UCB Pharma to discuss analyses and validations of proposed mechanistic hypotheses for AD and PD after the end of the patient recruitments. Additionally in parallel datathon sessions, experts will execute a final in-depth analysis of data.

Enhanced PO Meeting, Luxembourg (L) 5 & 6 July 2018

Coordinator and Project Office will meet group leaders of Work Packages 3 and 5 to proof the status of analyses and validations of proposed mechanistic hypotheses for AD and PD.

Final WP3-5 Workshop & Datathon – BBRC, Barcelona (E), September 21 2018

Researchers from Work Packages 3 and 5 meet in Barcelona at partner site BBRC to discuss final analyses and validations results for proposed mechanistic hypotheses for AD and PD. Additionally in parallel datathon sessions, experts will execute a final in-depth analysis of data.

Previous Events


AETIONOMY 4th General Assembly and Board meetings:

Basel, 30 November/1 December 2016. Review the work performed so far, and the plan for the work we have to deliver next year within a new format, including a poster session and meet with our External Scientific Advisory Board. More information and the registration here!

WP3/5 Workshop on analyses and validation of AD/PD disease mechanisms at Karolinska on 9th October 2017

Researchers from Work Packages 3 and 5 met for a full day in Stockholm at the Karolinska Institute to discuss analysis plans to validate the proposed mechanisms for AD and PD patients. Recruitment is nearing the end and now the real lab work will begin shortly.

Fraunhofer & KI Candidate mechanisms validations at the Karolinska Institute 28th August – 1st September 2017

WP2 Workshop on the Strategy and implementation of the Virtual Dementia Cohort, 6/7 July 2017, AIX-Marseille-University, Institute INS, Marseille.

Description: "Main focus of the meeting was on the next steps towards generating the Virtual Dementia Cohort (VDC). A broad spectrum of methods, metrics and time scales were discussed. We are planning to visualize the longitudinal progress of the diseases, representing biomarker measurements which are related to disease specific mechanisms. During the workshop AMU presented the “functional dynamics” and “functional connectivity dynamics” (FC, FCD) methods, which enables us to complete missing imaging data from the ADNI cohort for our patient model. This will increase the set of currently 15 virtual patients (with full imaging data) to a cohort of 916, which will be the basis for the further generation of a huge cohort. In the next steps Fraunhofer and AMU will generate an ADNI merge file incl. the main features and their related brain regions."


WP3/5 Workshop to confirm choice of principal biomarkers to analyse from the patients sample, 22 June 2017, ICM Institute, Paris.

Description: "An essential activity in AETIONOMY is to generate hypotheses about multiscale mechanisms of neurodegenerative pathophysiology. Work Package 5 (WP5) comprises all activities that deal with setting up the prospective clinical trial, the recruitment of patients, the characterization of patient cohorts, and the initial validation of the taxonomy. WP3 will generate a refined taxonomy and testable mechanisms underlying the derived stratification of patients. So several cross work package communications are needed to decide on the hypotheses and the execution of the clinical validations."

PRECISESADS & AETIONOMY Taxonomy Workshop, 25 April 2017, Bayer, Berlin

On 25th April, selected colleagues from both the IMI Taxonomy Call Consortiums, PRECISESADS & AETIONOMY, met in Berlin at Bayer to discuss legal and ethical issues common to both projects as well as specific issues inherent to the unique focus of each one. Some of the key topics addressed were US data transfer issues, data security and systems audits, as well as an update on the data and bio-sharing in medical research projects under the General Data Protection Regulation. This new regulation has some key regulatory implications for projects once the regulation takes effect in May 2018.

Members of Alzheimer Europe were also present and presented on the EPAD project as a lessons learned session for both consortia, focusing on ICF issues and bio-banking. Finally a session on the BBMRI Code of Conduct Initiative was held which is a follow up to the 2014 IMI Draft Data Reuse Code.

AETIONOMY Interim Review 2, 21 March 2017, IMI Offices, Brussels.

Conclusion: "The project has made some significant progress, particularly over the last year. It appears that some obstacles have been overcome and a number of novel observations have been made. During its first years, the program focused on building essential infrastructure and tools including imaging ontologies, BEL disease models, the AETIONOMY knowledge base and ingesting key data sets from ADNI and PPMI. Individually and in aggregate these all provide important enduring assets for the field. Furthermore, specific mechanistic areas of interest for both AD and PD have been developed. In conclusion, the specific mechanistic findings of the project are important and are receiving the highest level of attention."


AETIONOMY 3rd General Assembly and Board meetings:

Paris, 1/2 December 2016


Joint Taxonomy Workshop with PRECISESADS in Barcelona:

Barcelona, 11 October 2016

Cross Work Package 3&5 Workshop:

'Decision on mechanisms and hypotheses for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease'; IDIBAPS, Barcelona, 10 October 2016

Cross Work Package 3&5 Workshop:

'Decision on mechanisms and hypotheses for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease'; Paris, 23/24 May 2016

Cross Work Package 2&3 Workshop:

'Data- and Hackathon'; Stockholm, 25/26 April 2016


AETIONOMY General Assembly and Board Meetings

3-4 November 2015 in Barcelona (Spain)

The Second General Assembly of the AETIONOMY project took place on the 4th of November 2015 at the Novartis Site in Barcelona. The consortium meeting united the partners from the five work packages together with some Advisory Board Members and the IMI Scientific Officer. The meeting had interactive discussions and exchange on the results produced by the project in the first year and a half. Two keynote speeches complemented the work package presentations:

(i) Dr. Viktor Jirsa (Director of the Institute de Neurosciences des Systèmes and Director of Research at the CNRS): “The Virtual Brain - Personalized medicine and large-scale brain models”

(ii) Prof. Florence Pasquier (Head of the Memory Research and Resources Centre MRRC,Centre Hospitalier Regionale et Universitaire de Lille): “DISTALZ, LICEND, a regional research organization for AD and neurodegenerative disease in Nord Pas de Calais”

A major part of the meeting prepared responses on the IMI EU interim review report and follow up activities including strategy and implementations plans. Key Topics discussed in specific break out sessions were:

  1. Hypotheses generation of mechanisms of Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's Disease (PD).
  2. System usability of the AETIONOMY Knowledge base.
  3. Clinical Trial planning.
  4. Access to AD/PD data sets.

Overall, the following project phases of 'hypotheses generation', 'mechanisms identifications' and 'clinical trial preparations' were targeted with concrete actions for 2016. The lively consortium meeting was accompanied by a Project Office, Steering Committee and Legal/Ethical Advisory Board meetings. The photo shows the participants representing the 16 AETIONOMY partners, the Advisory Board members and the IMI scientific officer Dr. Elisabetta Vaudano.

AETIONOMY General Assembly and Board Meetings,

3-4 November 2015 in Barcelona (Spain)

AETIONOMY Interim Review,

29 September 2015 in Brussels (Belgium)

AETIONOMY Work packages WP3/WP5 Biomarkers for Final Protocol Workshop,

22 June 2015 in Vrsar (Croatia)

1st Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN)

20-23 June 2015, Berlin, Germany
EAN is the joint subsequent organisation of the EFNS (European Federation of Neurological Societies) and ENS (European Neurological Society), and thereby the first united voice of European Neurology continuing education in all fields of neurology.


AETIONOMY-PRECISESADS Joint Legal and Ethical Workshop,

4 June 2015 in Hanover


The 9th World Congress on Controversies in Neurology (CONy)

26-28 March 2015, Budapest, Hungary
Raising the most dynamic and controversial topics facing clinicians in the fields of neurology.


IMI-2 Call 3

24 March, Sankt Augustin, Germany
'Remote assessment of disease and relapse in CNS / Assessing risk and progression of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes / Linking clinical neuropsychiatry and quantative neurobiology / quality control in vaccine manufacture / Pertussis vaccination research / Knowledge repository to enable patient focused medicine development'

The AETIONOMY project has been mentioned in the IMI-2 future topic call text with the title "Linking  clinical neuropsychiatry and quantitative neurobiology". The AETIONOMY industry coordinator Prof. Duncan McHale and the academic deputy coordinator Prof. Hofmann-Apitius declare hereby, that the AETIONOMY project will collaborate with the winning consortium that is being selected by independent reviewers. AETIONOMY as a project welcomes the opportunity to work more closely with colleagues from clinical neuropsychiatry and will start interacting with the successful consortium immediately after the start of the new project.

12th International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases and related neurological disorders (AD/PD™ 2015)

18 - 22 March 2015, Nice, France
Unraveling the mechanisms and improving the treatment of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other related neurodegenerative diseases.


World Parkinson's Day

11 April 2015, Worldwide
Supported by the European Parkinson's Disease Association, aims to raise awareness of Parkinson's disease, promoting a greater understanding of this condition and how it can affect a person.


IMI-2 Call 4

'Enabling platform on medicines adaptive pathway to patients'
(Deadline 11 February 2015)


2nd Joint Work Packages 3 & 5 Taxonomy construction and validation Workshop

11 December 2014, Basel, Switzerland
The work packages responsible for ‘taxonomy construction, knowledge modeling, data-/graph-mining and hypotheses generation’ (WP3) and ‘clinical studies for the validation of the mechanism-based taxonomy’ (WP5) plan their interactions.


9th Benelux Bioinformatics Conference

8-9 December 2014, Luxembourg
Martin Hofmann-Apitius will provide a key-note entitled "computational approaches in dementia research" at the 9th Luxembourg Bioinformatics Conference


IMI-2 Call 2

(Deadline 1 December 2014)
'Ebola and other filoviral haemorrhagic fevers'


AETIONOMY at Janssen Pharma

17 November 2014, Beerse, Belgium
Martin Hofmann-Apitius presented an overview on AETIONOMY strategies and technologies at Janssen Pharma on November 17 in Beerse, Belgium. Bart Vannieuwenhuyse and his team at Janssen Pharma are coordinating EMIF-AD, the IMI project aimed at identifying AD biomarkers and using the EMIF-framework for epidemiological studies and patient recruitment. EMIF-AD will be part of the IMI Alzheimer Research Platform, which consists of the three projects EMIF-AD (biomarkers and epidemiological studies); AETIONOMY (disease mechanisms) and EPAD (adaptive prevention trial on AD).
EMIF-AD and AETIONOMY will collaborate intensively; in particular in the areas of data management, semantic data integration, disease modeling and advanced mining strategies for the identification of disease mechanisms.


IMI-2 Call 1

(Deadline 12 November 2014)
'Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus / dry age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy'


AETIONOMY - Selventa Inc. joint workshop

30 October 2014, Cambridge/MA, USA
Martin Hofmann-Apitius presented aspects of the AETIONOMY disease modelling and mechanism-identification approach at Selventa Inc. in Cambridge/MA on Thursday, October 30 in a joint workshop with colleagues from Selventa (incl. CEO Dr. David deGraaf and Dr. William Hayes, CTO of Selventa), Eric Neumann (VP at Foundation Medicine), Dr. Magali Haas (Founder and CEO of Orion BioNetworks) and Prof. Tim Clark, Director of Bioinformatics, MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease & Co-Director, Data Management and Statistics Core, Massachusetts Alzheimer's Disease Research Center & Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School.


EPAD - GAP alignment meeting

28 and 29 October 2014, Washington, USA
Martin Hofmann-Apitius representing AETIONOMY at a meeting initiated jointly by the US GAP initiative and the IMI EPAD project. EPAD is IMI´s flagship project aimed at setting up a Alzheimer´s Disease prevention trial; AETIONOMY and EPAD will closely collaborate and form - together with the EMIF-AD project the IMI Research Platform on Alzheimer´s Disease. The purpose of the Washington meeting was to align the large AD research initiatives in North America (including Canada and the US) and Europe (with IMI spearheading AD research at large scale in Europe). One major outcome of this meeting is, that there will be a "global cohort" for prevention trials on AD; effectively integrating cohorts in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia. A joint, shared study protocol will make sure that results generated with prevention trials in these countries will be comparable.


IMI 2 Open Info Day

30 September 2014, Brussels, Belgium
Information on IMI 2’s funding and intellectual property (IP) rules, tips on applying for funding under IMI 2, and workshops/presentations of the IMI 2 Call 1 topics by the project coordinator.


World Alzheimer's Day

21 September  2014, Worldwide
World Alzheimer's Day, September 21st of each year, is a day on which Alzheimer's organizations around the world concentrate their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer's and dementia.


AETIONOMY General Assembly,

External Scientifc Adivsory Board, and Steering Committee Meetings.
17-19 September 2014, Biberach, Germany
Strategic Project Board meetings to monitor the project status and future steps.

Global Dementia Legacy Event,

Harnessing the Power of Discoveries – Maximizing Academia-Industry Synergies.
11-12 September 2014, Ottawa, Canada
Aiming to bring together global leaders from industry and academia to identify new and innovative ways to foster investigative approaches and partnership models to address the pressing challenge of dementia.


ISMB/ISCB Conference 2014

13 July 2014, Boston, USA
Ashutosh Malhotra
Co-authors: Prof. Dr. Martin Hofmann-Apitius, Dr. Erfan Younesi
Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB) conference contribution:
Automated information extraction and knowledge acquisition technology (“text mining”) share the potential to possibly reduce manual reading and human curation efforts for the construction of knowledge bases. Particularly in reference to complex, mostly idiopathic diseases like Alzheimer’s disease (AD), automatic recognition of stage specific speculative statements communicating experimental finding can provide a new insights into the directions of disease etiology and progression. However, a systematic gathering of all scientific speculation that exists in a given contect is a non-trivial task and, if done manually, is laborious and time-consuming. This work presents a methodology that demonstrates how using a dictionary of speculative patterns (HypothesisFinder approach) in combination with designed Alzheimer’s disease ontology (ADO) enables the collection, interpretation, curation and discovery for a broad spectrum of knowledge needed for efficient  and systematic AD research.
movie of the talk (youtube)


IMI Info Day – IMI 2 Launch event

10 July 2014, Frankfurt/Main
Keynote: Prof. Dr. Martin Hofmann-Apitius
Members of IMI’s States Representatives Group organise national info sessions on IMI 2 throughout July and August. Events took place in several EU member states and include an overview of IMI 2’s funding and intellectual property (IP) rules, tips on applying for funding under IMI 2, and information on the first IMI 2 Call topics.


AETIONOMY-PRECISESADS Joint Taxonomy workshop

13 June 2014, Paris
Members of the IMI projects AETIONOMY and PRECISESADS presented their work plans and identified opportunities for exchange of knowledge and data. A memorandum of understanding will establish the framework for this collaboration.


AETIONOMY Work Packages 3/5 Taxonomy construction and validation workshop

5 June 2014, Frankfurt/Main
The work packages responsible for ‘taxonomy construction, knowledge modelling, data-/graph-mining and hypotheses generation’ (WP3) and ‘clinical studies for the validation of the mechanism-based taxonomy’ (WP5) informed about their project start-up and aligned planned activities.


VPH-DARE Workshop

20 Mar 2014, Venice
Prof. Dr. Martin Hofmann-Apitius,
General Assembly-Presentation: The IMI project AETIONOMY – a taxonomy for AD/PD


OECD Global Dementia Event

28 March 2014, Paris
Prof. Duncan McHale

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AETIONOMY Kick Off Meeting

9 - 10 January 2014
UCB Headquarter Brussels

The AETIONOMY Project was launched at the UCB Headquarters at a 2 day meeting with representatives from all consortium partners present together with IMI staff. The event was opened by IMI Chairman, Michel Goldman who gave an overview of what IMI has achieved so far followed by specific presentations of the Call 8 Taxonomy Projects, AETIONOMY and PRECISESADS. The second day of  the meeting  saw the work packages meeting in their groups and actually starting the work, focusing on planning for the upcoming milestones and deliv