Joint Transnational Call 2014 (JTC2014)


Lymphatic system plays crucial roles in the regulation of tissue homeostasis, nutrient uptake and immune response. Damage of lymphatic vasculature results in the development of lymphedema, characterized by the excessive tissue swelling, fibrosis and decreased immune response. To date, mutations in 9 genes were reported to be responsible for the development of hereditary lymphedema, a rare debilitating disease, for which no curative treatment exists at the moment. Experimental evidence indicate the existence of different lymphedema subtypes, arguing that multiple strategies need to be evaluated to develop efficient treatments of hereditary lymphedema. We have recently developed preclinical models of two hereditary lymphedema subtypes, Hennekam syndrome and lymphedema-distichiasis. Here we propose to test adenoviral-based gene therapy, pharmacological approaches and tissue engineering, in order to develop rational and novel strategies for restoration of lymphatic vascular function. The proposed transnational collaboration will bring together three groups from Switzerland, Italy and Germany, creating a unique combination of expertise in lymphatic vascular biology, immunology, gene therapy and tissue engineering. This collaboration will combine existing reagents and technologies to provide critical mass for a rational avenue to efficiently address an unmet medical need, which so far received little attention from the mainstream biomedical and clinical research.

  • Petrova, Tatiana (Coordinator)
    University of Lausanne & University Hospital (CHUV) [SWITZERLAND]
  • Schulte-Merker, Stefan
    University of Münster [GERMANY]
  • Brendolan, Andrea
    Ospedale San Raffaele [ITALY]