Three members of the STREAMLINE team, Danijela Drakulić, Nataša Kovačević Grujičić, and Stefan Lazić, are on the staff exchange at the Maastricht University, Netherlands. Staff exchanges are dedicated to RNA-seq and Bioinformatics data analysis and the digitalized repository formation. IMGGE Project manager for International projects, Milan Slavković, is also on his staff exchange “Research governance and European consortium administration” at Maastricht University. We wish them a productive and successful stay!
STREAMLINE partners from Centre for Research & Technology Hellas (CERTH), Greece, had an opportunity to present STREAMLINE project at Thessaloniki International Trade Fair. This annual event, appointed every September, comes to present new ideas and proposals to the market on issues of technology, innovation, environmental protection, energy, education, start-ups, and e-governance essentially reflecting the modern socio-economic reality of Greece (https://thessalonikifair.gr/en). The event also serves as a venue for presenting important research projects, modern educational activities with an international viewpoint and initiatives for education and lifelong learning, while also highlighting the link between the educational community and entrepreneurship. Greek partners promoted STREAMLINE activities among general public in CERTH’s booth.
STREAMLINE 2nd Symposium
On Saturday, September 9th, the second Symposium entitled “22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome – 20 years of diagnostics and research in Serbia” was organized within the STREAMLINE project. This event gathers around families of patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, and also experts in this area, giving them a chance to discuss about latest advances related to this syndrome.
The day started with Dr. Goran Čuturilo and Dr. Danijela Drakulić talking about two decades of 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome diagnostic and research in Serbia. The opening speech was followed by presentations from representatives of National organization for rare diseases of Serbia (NORBS) and “22q ex YU”, Milica Perić and Vesna Vujičić, who talked about the current activities of their associations. Afterwards, clinicians from the University Children’s Hospital Tirsova, assist. dr Igor Stefanović, dr Srđa Janković and psychologist Sara Bečanović, gave their scientific talks with some practical advices.
STREAMLINE team members spent this wonderful day with patients and their families, enjoying the nature, watching animals and riding horses. This was a great opportunity to better understand the life of patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and their daily struggles, but also to become familiar with their way of thinking and their many talents. Perhaps the most important thing is that this Symposium enabled parents who share the same problems to exchange experiences, to broaden perspectives, and create new contacts.
At the end of the Symposium, the impressions of participants were very positive and some of the people who attended shared their experience on social media, documenting activities and the wonderful atmosphere of this Symposium within STREAMLINE project.
Here you can find some shared posts:
We would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for supporting our Symposium and STREAMLINE project thus far and we are looking forward to host another gathering soon.
After reprogramming of the somatic cells of patients with the familial form of 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), researchers of the STREAMLINE project are currently conducting the next phase of research – the differentiation of iPSCs into neurons and astrocytes. Neurons and astrocytes originating from patients with 22q11.2DS and healthy controls will be characterized and gene expression profiles will be analyzed by next-generation sequencing to discover sets of differentially expressed genes. These studies can contribute to the discovery of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this disease as well as the identification of new potential drugs in the future.
We would like to announce the symposium titled “22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome – 20 Years of Diagnostics and Research in Serbia” will take place on September 9, as a part of the STREAMLINE project. This symposium is a great opportunity to meet with patients and families and to discuss the latest achievements in the field of studying the 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome and neurodevelopmental disorders.
The Belgrade Bioinformatics Conference (BelBi2023) was held last week (June 19-23) in Belgrade, Serbia, as a hybrid event. Conference was organized by Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering, University of Belgrade and many other co-organizators. This five-day conference included keynote and invited talks by experts, oral and poster presentations, and workshops. There were three main topics: Biological Data (including bioinformatics databases and algorithms, omics data, spatial transcriptomics, etc), Biomedical Informatics (including genome privacy and security, translational medical informatics, etc) and Theoretical Approaches to Bioinformation Systems (TABIS) (including talks about Computational systems biology, Computational neuroscience, Biological population modelling and many others).
STREAMLINE project was also a part of BelBi2023, through organization of workshop “Bioinformatics approaches in research of neurodevelopmental disorders” that was held on June 23th from 10 to 11 am. The thematic workshop was dedicated to the latest bioinformatics approaches for studying neurodevelopmental disorders. Participants had opportunity to hear dr Danijela Drakulić presenting overview of STREAMLINE exploratory research project, followed by presentation by Sofia Notopoulou (CERTH, Greece): „Multi-omics analysis in a cellular model of Parkinson’s disease“ and presentation by Jamie Wood (Cardiff University):„Transcriptomics guided bioinformatics modelling: Dissecting neurodevelopmental disorders“.
Also, Dr Danijela Drakulić and dr Nataša Kovačević-Grujičić presented poster related to research: “Application of principal component analysis (PCA) and analytical hierarchy process (AHP) in analysis of articulatory characteristics of phonemes of children with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome“ during one of poster sessions.
It is our great pleasure to announce STREAMLINE thematic workshop “Bioinformatics approaches in research of neurodevelopmental disorders” that will be held at the Metropol Palace Hotel, Belgrade, Serbia, on June 23th from 10 to 11 am. The thematic workshop will be dedicated to the latest bioinformatics approaches for studying neurodevelopmental disorders.
8th Congress of the Serbian Neuroscience Society (May 31st – June 2nd, 2023) was held in Belgrade, at the Belgrade Youth Center. The Congress was organised by Serbian Neuroscience Society and Institute for Biological Research “Siniša Stanković”, National Institute of the Republic of Serbia. On that occasion, researchers in the area of neuroscience from Serbia and abroad gathered together. The participants had opportunity to present their recent work throughout oral and poster presentations. The Congress also offered networking opportunities and fostered debate among participants. After the first day of the Congress concetrated around opening ceremony and lecture, the second day’s topics were brain stimulation, phase separation in neuronal physiology and pathology and open-access data and resources in neuroscience research; brain metabolism and dietary interventions. The last day was focused on brain disorders and neuroimmunoendocrine interactions.
Our two PhD students, Jovana Kostić and Ivana Simeunović, presented their posters related to the research of 22q11.2 deletions and duplications, which takes place under the auspices of the STREAMLINE project. Jovana Kostić presented „Genomic and clinical findings in patients with 22q11.2 duplication syndrome“ on June 2nd. Among the submitted abstracts, Ivana Simeunović was chosen for the oral presentation of the scientific work „Analysis of cohort of patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome – a Single-center Experience from Serbia“.
On Sunday, May 21st, two of our researchers attended the “22q at the Zoo – Worldwide Awareness Day” in Subotica, at the Palić zoo. The event was organized by non-governmental and non-profit association “22q ex YU”, founded by parents of children with microdeletion 22q11.2 who live in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The main initiator of the event at worldwide level was the International 22q11.2 Foundation. This worldwide event gathers around families and friends of patients with 22q11.2 syndrome, and also professionals in this area, giving them a chance to socialize and raise public awareness of 22q11.2 syndrome. Participants are recognizable by wearing official “22q at the Zoo” red T-shirts. This year, our two researchers spread awareness at the Subotica zoo by handing out 22q11.2 fact sheets and educating guests and zoo visitors about the syndrome and STREAMLINE goals and activities.
Our researchers spent the day with patients and their families, enjoying the nature, watching animals and visiting kids adventure park. They gained insight into the life of patients with 22q11.2 syndrome and their daily struggles, but also became familiar with their way of thinking and their many talents. They also met people from a nonprofit organization called ’’Zvuci srca’’, which helps the inclusion of disabled individuals into society. Our researchers also got contact information of volunteer patients who will donate their cells for reprograming to iPSCs and thus contribute the research of neurodevelopmental disorders.
On this occasion, participants were introduced to the importance of the STREAMLINE project, the research and application potential of the “iPSC-based” model system. This is supported by the fact that some of the patients present at the event, signed up to donate their somatic cells for reprogramming. To our delight a lot of the participants already knew a lot about our project, some even attended our symposium at the child clinic „Tiršova“ on the 9th of december, 2023.
The first STREAMLINE school dedicated to the latest research methodologies and approaches for studding neurodevelopmental disorders was held from 26th to 28th of April. This Spring School was organized by IMGGE and Cardiff University and gathered 21 PhD students from Serbia and Bosnia. During this three-days event the young researchers had an opportunity to learn, throughout lectures and hands on trainings, about cell reprograming strategies, iPSCs maintenance and characterization as well as about current methodologies for their neural differentiation towards functional neurons and glial cells. The attendees got guidelines, from the experts in the field, how to design and deliver patient-based iPSC studies and they became familiar with the latest advances regarding drug development and crucial steps from disease modelling to translational research. The Spring School offered an excellent environment for fruitful discussions and new connections. The participants also got a chance, through group practice, to design their own patient-based iPSC study by implementing the knowledge they gained. We hope that this experience will be beneficial for their career and for further scientific discoveries.