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Overview of the week at Maastricht University

Last week STREAMLINE team members, Danijela Drakulic, Natasa Kovacevic Grujicic, and Stefan Lazic were extremely busy learning how to use new bioinformatics tools with Dr. Friederike Ehrhart at the Department of Bioinformatics, Maastricht University. Bioinformaticians say: “Sometimes, you need to spend hours just to realize that you forgot a comma at a single spot.” Our team members are convinced that this phrase is perfectly correct!
On Wednesday, after hard work, IMGGE researchers and Milan Slavković, IMGGE Project Manager, enjoyed dinner with partners at the restaurant in the center of beautiful Maastricht. Delicious food and interesting topics made the evening really special.
The next day, Danijela presented the STREAMLINE project to the auditorium at the School for Mental Health and Neuroscience (MHeNs), Maastricht University. Afterward, we had an active discussion and received a plethora of positive comments.
At the end of the week, Danijela, Natasa, and Milan had the meeting with the Managing Director of MHeNs, Tom van den Crommenacker.
Milan Slavkovic returned to Belgrade striving to implement the knowledge he had gained.

CoMBoS2023

STREAMLINE at CoMBoS2

It is our great pleasure to announce the Second Congress of Molecular Biologists of Serbia (CoMBoS2) that will be held from October 6-8, 2023 in the Hall of Heroes at the Faculty of Philology, located in the heart of the Belgrade.

During opening lectures on the first day of CoMBoS, academician Milena Stevanović, principal investigator of STREAMLINE will be awarded for her life dedication to science.

Within this congress STREAMLINE team will have thematic workshop “iPSCs as a tool for modelling disease and discovering molecular mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders” that will be held on October 6th. This thematic workshop will be dedicated to the latest iPSCs based approaches for studying neurodevelopmental disorders.

On October 7, 2023 dr Andrijana Lazić will present STREAMLINE project through lecture “22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome as a tool for modelling and research of neurodevelopmental disorders”. She will discover how close we are in designing a new tool for unveiling neuropathological mechanisms of human neurodevelopmental disorders.

Here you can find more information and scientific program of CoMBoS2:

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STREAMLINE at European Researchers’ Night 2023

On Saturday, September 30th, 2023, the “European Researchers’ Night 2023” event was held as part of the “Fascination with Innovations” activity. Streamline team members dr  Andrijana Lazic, Jelena Pejić and Jovana Kostić presented our project to the visitors of this event through interactive presentations, drawings and games. The goal was to bring our research closer to the general public and explain to people what we actually do.

We introduced the visitors to cell reprogramming methodology and in vitro differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells to neurons and astrocytes. We have explained the advantages of this new model system compared to animal models, which have been used so far, to study the mechanisms of the onset of diseases as well as to test potential drugs.

We were visited by children of all ages as well as their parents and grandparents. We have tried to adapt the information and presentation method for each of them. Thus, the youngest visitors drew cells, the slightly older ones, after listening to a presentation on reprogramming and differentiation,  put together the flow of the entire process by themselves, from isolating mononuclear cells from the patient’s peripheral blood to obtaining mature patient-specific neurons and astrocytes. While the oldest participated in the discussion and asked interesting questions, showing great interest in our project.

We hung out, talked, learned something new, made new acquaintances, and most importantly, we had fun. Thank you all for your visit, it was a pleasure to present  our project to you and answer all of your questions.

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New staff exchanges on the STREAMLINE project

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!

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STREAMLINE at Thessaloniki International Trade Fair

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.

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22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome – 20 years of diagnostics and research in Serbia

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.

For me, meeting of the families with 22q11 microdeletion children has always been traumatic. But, here I am today smiling and happy! A unique opportunity to meet parents and children with this syndrom from all over Serbia and to finally meet doctors in person and discuss with them. No trauma 💪👊 Our children have grown up. The great parental odyssey and the experience of life as a soldier are behind us. We are ready to share our knowledge and experience with young people becoming parents and to make their everyday life as easy as possible! These children are the most beautiful flowers. Nothing less ❤️🌷 Well done Ančika. Well done Andrija. Long live the life!

Za mene je susret porodica dece 22q11 mikrodelecije uvek bio traumatičan. Evo me danas nasmejana i srećna! Jedinstvena prilika da se sretnemo iz cele Srbije i da otvoreno razgovaramo sa lekarima i da se konačno lično upoznamo. Traume bez 💪👊 Deca su nam porasla. Iza nas je velika roditeljska odiseja i ratno iskustvo. Spremni smo da svoja znanja i iskustva podelimo sa mladim roditeljima i da im olakšamo svakodnevicu koliko toliko! Ova su deca najlepši cvetići. Ništa manje ❤️🌷Bravo Ančika. Bravo Andrija. Živeo život!

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.

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Currently in progress

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.

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22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome – 20 Years of Diagnostics and Research in Serbia

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.

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STREAMLINE at BelBi 2023

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.