This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 814978.
Associate professor Pasi Jalava (UEF, Coordinator, Leader WP7 & WP9)
The research group of Pasi Jalava at the Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences of the University of Eastern Finland studies the toxicological mechanisms of air pollution related adverse health effects. The research is focused on toxicological effects of urban air pollution, traffic emissions and emissions from combustion processes. The group uses both in vitro and in vivo methods in research of inflammatory, genotoxic and oxidative properties of the aerosols. We are also using direct exposure methods from aerosols to toxicological models, including air-liquid interface and inhalation exposures. The group consists of postdoctoral researcher and 5 doctoral students.
Associate professor Katja Kanninen (UEF, Leader WP3)
Assoc. prof. Katja Kanninen is the Neurobiology of Disease research group at the A.I.Virtanen Institute of the University of Eastern Finland. The Kanninen lab at the A. I. Virtanen Institute of the University of Eastern Finland (https://www.uef.fi/en/web/aivi/katja-kanninen-group) studies the impact of environmental and life style factors on brain health. Research is focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease. Mitochondrial function and oxidative stress are key cellular targets under investigation. The group consists of a postdoctoral researcher, several graduate students and a laboratory technician, all utilizing sophisticated in vitro and in vivo methodologies and human and murine models. We develop physiological and clinically relevant cell models and apply sophisticated functional and omics-based methodologies for biomarker discovery.
Associate professor Tarja Malm (UEF)
The Malm group (https://www.uef.fi/en/web/aivi/tarja-malm-group) aims to understand inflammatory cell functions, especially those of microglia, and the mechanisms and mediators neuroinflammatory reactions. We focus on non-coding RNAs and extracellular vesicles as mediators of this cross-talk. We use interdisciplinary approaches and novel, human based models to find novel therapeutic targets for the disease benefit and to discover novel biomarkers. Our lab develops novel human induced pluripotent stem cell-based models including microglia and organoids to investigate cellular response using omics approaches and electrophysiology. In addition, we combine animal modelling with functional outcomes to clinical patient material and data using bioinformatic approaches. The group consists of 4 postdoctoral researchers, 7 PhD students and a laboratory technician.
Roel Schins, PhD (IUF, Leader WP2)
Dr. Roel Schins is a toxicologist and leads a research group at the IUF – Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine. His main research is directed at understanding how particles (i.e. ambient particulate matter, mineral dusts and engineered nanomaterials) can cause diseases in humans. He authored over 150 papers with an h-index of 50. He sits on the German Permanent Senate Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area (“DFG MAK Kommission”) and he has provided expert advice on the toxicology of particles to various further organisations such as the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, DG-SANTE / SCCS, IARC/WHO and OECD.
Remco Westerink, PhD, ERT (UU, Leader WP6 & WP8)
Remco Westerink (PhD, ERT) is head of the Neurotoxicology Research Group at the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS) at Utrecht University since 2005. He is member of the Society of Toxicology (SOT), the International Neurotoxicology Association (INA), and Netherlands Society of Toxicology (NVT). Currently, he is President of the International Neurotoxicology Association, Editor-in-Chief of NeuroToxicology (Elsevier), and editorial board member of Neurotoxicology and Teratology (Elsevier), and Toxicology In Vitro (Elsevier). He is/was actively involved in several research projects, including EU-projects such as ATHON, ENFIRO, ACROPOLIS, DENAMIC, ENDpoiNTs and TUBE, and is frequent reviewer (e.g. Chemical Research in Toxicology, Environmental Science & Technology, Neurotoxicology, Neurotoxicology and Teratology, Toxicology In Vitro, Toxicological Sciences, and Toxicology & Applied Pharmacology). He (co)authored over 90 papers.
Anna Oudin (UmU, Leader WP5)
Anna Oudin is Associate Professor in Epidemiology, and head of the research group Environment, Society and Health at Lund University. She shares her time between Lund and Umeå University. Her research interests mainly concern environmental health effects on the brain. For example, she studies on stress and air pollution together affecting children’s health, how air pollution affects children’s mental health, and the cognitive effects of air pollution in the elderly.
She is PI for a project funded by Swedish Formas that deals with the health effects of wood-burning, as well as projects financed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Region Skåne Environmental Protection Fund, which deals with the health effects of particles in Southern Sweden. She uses data from the Betula study in Umeå in her research. She is currently acitve in the following research projects: Rhinessa, SCAC, SCAPIS and Nordic Welfair.
Sanna Saarikoski, PhD (FMI)
Sanna Saarikoski, PhD is a Senior Researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute.She has a broad expertise on research work related to aerosol measurements, ranging from laboratory and emission experiments to ambient atmospheric measurements in urban and rural locations. In recent years, the focus on her studies has been in investigating the detailed chemical composition of aerosols with the high resolution aerosol mass spectrometry.
Päivi Aakko-Saksa (VTT)
Päivi Aakko-Saksa is Principal Research Scientist at VTT Technical Research Center of Finland Ltd in the research team in the field of engines, vehicles, fuels and exhaust emissions. She has vast experience on exhaust emissions and their effects on health and environment.
Roxana Carare (USOTON, Leader WP4)
Roxana Carare qualified in Medicine in Bucharest in 1994. During her basic clinical training, she became fascinated by anatomy and completed her PhD in experimental neuropathology in 2006, in the University of Southampton, UK. She was appointed lecturer in 2001, associate professor in 2014 and professor of clinical neuroanatomy in 2016. The main international recognition for Roxana Carare has come from the interdisciplinary research she leads, investigating the cause of Alzheimer’s disease and suggesting therapeutic strategies. Roxana is a member of the MRC Dementia Platform UK Vascular Experimental Medicine committee and the UK government advisory committee for the effects of pollution on the brain. The Carare team has won prestigious awards, including a Dementia Research Leader award from Alzheimer’s Society UK. Roxana has enjoyed teaching anatomy for 20 years, with a passion for neuroanatomy. Roxana is Co-Chair for The International Alliance of Women Alzheimer’s Researchers in Alzheimer’s Association and is a member of the Scientific Committee for Alzheimer’s Association.
Maiken Nedergaard (UCPH)
Prof. Maiken Nedergaard is a neuroscientist and Co-Director of Center for Translational Neuromedicine at University of Copenhagen. The Center was established in 2015 and the focus of the Center is to develop new approaches for investigating and treating neurological diseases. The Nedergaard lab’s focus is on defining interstitial ion homeostasis, fluid transport and glymphatic flow in the adult brain, with special emphasis on the mechanisms of CSF fluid dynamics and protein clearance, and its dysregulation in proteinopathic neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. We are also engaged in defining the contribution of astrocytes to brain ion homeostasis, and the latter’s role in arousal and its disorders. Maiken Nedergaard authored over 330 publications. Her role in the TUBE project is focused on the UFP deposition, translocation and clearance in brain.
Lenie van den Broek (Mimetas)
Lenie van den Broek is senior scientist application development at MIMETAS – The Organ on a Chip Company. The department develops organotypic models on the microfluidic platform. She received her PhD in skin tissue engineering at the VU University Amsterdam. As a postdoctoral research, she worked at VU University Medical Center Amsterdam and A-SKIN Nederland BV on vascularization and the introduction of hair follicles into a skin model. She is (co-)author of 19 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. van den Broek supervised PhD-students, master students, (junior) scientists and technicians. She is currently principal investigator on Marie Curie ITN network LogicLab.
General Director Professor Dr. András Dinnyés (Biotalentum)
Prof. Dr. Andras Dinnyes (PhD, DVM, DSc) Coordinator of DiabetterMent co-founder and general director of BIOT. He has been working on embryology, cryobiology, cloning and stem cell biology since 1985. He has been a Fulbright Scholar in the US in 1991-92 and worked at the University of Connecticut (US) for 1997-99, where he invented and patented the solid surface vitrification (SSV) technology. In 2000 he joined the cloning team in Roslin Institute (the „Dolly team”) as team leader. His team succeeded in the production of the first gene knock-out lamb, and the first cloned piglet in Europe. He was advisor for Geron Inc, US, a pioneer company in regenerative medicine with human pluripotent stem cells. In 2001 he has returned to Hungary, as a Wellcome Trust International Senior Research Fellow. He is full professor at Szent Istvan University, Hungary (2008-), was invited professor at the Veterinary Faculty of Utrecht University, the Netherlands (2010-16) and invited high-level expert at Sichuan University, China (2016-17). H-index: 34.
Topi Rönkkö (TUNI, Leader WP1)
Associate Professor Topi Rönkkö is a leader of particle emission and air quality research of the Aerosol Physics research unit, Faculty of Natural Sciences at Tampere University. His special expertise is in experimental characterization of combustion originated exhaust nanoparticles. He coordinates the research of Tampere University in several projects focusing on the particle emissions of traffic, combustion engines and power production. He has large, active and international collaboration network including both scientific and industrial partners and he has published more than 75 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Jan Topinka, PhD, DSc (UEM-AVCR)
Jan Topinka, PhD, DSc, Head of the Department of Genetic Toxicology and Nanotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences, is an expert in genetic toxicology and biological effects of the environmental pollution as well as the adverse effects of engineered and combustion generated nanoparticles. His research aims to asses mechanisms of the biological effects of the environmental pollution in human populations particularly by methods of genomics and epigenetics. He published more than 200 original papers dealing with many basic topics of genetic toxicology, toxicogenomics and molecular epidemiology of complex environmental mixtures. He coordinated several national and international research projects, see for example http://www.medetox.cz/main-page/. His role in the TUBE project is focused on the toxicogenomics of air pollutants in the brain.
Xiao-Wen Zeng (Sun Yat-Sen University)
Dr. Xiaowen Zeng is an associate professor in School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, China. She has over 10-year research experience in environmental exposome and the effect of environmental pollutants on human health. In recent years, her research interest focuses on the air pollution in association with adverse health effects. She and her colleges have conducted several population-base studies in China to investigate the association of long-term air pollution exposure and related persistent organic pollutants exposure with chronic diseases in children and adults. During the past five years, she has been awarded eight research grants as the lead investigator including one from the National Key Research and Development Program of China and two from the National Science Foundation of China grants scheme.
Tobias Pfeiffer, Co-Founder & CTO (VSParticle)
Tobias studied Chemical Engineering at Delft University of Technology, focusing on the production and classification of <1nm particles. As part of his PhD research he worked on scaling up the spark ablation method, resulting in a patent application and several scientific publications. In 2014, he co-founded VSPARTICLE. As CTO he is responsible for the development and protection of VSPARTCILES’s technology.
Director Dr. Pedro Oyola (Centro Mario Molina)
Dr. Pedro Oyola is the director of Centro Mario Molina Chile. Dr. Oyola was Director of the Division of Atmospheric Research of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and later of the Institute of Applied Environmental Research of the University of Stockholm (Sweden), he turned his laboratory into a reference for Europe, USA. UU And Canada. Likewise, it formed part of a network oriented to solve long-distance transport problems of pollutants in Europe. He participated actively in the project of Global and Urban Research in Meteorology and Environment that includes the cities of Santiago, Mexico City, São Paulo, Beijing, Moscow and other mega-cities; and was a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Harvard-EPA Particle Health Effects Center.
Professor Flemming Cassee (RIVM)
Professor Flemming R. Cassee is an inhalation toxicologist at the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. In this position he is involved in research into adverse health effects from airborne nanomaterials and particulate matter (fine dust) and gaseous components (e.g. ozone, nitrogen dioxide) in the ambient air. In addition to this, Flemming Cassee is professor of inhalation toxicology at the Institute of Risk Assessment Sciences of the Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Flemming Cassee is leading projects of multidisciplinary teams. These teams include amongst others toxicologists, epidemiologists, modelers and risk assessors. He has regularly published scientific reports and articles in international journals and presents research results at international conferences. Flemming Cassee is senior scientific advisor to the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Health Council of the Netherlands, World Health Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and others. Furthermore he is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Particle and Fibre Toxicology and a reviewer/editor of a number of other international scientific journals. He is member of the coordination team of the European Nanosafetycluster, overarching EU funded nanosafety projects. He has and still is participating in a number of these projects e.g. NanoReg, NanoMile, SUN, NanoImpactNet, ENPRA, and PATROLS.
Associate professor Rosalba Giugno (UNIVR)
Rosalba Giugno is a bioinformatician with training in computer science. He is the referent of the Master’s Degree Course in Medical Bioinformatics at the University of Verona and leads the InfOmics bioinformatics group (https://infomics.github.io/InfOmics/) at the same University. Research is focused on the deep analysis of bulk and multimodal single cell data and the development of new algorithms for single cell analysis and spatial transcriptomics, for biological graphs and networks, integration and analysis of biomolecular data, modeling of biological systems, interference of ‘RNA and personal medicine. The group consists of 2 senior postdoctoral researchers, 3 young researchers and 4 doctoral students.