EPI-Cluster’s leadership team is comprised of 10 internationally-recognized scientists and clinicians in the field and the leaders of the seven projects that came together under EpiXchange, as well as leaders from patient and professional organisations.
The cluster focuses on epilepsy, which is a neurological disease affecting 6 million people in Europe and costing 16 billion Euros/year.
The primary objective the Cluster is to establish a collaborative framework for the coordinated actions of epilepsy research in Europe. This requires a mechanism to maintain the ongoing impetus of these projects, the networks established between different healthcare and scientific professionals and the advocacy framework that supports the ongoing research activities of the different groups, while facilitating training and researcher exchange and partnership with other stakeholders. Further research and innovation efforts by the community of researchers, clinicians and industry are essential to reach tangible goals and ensure that these achievements reach persons with epilepsy. Therefore, EPI-Cluster aims to:
- Advance the existing collaboration by expanding the network
- Advance research on core topics.
- Enhance resource-sharing through the development of a preclinical trial network and researcher exchange mechanisms
- Increase engagement of persons with epilepsy and their representatives
- Develop a global funding initiative on epilepsy research across agencies
Prevention of Severe Mental Disorders (PSMD) Cluster
The PSMD cluster will be articulated in two integrated sections which will work synergically: the area of prevention of psychosis, depression and bipolar disorders, and the area relating to established bipolar disorders. Each section is composed of core institutions with an outstanding track record in the field of prevention of severe mental disorders, mental health promotion and research on established bipolar disorders in Europe.
Severe Mental Disorders (SMDs) have an overall lifetime prevalence of 12% in Europe. 264 million people live with depression, 45 million with bipolar disorders, 20 million with schizophrenia. This comes with an enormous cost for the healthcare system and intervening early to prevent the disease is highly needed.
The members of the PSMD cluster are prominent researchers with specialist skills in genetics, neuroimaging, pharmacogenomics, neuropsychopharmacology, longitudinal clinical research, clinical prediction modelling, multi-site and international research, experimental therapeutics, whose collaborative efforts have already provided the scientific community with advancements in the development of prevention models for severe mental disorders as well as in knowledge of the neurobiological underpinnings of established bipolar disorders. These experts are part of the ECNP funded Prevention of Mental Disorders and Mental Health Promotion Network (ECNP-PMD-MHP) as well as of the ECNP Bipolar Disorders Network (ECNP-BDN). Together, they aim to:
- Cross-fertilise leading European institutions
- Harmonise assessment, outcome measures and interventions
- Implement digital health, big data and precision medicine into healthcare
- Promote clinical research partnerships
- Produce clinical guidelines
- Apply for European grant funding
- Disseminate preventive culture in psychiatry
- Engage policy makers, healthcare systems, patients and their families