ENGAGE (European Network for Genetic and Genomic Epidemiology) is a trans-national collaborative research project funded with 12 million euros by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme-Health Theme.
This project began in January 2008 and will continue for five years. The ENGAGE consortium brings together 22 leading research organizations and two biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies from Europe, Canada and Australia. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is one of the partners in the project.
ENGAGE aims to translate the wealth of data emerging from large-scale research in genetic and genomic epidemiology from European (and other) population cohorts into information relevant to future clinical applications. The concept of ENGAGE is to enable European researchers to identify large numbers of novel susceptibility genes that influence metabolic, behavioural and cardiovascular traits, and to study the interactions between genes and life style factors.
The ENGAGE consortium will integrate and analyse one of the largest ever human genetics dataset (more than 80,000 genome-wide association scans and DNAs and serum/plasma samples from over 600,000 individuals). The Norwegian Institute of Public Health will contribute to the ENGAGE analyses with data from their large epidemiological studies such as BioHealth Norway and the twin study.
One goal is to demonstrate that the findings from ENGAGE can be used as diagnostic indicators for common diseases that will help us to understand better risk factors, disease progression and why people differ in responses to treatment.
The ENGAGE project consists of 10 work packages (WP), 8 of which are directly involved in research. In addition, there is a “Training and Dissemination” WP and a “Coordination” WP. The Figure below provides an overview of the ENGAGE WP structure.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health is leading the WP 8 on societal aspects, and is highly involved in WP 6 (Epidemiology and joint effects) and WP 9 (Dissemination and Training). Senior researcher Jennifer Harris leads the Norwegian participation in ENGAGE.