Annual meeting 10 -11 June 2024

The first year of the VASCUL-AID project flew by and we have achieved so much together already! Great team spirit in the VASCUL-AID project focusing on reducing cardiovascular disease progression in AAA and PAD patients!  

The VASCUL-AID consortium's Annual Meeting recently concluded its two-day program in Porto, bringing together a distinguished gathering of researchers from across Europe. The meeting fostered a vibrant exchange of ideas, with presentations showcasing pioneering advancements in the field of AAA and PAD research. Through open discussions and shared expertise, the consortium members aimed to propel the project forward and identify new avenues for research integration. Here we will delve into the key takeaways from the meeting.

Day 1:

The meeting kicked off its two-day program at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto with a comprehensive overview of the progress presented by the project leader Dr. Kak Khee Yeung, from Amsterdam UMC. Her presentation highlighted the significant progress made on the consortium's research project thus far.
Following this, the agenda featured a series of presentations from key researchers. Dr. Jelmer Wolterink and Patryk Rygiel from the University of Twente provided an update on how AI is improving the current state of hemodynamic simulations in AAA.  

Next, in a live demonstration, Arthur Sernee from Brightfish showcased the VASCULAID mobile health app, highlighting its potential for patient monitoring and using it in clinical practice . The app goes beyond just visuals by incorporating questionnaires and wearables to gather additional patient data.

Prof. Dr. Henk Marquering presented a technical overview of the role of AI in image segmentation including its application to segmentation of peripheral arteries from multimodal medical imaging data (CT, MR, US, etc.).

Dr. Venkat Ayyalasomayajula then provided an overview of the different data modalities used in this project towards the development of multi-modal AI models for AAA and PAD, highlighting the curation of a VASCULAID knowledge base for seamless collaboration between partners.

The scientific program for the day ended with an expert and patient consensus meeting for the finalization of a core outcome set for PAD by Sabrina Zwetsloot and Lotte Rijken.

Day 2:

The second day started with an update on project deliverables and financial management by Stefan Smorenburg. 

The host, Marina Dias Neto and her team, presented the ongoing proteomics and lipidomics research on AAA and PAD. The preliminary experimental results already highlight the distinct molecular profiles of the two diseases.

Tamara Djruic gave an overview of the genomic basis of AAA, PAD, and diseases associated with MACE. Her presentation highlighted the importance of validation cohorts in identifying genetic variants associated with these diseases.

Another two expert and patient consensus meetings were led by Sabrina Zwetsloot and Lotte Rijken to finalize the core outcome set for patients with AAA.

Day two was concluded with a brainstorm session for the prospective study protocol that is going to start in 2025.