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The CaSR Biomedicine research project

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) have crucial roles in almost every physiological process from cardiac function, immune responses and neurotransmission to sensory functions comprising sight, taste and smell. Aberrant GPCR activity or expression contributes to some of the most prevalent human diseases and GPCRs are the targets for more than 35% of all modern drugs. One member of this superfamily, the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) has emerged as a promising new target for the treatment of major non-communicable diseases either via traditional pharmacotherapeutic approaches aimed at receptor activation or inhibition, or via alternative pharmacotherapeutic approaches that modulate receptor expression and trafficking.

Abnormal CaSR function or expression contributes to the pathogenesis of major non-communicable diseases that account for more than 25% of the global disease burden. The scientific goals of the CaSR Biomedicine network are to elucidate ligand- and tissue-dependent differences in CaSR physiology by examining its functions at cellular level and thus to contribute to the understanding of GPCR signalling in general; to assess how CaSR function is altered in Alzheimer's Disease (AD), cardio-vascular disease (CVD), diabetes mellitus (DM), sarcopenia, and cancer, leading causes of mortality in Europe; and to find innovative CaSR-based therapeutic approaches for these major, age-related disorders.

The training objectives are to build an excellently trained and well connected generation of scientists by a multidisciplinary, intersectoral training programme, and to expose 14 ESRs to academic and non-academic sectors to gain the transferable skills needed for a wide spectrum of career opportunities.

CasR Biomedicine aims to enhance attractiveness of research-linked careers for the next generation, to establish long-lasting interdisciplinary and intersectoral cooperation among researchers, and between researchers and industry; to build a strong network, and to establish a forum open to all in the community working on the CaSR.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 675228