Summer School & Annual Meeting 2022

Between July 20th and 24th, the ESR fellows of INSPIRE met to participate in the Summer School 2022, held at the University of Maastricht, in the facilities of the Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging Institute (4Mi). As in the past editions, the program consisted both of theoretical lectures and hands-on workshops on transferable skills. One full day was dedicated to a mini-symposium on "Mass Spectrometry Imaging”. Lectures were given on the topics of “Cardiovascular Studies”, “Data Analysis & Mathematical Modelling”, and “Signal/Data Processing and Visualizations in Drug Discovery”. The workshops allowed the fellows to dive into other abilities useful for their research career such as "Social Media Communication tools"; "Job-Seeking Techniques"; “IP Management and Valorisation aspects”; as well as the use of the “VideoScribe tool to prepare e-learning modules”.

Following to the Summer School, all the consortium members came together to participate in the Annual Meeting 2022. After the start of the project in January 2020, this was the first time that both supervisors and ESR fellows could see each other in person to discuss essential aspects of the ongoing research, including the plan for upcoming secondments. The meeting was overall a success and the Coordinator Office greatly appreciated the Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging Institute (4Mi) for the invitation and for the excellent organization of these events. 

International Women's Day 2022

Today, 8 March of 2022, our team of #MSCA early-stage researchers joins the celebration of the #InternationalWomensDay by supporting the #BreakTheBias #campaign. Because our INSPIRE consortium believes that a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination, which can be diverse, equitable, and inclusive is the only option possible. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

#WorldCancerDay - 4 February 2022

Did you know that some anticancer therapies have been associated with cardiovascular dysfunction and that cancer incidence is higher in heart disease populations? Both the impact of cancer treatment on the heart, as well as the role of the diseased heart in cancer development, are intensively being researched by scientist and clinicians worldwide in what we call the fields of cardio-oncology and ‘reversed’ cardio-oncology, respectively.

Cardio-oncology has recently emerged as a new discipline, with the purpose to detect, prevent and treat cardiac and vascular adverse effects due to anticancer drugs. Within this context, one of the aims of the ITN-MSCA INSPIRE project is to investigate the cardiovascular safety of these anticancer therapies and their effects on the cardiovascular system.

Whereas the field of cardio-oncology focuses on cancer treatments and their impact on the heart, the novel field of ‘reversed’ cardio-oncology focuses on the role of the diseased heart in the development of cancer. The advancement of this field has been expedited in recent years due to new scientific findings suggesting a role for the diseased heart in cancer development.

How can the diseased heart play a role in cancer development? Much is still unknown, but the current rationale is that the diseased heart secretes certain factors that accelerate, or perhaps even trigger, cancer growth. With the ITN-MSCA INSPIRE project, we aim to further unravel the relationship between the diseased heart and accelerated cancer growth, specifically focusing on these potential cancer-enhancing secreted factors.

Although a lot remains to be investigated, one thing is for sure: When it comes to cancer the heart cannot be ignored! 

INSPIRE #1000 LinkedIn Followers

On 3 February 2022, the INSPIRE LinkedIn business page reached the milestone of #1000 followers. All INSPIRE family celebrates this great achievement and thanks all those who continuously support the INSPIRE communication actions. 

1000 LinkedIn Followers

Summer School & Annual Meeting 2021

Between August 30th and September 3rd, the ESR fellows of INSPIRE took part in the Summer School 2021: Safety Pharmacology in Drug Development, organised at the University of Antwerp an counting also with external participants both from the academia and from the industry. Being organised under the umbrella of the Antwerp Summer University, the programme consisted of theoretical lectures on cardiovascular safety pharmacology in the mornings and hands-on workshops on transferable skills in the afternoons - such as entrepreneurship, research integrity and communication. This was the first event organised in-person of the INSPIRE Network and the COVID measures in place at the University of Antwerp helped make a success of it. 

Following to the Summer School 2021, the consortium members participated in the hybrid Annual Meeting 2021 (September 6th and 7th). Although only the ESRs and few supervisors could attend in person, the hybrid setup promoted very interactive discussions, which resulted in several actions points for development and implementation in the coming months.

International Women's Day 2021

  • Date: March 8th 2021

Although women constitute the majority of the world’s population, there is still no society in which women enjoy full equality with men. They often face specific discrimination and even in countries which grant legal equality between both sexes women are often economically disadvantaged and suffer from discrimination. 

Today, on International Women’s Day we would like to thank all those who advocate for equality, participation and empowerment of women in all areas of  society.  Below, we have also stated some facts and figures that illuminate the importance and necessity of feminism.  

  • Women in the European Union earn on average 15% less than men  
  • 65 million girls are denied education all over the world 
  • 1 in 3 women are sexually abused at some point in their lifetime 
  • An estimated 200 million girls have undergone female genital mutilation  
  • Women and girls make up 71% of all human trafficking victims, worldwide  
  • We, the INSPIRE team, want to join the feminist cause and work to create a society of equal say, to provide people with the freedom of choice.

As Angela Saini said: “In the history of science, we have to hunt for the women - not because they weren't capable of doing research, but because for a large chunk of time they didn't have the chance. We're still living with the legacy of an establishment that's just beginning to recover from centuries of entrenched exclusion and prejudice.”

In fact, some years ago, it would not have been possible to have a scientific team like in INSPIRE, in which women have the same representation as men. Even though there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of gender equality, we believe that we are following the right path and that the future will be feminist! 

Online Mid-Term Check (MTC) meeting

The Mid-Term Check (MTC) meeting is a contractual obligation within the INSPIRE Grant Agreement to report the status of the project (achievements, milestones, recruitment, etc.) to the Research Executive Agency (REA) 12 months after the project kick off. This is also an opportunity for the REA to provide the consortium with feedback and advice for improvement. On March 4th of 2021, the INSPIRE consortium and the REA Project OfficePaula Hokkanen met to hold the MTC, which consisted of a morning programme. While the original plan was to meet in person in Nottingham, the current COVID-19 pandemic forced to organize an online event. The advantage from this web-based setup was that it encouraged participation from several partner organisation (Vivonics, MCAA, NC3Rs and the Wageningen University & Research), which added value to this meeting. The Coordinator Office took good note of the comments from the REA Project Officer and the overall conclusion was that INSPIRE is on track and ready to make the make a success out of this promising collaboration.


ESR fellows VIDEO

Our ESR fellows have prepared an end-of-year gift consisting of an introductory video to invite all the INSPIRE community to find out more about this team. We wish everyone a lot of fun while watching this video. Happy holidays and a bright and healthy New Year! 

Summer School and Annual Meeting 2020

Between August 31st and September 5th, the early-stage researchers of our network participated in the INSPIRE Summer School 2020: Cardiovascular Safety Pharmacology in Drug Development, which was also open to externals. With the organizational support from the Antwerp Summer University, it was worked out a programme consisting of theoretical lectures on cardiovascular safety pharmacology complemented with hands-on sessions on how to develop strategies for achieving ‘societal impact’ and ‘personal career development'. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Summer School 2020 had to be held digitally. Despite the virtual setup, there was strong interaction between the participants, both during the theoretical sessions and practical workshops, as well as in the group work assignments.

Following to the Summer School 2020, all the consortium members took part in the first Annual Meeting 2020 of INSPIRE, September 7th and 8th. This was the first occasion that brought all the network together. Both beneficiaries and partner organizations had the opportunity to introduce their groups to the consortium on the first day. On the second day, the floor was given to the early-stage researchers, who could present their projects during the scientific sessions, which were organized in five different clusters (see agenda). The meeting was a complete success and resulted in several actions points for development and implementation in the coming months.

ESRs Welcome MeetUp

On May 28, the INSPIRE Coordinator Team organized a Welcome MeetUp for the 12 young researchers already selected to become members of the INSPIRE Network. This first meeting was a fantastic opportunity for the ESRs to get to know each other and to have a first dive into our project. The meeting closed with a toast for the ESRs and the INSPIRE project, followed by a private chat between the ESRs. We are eager to start working with such a motivated team of ESRs. Welcome on board!                 

Upcoming "Safety Pharm Chats"

The Academic Outreach Committee of the Safety Pharmacology Society (SPS) launches the “Safety Pharm Chats” – live online sessions to provide networking during this time of social distancing.


Safety Pharm Chats are facilitator-led conversations designed to allow you to connect with your peers around the world in an informal setting to discuss a variety of topics. We are keeping the groups small to make sure everyone has a chance to be heard. Registration is complimentary and sessions will be added depending on interest. Sign up today by clicking on a links below to secure your spot!

Careers in safety pharmacology. Registration

  • May 28, 2020
  • Audience: Student, Young Investigators, PhDs
  • Discuss career options and learn from the experiences of SPS members having a career in the field of safety pharmacology.

Peer Reviewed Presentations Part 1. Registration

  • June 18, 2020
  • Audience: Student, Young Investigators, PhDs
  • Need some practice before presenting your poster/research? Present your research and get instant feedback and tips from safety pharmacology experts. Send us your abstract before May 31 (3 abstracts per session will be selected).

Safety pharmacology in 2030. Registration

  • June 25, 2020
  • Audience: All
  • A special 20th anniversary chat to discuss what the future of safety pharmacology will look like. Novel 3Rs models, machine learning approaches and more! Come prepared with ideas, opinions and your biggest questions!

INSPIRE participates in the HESI Cardiac Safety Steering Committee meeting

  • Date: April 23rd 2020
  • Location: online meeting
  • Presentation

INSPIRE was invited to take part in the HESI Cardiac Safety Committee Steering Team meeting on April 23rd.

The Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) is a non-profit institution based in the US which brings together experts from academia, industry, government and other strategic partners to address health and environmental challenges. One of its sixteen multi-sector working groups is the Cardiac Safety Committee aimed at improving public health by reducing unanticipated cardiovascular-related adverse effects from drugs or chemicals; and developing innovative approaches to support early detection and prediction as well as improved understanding of cardiovascular toxicology and pathobiology.

During the Steering Team meeting, Prof. Pieter-Jan Guns - Coordinator of INSPIRE, had the opportunity to introduce the project to the Steering Team and answer to the committee members’ questions. The overall conclusion of this first contact between INSPIRE and HESI is that there seems to be considerably room for the creation of synergies. We look very much forward to future collaborative opportunities with HESI!

Successful Virtual Kick-off Meeting

  • Date: April 2nd 2020
  • Location: Online meeting
  • Programme

What a fantastic experience to bring all the INSPIRE team together ‘virtually’ in our Kick-off Meeting! Even though the current restrictions in place to prevent the spread of the covid-19 forced the cancellation of both the Recruitment Event and the Kick-off Meeting in Antwerp, the Supervisory Board succeeded in meeting virtually on April 2nd to start up the project. During the teleconference session, the team members had the opportunity to exchange first impressions about the candidates interviewed online on the previous day (April 1st) and to start working out the programme of upcoming training activities. 

The Virtual Kick-off Meeting was remarkably fruitful and allows to conclude that INSPIRE is on the right track with this promising collaboration. The Coordinator Office wants to warmly THANK all the team members for joining this meeting and greatly contributing to the success of the action.


Recruitment Event of INSPIRE: ONLINE

Due to the recent Covid-19 virus outbreak and the consequential restrictions currently in place, the Recruitment Event of INSPIRE will not be held in Antwerp, but will take place virtually. The interviews have been planned online on the original date: April 1st. The day after, during the 'Virtual Kick-off Meeting' on April 2nd, the Supervisory Board (SB) will share impressions and take the final decision with regard to the selectioàn. 



Recruitment Event of INSPIRE: COMING SOON!

The Recruitment Event of INSPIRE will be held in Antwerp, on April 1st 2020. This event, which will gather representatives of all 10 beneficiaries and more than 35 nominated candidates to our 15 ESR positions, will take place in the Grauwzusters Cloister of the University of Antwerp.

The agenda will consist of parallel sessions of interviews in which all preselected candidates will have the opportunity to present their scientific background and personal/professional skills to the selection committees. Additionally, the day will include several lectures and an interactive social activity around the city to close the meeting.


              We look very much forward to welcoming all participants in Antwerp!

ITN 2019 Coordinator's Info Day

  • Date: November 22, 2019
  • Location: DE GASPERI room, Charlemagne Building, European Commission, Brussels

The INSPIRE coordination team took part in the ITN 2019 Coordinators’ Info Day, which was organised by the Research Executive Agency (REA) and held in Brussels on November 22. The session featured presentations on how to implement the MSCA ITN projects and offered the coordinators the possibility to pose questions to the REA officers. Requirements were given as regards recruitment, financial management and reporting provisions, as well as horizontal aspects covering Ethics, IPR and Open Access. Furthermore, during this event, the INSPIRE team had the opportunity to meet the REA Project Officer, Mrs. Paula Hokkanen, who provided our team with valuable information to ensure sound management of INSPIRE.


The slides of the presentations given in the event are available through following link: