COSMIC Mission

COSMIC delivers the next generation of systems medicine professionals who successfully combat complex human disorders. We will focus on B-cell lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis, diseases that originate from abnormal functioning of the adaptive immune system, in particular the germinal center. COSMIC develops and integrates experimental and computational approaches, and establish a unique cross-fertilization between oncology and auto-immunity. 
Download: COSMIC Summary
  • COSMIC in numbers

    10 Beneficiaries
    7 Partner Organisations
    14 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs)
        -13 PhD students
        -1 Industrial researcher
    5 Companies
    9 European countries
        -NL, FR, SE, UK, IT, ES, DE, CH, EL
    5 Visiting Scientists
    4 External Trainers
    5 Members of External Advisory Board
    1 Ethics Advisor
  • COSMIC Research Background

    Systems Medicine

    One of the key question in systems biology is how biological systems (e.g., cells, molecular networks, germinal center) operate upon interaction with their external environment. Answering this question will generate knowledge about the dy­namics of complex systems and quantitative and explanatory computer models based on ex­perimental data.

    Systems medicine implements systems biology approaches in medical research and practice. This involves iterative and reciprocal feedback between clinical investigations and practice with computational, statistical and mathematical multiscale analysis and modelling of pathogenetic mechanisms, disease progression and remission, treatment responses, and adverse events as well as disease prevention at the individual patient level.

    Systems medicine aims at a measurable improvement of patient health through systems-based approaches and practice.

    Source: CASyM
    See also: EASyM
    Further reading: Schmitz, U., and Wolkenhauer, O. eds. (2016). Systems Medicine (New York: Springer)

    Adaptive immunity
    Germinal Center
    B-cell lymphoma
    Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Computational modelling
  • COSMIC Systems Medicine

    Through collaboration with existing systems medicine initiatives (e.g. EASyM, ISBE) COSMIC researchers contribute to systems medicine infrastructure and best practices that reduce time and costs to address clinical needs.

    At the same time this will promote Europe’s position in the health domain.
  • COSMIC Training

    An important aim of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action European Training Network (ETN) is to train young researchers (Early Stage Researchers, ESRs) with multi-disciplinary and multi-sectorial scientific and transferable skills required in systems medicine and translational medicine (WP2).

    COSMIC delivers 14 highly skilled systems medicine professionals who are able to address and solve complex clinical questions and to shape the next generation of systems medicine scientists.


COSMIC dissemination

COSMIC dissemination strategy addresses different target groups (scientists, medical doctors, industry, patient groups, students, citizens) for different purposes (e.g., raise awareness among medical doctors about systems medicine; promote research results during conferences; engage and inform patients; commercialisation) using methods tuned towards the target group and purpose (e.g., conference presentations, electronic media, science cafes, patent applications). In this context we will communicate the added value of integration of sectors for scientific excellence, for the competitiveness of companies, and for new venues for prevention, diagnostics, and treatment of B-cell lymphoma (BCL) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


COSMIC Dissemination

Figure: overview of COSMIC dissemination



For outreach and dissemination the COSMIC website ( will provide an up-to-date resource with information for the scientific community about the consortium, research results, publications, training events, announcements, etc. The consortium will bring results and activities to the attention of a broad scientific audience by advertising the site through multiple (electronic) channels (e.g., EASyM, ISBE, EraCoSysMed, ICSB, BioSB, ELIXIR)



Social media

COSMIC uses Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to disseminate results from the consortium and to announce (training) events.



Scientific newsletter

A electronic newsletter with research, training and dissemination activities and results will be distributed among COSMIC participants and their networks.


Translation to clinic

Research fellows will be trained in many aspects of translational medicine and, importantly, COSMIC leverages several approaches that initiate and contribute to the translation of basic research results to clinical practice:

  • Redoxis will develop new preclinical mouse RA models to test and prioritise drugs in the preclinical phase;
  • Vivia Biotech will be involved in drug screen and development of assays for BCL;
  • We agreed with the European Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure in Medicine (EATRIS) that in case COSMIC identifies potential biomarkers or drug targets, EATRIS may be involved to evaluate the translational potential including protection of IPR, further validation, and regulatory aspects maximising possibilities for clinical implementation;
  • Anaxomics and IBM develop computational services that may be required as part of diagnostic assays,
  • Principal investigators use their network (e.g., IMI projects, H2020 health projects) to identify possibilities for follow-up.
  • Computational modelling help to identify biomarkers/targetsin silicosuitable for perturbation in vivo.

Although a clear translation element is sought for, admittedly, the full validation and development into approved assays or drug(s), and implementation in the clinic is beyond the scope and possibilities of this project given the available resources and duration.


COSMIC builds on recent research from the principal investigators. For example:

  • Recent research from Dr. Niek de Vries (AMC) showed that the presence of dominant BCR clones predicts short-term onset of RA in at-risk patients. Further phenotypic and molecular characterization is likely to identify novel RA biomarkers and drug targets.
  • Dr Kostas Stamotopoulos (CERTH) and Dr. Jeroen Guikema (AMC) recently identified several stereotypic B-cell receptor subgroups in various BCL subsets, providing a novel type of patient classification that improves prognostication, and yielding important insight into disease etiology. We expect that molecular characterization of the aberrant lymphocytes will identify specific disease-associated biomarkers or biological networks that discriminate between patient subgroups. Prospective novel diagnostic parameters will be validated retrospectively in selected sets of pathology specimens from BCL patients that are available to us through the AMC pathology department. Moreover, our close collaboration with Prof. Marie Joes Kersten, who heads the clinical haematology department and the clinical trial unit at the AMC, enables the assessment of the prognostic value of newly identified parameters, as she participates in several national and international clinical studies for several subsets of BCL patients.



Dissemination to industry

The principal investigators are committed to gain further interest from industrial and SME parties, within and beyond their network, for exploitation of results (e.g., novel laboratory approaches, computational models, biomarkers, drug targets). Research fellows will be encouraged and supported by company partners and support offices to transfer research into novel IPR, commercial technologies, and ultimately, new enterprises. To keep project results close to the market, Redoxis, Anaxomics and IBM publish commercial papers business oriented journals to disseminate the main progress of COSMIC among the bioscience business professionals. The project results will be also disseminated in commercial fairs like BioEurope that Anaxomics and Redoxis regularly attend. 


Open Science: dissemination to scientific community

  • All partners are committed to Open Access and make COSMIC experimental data freely available through one of the public databases following FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reproducible) principles.
  • Research fellows will be strongly guided and encouraged to publish in leading Open Access journals.
  • PhD theses will also be Open Access.
  • Research fellows will be stimulated to present their research at international conferences with a poster and oral presentations.
  • Academic partners are committed to Open Source and accordingly make all computational models and documentation produced in the context of COSMIC freely available through public software repositories.
  • To stimulate systems medicine training throughout Europe and beyond, all partners commit to Open Education and make all education material available through the COSMIC science portal, GOBLET training portal, and/or similar websites.



Scientific publication in JoVE

Journal of Visualized Experiments;'s only peer reviewed scientific video journal. For example, Dr. Guikema (AMC) recently published in this journal (here)  



Exploitation of results and intellectual property

Results will be screened for IPR, exploitation potential, and commercialisation opportunities prior to publication. If such opportunities arise, specific arrangements (regarding revenues) will be made between the involved principal investigators (and Partner Organisations).



29 April 2018 3358

EASyM conference

2nd Conference of the European Association of Systems Medicine (EASYM) This conference is…
27 January 2018 2968

Andien Vaes: new controller

New controller: Andien Vaes. Andien Vaes (AMR) takes over the tasks of Don van Velzen.…
23 December 2017 852

Biotecture becomes Science Matters

Biotecture becomes Science Matters Our Partner Organisation Biotecture changed their name…

COSMIC Highlights

29 September 2019 73

LINK - Extremadura en el Mundo

LINK - Extremadura en el Mundo Our fellow, Rodrigo Garcia Valiente took part as an…
22 February 2019 301

CERTH Highschool students

Highschool students at CERTH Rerun by popular demand. Bastien of PLANT.ID did so well…
11 February 2018 1865

COSMIC Coffee Mug

First COSMIC Merchandise During the kickoff meeting (8-9 February) all participants…


06 May 2018 763

5th European Congress of Immunology

5th European Congress of Immunology 2-5 september 2018 | Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and…
29 April 2018 1267

EASyM 2nd conference

2nd Conference of the European Association of Systems Medicine (EASYM) 7 - 9 November…
16 March 2018 2510

Workshop Applying bioinformatics and data science competency frameworks to ELIXIR Training

Workshop Applying bioinformatics and data science competency frameworks to ELIXIR…


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    Project coordination

    Prof. dr. A.H.C. van Kampen (Antoine)
    Bioinformatics Laboratory
    E: a.h.vankampen at
    P: +31 20 5667096

    Project management:
    Dr. Laurian Jongejan
    Department of Experimental Immunology
    E: l.zuidmeer at
    P: +31 20 5666819

    The Netherlands
    Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam

    Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

    The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA), named after the double Nobel Prize winning Polish-French scientist famed for her work on radioactivity, support researchers at all stages of their careers. One type of action is the European Training Network (ETN) aimed at joint research training by partners from academia, industry, and other organisation. ETNs facilitate the the researcher to experience different sectors and develop their transferable skills by working on joint research projects.


    COSMIC is a European Training Network funded from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 765158.

© 2018 COSMIC. All Rights Reserved.

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