Faculty of Medicine

UiB receives funding for second Horizon 2020 project

The ULTRADIAN project aims to ameliorate and facilitate endocrine diagnostics and treatment for both patients and the health care system. The project has recently been awarded close to 6 million Euros from the EU.

Illustration photo: Graphic showing hormone variations.
Variations in hormone levels can be difficult to measure and monitor, but ULTRADIAN can improve the everyday life of patients with hormone diseases. The graph shows variations in cortisol and cortisone levels in samples collected at 20 minute intervals with ULTRADIAN technology.

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The interdisciplinary research project ULTRADIAN has just been granted almost 6 million Euros through the European Union’s eight framework programme, Horizon 2020 (H2020).

“This is a big day for us! Competition was fierce among the project proposals, and less than 5 per cent of the projects received funding”, says Professor Eystein Husebye from the Department of Clinical Science at the University of Bergen (UiB), who is the coordinator of the project.

Time-consuming, cumbersome and error-prone diagnostics

ULTRADIAN is an interdisciplinary research project, addressing the often inaccurate and cumbersome diagnostics and monitoring of endocrine diseases.

“Today’s procedures do not capture the circadian and rapid cycling (ultradian variation, see illustration above) in hormone levels related to time of day, meals and stress”, explains Husebye.

Giving patients better everyday treatment

ULTRADIAN combines a range of technological innovations. 24h sampling of microdialysate fluid is made possible by using an ambulatory fraction collector, allowing patients to continue their normal everyday activities, instead of being hospitalised. Ultrasensitive measuring methods, developed at UiB and Uppsala University, allow a large range of hormones to be measured in tiny microliter fractions, providing a portrait of the endocrine variations over the 24 hours cycle.

“This will radically shorten the time it takes to diagnose a patient – we will develop the concept of a “one stop clinic” to avoid costly hospitalisations and testing procedures”, Husebye adds.

Interdisciplinary teamwork

The project involves cooperation between UiB, the University of Bristol, Karolinska Institute, Evangelismos General Hospital in Athens and two technological enterprises; Olink AB and Designworks Windsor LTD.

ULTRADIAN is a good example of a joint project, using expertise from different centres. Clinicians, as well as clinical chemists, engineers, biotechnologists and health economists are involved,” says Husebye before adding.

“A range of people have made this endeavour possible through their contribution to the application process, and I would like to call special attention to the administration at the Department of Clinical Science, the Division of Research Management at UiB and the research advisers at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, especially Corina Guder, as well as all our European partners. This has been a true teamwork.”