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Smart Diaspora 2023

The "Diaspora in Scientific Research and Higher Education in Romania - Diaspora and its friends" conference aimed to create a space for dialogue and collaboration between Romanian researchers, regardless of where they live and work, continuing the series of meetings of the Romanian scientific community in the country and abroad started in 2008.
Between 10 to 13 April 2023, a new edition was organized in Timișoara.

The conference was attended by prominent people from the internationally recognized academic and scientific community, as well as representatives of public authorities and the Romanian business environment.

In the Center for gene and cell therapies in cancer treatment - OncoGen the workshop was held Personalized medicine – innovative approaches in prevention, diagnosis and therapy.

The workshop was coordinated by:
Prof. Dr. Virgil Păunescu, OncoGen Coordinator, Victor Babeș University of Medicine and Pharmacy

Description of the Workshop:
Personalised medicine is a very promising field and has recently led to innovative developments in the treatment of many pathologies, ensuring access to innovative, sustainable and high-quality healthcare. This approach can deliver major health outcomes, both through prevention and patient-centred care tailored to individual needs. The 21st century vision of personalised medicine is to deliver "the right medicine, in the right dose at the right time to the right patient". (Sadée W and Dai Z, 2005). The effective application of PM relies heavily on the availability of rigorous diagnostic tools that allow optimal selection of the therapeutic product to improve patient outcomes. Personalized medicine does not attempt to establish new drugs for patients, but to stratify individuals into subpopulations that vary in their response to a therapeutic agent for their specific disease. However, the processes of generating new knowledge, translating it into clinical applications and accelerating the adoption of innovation are complex and time-consuming, involving the cooperation of multiple stakeholders. There is a need to facilitate the integration of technological innovations (omics technologies, artificial intelligence, machine learning) and to ensure a rapid and efficient implementation of personalised medicine on a large scale. Considering the many emerging collaborations and networks, medicine will need to overcome challenges in data collection and be better equipped to address these challenges through the use of new technologies such as telemedicine and wearable devices and the adoption of precision medicine, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). AI is based on the application of computers that mimic human cognition and are able to learn, think and make decisions or take action at much faster speeds than humans are capable. It includes the application of machine learning, a form of AI that uses neural networks and deep learning with the use of a statistical technique that learns through training models with data. AI has been applied in medicine for various purposes, including cancer detection and staging.

Precision medicine has the potential to meet the requirement to improve health outcomes by reducing healthcare costs, cost and development time for new therapeutics. The new paradigm of medicine involves essential revolutions in policy and regulation, an understanding of diseases at the molecular level, and the mobilization of researchers to find innovative diagnostic and therapeutic methods.

To this end, the creation of research and innovation networks with a focus on personalised medicine represents a unique strategic opportunity to bring together stakeholders, create synergies and stimulate efforts to accelerate the evolution of healthcare towards personalised medicine.

The objective of the workshop is to present the "state of the art" in personalized medicine and to explore the challenges in research and innovation in order to lead to the promotion of this field for the benefit of patients and citizens.

The workshop will bring together a critical mass of experts in the field of personalized medicine from the country and the Diaspora, with the aim of an intense exchange of information and the establishment of a network of research and innovation systems dedicated to personalized medicine that will provide socio-economic evidence on the feasibility of personalized medical approaches for its adoption by sustainable health systems.

List of participants:

  • Alexander Dasu, Skandion Clinic, Swedish National Proton Center, Uppsala, Sweden – Individualized assessment of the biological effectiveness of protons – clinical implications in proton radiotherapy
  •  ‍Irina-Roxana Deleanu, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria – Stem cells – from neuropathological modeling to specific therapies
  • Anica Dricu, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Craiova – Personalized therapy in brain tumors: failed promise or delayed promise?
  • Monica Neagu, INCD Victor Babeș Bucharest – Biological events of the normal melanocyte transformed into a neoplastic melanoma - nodal points in personalized medicine
  • Tudor Ionel Oprea, Translational Informatics Division, Department of Internal Medicine, UNM School of Medicine, Albuquerque NM USA – Can humans learn from machines in drug discovery?
  • Carmen Panaitescu, Victor Babeș University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timișoara – Molecular diagnostics – a step forward towards personalized medicine in allergies
  • Ruslan Baltaga, "Nicolae Testemițanu" State University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Chisinau, Moldova - Personalized medicine. Is anesthesia a concern?
  • Florina Bojin, OncoGen, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Victor Babeș Timișoara – Prevention, diagnosis and personalized treatment in solid tumors – Focus on tumor microenvironment
  • Virgil Paunescu, OncGen Coordinator, Victor Babeș University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timișoara – Personalized vaccines in immuno-oncology
  • Dan Simionescu, Clemson University, USA – Tissue engineering technologies for heart valve regeneration
  •  Tudor Suciu, Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Germany – Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The "inflammaging" hypothesis and senescent cells
  • Cristiana Tănase, INCD Victor Babeș Bucharest – Multi-omics approaches in personalized medicine, present and future
  • Iuliana Toma-Dasu, Stockholm University, Karolinska Institutet – Individualization of photon radiotherapy based on functional imaging
  • Stefan Constantinescu, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Brussels and Oxford, de Duve Institute, UC Louvain Brussels, Belgium, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK) – Personalized medicine in hematology: perspectives