Dra. Jana Selent


The OBELISK project, coordinated by Jana Selent, will receive funding from the Horizon Europe programme of the European Union

Press Release IMIM 07/02/2023

The OBELISK project, led by the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale in France, seeks to cut the roots of the obesity epidemic in Europe, starting with children. On the continent it has gone from an obesity rate in late adolescence of 6% in 1980 to a 32% rate. This has lasting effects on the prevalence of serious obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as premature death and disability. The IMIM-Hospital del Mar is one of the centers that will participate in the study, and the only one coming from the state.

OBELISK will receive EUR 10 million for its development. Its aim is to reduce by 35% the number of obese children who end up being obese in adulthood. To do so, a number of specific objectives are set. Among them, identifying genes linked to childhood obesity to have additional pharmacological targets.

Work will also be done to generate advances in molecular mechanisms linked to this pathology and to develop and exploit tools that facilitate their early prevention and treatment. A real-life clinical study of an existing drug will be carried out to reverse obesity in people with mutations who predispose to suffer it seriously and early. Finally, the results obtained will be exploited and best practices for prevention and treatment will be disseminated by implementing educational programmes and making proposals to legislators.

The IMIM- Hospital del Mar participates in the project through the G-protein coupled drug discovery group (GPCR) research group, coordinated by Dr. Jana Selent, which will study genetic variations related to obesity in children. "The aim is to contribute to a better understanding of the molecular mechanism involved and its functional impact. To do so, we will use computational simulations that will generate useful data to generate innovative strategies for the treatment of obesity", Dr Selent points out. The funding for the Horizon Europe programme will be close to 200.000 euros. 

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