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Multiomics – a game changer in atherosclerotic disease

LIH advocates for a change in the management of atherosclerotic disease

10 October 2023 3minutes

LIH researchers Dr Yvan Devaux, co-chair of the AtheroNET COST Action consortium, and Dr Miron Sopic, Marie Sklodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow, champion a paradigm shift in the way atherosclerotic disease is diagnosed and treated.

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (ASCVD) affect the heart and the blood vessels . They are caused by a build-up of fat and cholesterol on the wall of arteries. ASCVDs are a leading cause of deaths worldwide. Multiple risk factors have been identified, such as diabetes, unhealthy lifestyle and diet, smoking, age, gender and genetic background.

By identifying and addressing these risks, it is possible to introduce measures to help each patient live a longer and healthier life. Currently, “Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation 2” or SCORE2 is used to assess an individual’s risk. However, SCORE2 relies on a limited set of traditional risk factors, potentially neglecting under-represented populations.

Luxembourg Institute of Health researchers Dr Yvan Devaux and Dr Miron Sopic of the Cardiovascular Research Unit of the Department of Precision Health, instead advocate for a more holistic way of looking at disease and patient management: a multiomics approach. This method uses different tools to study multiple aspects of ASCVD at the same time, as we would when looking at a puzzle from many different angles to see the whole picture. “Multiomics approaches are pivotal in understanding ASCVD and offer promising preventive and therapeutic strategies beyond traditional risk factors,” explains Dr Devaux. Multiomic approaches analyse several biological entities, from genes (genomics) to RNAs (transcriptomics), proteins (proteomics) and metabolites (metabolomics).

In a recent ‘Opinion’ publication, Dr Devaux’s team attempt to unravel the complex pathological mechanisms beyond ASCVD, discussing the challenges and providing recommendations that could lead to the discovery of novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets to improve ASCVD management in a personalized manner. But for this to happen, large-scale collaborative efforts are essential in order to gather the complementary  expertise needed to address this multifactorial disease, hence the AtheroNET COST Action network.

By using artificial intelligence and machine learning approaches, it is possible to integrate multiple ‘omics and clinical data sets into tools that can be utilized for the development of personalized diagnostic and therapeutic approaches,

concludes Dr Sopic.

The publication is a first product of the AtheroNET COST Action consortium, which was built following the success of the past EU-CardioRNA COST Action. It is published under the full title: “Multiomics tools for improved atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease management,” in the flagship Review Journal “Trends in Molecular Medicine” from the Cell publishing group.

Funding and collaborations

The AtheroNET COST Action CA21253 is supported by COST (Cooperation in Science and Technology.  M.S. is supported by the European Union (HORIZON-MSCA-2021-SE-01-01 – MSCA Staff Exchanges 2021 CardioSCOPE 101086397, HORIZON-MSCA-2021-PF- MAACS 101064175).Y. D. has received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 project COVIRNA (grant agreement # 101016072), the National Research Fund (grants # C14/BM/8225223, C17/BM/11613033 and COVID-19/2020-1/14719577/miRCOVID), the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, and the Heart Foundation-Daniel Wagner of Luxembourg.

Scientific Contact

  • Yvan
    Group Leader Cardiovascular Research Unit

    Department of Precision Health



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