A diverse variety of medical or lifestyle conditions lead to a progressive loss of muscle force by functionally impairing myofibril contractility and causing ultimately myofibril loss. Major underlying risk factors of chronic muscle force loss are ageing, inactive lifestyles, and unbalanced nutrition. Together, these factors are predicted to lead to an endemic incidence of muscle weakness both in the developed countries. Clinical research on the mechanisms involved requires a multidisciplinary approach covering aspects of ageing, metabolism, and on the humoral cross-talk of muscle with other key organs including heart, liver, kidney, and lung. To achieve this, academic and SME-based European groups with complementary expertise in inter-organ-cross-talk during stress-induced secondary myopathies and early muscle disease detection, will team-up with leading teams in the South Africa and U.S. with cutting-edge expertise in the regulation of muscle's regenerative capacities and the translation of muscle research into therapeutic interventions. To implement our joint research program, research training and innovation, both early stage and advanced researchers will be seconded from the academic teams to these SMEs and vice versa. Thereby, this RISE scheme will establish a long-term collaborative University-SME driven translational innovative research program innovation in our interdisciplinary field of growing socioeconomic medical importance.

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Work Packages

Work Package Number 1: Nerve & Muscle

Lead Beneficiary: UHEI, Dr. Siegfried Labeit

Contributors: MYOMEDIX, Tzartos, SU, UF, EMBL, BME, ZI

Work Package Number 2: Regulation of Muscle Catabolism

Lead Beneficiary: VIMM, Dr. Marco Sandri

Contributors: VIMM, BME, UF, SU, DLD, MYOMEDIX,Tzartos, UTH,EMBL

Work Package Number 3: Kidney & Muscle

Lead Beneficiary: MARJON, Dr. Christina Karatzaferi

Contributors: SU, BME, UTH, Tzartos, KSL

Work Package Number 4: Diaphragm & Ventilation

Lead Beneficiary: VUmc, Dr. Coen Ottenheijm

Contributors: DLD, MYOMEDIX, VUmc, UF

Work Package Number 5: Biomarkers in Muscle stress

Lead Beneficiary: UoK, Dr. Olga Mayans

Contributors: MYOMEDIX,Tzartos, ZI, UHEI, DLD, UF, KSL, MARJON

Work Package Number 6: Therapeutic relieve from Muscle Stress

Lead Beneficiary: GENETHON, Dr. Isabelle Richard

Contributors: MYOMEDIX, UHEI, SU, UF,  KSL 

Work Package Number 7: Management, administration and networking

Lead Beneficiary: MARJON, Dr. Christina Karatzaferi.

Contributors: UHEI, DLD, MYOMEDIX, Tzartos, UF, BME, UoK, UTH, VUmc, VIMM

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We expect an improvement in health care by the early detection of biomarkers and improved monitoring. Beyond the specific work packages, we expect Europe’s Research and Innovation potential to benefit from this network by developing research results translated into IP generation and products within the participating five SMEs.


1. Understand the crosstalk between skeletal muscle & other organ systems in disease.

2. Identify potential biomarkers (including autoantibodies) in mammalian models for detecting early loss of muscle function.

3. Develop diagnostic procedures for detecting muscle pathology (mass and function).

4. Test biomarker validity in local or European studies or set the basis for follow-up work.

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