BLUEPRINT - A BLUEPRINT of Haematopoietic Epigenomes

BLUEPRINT is a large-scale research project receiving close to 30 million euro funding from the EU. 42 leading European universities, research institutes and industry entrepreneurs participate in what is one of the two first so-called high impact research initiatives that received funding from the EU. The BLUEPRINT consortium has been formed with the aim to further the understanding of how genes are activated or repressed in both healthy and diseased human cells. BLUEPRINT has focussed on distinct types of haematopoietic cells from healthy individuals and on their malignant leukaemic counterparts. It generated at least 100 reference epigenomes and studied them to advance and exploit knowledge of the underlying biological processes and mechanisms in health and disease. The project contributed to the overall objective of the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC). Reference epigenomes were generated using state-of-the-art technologies from highly purified cells for a comprehensive set of epigenetic marks in accordance with quality standards set by IHEC.
 
This resource-generating activity was complemented by hypothesis-driven research into blood-based diseases, including common leukaemias and autoimmune disease (Type 1 Diabetes), by discovery and validation of epigenetic markers for diagnostic use and by epigenetic target identification. Since epigenetic changes are reversible, they can be targets for the development of novel and more individualised medical treatments.
 
The involvement of innovative companies energized epigenomic research in the private sector by the development of smart technologies for better diagnostic tests and by identifying new targets for compounds. Thus the results of the BLUEPRINT project may lead to targeted diagnostics, new treatments and preventive measures for specific diseases in individual patients, an approach known as 'personalised medicine'.
 
The BLUEPRINT project started October 1, 2011 and finished September 30, 2016.
BLUEPRINT received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 282510.

Project coordinator:
Prof.dr. Henk Stunnenberg, Department of Molecular Biology
Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands