Ivo Gut will lead RD-Connect as it transitions from its original EU project funding to new funding sources that will sustain key components well into the next decade.

25 January 2018.- The RD-Connect coordination office announced yesterday that Dr Ivo Gut from the Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CNAG-CRG) in Barcelona will serve as RD-Connect’s new scientific coordinator. Ivo takes over the coordination role from Dr Hanns Lochmüller, who has moved on from his position at Newcastle University. Ivo will lead RD-Connect as it transitions from its original EU project funding to new funding sources that will sustain key components well into the next decade. This change is being implemented following a unanimous vote by the project’s Executive Management Committee and Governing Board. The management team at Newcastle University, led by project manager Libby Wood, remain in charge of the day-to-day administrative activities and will work closely with the new scientific coordinator and the Barcelona team. The change in coordination will now be submitted to the European Commission as an amendment for final validation.


Libby said: “RD-Connect’s Executive Management Committee have given their full support to Ivo and agree he is the best person to take on the scientific coordination thanks to the central role CNAG-CRG plays in RD-Connect through its hosting of the Genome-Phenome Analysis Platform and the strong team he has built up in Barcelona under Bioinformatics Unit head Dr Sergi Beltran. It’s great news that Ivo’s new role has been confirmed by the Governing Board vote and can go forward for validation by the EC. We can be sure the project’s scientific direction is in safe hands as we look to the future.”


Ivo said: “Hanns Lochmüller has done a formidable job at coordinating RD-Connect up until now. Our ambition is to coordinate the remaining 10 months of the RD-Connect project correctly with the help of the Executive Management Committee and bring RD-Connect’s initial funding run to the positive conclusion it merits. We will maintain the coordination office in Newcastle with the current team. The remaining deliverables will be requested, assembled and delivered on time, and the final report prepared. Now that RD-Connect is being recognised in the wider community, we need to make sure we capitalise on the momentum Hanns’s coordination has given us, and in the coming months we will intensify the dissemination of the RD-Connect project to interested parties (clinicians, scientists, patient organizations and pharmaceutical industry). We will also work on transitioning the RD-Connect legacy to upcoming projects and creating a sustained resource for the scientific, clinical, and patient community.”


Hanns said: “RD-Connect is more than just an EU-funded project. Over the last five years, RD-Connect has built a community of patients, clinicians, researchers and bioinformaticians in Europe and beyond, and has advanced collaboration and data sharing to facilitate and accelerate research for rare diseases. RD-Connect is considered a flagship project and success story by our funders, the European Commission, and I am deeply thankful to all staff, partners and collaborators for their dedication and hard work to improve diagnosis and therapies for rare disease patients in line with the IRDiRC agenda. I am very pleased that Ivo Gut has taken on the challenge to lead RD-Connect into the next decade and that he has received the best possible endorsement from our partners.”


Go to the RD-Connect website