More than 5 Million Euros for Research into Human Measurement Models

Better predictive health research and less dependency on animal experiments – that is the ultimate aim of the six research projects that can now start. With a boost of more than 5 million euros, researchers and the partners involved will work on innovative measurement methods to better understand and treat heart, brain and eye diseases, for example.

The projects have received funding within the research programme Human Measurement Models 2.0. The focus of these public-private partnerships is the development of human measurement models for research into the treatment and/or prevention of diseases. It is expected that research models based on human material, such as cells and tissues, or computer models based on human data, will better approximate the situation in humans than laboratory animal models. A research model can be applied faster and more specifically in clinical practice, the more it resembles processes in the human body.


The six projects awarded funding will set to work on various technologies and diseases. For example, in one project, an eye-on-a-chip will be developed to better understand eye diseases and to test treatments. In another project, a computer model will be produced to gain a clearer picture of brain diseases. A third project will develop a measurement method to detail the communication between the brain and organs like the bladder, which should lead to new treatments for incontinence. An overview of the projects awarded funding is given below. A total of 11 research institutions, 19 companies and 8 not-for-profit organisations are involved in the projects.

Project Human measurement models

The Partnership programme Human measurement models was initiated to accelerate the development of human measurement models through effective collaboration between academic researchers and researchers from industry. The first funding round within this programme started in 2019. The six projects now awarded funding fall under the second funding round, Human Measurement Models 2.0: for health research on disease and prevention. Each model developed in this programme must be applicable to multiple diseases and have an impact on multiple patient groups. This Partnership programme is funded by the Association of Collaborating Health Foundations (SGF) with a PPP allowance made available by Health~Holland (Top Sector Life Sciences & Health), and by ZonMw and NWO Domain AES, which is coordinating this round.

Projects awarded funding (in order of project number)

  • Proof-of-concept for a human heart model to test patient-specific therapy-responsiveness (PROPER-THERAPY) - J. van der Velden, PhD, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc (18953)
  • Interoceptive Processing Associated with Bladder Control: Mind the Gap (IP-ABC study) - prof. dr. G.A. van Koeveringe, Maastricht University (18954)
  • Non-invasive continuous gut microbial fermentation measurement for health and disease - prof. dr. E. Blaak, Maastricht University (18956)
  • CONNECT: Connecting the Blood-Brain Barrier to Cerebral Organoids - prof. dr. E.M. Hol, University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) (18957)
  • Retina-on-chip: Modeling and Treating Eye Diseases in a Dish (RoC-ME) - A. Garanto, PhD, Radboudumc (18958)
  • Virtual Cerebrovascular Responses: modeling the human cortical vasculature to understand brain function in health and disease - Natalia Petridou, University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) (18969)
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