Allergic diseases and asthma pose an important and increasing problem for Europe. European research groups already make a major contribution to studies of the causes and management of these conditions. Initiatives from the European Commission have led to increasing collaboration within Europe, but there is still a lack of permanent structures and there are relatively poor links between disciplines. <P>A network of excellence (NoE) will be the optimal answer to these problems. GA²LEN (Global Allergy and Asthma European Network) is a NoE of 25 leading European teams, the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) and a patient's organisation (EFA). <P>The objective is to establish an internationally competitive network, to enhance the quality an d relevance of research, address all aspects of the disease, and eventually to decrease the burden of allergy and asthma throughout Europe. The network will bring together epidemiological, basic and clinical researchers carefully considering ethical and ge nder issues. It will investigate allergy and asthma across the life course, including intra-uterine life and foeto- maternal interface; interaction between genetic and environmental factors in early life, translation of allergic sensitisation into disease, and, persistence of the disease. This will allow development of novel biomarkers, treatments and preventive strategies. GA²LEN will create a permanent and durable structure that will maximize the scientific contribution of Europe to this area. The network will accelerate the application of research results to clinical practice, patients' needs and policy development, as well as promoting training and integration between public and private sectors.
<P>For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/food_quality/projects/002_en.ht…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> Web site.