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EXPERT was an interdisciplinary 3-year program involving 6 European nations exploiting the power of RNA biology to fight age-related heart failure (HF). EXPERT will identify pathways characteristic of age-related HF and will abandon the traditional focus on protein-coding genes, instead exploring the non-coding RNA (ncRNA)-mediated regulatory pathways of the human genome. EXPERT uses innovative in vitro/in vivo genetic models, ncRNA gender-specific diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, and clinical/population-based cohorts to explore age-related HF. The project will lead to novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for treatment of HF in the elderly.

EXPERT will a) validate pathways of pathologic cardiac ageing to develop therapeutic ncRNA-based strategies, b) identify an age-specific pattern of circulating ncRNA to predict future cardiac events/death.


The specific objectives were to:

  • Generate a cell-type specific ncRNA blueprint of the ageing heart.

  • Study ncRNA regulation in cardiac ageing upon interference with cardiac stress leading to HF.

  • Validate important age-related cardiovascular pathways by testing ncRNA interventions in small and large animal models.

  • Define the predictive value of circulating age-related ncRNA patterns in clinical and population-based cohorts.


To reach these objectives was performed:

Experimental studies in existing and/or de novo-generated in vitro/in vivo models of ageing.

Clinical studies, stratifying the risk of developing cardiac events and death, in available large-scale population- and patient-based cohorts.



(i)  Dr. Thomas THUM, Hannover Medical School, GERMANY;

(ii) Dr. Leon DE WINDT, Maastricht University, NETHERLANDS;

(iii) Dr. Gianluigi CONDORELLI, Humanitas Research Hospital, Milan, ITALY;

(iv) Dr. Valentin FUSTER and Dr. Vicente ANDRES, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC), Madrid, SPAIN;

(v) Dr. Faiez ZANNAD, University of Lorraine, Inserm-CHU of Nancy, FRANCE;

(vi) Dr.  Alexandrina BURLACU, Institute of Cellular Biology and Pathology “Nicolae Simionescu”, Bucharest, ROMANIA.

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