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Work Packages

Obelisk has a five-year work plan comprising eight interconnected work packages (WPs).

WP1 Cohorts & Trajectories

Implementation of a harmonised and FAIR repertoire of longitudinal cohorts for trajectory analysis, multi-omics, and economics.

WP1 combines data management and longitudinal modelling to:

  • Guide and organise FAIR* data management from cohorts and other relevant clinical studies to support harmonisation and comparability for the study of childhood obesity trajectories.

  • Provide life course and micro-simulation models that inform the long-term health and economic consequences of childhood obesity trajectories. The epidemiological and economic forecasting will include counterfactual components to inform on the impact of childhood precision medicine throughout life.
*FAIR data meet the principles of Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability.

WP1 Objectives:

  • Manage Obelisk data and expand a European catalogue of longitudinal cohorts and clinical studies, focusing on childhood obesity and incorporating biological, social, economic, and health-related variables.
  • Harmonise methods of developing child growth trajectories by sex and ethnicity using repeated height, weight, and body composition measures from birth onwards.
  • Using the data collected from the first objective and the trajectories derived from the second objective, we will apply a life course approach that blends econometrics and epidemiological methods for causal modelling to identify the health and economic costs associated with childhood obesity at different stages of life, based on the polygenic and socioeconomic risk at birth.
  • Utilising data from the first objective and the trajectories derived from the second objective, use dynamic micro-simulation models to propose different preventive scenarios for public health and policy planning.

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WP2 Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) & Policies

ELSI of predictive models for intervening on childhood obesity.

WP2 will support the ethical development and implementation of preventive interventions for childhood obesity.

WP2 Objectives:

  • Integrate the consideration of ethical issues throughout the duration of the project.
  • Undertake a literature and policy review to systematically identify ELSI regarding preventative measures for childhood obesity and policy-based options.
  • Explore critical stakeholders’ views and experiences regarding preventative measures for childhood obesity.
  • Develop ethical recommendations as an ELSI-specific policy brief.

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WP3 Transomic Analyses & AI

Pathogenic pathways and molecular/environmental interactions. Implementation of predictive models for obesity.

WP3 aims to:

  • Develop and use multi-omics analyses to provide novel insights into the complex pathogenic basis of childhood obesity, including sex/environmental interactions.

  • Deliver accurate and cost-efficient tools to predict childhood obesity at neonatal/infancy ages.

WP3 Objectives:

  • Produce and integrate multi-omics data in Obelisk cohorts.
  • Identify pathogenic pathways related to childhood obesity and characterise these clusters in humans.
  • Evaluate the causal impact of obesity risk factors.
  • Dissect the molecular mechanisms involved in these pathways using preclinical models.
  • Develop a tool (COBRISC: Childhood Obesity Risk Score) which can predict obesity development in children for use in clinical practice.

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WP4 New Genes

Exploration of genetic aetiologies of childhood obesity & the discovery of novel rare genetic forms of obesity.

WP4 aims to investigate the genetic aetiologies in individuals with obesity who are participating in the Obelisk interventions (WP5). Through this research, we can uncover new and uncommon genetic types of obesity, which could potentially reveal new targets for drug development.

WP4 Objectives:

  • Perform whole-exome sequencing data in all trial participants with obesity recruited in WP5.
  • Perform molecular diagnosis using the gold-standard guidelines.
  • Perform precision medicine in the carriers of pathogenic mutations in actionable genes.
  • Identify new genes involved in monogenic obesity and decipher their functional role.

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WP5 4P Strategies for Children with Obesity

(Prediction, Prevention, Precision, and Participation)

WP5 will demonstrate the safety and efficacy of novel approaches for preventing childhood obesity (primary prevention) or providing care to children and adolescents with obesity (secondary prevention). This will highlight novel approaches that can be implemented to achieve these objectives.

WP5 Objectives:

  • Demonstrate the safety and efficacy of a targeted prevention programme in decreasing the prevalence of obesity in preschool children and school-age children by providing comprehensive support and follow-up care from infancy to age 10. The focus will be on children who are at risk of developing obesity, as determined by the COBRISC score.
  • Demonstrate the safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a programme designed to treat obesity, reduce perceived stigma related to obesity, and improve compliance with treatment follow-up among teenagers from low-income families. The programme involves remote hip-hop group sessions that culminate in the creation and sharing of music videos by the group. Alternatively, it may include a weekly supply of individually tailored healthy foods and recipes for the patient's family, along with the hip-hop element.
  • Demonstrate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of treating patients with severe, early-onset monogenic obesity with the GLP-1 agonist semaglutide.

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WP6 Dissemination, Exploitation & Education

WP6 aims to maximise the impact of Obelisk by implementing an integrated communication strategy, disseminating results effectively, and translating research into key exploitable outcomes. This includes developing new evidence-based guidelines for policymakers to use.

WP6 Objectives:

  • Create and implement a plan for disseminating and exploiting the results of Obelisk.
  • Establish and execute the communication strategy of Obelisk, including creating key messages and tools.
  • Educate and share information to translate and apply the results.
  • Publish evidence-based policy guidelines.
  • Manage and implement the exploitation of Obelisk results.

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WP7 Management

The overall objective of WP7 is to provide efficient management and coordination of the project and the consortium and to ensure the progress of the project towards its planned objectives.

WP7 Objectives:

  • To provide efficient management and administration of the project, whilst fulfilling all legal requirements.
  • To act as the interface between Obelisk and the European Commission, and establish a functional management structure to ensure fruitful interaction among the partners, efficient communication, and smooth reporting.
  • To provide assistance and advice to the project partners regarding administration and reporting.
  • To develop and maintain the Data Management Plan.

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WP8 Ethics

The objective is to ensure compliance with the 'ethics requirements' set out in this work package.

WP8 Lead:

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