MEL-PLEX Partner Danish Cancer Society Research Center award prestigious LEO Foundation funding

MEL-PLEX partner Prof Francesco Cecconi  and his team at the Danish Cancer Society Research Center was awarded DKK 3,820,000.00 (~ €515,000.00) over the next 3 years to support the project entitled “The pro-autophagic tumor suppressor AMBRA1 as a novel therapeutic target for melanoma”.

The LEO foundation stated that:

The LEO Foundation has supported this project in appreciation of the fact that malignant melanoma has the highest death toll among skin cancer. 

If and when melanoma is not diagnosed and treated early, the cancer may develop and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes harder to treat and potentially fatal. Therefore, work to find new therapeutic targets for this particular aggressive cancer type is of extreme importance.

Prof. Francesco Cecconi and his team have extensive and comprehensive expertise on the molecular ‘switch’ AMBRA1, believed to play a significant role in the body’s own defense against diseases such as cancer.

Prof. Cecconi, as an example, was the first to identify the AMBRA1 gene and has been unraveling its multiple functions over the last 10 years. In particular, he has already demonstrated AMBRA1 playing a role as tumor suppressor in vivo, and preliminary data indicates the gene’s supposed role as a therapeutic target in cancer. Very intriguingly, most AMBRA1 mutations were found in melanoma patients.

The LEO Foundation finds this project to be innovative and commends its multidisciplinary approach, putting together different fields of research ranging from cell biology, mouse genetics, biophysics, computational biology and CRISPR/Cas9 technology.

Additional information can be found here.

MEL-PLEX network invited to talk at first EASyM meeting

The MEL-PLEX Network Coordinator Prof Markus Rehm was invited to talk about the programme at the first meeting of the European Association of Systems Medicine (EASyM).

The European Association of System Medicine (EASyM) is the implementation of Systems Medicine in European clinical research and healthcare. EASyM has been initiated by the European  FP7-funded Coordinating Action Systems Medicine (CASyM).  EASyM is a charitable association open to everyone with an interest in personalised medicine and systems medicine. 

EASyM was founded on 30th September 2015 in Brussels by 27 medical doctors, researchers and health care stakeholders from 12 different countries.

The meeting will take place in Berlin on October 26th-28th, 2016. More information can be found here.

MEL-PLEX ITN presentation during EU Presidency conference

The “Future of the Doctorate” conference organised by the European Commission in Riga during the EU Presidency in Latvia has attracted scientists and policy makers from Europe and abroad. The MEL-PLEX ITN, represented by Prof Thomas Sauter (Chair of the Training Committee) and Dr Isabela Aparicio (Programme Manager) was invited to contribute with a talk about the challenges and opportunities during the implementation of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions training networks. Prof Sauter delivered a talk emphasizing our implementation strategies and challenges we are overcoming.