LIH is coordinating the doctoral research and training programme CANBIO in oncology, supported by the PRIDE funding scheme of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR). On 19th and 20th October 2017, all PhD candidates of CANBIO, their supervisors and additional invited researchers from the cancer research community in Luxembourg met at the first CANBIO retreat in the “Jardin de l’Orangerie” in Mondorf-les-Bains to exchange about the programme.
CANBIO provides state-of-the-art training in cancer biology and addresses the increasingly important clinical problem of tumour progression and relapse. It tackles the major challenges of drug resistance and tumour escape from the immune system with the aim to develop more effective anti-cancer strategies. Thereby, it specifically focuses on aspects of the complexity and genetic heterogeneity of tumours, how tumour cells misuse the immune system to their own advantage and how therapy-induced changes in the tumour microenvironment affect tumour cells and induce resistance.
The CANBIO retreat, gathering 40 people, served as an official kick-off event for the doctoral research and training programme which started one year ago and for which most of the PhD candidates for the planned 18 research projects have now been hired. The PhD candidates had the opportunity to present their projects and first results in 25-min-presentations. Those who just newly arrived in Luxembourg gave a 1-min-pitch on their background and future project topic.
‘This is the first event of its kind uniting most of the local cancer research community’, emphasises Prof Simone Niclou, CANBIO coordinator and Head of the NorLux Neuro-Oncology Laboratory at LIH’s Department of Oncology. ‘It allowed to give an overview on all the PhD projects and how they are linked to each other. For the doctoral candidates it was also an occasion to get to know each other better and interact scientifically and socially. Based on the excellent feedback from the participants, we will for sure reiterate an event of a similar format next year. The PRIDE CANBIO program is a great opportunity to foster collaborative research within the cancer research community in Luxembourg.’
CANBIO is a joint programme running for 6.5 years between LIH’s Department of Oncology, the Life Sciences Research Unit of the University of Luxembourg and the “Laboratoire national de santé”. Several projects involve external academic collaborations, and the PhD candidates can be affiliated with either the University of Luxembourg, the University Paris-Saclay, France, or the University of Bergen, Norway.
Prof Simone Niclou, CANBIO coordinator, welcoming the retreat participants
Dinner at a restaurant of Domaine Thermal, Mondorf-les-Bains
Group picture - CANBIO retreat