29 November 2019

Oncode Institute invests 4 million euros in new technology for cancer research in the Netherlands

Elize Brolsma

Elize Brolsma

Elize is part of Oncode’s communication team. She has over 10 years of experience in the com-munication industry, both for commercial and non-profit organisations. After obtaining her bache-lor and master degree in communication at Utrecht University, Elize worked as a communication professional at a research institute, PR agency, law firm and internet company. She has a strong focus on external communications and Public Relations. At Oncode - together with her colleagues - Elize produces the monthly newsletters for Oncode Investigators & Researchers and the Oncode digital magazine. She publishes content for the Oncode website and is responsible for all social media channels. She enjoys discussing science with researchers and support them in their outreach.

Oncode Institute invests 4 million euros in unique, state-of-the-art technology for cancer research. Five projects in the field of Single Cell protein measurements and DNA sequencing, Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning amongst others, have been awarded within the Infrastructure & Technologies Programme. These technologies will not only become available for the twelve institutes that are affiliated with Oncode Institute but will also be made available to the wider research community in the Netherlands.

Geert Kops, Scientific Director of Oncode Institute, explains: “The goal of Oncode Institute is to translate the results of ground-breaking fundamental research into the clinic faster, in order to improve the chances of cancer patients. Instead of competition between scientists, Oncode encourages collaboration. Investing in new technologies - which can be used by various researchers and institutions and that were previously unavailable in the Netherlands - is one of the ways that Oncode wants to contribute to breakthroughs in cancer research.”

The overview of the approved projects is as follows:

Oncode single-cell (epi) genome sequencing facility
Main applicant: Alexander van Oudenaarden, Hubrecht Institute
Goal: Setting up a facility for DNA analysis at the level of individual cells, both for genomic DNA sequencing as well as epigenetic measurements.

Oncode Single cell proteomics facility
Main applicant: Boudewijn Burgering, UMC Utrecht
Goal: Setting up a facility to measure proteins in individual cells with state-of-the-art protein mass spectrometry.

Oncode GPU infrastructure to enable Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning applications
Main applicants: Anastassis Perrakis, NKI; Jeroen de Ridder, UMC Utrecht and Lude Franke, UMC Groningen
Goal: Research is making more and more use of large and complex data sets that require artificial intelligence for the analysis. With this application, a GPU cluster to be used by researchers is being realized.

Oncode 3D orbital tracking imaging
Main applicant: Tineke Lenstra, NKI
Goal: Microscope with which the area of ​​interest in a cell can be selected and followed in 3D. With this technology the location of a specific molecule can be followed in time.

Oncode platform for clinical colorectal cancer samples
Main applicant: Louis Vermeulen, Amsterdam UMC
Goal: Set up an online platform of all available materials (tissue, blood, residual material) from clinical studies in the field of colorectal cancer that can be used for research purposes. The development of this platform will be completed together with the Prospective National CRC cohort (PLCRC).

Other News

Oncode PEP4
(Future) researchers and patients join forces to make true impact
For the second year in a row, Oncode’s Patient Engagement Programme had the opportunity to contribute to the bachelor course ‘Eye for Impact’ for biomedical sciences students at University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU). A unique example of how to give substance to patient engagement in basic research. Oncode researchers and patient representatives participated in a series of lectures and interactive sessions, where the students experienced first-hand how patients and researchers can partner up.
PeterThijssen
Jos Jonkers Daniel Zingg website
Unravelling genetic mechanism behind tumor formation can improve targeted treatment
New research by the group of Jos Jonkers explains variation in treatment response to FGFR2 inhibitors and provides a way to improve targeted therapy for cancer patients. Their work highlights the importance of analyzing the functional consequences of genetic variants found in tumors.
PeterThijssen
2
Chemotherapy speeds up DNA-level aging
Chemotherapy is an important part of treatment for children with cancer, contributing to the recovery of more and more children. Childhood cancer survivors do sometimes experience late effects from their treatment, including a higher risk of developing a second cancer. That risk is very small, but about five to six times greater than in the ‘normal’ population. In new research, published in Cancer Discovery, the team of Oncode Investigator Ruben Van Boxtel (Princess Máxima Center) shows that accelerated DNA aging turns out to be the main cause of the harmful effect of chemotherapy treatment.
PeterThijssen