28 June 2019

Oncode’s 1st Masterclass Day

Oncode’s first masterclass day was all about sharing insights on science and connecting the research community.

Elize Brolsma

Introducing the Oncode Drug repurposing compound Library

Oncode’s first masterclass day was all about sharing insights on science and connecting the research community. We kicked off with an interactive session on the Oncode compound library and the Drug repurposing programme. Drug repurposing has emerged as an effective approach for the rapid identification of known drugs and compounds to treat new indications, holding the promise of rapid clinical impact at a far lower cost than de novo drug development. Oncode is setting up a Drug Repurposing Programme to contribute to its affordable healthcare programme. During the Masterclass, the drug repurposing compound library was introduced which has been specifically purchased for the Oncode community. Four experts on drug discovery and compound screening presented their vision and expertise on drug repurposing and screening. Paul Geurlink (LUMC), Roderick Beijersbergen (NKI) and Rene Overmeer (HUB), presented various approaches to drug screening ranging from organoid screens, flow cytometry-based assays to high content screens. Elliot Mock (LUMC) discussed how you can take screening results to the next level.

Fairly Open Science

After lunch, the plenary session on Fairly Open Sciencewas chaired by Bas van Steensel, was kicked off by Jasmin Böhmer (Jeroen de Ridder Lab, UMCU). Jasmin explained how data stewardship is implemented by the Centre for Molecular Medicine, providing support and advice are given for UMCU projects, as well as full involvement in collaborative projects (e.g. the DTL Data Steward Interest Group and ZonMw’s project Defining the profession of Data Stewards).

Judith Boer (Monique den Boer Lab, Prinses Máxima Center) shared her insights on the approach taken by the PMC to practically implement FAIR data stewardship across the organisation. The availability of dedicated data stewards for every research group is an important part of the strategy. This practical approach shows that if best practices and processes are in place, following good stewardship is relatively easy. Monique den Boer has recently been awarded the ZonMW Open Science Impuls for the responsive, transparent and responsible way of performing research by her research group.

Bas van Steensel closed the session with his vision on Open Science. Through a lively discussion, he pointed out that researchers have the societal responsibility to make sure the experimental protocols and (positive and negative) results of their research are made available as early as possible to the wider research community. This leads to more transparency and accountability, as well as higher quality and recognition of the research undertaken. You can find more advice from Bas in this interview.

Potential applications of organoid technology

During the last interactive session of the day, Oncode scientists shared their experience on how they use the organoid technology in their lab and how they combine it with other technologies such as microscopy and single cell analysis to study tumour heterogeneity (Hugo Snippert, UMCU) or together with a multi-omics approach to study the difference between stem cells and differentiated tissue (Rik Lindeboom, Michiel Vermeulen Lab). Another example was the powerful combination of genome editing and organoid technology studying multistep tumorigenesis (Jarno Drost, Prinses Máxima Center). Furthermore, Sylvia Boj- scientific director of the HUB – presented the power of organoid technology for patient stratification and drug screening. Finally, Joep Beumer (Hans Clevers Lab) presented the work on non-mammalian organoids, specifically on the snake venom gland.

We would like to thank all speakers for their contribution and we hope to see many of you during the next Masterclass Day!

Other News

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First Oncode Clinical Proof of Concept (CPoC) project now finalized
We are happy to announce that our first Oncode CPoC study - a collaboration between Oncode Investigator Jean Paul Medema (Amsterdam UMC) and clinician Henk Verheul (Radboud UMC) titled Pulsatile high dose Sunitinib as a specific drug for (a subset of) metastatic mesenchymal CRCs - is now finalized.
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New CPoC grant awarded: researchers and clinicians team up for study on gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEPNETs)
Oncode Institute keeps investing in bringing insights from basic science into clinical practice. With the 12th grant awarded within the CPoC programme, Oncode Investigator Roland Kanaar together with Oncode researcher Julie Nonnekens (both Erasmus MC) will team up with a group of clinicians, a physicist and pharmacist for a project focused on gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEPNETs).
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Oncode Facilities & Technologies will add value to your research
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. Investing in new technologies and facilities - which are available to all Oncode researchers - is one of the ways that Oncode wants to contribute to breakthroughs in cancer research. In this interview Jacqueline Staring, Programme Manager at Oncode Institute, discusses the facilities and technologies that are available for the Oncode research community and how they will support and accelerate oncology research.


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.