The four-year Translational Research Network for Prostate Cancer (TransPot) aims to provide a multidisciplinary training program, integrating cancer biology and systems medicine to enable young researchers to become future leaders in cancer research.
A partnership between academic and industrial institutions in the UK, Finland, Germany, Greece and the Netherlands, the network will be run from Glasgow’s Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, one of the U.K.’s leading cancer research establishments.
The TransPot programme will offer research and career development opportunities to 11 specially-selected young prostate cancer scientists, called early stage researchers (ESRs), to give them the chance to perform top-level and high impact research through mentorship by some of Europe’s leading academic and clinical minds.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Europe, and is the third most common cause of cancer death.
The network is led by Hing Leung, Professor of Urology and Surgical Oncology at the University’s Institute of Cancer Sciences.
Prof Leung, who is also a lead at the CRUK Glasgow Clinical Trials Unit at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, said: “The focus of TransPot is to better understand lethal prostate cancer so that we can offer better outcomes to those patients currently with incurable disease, and help improve the quality of their lives.
“TransPot has been established to drive this forward by creating a stimulating and challenging environment for young scientists. The early stage researchers will have access to unrivalled expertise. Although each will be based at one specific research establishment, they will be seconded to other labs where different channels of research are being explored.”
While some prostate cancers are indolent, or slow growing, and unlikely to cause death, in other patients they resist treatment.
Prof Leung explained: “It is hoped that advances made during the research programme will contribute to the development of a more personalised approach to treating potentially lethal prostate cancers.”
The network also intends to promote their research to the wider community through open days and outreach events, for instance in schools, to raise awareness and understanding of prostate cancer.
Prof Leung added: “We want to educate families and potential sufferers about the need for early diagnosis – and to help them understand more about this disease.”
The consortium won funding from the Horizon2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks programme funded by the European Commission. Running from 2014 to 2020, the Horizon2020 research and innovation programme is making almost 80 billion Euros available to help stimulate research breakthroughs and discoveries in many research disciplines across Europe.
The ESRs will acquire in-depth experience in cancer biology, novel prostate cancer models, high-content screening, mathematical and computational modelling, as well as wider management and communication skills such as intellectual property, gender issues, research integrity, entrepreneurship, emotional intelligence and how to communicate clearly.
TransPot consortium members include, the University of Glasgow (Coordinator), University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, Queen’s University Belfast, Turun Yliopisto, Erasmus MC University Medical Centre Rotterdam, numares HEALTH, Biomedical Research Foundation Of The Academy Of Athens, Tampereen Yliopisto, Genomescan B.V. and Almac Diagnostics Limited.