6 CCA researchers receive a CCA travel grant

The CCA travel grant allows PhD students and postdoctoral researchers to receive training in novel techniques or methods abroad. At the end of last year, 6 CCA researchers are awarded with a CCA travel grant. They explain in short what they are going to do with their travel grant.

“Thanks to the CCA Travel Grant, I will be able to do a research fellowship with the US Neuroendocrine Tumor Study Group at Ohio State University!”
Charlotte Heidsma received a CCA Travel Grant for her research into pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNET). She will investigate early clinical characteristics and blood-based biomarkers for predictors of (early) recurrence of PanNET tumors at the Ohio State University. Additionally, she will compare imaging techniques to detect high grade PanNET and malignant nodes pre-operatively.

“Thanks to the CCA Travel Grant I will be able to gain more insight into genomic research at the University of California San Diego and with this collaboration I will be able to implement new research techniques at the CCA that will improve oncology research.”
Fleur Cornelissen will visit the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The main aim of her research project is to identify new lncRNA targets to radio-sensitize glioblastomas (GBM) that are notoriously radiotherapy resistant.

“Thanks to the CCA Travel Grant, I will be able to perform a six months internship at Genentech (South San Francisco, USA) in 2020 under the supervision of Dr. Simon Williams. This will hopefully result in a new and successful collaboration between both institutes in the field of immuno-PET imaging in oncology."
Marion Chomet will be trained on 18F-radiolabeling of nanobodies and its optimization for clinical use at Genentech (South San Fransisco). She will explore how radioprotectants and various formulations can affect the reaction yields and product quality at a scale for GMP production and human use.

‘’Thanks to the CCA Travel Grant, I am able to do a research traineeship at the Mayo Clinic Florida! This great opportunity allows me to participate in their research projects on (early detection of) pancreatic cancer.’’
Pancreatic cancer (PC) has a poor prognosis and is often diagnoses in advanced stages. Known precursor lesions are pancreatic cystic neoplasms (PCN), which range from benign to pre-malignant entities. Current diagnostic workup is unsatisfactory, leading to surgical overtreatment for benign cysts and suboptimal detection of (pre-)malignant cysts. The Mayo Clinic (Florida) reached out to Amsterdam UMC for validation of a novel diagnostic tool using Artificial Intelligence for the detection and classification of premalignant lesions. Myrte Gorris will use the CCA Travel Grant to visit the Mayo Clinic and develop and validate this new diagnostic tool.

“The CCA Travel Grant allows me to both acquire new skills in the field of single cell technologies as well learn bioinformatic skills to integrate the information coming out of these technologies with the ultimate goal of capturing 'true' biology to understand why certain patients do or don't respond to immunotherapy.”
Sabrin Tahri will use the CCA travel grant to study Multiple Myeloma, a malignancy of the plasma cells. She wants to integrate multi-omic approaches to understand to the flow of information that underlies disease progression to ultimately inform clinical practice for improved patient outcomes. She has been selected to attend the prestigious Broad Cancer Program Bootcamp, a collaborative effort of MIT and Harvard, which gives hands-on training on bioinformatic analysis and usage of large datasets and tools.

“Thanks to the CCA Travel Grant will study techniques that are important for my project. These techniques are also applicable in other projects running in the CCA, meaning I am also able to help not only myself but also my colleagues that are working in the same field”
Sander Bach will use the CCA Travel Grant to learn a revolutionary new method of urine DNA isolation at the University of Illinois Cancer Center and apply it to the multiple urine projects that are running in the CCA. With this method urine can be used as a true non-invasive cancer test.