The project – University of Copenhagen

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The project

The “Cancer Associated Fibroblast Function in tumor cell Expansion and INvasion” (CAFFEIN) network will train young researchers in career enhancing techniques in cancer research, complementary skills relevant for work in the pharmaceutical industry and entrepreneurial skills important for the development of biomedical start-up companies. 

The network will make the students familiar with a wide range of state-­of-the-­art methodologies in biomedical research, and provide intersectoral training in industry and clinical settings by collaboration and secondments.

A full partner from industry, the established pharmaceutical company MedImmune (large industry), will lead the network-wide training and assure its high practical relevance. In addition, the young researchers will learn to address scientific and non-scientific audiences by various dissemination and outreach activities. The aim is to improve their chances for employment and creation of welfare in the EC by a collaborative training network, which exceeds the training capacities of each individual partner institution.

The scientific focus of the research training is on cancer associated fibroblasts (CAF), recently recognized to play an important role in promoting tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis and forming an emerging target in cancer therapy (1-4). CAFFEIN consists of leading European research groups and a company with complementary knowledge in this area and a critical mass of expertise for providing an excellent  training in CAF function and cancer research.

The number of cancer patients in the EC are expected to more than double in the next decades due to the aging population. Anti-cancer drug sales exceeded 40 bn € 2009 and a remarkable growth can be envisioned. Hence, training in the proposed innovative field of cancer research is both timely and relevant, as it will strongly build the future welfare of the EC and enhance employment chances in an area of high economic prospects.