Oss, October 14th, 2014 – Together with nine leading universities and research institutes in Europe and two other companies, Netherlands Translational Research Center B.V. (NTRC) will train eleven young cancer researchers in the field of aneuploidy over the next four years. The training network, PloidyNet, is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) and is financed by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission. The project will be coordinated by the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI-AVL).

Aneuploidy refers to an abnormal number of chromosomes in cells and occurs in more than two third of all human cancers. While aneuploidy is detrimental to normal cells, cancer cells seem to benefit from aneuploidy, suggesting that cancer cells have acquired genetic changes that help them to cope with aneuploidy. The molecular consequences of aneuploidy, and how aneuploidy contributes to cancer will be investigated in PloidyNet. To accomplish this scientific challenge, the expertise of several key labs in Europe working on aneuploidy will be combined, including the groups of Prof. Dr. René Medema (NKI-AVL, Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Dr. Floris Foijer (University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands), Prof. Dr. Geert Kops (University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands), Prof. Dr. Stephen Taylor (University of Manchester, U.K.), Prof. Dr. Bill Earnshaw (University of Edinburgh, U.K.), Prof. Erich Nigg (University of Basel, Switzerland), Zuzana Storchova (Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany), Dr. Rocio Sotillo (European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Monterotondo, Italy), and Prof. Dr. Charles Swanton (Cancer Research U.K., London, U.K.). Besides NTRC, Miltenyi Biotec GmbH (Germany) and Syncom B.V. from Groningen are industrial partners in PloidyNet.
PloidyNet will train a total of 9 PhD students (early stage researchers) and 2 postdocs (experienced researchers) who aim at consolidating their research experience in the field of aneuploidy. PloidyNet students will benefit from the expertise of the participating labs, and will be exposed to ground-breaking aneuploidy research, and state of the art techniques in several model organisms. In addition, a significant part of their training will be provided by the industrial partners, offering these researchers, at the beginning of their scientific careers, the possibility of making informed decisions about their future in either academia or in industry.

PloidyNet researchers will get technical training through the engagement in an individual research project and through the participation in workshops and dedicated courses organized by the institutions and companies that are part of the network. All investigators and trainees will meet at a yearly conference to exchange and discuss results, fostering healthy, collaborative interactions with other investigators and enabling the creation of a scientific network for the future. It is expected that PloidyNet will make a significant contribution to the formation of future leaders in the field of aneuploidy and cancer research.

Netherlands Translational Research Center B.V. (NTRC) is a company based in Oss, the Netherlands, that develops scientific ideas into small molecule drug candidates. In addition, NTRC Services provides fee-for-service activities to pharmaceutical industries in the field of chemical biology and compound profiling, using its technology platforms Oncolines™, SynergyFinder™ and EntropySelect™. For more information on the drug discovery activities of NTRC or NTRC Services, see the website of NTRC: www.ntrc.nl , or send an e-mail to info@ntrc.nl.