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Cymraeg

Research Fellows create holistic approach to targeting cancer

23 April 2014

ECSCRI Research Fellows group in lab 1_web

The European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute at Cardiff has increased its research capabilities with the appointment of another Research Fellow. Dr Florian Siebzehnrubl joins a team of distinguished scholars in the summer of 2014, enabling the Institute to take a truly holistic approach to tackling cancer.

Each Research Fellow within the Institute specialises in different types of cancer and Dr Siebzehnrubl will bring additional expertise. Currently based at the University of Florida, he specialises in the investigation of tumours of the brain or glioblastoma.

The Institute, one of the University’s flagship research areas, focuses its work on the concept that it is cancer stem cells which are responsible for the regrowth and spread of cancerous tumours. Seen as a high risk, high gain research area – it has established itself as an international leader in this particular field. It is the only centre in Europe completely focussed on cancer stem cell research.

Since its inception in 2012, the Institute has gone through a rigorous recruitment exercise to recruit some of the best researchers in the discipline and can now boast an international team leading its ground-breaking research – with Fellows coming from Spain, China, Germany, Ireland, and the UK.

Dr Siebzehnrubl joins an illustrious group of existing Fellows:- Dr Lee Parry focuses on colorectal cancer; Dr Catherine Hogan concentrates on pancreatic cancer; Dr Liming Gui works on the fundamentals of reprogramming stem cells and Dr Joaquin de Navascues uses the fruit fly as a genetic model of cancer stem cell biology.

Cancer remains one of the major challenges in terms of life expectancy and is recognised as the second largest cause of death in the UK. Although 5 year survival rates for many tumour types are slowly improving, there are still no effective therapies for all tumours and the processes that underlie resistance to therapy and tumour relapse are still not properly understood.

The vision of the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute is to tackle these challenges with a very tightly defined approach, which focusses on the concept of the cancer stem cell.

The Research Fellowships are an important component of the overall strategy of the Institute, giving early stage career scientists, who are seen as potential leaders in their fields, the opportunity to accelerate their careers in a supportive environment while also fostering a vibrant research atmosphere in a tightly knit community of like-minded researchers.

Commenting on the new appointment, Prof Alan Clarke, Director of the Institute said:- "There are a plethora of unmet clinical needs relating to better cancer diagnosis and treatment. We believe we have recruited the best in the field to allow us to face these challenges, which is now opening up possibilities for the development of tailored therapies, or ‘personalised’ medicine for cancer patients. Our work here is predicted to change the landscape of both research and therapy over the coming years."

Related links

European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute