Researchers at NCMM receive convergence funding from UiO: Life Science

Research groups that include NCMM Group Leader, Irep Gözen, and Director Kjetil Taskén, will receive funding as part of UiO: Life Science’s Convergence Environment programme

UiO:Life Science has announced which convergence environments will receive funding for 2017/18. These convergence environments are interdisciplinary research groups that address major challenges within health and the environment.

Irep Gözen, Head of the Bionanotechnology and Membrane Systems Group, and NCMM Director, Kjetil Taskén, are both members of research groups that have been successful in their applications.

Irep Gözen: Lead of Programmable Cell-like Compartments convergence environment

Photo of Irep Gözen
Irep Gözen Photo: UiO

This convergence environment, led by NCMM Group Leader Irep Gözen, will develop cell-like compartments which can in the future be assembled and programmed to track and deactivate hazards, such as pathogenic microorganisms, migrating cancerous cells, plastics micro-particles, or heavy metal sediments.

Irep Gözen comments,

“I’m really excited to hear that our research group has received this funding from UiO: Life Science. We hope our collaborative efforts will lead to the first constructs of artificial machines, which can later be transformed into technologies that can address some of today’s grand societal challenges. 

The concept we want to develop can in the future be used for the deactivation of hazards, such as pathogenic microorganisms or cancerous cells in blood; plastic micro-particles or heavy metal sediments in drinking water.

We feel the potential and implications of this project are huge, and I’m looking forward to seeing the contributions that we can make to this area of research."

Other members of the Programmable Cell-Like Compartments research group are:

  • Andreas Carlson, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  • Gry Oftedal, Researcher, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Arts and Ideas, Faculty of Humanities
  • Harald Stenmark, Professor, Institute of Clinical Medicine Faculty of Medicine

Read more about the Programmable Cell-like Compartments’ research objectives.

Kjetil Taskén: Co-PI, Personalised cancer therapies (PERCATHE)

Photo of Kjetil Taskén
Kjetil Taskén Photo: John Hughes

This convergence environment, led by Arnoldo Frigessi, will develop a new approach to personalised cancer therapy, based on mathematical, statistical and biological methods. It will also study the ethical, societal, and regulatory perspectives of personalised cancer treatment.

Kjetil Taskén comments,

"This funding from UiO: Life Science means that our research group can focus on developing pioneering methods that contribute to a both innovative, and realistic, pipeline of  individualised, precision-based cancer treatments. We will also draw on our collaborators’ strengths and excellent track record in research into breast and lung cancers, and on B-cell malignancies.

Our approach will differ from more traditional approaches to personalised cancer therapy, by focusing on areas such as the ex vivo drug sensitivity testing of cancer patients’ cells, with a combination of genomic profile-based drug synergy predictions.

"I’m really looking forward to working on this project, and feel extremely positive about the contribution our research group will make to personalised cancer therapies."

Other members of the PERCATHE research group are:

  • Arnoldo Frigessi, Project Leader: Professor, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine & BigInsight
  • Vessela Kristensen: Professor, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
  • Åslaug Helland: Associate Professor, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
  • Alvaro Köhn-Luque: Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine

Find out more about PERCATHE and its objectives.

Convergence environments at UiO: Life Science

In total, seven convergence environments will be funded by UiO: Life Science; see a full list of all convergence environments.

The applications were assessed by an expert panel, with final decisions made by the UiO:Life Science Board. These successful convergence environments will be formally established in autumn 2017.

By Annabel Darby
Published May 5, 2017 2:15 PM - Last modified May 7, 2017 6:00 PM