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Kreftforeningen funding for NCMM group leaders

Marieke Kuijjer and Anthony Mathelier awarded funding as part of the ‘Rosa sløfe’ (Pink Ribbon) campaign

photo of Marieke and anthony with Kreftforeningen representatives

From left to right: Ellen Harris Utne (Chair of the Norwegian Breast Cancer Society), Marieke Kuijjer, Anthony Mathelier, and Ingrid Stenstadvold Ross (Secretary General, Kreftforeningen)

NCMM congratulates group leaders Marieke Kuijjer and Anthony Mathelier who have both received grants from the Norwegian Cancer Society (Kreftforeningen).

Funding supports NCMM’s goal to continue to strengthen research within the fields of bioinformatics and systems medicine

Six grants, all under the theme of personalised medicine, have been awarded in total. The funded projects aim to provide vital insight into how cancer therapies can be better tailored to meet patients’ individual needs. 

With NCMM’s focus on growing its precision and systems medicine research, and building research groups that can interact and complement one another, it is very positive for the Centre to have received two of the Rosa sløfe grants in the same call. The funding further demonstrates the importance of this area of research to wider society. 

Anthony Mathelier: Cis-regulatory signatures for improved identification and stratification of breast cancer subtypes

Dr. Anthony Mathelier, Head of the Computational Biology and Gene Regulation Group, received NOK 5 million for his project. He comments:

Recent studies recurrently showed that most cancer alterations occur in the non-coding portion of the human genome, which contain cis-regulatory regions. These regions act as on/off switches to express genes at the correct time, in the correct tissue, and at the correct intensity. Unfortunately, our capacity to analyze these regions has been limited by the lack of an experimental assay able to capture their activity in patients. This project will take advantage of a new experimental technique combined with the development of computational tools to assess the activity of these regulatory regions in patients.

The main aim of this project is to identify new regulatory signatures to improve breast cancer patient stratification and highlight new biomarkers and therapeutic targets, and so guide more efficient and personalised treatments for patients. 

Marieke Kuijjer: Personalised large-scale omics networks to identify new regulatory subtypes and targeted therapies in breast cancer

Dr Marieke Kuijjer, Head of the Computational Biology and Systems Medicine Group, has been awarded NOK 3.63 million for her project. She explains:

“Breast cancer is a complex disease, and each tumour has its own unique set of genetic mutations, along with a unique pattern in terms of how they function in a cancer cell. Disruptions in the interactions between genes and proteins are also unique and can lead to cancer development. In this project, we will develop new computational tools to help model and analyze cancer data in each individual patient. 

We hope to uncover new subgroups of patients who may benefit from personalized treatment and to better understand what drives the development and response to treatment in each patient. We hope this will give new hope for breast cancer patients.

Nine women diagnosed every day in Norway: The Pink Ribbon campaign aims to help improve patient outcomes 

Nine women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Norway every day. This is double the number of cases compared to 60 years ago. However, today, nine out of ten women are still alive five years after their treatment.

However, more research is needed into how better treatments can be provided. Traditional therapies cause some women to suffer from negative side effects that limit their quality of life. The goal of the ‘Pink Ribbon campaign’ is to show solidarity for those diagnosed with breast cancer, raise awareness about the disease, and provide support for scientific research. The money is raised by the Norwegian public, with 2019 seeing a record number of donations. 

Find out more: (Norwegian only)

Published Aug. 27, 2020 2:49 PM - Last modified Sep. 2, 2020 10:57 AM