MAY 2019

Next EU Training Network ONCORNET2.0 on oncogenic GPCR networks


The EU has granted 4M euro to Martine Smit and Jacqueline van Muijlwijk (Medicinal Chemistry, AIMMS, Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and colleagues from academia and SMEs from the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, UK and Switzerland.

ONCORNET2.0 builds on the success of ONCORNET (Oncogenic GPCR Network of Excellence and Training), a first-in-kind ITN in GPCR drug discovery that has successfully delivered scientific advance and training to talented early stage researchers (ESRs) ( ONCORNET2.0 will incorporate recent scientific and technological breakthroughs to understand and target two oncogenic G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs); the chemokine receptors CXCR4 and ACKR3 (CXCR7). These are highly expressed in multiple tumours but their role in cancer progression remains poorly understood. We will develop new strategies for CXCR4/ACKR3 modulation and investigate their effects on oncogenic responses, to yield key new knowledge and potential leads for drug development.

ONCORNET2.0 will bring together the leading GPCR research groups in Europe and will educate the next generation of young researchers (15 PhD students) by a multi-disciplinary training. This programme integrates both research (e.g. drug discovery, proteomics, imaging) and transferable (e.g. entrepreneurship, academic writing, media training) skill sets through blended learning. This will ensure that the ESRs can effectively operate in today’s drug discovery programs and will increase European competitiveness in the field of drug discovery.

Academic groups:

  • Martine Smit, Jacqueline van Muijlwijk, Rob Leurs, Iwan de Esch (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL)
  • Steve Hill, Meritxell Canals, Steve Briddon (University of Nottingham, UK)
  • Philippe Marin, Thierry Durroux, Sébastien Granier, Jean Philippe Pin (CNRS, FR)
  • Martin Lohse (Max-Delbruck-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin, DE)
  • Carsten Hoffmann (Universitätsklinikum Jena, DE)
  • Françoise Bachelerie, Géraldine Schlecht-Louf (INSERM, FR)
  • Federico Mayor, Petronila Penela (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, ES)
  • Graeme Milligan, Gerry Graham (University of Glasgow, UK)

  • QVQ (Raimond Heukers, NL)
  • InterAx Biotech (Maria Waldhoer, CH)

Other partner organisations are: Cisbio/ PerkinElmer (Eric Trinquet, FR), Sosei Heptares (Chris de Graaf, UK), ALMAC (Alastair Hay, UK), Promega (Rachel Ohana, Keith Wood, US) and Learning By Simulation (LBS) (Leon Delbressine, NL).