Federating know-how in the fight against cancer

(c) Eric Deroze

Convened in the inspirational setting of the SwissTech Center of the EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, the 8th SCCL retreat gathered some of the top minds in oncology from the region.

17/12/2019 – Over two days and seven distinct sessions, 300 staff and faculty members discussed the major lines of research and the developing inroads against the disease as targeted by the SCCL community. Talks by some thirty young up-and-coming scientists, each representatives of different exceptional laboratories of the SCCL’s member institutions, brought participants up to date on the latest discoveries, from pharmacology to immunotherapy, right through to genomics and the molecular biology of tumour cells. “The short talk format drives speakers to really get to the point with their presentation and allows to cover many subjects in a small amount of time.” noted PhD researcher Laure Tillé, presenting from the Verdeil/Speiser group at the University of Lausanne.

The level of presentations and talent proved, if proof were needed, that the SCCL’s mission to drive cutting-edge cancer research through a federation of expertise is on target. “The SCCL is an incredible and ambitious center that spans across different topics. Collaborations between different groups could lead to an innovative approach to many different projects” noted Eliana Marinari, PhD researcher speaking for the Dietrich/Dutoit group from the University of Geneva.

The event naturally offered boundless opportunity for exchange around possible new combined fields of research development. Post-doctoral researcher Yi-Ru Yu from the Ho group of the University of Lausanne said of his experience: “It was good to receive comments from audience with different scientific backgrounds. The discussion in private after the presentation also inspired me a lot for the future direction!”

Addressing members of faculty at the close of the two-day event, Prs George Coukos, Pierre-Yves Dietrich and Doug Hanahan, co-directors of the SCCL, lauded the calibre of the science that had been shared during the retreat. “Undoubtedly, the potential for our alliance to secure world-class excellence is there, through our scientific priorities and also through the talent we attract and nurture within our teams.” The next SCCL event will be its symposium in the Fall of 2020.

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