OncoGen-Research Priorities Conference

October 26 – 27, 2016

The Centre for Gene and Cellular Therapies in the Treatment of Cancer – OncoGen has hosted on October, 26 – 27, 2016 the international conference „OncoGen-Research Priorities”. OncoGen is the first state-of-the-art research centre for gene therapies in Romania and the newest research facility of the Emergency Clinical County Hospital „Pius Brînzeu” Timisoara, the largest hospital in Western Romania.

This event has marked the first anniversary of the centre and provided the opportunity to launch the two projects awarded to the team of OncoGen Centre through the Competitiveness Operational Programme 2014-2020, under the Priority Axis 1, Action 1.1.4, Attracting high-level personnel from abroad. Both INSPIRED and CAR-NK projects aim to develop advanced technologies in the fields of allergy and cancer immunotherapies, respectively.

Representatives of national and local authorities, members of UMFVBT leadership, renowned researchers in the fields of Oncology and Allergy from Romania and abroad, as well as representatives of private companies acting in the field of health were gathering together for a two-day meeting. The Opening Ceremony started with the Welcome address and presentation of OncoGen research strategy towards innovation by Prof. Virgil Paunescu, director of OncoGen Centre, followed by messages on behalf of Romanian national and local authorities: Prof. Adrian Curaj, former minister of Education, Romania; Prof. Mihai Dima, president of National Authority for Scientific Research (NASR); Mrs. Dana Violeta Gheorghe, director of General Direction for Research, NASR and Prof. Nicolae Robu, mayor of Timisoara.

Distinguished invited speakers from abroad have conveyed their messages during the Opening Ceremony: Erhard Busek, PhD, the coordinator of the South-Eastern Cooperative Initiative (SECI) and chairman of the Institute for Danube Region and Central Europe; Michaela Fritz, Vice Rector for Research and Innovation, Medical University of Vienna; Prof. Michael Bachmann, Director, Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research, “Carl Gustav Carus” Faculty of Medicine, Dresden University of Technology (TU).

The private sector with interest in health was represented by: Dr. Rainer Henning, CEO Biomay AG, Vienna, Austria and Per Matsson, Director Thermo Fisher Scientific, Waltham, Sweden. INSPIRED and CAR-NK projects were dedicated each a scientific session under coordination of the project directors: Dr. Kuan-Wei Chen from the Medical University Vienna (MUW) for INSPIRED, and Dr. Rauf Bhat from the Medical Faculty, TU Dresden for CAR-NK. The kick-off meetings, with the participation of the Scientific Advisory Boards, have set the timeline in relation with the main tasks for the first year.

A press conference was organised in order to announce the launch of INSPIRED and CAR-NK projects, and disseminate the themes and major objectives of the two projects, as well as to present the background and work of the two project directors. The opportunity was taken to underline the fruitful cooperation of OncoGen Timisoara with the corresponding teams at Medical University Vienna and Dresden University of Technology, respectively.

An Allergology postgraduate course was offered to residents and young specialists in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, ENT, Pneumology and Family Medicine in the opening of the conference. „Update in allergic asthma management – from mechanisms to biological therapy” was the first course in the field of Allergology broadcasted by videoconference in the Brasov, Bucuresti, Cluj-Napoca, Chisinau and Timisoara academic centres. Lecturers were experts from Romania, together with Prof. Rudolf Valenta, guest of honour from the Medical University Vienna. Over 50 doctors from Romania and Republic of Moldova attended the course.