University of Glasgow (UGLA), UK


The Prostate Cancer Biology Group is located within the CRUK Beatson Institute, a centre of excellence core-funded by Cancer Research UK, which focuses on key aspects of cancer cell behaviour. The Institute has open plan laboratories and modern social spaces to maximise interaction between researchers. Its strengths lie in its cutting-edge technologies – with a particular focus on imaging, metabolomics and transgenic models of cancer – and its interactive environment that encourages a high degree of collaboration amongst its scientists. The Beatson is also a key partner in the CRUK Glasgow Centre, which aims to integrate Glasgow's considerable strengths in cancer research.

ESR 1 at UGLA will have opportunities to present talks and posters on their work at local seminars, national and international conferences. The University Graduate School monitors progress of all students. We have a credit system whereby students attend modular courses and must achieve a minimum number of credits prior to graduation. Besides their supervisors, each student is assigned two mentor/advisors with whom they meet with twice yearly to ensure good progress and address issues promptly. Award of PhD degree follows a successful valedictory seminar and thesis defence (internal and external examiner).

Cutting-edge infrastructure/facilities available: pre-clinical models, Poly-omics Facility, Drug discovery, Clinical resources.

University of Newcastle (UNEW), UK


The Urology Research Group is part of the Northern Institute for Cancer Research (NICR) at Newcastle University. The NICR is a multi-disciplinary research institute and houses a dedicated small molecule drug discovery unit closely linked to clinical trials unit. There are excellent core-funded facilities for proteomics, DNA analysis, cell sorting, animal models, bioinformatics and confocal/electron microscopy. Substantial links exist with SME and large Pharma, e.g. Newcastle-Astex Alliance. The Faculty Graduate School training program is fully compliant with the QAA Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Programs, including a flexible approach to training. ESR2 will maintain an electronic record of their training as an ePortfolio.

Cutting-edge infrastructure/facilities available: Microscopy, Drug discovery, Proteomics/Sequencing facility, AR studies, ChIP-seq, stem cell isolation.

Queen's University Belfast (QUB), UK


The Prostate Cancer Research Group is based within one of four internationally recognised Research Centres, the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) within the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences. The cross-faculty, interdisciplinary Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) is committed to the highest quality of research excellence. To achieve our mission, we are pursuing a premier series of research programmes in defined areas, combining innovative discovery science with clinical translational to achieve the best outcomes for cancer patients. In recognition of the international standing of CCRCB, the University has made, and continues to make, significant investment in both academic staff and infrastructure. CCRCB has over 200 staff, with 34 Principal Investigators, 60 Postdoctoral fellows and 65 postgraduate students from across the world working together in a new, purpose-built research facility. CCRCB offers training modules in Cancer Biology and Translational Cancer Medicine, as part of a training programme in Precision Cancer Medicine. Students can gain Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) credits/European Credits Transfer System (ECTS) credits by taking these modules. Additional training is delivered through the Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme which offers comprehensive training, one to one support and skills development opportunities for research students at the University. The curriculum for ESR3 involves poster or oral presentations at national or international conferences, and the program concludes with a public lecture prior to a viva voce examination with an international opponent. CCRCB offers training in nucleic acid extraction and sequence capture, cell culture and sample handling. In addition there is access to additional training closely linked to the themes of the consortium. In particular CCRCB will provide local training in the quality control, alignment and scoring of next-generation sequencing data in conjunction with the Cancer Bioinformatics and Imaging group and supported by a number bioinformatics lecturers who are developing a range of workflows for deriv ing biomarker signatures from multi-omic data (e.g. PICan: An integromics framework for dynamic cancer biomarker discovery). Much of this training has also been formalised and accredited through an MSc in Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics and ESR Fellows are welcome to attend key components of this course.CCRCB also host a number of spinout and start-up biotech companies and also provides hybrid exposure to industry and academia.

Cutting-edge infrastructure/facilities available: ChIP-seq, bioinformatics, genomics, imaging, molecular pathology and biobanking, The Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Centre.

University of Turku (UTU), Finland


University of Turku (UTU)), the oldest university in Finland, has recently established the Turku Prostate Cancer Consortium (TCPP) incorporating the University Hospital Turku, Auria Biobank, and the Institute of Biomedicine. Core facilities, e.g. the Centre for Biotechnology (CBT) including Turku Bioimaging ( & the Finnish DNA Sequencing and Microarray Centre and the Proteomics Unit, and the National PET Centre are in place. The ESRs will enrol in one of the local graduate programs. They organise extensive, coordinated research training including courses, seminars and national and international symposia. ESR4 will present research results at local, national and international meetings and write 3-5 papers for their theses which they defend at a public examination.

Cutting-edge infrastructure/facilities available: Novel culture methods, GEMM, Omics technologies, Drug discovery, High content screening platforms, automated phenotypic image analyses and image processing software.

Erasmus MC (EMC), The Netherlands


Experimental Urology is embedded in the multi-disciplinary "Rotterdam Prostate Research Group". ESR5 will become a member of the Postgraduate School of Molecular Medicine, which facilitates all molecular/cell biology and complementary training and education at PhD and postdoc level. The ESR will be trained to be able to perform and develop animal experiments and become a principle investigator in initiating animal research. The Experimental Urology research group has weekly lab meetings and the ESR will have separate weekly consultations with his/her supervisors. The ESR will present his/her work regularly at lab meetings, internal EMC group meetings and the yearly Molecular Medicine day.

Cutting-edge infrastructure/facilities available: pre-clinical in vitro / in vivo PDX models, Clinical resources, Microscopy, Life imaging, High content

numares HEALTH (NUM), Germany


numares AG is an IVD system provider and IVD test manufacturer. Founded in 2004 as a spin-off from Biophysics Department at University of Regensburg, a highly reputed center of magnetic resonance in Chemistry and Biomedicine, numares has developed nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) based metabolomic analysis to a point ready for routine clinical use certified by ISO13485 standards. The system provides simultaneous quantitative detection of organic metabolites by proprietary algorithms without need for separation steps in a single analytical step. The cutting edge nature of this system with its high analytical reproducibility and simplicity build the technological base for numares' world leading position in NMR-based clinical analytics with 20 successful installations of numares NMR instruments at US customer sites processing a 24/7 operation of several thousand samples/day. numares headquarters are in Regensburg (Germany), with subsidiaries in Boston (Mass. US) and Singapore.

Cutting-edge infrastructure/facilities available: Metabolomic methodologies, bioinformatics, large scale dataset available, extensive hands-on experience of the research & development team.

Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens (BRFAA), Greece


The Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens (BRFAA) is one of the major Institutes for Biomedical research in Greece. The BRFAA Proteomics Research Unit is equipped with multiple state-of the art proteomics technologies to be employed in iMODE-CKD, including systems for two-dimensional electrophoresis, liquid chromatography (HPLC, FPLC), preparative protein electrophoresis, spot pickers for automated spot excision, matrix assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer (MALDI-TOF/TOF) with imaging MS capabilities etc.

Cutting-edge infrastructure/facilities available: Proteomic methodologies, Informatics, Systems biology approach.

University of Tampere (UTA), Finland

UTA new

ESR8 will be enrolled in the PhD-program (Tampere Graduate Program in Biomedicine & Biotechnology, TGPBB). TGPBB organizes training, which includes e.g. weekly seminars (presentations by external speakers), 2-3 theoretical seminars and/or lab courses per year, as well as an annual Research Day. The ESR will also participate in bioinformatic courses organized by UTA. A steering group, consisting supervisor (Dr. Visakorpi), and two external experts will be designated to the ESR. The steering group will follow the progress of the fellow's studies, and will meet at least once a year.

Cutting-edge infrastructure/facilities available: ChIP-seq, Transcriptomic analysis, Informatics, Clinical resources.

GenomeScan (SXS), The Netherlands


ESR9 will enrol in the local PhD-program organized by UGLA. A supervisor at UGLA will act as an internal supervisor to support the main supervisor at SXS. A credit system consisting of modular courses will be used. Besides their supervisors, each student will be assigned two mentors/advisors with whom they will meet twice yearly to ensure good progress and promptly address concerns. Award of PhD degree follows a successful valedictory seminar and thesis defence with an internal and external examiner.

ESR 11, a nine month appointment, will not be enrolled in a PhD programme but will nevertheless benefit from supervision from both SXS and UGLA.

Cutting-edge infrastructure/facilities available: Next generation sequencing analysis, Bio-informatics, Mathematical modelling.

ALMAC Diagnostics, UK


ESR10 will enrol in the regular PhD-program in the Center for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queens University Belfast. The student will receive an unrivalled training experience in cutting edge technology in a rich research environment between the University and Almac Diagnostics. New students at the University undertake an induction course, including all aspects of laboratory work, cancer medicine, Translational Science, and data analysis/ management.
Students also attend a series of lectures and master-classes from invited speakers who are leaders in their field. Journal clubs form part of the training programme and students have significant opportunities to develop their presentation skills through a series of Research and Educational Fora. The student will work under the supervision of Dr Nuala McCabe and Prof Richard Kennedy who have a wealth of experience in biomarker discovery.

Cutting-edge infrastructure/facilities available: Biomarker development through in silico analysis and preclinical modelling.

Principal Investigators

H Leung

Hing Leung (Co-ordinator)
Professor of Urology and Surgical Oncology at the University of Glasgow

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 Skill set: Both clinical and laboratory trained. Active clinical practice in prostate cancer. Major expertise in aberrant signalling as driver events for prostate cancer. Instrumental in multiple drug discovery programs, with two having reached Phase I clinical evaluation. Extensive experience in supervising both clinical and basic science doctoral students.

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l rushworth

Linda Rushworth (TransPot Scientific Programme Manager)
Post Doctoral Researcher at the University of Glasgow

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Skill set: Laboratory trained with many years of experience and a wide skill set. Completed a PhD from the Beatson Institute in 2006, and worked as a Post Doctoral Researcher at the University of Dundee for 8 years. Returned to the Beatson Institute in 2015 to work as part of Professor Hing Leung's Prostate Cancer group. Previous experience of PhD student supervision.

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C Robson

Craig Robson (PI)
Professor of Molecular Urology at the University of Newcastle

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Skill set: Trained molecular and cell biologist with experience in prokaryotic and eukaryotic model systems. Primary current areas of expertise in translational cancer research to identify biomarkers and novel protein targets for drug development in cancer. Longstanding commitment to training and supervising basic science and clinical PhD/MD students in translational cancer research.

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I Mills

Ian Mills (PI)
Associate Director for Postgraduate Studies, CCRCB at Queen's University Belfast

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Skill set: Laboratory trained with both scientific and clinical backgrounds. Major expertise in transcriptional regulation and functional impacts on cellular trafficking and metabolism. Targets identified are further tested as biomarkers and therapeutics. Metabolic targeting as an adjunct/sensitizer to anti-androgens/chemotherapy. Prior experience of supervision within EU FP ITN networks.

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P Härkönen

Pirkko Härkönen (PI)
Professor at the University of Turku

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Skill set: Research on hormone regulation and FGF signalling pathways in PC. Expertise in GEMMs and explant prostate cultures. Co-founder of 3 biotech companies, driving force in early drug discovery programs, with one accepted by FDA in 2013. Extensive experience in supervising MD (n=10) and MSc (n=11) students to achieve PhDs and postdoctoral fellows at UTU, Finland and at Lund University, Sweden.

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M Nees

Matthias Nees
Docent at the University of Turku 

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Skill set: Experienced in both applied and basic research, related to early stage drug discovery (high content and high throughput Screening). Development of cell- and tissue-based model systems, for target validation and drug chemosensitivity testing; in academic settings, public-private partnerships; or as contract research with the pharmaceutical industry. Supervising postdoctoral candiates, PhD and Masters' Students in Germany, USA, and Finland.

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 W van Weerden2

Wytske M. van Weerden (PI)
Associate Professor at Erasmus MC

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Skill set: Biology trained. Focus on prostate cancer. Major expertise in PC disease modelling, (castration/chemo) resistance mechanisms, targeted imaging and therapy. Longstanding expertise in industry-driven projects and drug evaluation programs, extensive knowledge in supervising both medical and basic science students.

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E Schiffer 

Eric Schiffer (PI)
Head of Clinical Development Dept. at numares HEALTH

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 Skill set: More than 10 years experience in industrial biomarker development, implementation, development of clinical tests, and regulatory issues, track record in clinical metabolomics and proteomics analysis and biomarker research, extensive knowledge in supervising both medical and basic science students and employees; strong leadership and project management experience.

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 A Vlahou

Antonia Vlahou (PI)
Staff Research Scientist - Professor Level at the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy Of Athens

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Skill set: Antonia Vlahou, Ph.D is group leader and co-Director of the Proteomics Research Unit, BRFAA. She received her BS from School of Biology, University of Athens, Greece and holds a Ph.D on cell biology from Baylor College of Medicine Houston USA. She has more than 10years experience on clinical proteomics and has played leading role in the development of standardized approaches in biomarker discovery. Among her distinctions is the Pfizer Scholar in Urology award and her role as the Chair of the Management Committee of the European Kidney and Urine Proteomics COST Action (; 2008-2012). As well as her role as PI in TransPot, Dr Vlahou has also been partner in the FP7 DECanBIO (2008-2012) and is currently partner in Marie Curie IAPP ProtoClin, and EID BCMolMed, and FP7 NEURINOX. She serves as the coordinator of the iMODE-CKD program.

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T Visakorpi

Tapio Visakorpi (PI)
Professor of Cancer Genetics at the University of Tampere

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Skill set: Extensive experience of basic and translational cancer research in PC. Deep knowledge of genomics and ARmediated signalling. Supervised MSc, PhD and post-doctoral fellows. Involved in PhD thesis steering groups and organized courses for PhD students.

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Rauhala Hanna v2

Hanna Rauhala
University researcher at the University of Tampere

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Skill set: I am a post-doctoral scientist in the Molecular Biology of Prostate Cancer research group led by professors Tapio Visakorpi and Teuvo Tammela at Tampere University. I am currently working with a project to create an in vitro model for the early phases of prostate carcinogenesis. I have previously worked with various projects involving different molecular and cellular aspects of prostate and pancreatic cancer.

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b janssen

Bart Janssen (PI)
Innovation and Quality Manager at at GenomeScan

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Skill set: Extensive experience of genetic and genomic research. Supervised MSc, PhD and post-doctoral fellows. Involved in PhD thesis steering groups and organized courses for PhD students, post doc fellows and clinical staff.

I Beumer

Inès Beumer
R&D Project Manager at GenomeScan

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Skill set: Inès Beumer has a PhD in Oncology with a background in Molecular Biology and Computational Biology. She is an experienced project manager in European and (inter-)national externally financed research and innovation projects. Her passion lies with involvement in translational research and its potential for increasing the treatment success and well-being of patients.

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R Kennedy

Richard Kennedy (PI)
Medical Director of Almac Diagnostics at ALMAC Diagnostics

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Skill set: Prof Kennedy holds the post of Professor of Medical Oncology, Queens University Belfast and, is Vice President and Medical Director of Almac Diagnostics. Prof Kennedy has a wealth of experience in the analysis of gene expression data for the discovery and development of prognostic and predictive biomarkers. Importantly these assays will impact clinical care. The DDRD assay is a predictor for chemotherapy in breast cancer, the AADX assay will be delivered as a prognostic clinical test for ovarian cancer and a further test for colon cancer, COLDX is entering clinical practice in 2017 through collaboration with Helomics (a US-based biomarker company). Prof Kennedy is also Belfast lead for Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC), a UK wide initiative, whose goal is to drive the development of new therapies through Phase I/II clinical trials. Prof Kennedy has successfully supervised 8 PhDs involving both scientists and clinical research fellows.

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n mccabe

Nuala McCabe
Head of Research, Almac Diagnostics and Honorary Lecturer Queens University Belfast

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Skill set: Dr Nuala McCabe graduated from Queen's University Belfast in 1997 with a Honours Degree in Biomedical Science. She then carried out her Ph.D. training in the Department of Oncology (Queen's University Belfast) under the supervision of Prof. Paul Harkin. Following this, she then worked as a post-doctoral researcher for 5 years with Prof. Alan Ashworth in the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre (Institute of Cancer Research, London). During this time she was the involved in the identification of PARP1 inhibitors for the treatment of BRCA-associated breast and ovarian cancers, whichare now approved by the EMA for BRCA associated cisplatin sensitive ovarian cancer.

Dr McCabe joined Almac Diagnostics as Team Leader of Internal Research and has progressed to Head of Research for the Internal Products Division. Within this role she has gained 8 years industrial experience in drug target identification and biomarker discovery. Dr McCabe has a Honorary position at Queen's University Belfast and runs a team of both industrial and academic staff with a focus on the discovery and validation of biomarkers for clinical trials. Dr McCabe has successfully supervised a number of clinical and scientific PHD students (4), Masters students (3) and undergraduate students (4) within this role.

Dr McCabe's work has led to a number of significant publications including Nature, Cancer Research, Cancer Cell, Oncogene, Oncotarget, Nucleic Acid Research and Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Rafael Sanchez Martinez v3

Rafael Sánchez Martínez
ESR at the University of Glasgow

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I am from Murcia, in southeast Spain. It was there at University of Murcia where I obtained my Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry. Then I moved to Valladolid, where I studied a Master's degree in Biomedical Research, taught by the University if Valladolid and the Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics (IBGM). During my masters I worked on lipids related to inflammation. I studied the effect of free fatty acids on the development of an inflammatory phenotype in monocyte/macrophague cells.

In the TransPot network, I expect to be working in the characterisation and validation of molecular targets related to the development of prostate cancer and specially, castration-resistant prostate cancer. In the lab, I enjoy reading all I can about my research field and then try to come up with interesting experiments. I like to have the widest possible knowledge of interesting techniques and experiments so I can know what tools to use in my own research.

In my spare time, I like to watch movies and series, as well as read books, especially those I think will leave a mark in me. When I am not being that pretentious, I enjoy cooking, exercising and playing some videogames with my friends from Spain.

Parmveer Singh 

Parmveer Singh
ESR at the University of Newcastle

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My name is Parmveer Singh and I am from Canada. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, majoring in Human Biology as well as Biological Anthropology. In my final years of my undergraduate degree, I was involved diabetes-related research in two different labs. After exposure to scientific research, I had decided that it was a career path I wanted to follow. I then pursued a Master of Science degree at the University of Alberta, specializing in Molecular Biology and Genetics. My project focused of the genetic aspects neural tube defects. While I am still refining my research interests, I am particularly fascinated by the use of molecular biology techniques and gene manipulation for the development of disease therapies.

My time as a TransPot ESR will be spent at Newcastle University. I will be studying prostate stem cell biology and organogenesis in order to efficiently produce prostate organoids for further research and to better understand the development of prostate cancer. I am hoping that TransPot will assist me in becoming a more productive and independent researcher while also meeting and training with other researchers with similar interests and goals.

During my spare time, I enjoy staying active with sports such as basketball and boxing. I also like to travel and explore the world around me and experience new cultures and cuisines.

S Umbreen

Syed Umbreen
ESR at the Queen's University of Belfast

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I come from a place called Kashmir which lies in the north of India. I have a family background of Medical Researchers, Medical Professionals and Teachers. I completed my undergrad (Biochemistry honors; 3 years) from Kashmir University with 1st Division and then pursued my Master's degree in Biotechnology from Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi in 1st Division with Distinction, (CGPA Score: 9.13). During the last 6 months of my degree, I opted to work in cancer biology laboratory for 6 months and successfully defended my MSc. thesis entitled "Effect of Macrotyloma Uniflorum against Cervical Cancer" before a committee of Science Faculty. After successfully completing my Master's degree I received "SURE Fellowship from Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota" where I worked in a Prostate Cancer Laboratory in the section of Molecular Chemoprevention and Therapeutics at The Hormel Institute. I have an abstract in the Conference proceeding of AACR:

Saleem M, Ganaie A, Maqbool R, Beigh FH, Umbreen S, Dulynova K, Konety BR. Developing novel inhibitors of S100A4 for neuroendocrine (NE) and metastatic prostate cancer: systematic testing using relevant models and drug development techniques. Annual Meeting of American Association for Cancer Research, April 1-5, 2017, Washington, D.C. USA

I aspire to become a molecular biologist with an interest in the research fields related to human diseases especially prostate cancer. My focus has always been medical sciences. There is continuity of my interest right from Bachelor's degree till now in the field of medical science research and my interest in this field shall remain forever!

The project within the TransPot EU Consortium will allow me to further develop the approaches (ChIP seq, ATAC seq and FAIRE seq) through access to a range of novel prostate cancer models and clinical samples and in conjunction with other partners who will be generating complementary omics and drug response datasets within the time period of this project. In the course of the project, I will also undertake three research secondments each of two months with three partner institutions where I will obtain additional practical experience of patient- based prostate cancer models and cross-platform data analysis and exposure to bioinformatics in a non- academic context. One of my secondments is the industrial secondment where I will gain exposure to the corporate sector of the field.

My long-term goal is to become a productive researcher in the field of biomedical sciences, publish high-impact papers in top-notch journals, learn grantsmanship, write Grant Proposals and file patents.

Syeda Afshan v2 

Syeda Afshan
ESR at the University of Turku

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I have graduated with the following degrees: Post graduate diploma in Cellular and Molecular Diagnostics from The Oxford college of science, Bangalore University, India in October 2016. Bachelor of Engineering in Biotechnology from BMS college of engineering, Visvesvaraya Technological University, India in June 2014.

I have worked as a research fellow at high throughput screening/high content imaging facility, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India from Apr 2016 to May 2017 (Fellowship awarded by Department of Biotechnology, Government of India). Also, I have gained experience in molecular biology techniques at Triesta sciences, Diagnostic and R&D laboratory, HCG cancer hospital, Bangalore, India from Dec 2014 to June 2015 (Fellowship awarded by Biotech Industrial Training Program (BITP), Government of India).

As a student of science, I enjoy the challenge of optimizing, analyzing and implementation of newer concepts, protocols and technologies as a part of my research. I also like being a part of various scientific workshops and talks. Furthermore, the collaboration between academia and industries is a factor of the Marie Sklodowska Curie ITN network which appeals to my way of learning as this justifies the application perspective of theoretical knowledge.
My research interest briefly includes exploring novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets of cancer with advanced in-vitro, in-vivo models and research technologies that are more realistic and reliable compared to existing models.

I am eager to explore the possibility of developing and working on organotypic 3D-tissue models and explant cultures of prostate cancer including castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Herewith, I aim to explore the analysis of human prostate cancer specimens and their hormone and paracrine (FGF/FGFR-mediated) regulation, targeted therapy particularly against prostate cancer, screening of compounds to identify hits against prostate cancer. Furthermore, I would like to have developed excellent scientific acumen, good networking skills and work with scientists from across Europe through collaborations.

I enjoy socializing, cooking, reading and practicing yoga.

A van Hemelryk

Annelies Van Hemelryk
ESR at Erasmus MC

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My name is Annelies Van Hemelryk and I am from Dendermonde, which is a town in the Flemish part of Belgium. After graduating from high school I moved to Ghent, were I gained a bachelor's and master's degree in Medicine. Since the beginning of my studies I have been greatly interested in urology and prostate cancer in particular. During my masters I performed clinical research in the context of my thesis on the relationship between varicocele and prostate disorders (BPH and prostate cancer). Subsequently, I worked as a resident in urology, with clinical training in general surgery for two years and urology for fifteen months. During my residency I was involved in prostate cancer related clinical research, which resulted in an A1 publication on the outcome of radiation therapy and androgen deprivation therapy in lymph node positive prostate cancer patients.

Because of this background, the clinical experience I have gained and my keen interest in cancer research, the TransPot project was very appealing to me. I am also convinced that the multidisciplinary research training programme provided by TransPot will make an excellent foundation for the further career I would like to pursue in translational cancer research. Within this field my particular interest is directed to clinical, molecular and cell biological aspects of oncogenesis, cancer progression and metastasis, drug targets and drug resistance, with a focus on prostate cancer, in order to contribute to advancements in the treatment and prognosis of this disease.

During my time as ESR within the TransPot consortium, I will be working at the Experimental Urology Research Group of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. My research will concentrate on the establishment of prostate cancer 3D/organoid cultures and subsequent characterization and validation of these novel in vitro systems. Next, these established 3D/organoid cultures will be applied in drug screens to select novel compounds that interfere with tumour growth.

During my spare time I like to go for a stroll around the city and discover new places, spend time with friends and family, read a good novel or go for a run. During the holidays I enjoy skiing and travelling around the world.

M Kdadra

Marouane Kdadra
ESR at numares HEALTH

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My name is Marouane Kdadra and I am from Morocco. I did my studies at the University of Mohammed V in Rabat where I got my bachelor degree in Computational Physics and a master degree in Theoretical physics.

I became interested in the implications of modeling and computing in the healthcare field so I moved to France and graduated from the Polytechnic school of Tours in Imaging and medical physics. There I had the opportunity to learn about computational modeling, signal processing and imaging modalities.

I look forward to become a subject matter expert in the field of data analysis and algorithm development with the scope to contribute to the life science research and healthcare industry. I also plan to acquire more expertise and both academic and professional skills during and after the completion of my PhD project in order to grow into an experienced scientist.

Within the TransPot network, I will be working at Numares and the overall goal of my research project is to identify and validate urinary metabolite biomarkers and biomarker networks, i.e. high-dimensional classifiers, associated with prostate cancer using metabolomics evaluation of urine by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.

During my spare time, I enjoy watching series or football. I also plan to learn German.

A Mantisou

Anna Mantsiou
ESR at the Biomedical Research Foundation Of The Academy Of Athens

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My name is Anna Mantsiou and I am form Greece. I hold a BSc degree in Biology specialized in Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology (University of Crete, Greece) during which I obtained a solid educational background in Biology with focus on molecular mechanisms. During my last 1.5 year of thesis and internship I became experienced in the molecular techniques western blot, flow cytometry and DNA PCR cloning and importantly I obtained strong knowledge on how to design, develop and validate a protocol. Since I believe in the merit that interdisciplinary science has on academic progress, I continued my MSc studies in Nanoscience (Copenhagen University, Denmark) on cell studies and advanced bioimaging of G- protein coupled receptors where I expertised myself in live cell imaging and data analysis with complex software. Following my MSc studies, I stayed in Denmark and worked as Research Assistant in Odense University. There, I have worked on setting up and calibrating instruments for chromatography analysis (FPLC, Åkta) and for oligonucleotide synthesis (Expedite) and on ELISA in vitro diagnostics.

During my academic life I trained myself to adjust and work in interdisciplinary environments meeting respective requirements successfully and formed the ability to be open- minded and study Biology from different perspectives.

As a TransPot ESR I will be working at the Proteomics Laboratory at Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Greece. My Project general objective will be to identify and characterize tissue biomarkers for cancer resistant prostate cancer by applying a combination of proteomics methodologies in clinical tissue specimens. In addition, the protein changes found will be correlated and integrated with other omics data to predict affected molecular pathways and discover novel therapeutic targets.

I am convinced that during the intensive PhD training at the TransPot network I will gain valuable experience and form the proper foundation to evolve as a Researcher.

In my spare time I enjoy spending quality time with friends, practicing yoga and travelling.

Mina Sattari

Mina Sattari
ESR at the University of Tampere

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I am Mina Sattari, graduate of veterinary medicine from Urmia University, Urmia, Iran.

During my veterinary course, I was interested in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology so I joined a scientific group in the department of biochemistry focusing on molecular biology fields. As a veterinarian, I am so interested in molecular biology research which kind of means I am going to switch research fields rather than medical care or treatment of the animal. Meanwhile, after graduation, I gained expertise in the field of bacterial cultures, protein expression, and purification, food analysis chemistry, microbiology and routines in veterinary medicine. Besides, I have been trained in techniques such as cell culture, molecular methods including PCR, Real-time PCR, etc.

My hope is to learn much more professional knowledge in the field of Molecular Biology of Prostate Cancer. I will avail myself of the ample academic activities to exchange and to learn from leading specialists, and to develop new perspectives. In this way, I hope to achieve so innovative research results and produce several high-quality research papers. I expect that the research-intensive Ph.D. training there will help me become well prepared for careers in Molecular Biology of Prostate Cancer research.

My hobbies and interests include socializing with friends and family, reading novels, watching TV and traveling.

M Cangiano

Mario Cangiano
ESR at GenomeScan 

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 My name is Mario Cangiano, I  studied in the south of Italy, obtaining both a bachelor in Biotechnology and a master in Genetic Sciences and Technologies at the University of Sannio, Benevento.

I have always been interested in informatics and its ability to provide an overall view of the biological problem under investigation. For this reason, I've exploited the master thesis period to acquire expertise in R package development and in the application of statistical and machine-learning approaches to next-generation sequencing data.

I've worked for Biogem Research Institute, participating in several studies and projects of the Bioinformatic Core Lab and for the University of Sannio as a researcher in bioinformatics. I've been mainly involved in cancer omics studies oriented towards: big biological data mining, tumour biomarkers identification and patients molecular-based stratification. I proposed a new integrative pipeline to stratify tumor patients according to the observed alterations in key intracellular signalling pathways using clustering techniques and principal component analysis. I've also worked on an inferential workflow to identify tumor clonal and subclonal variants signatures in order to disclose information on cancer microenvironment crosstalks.

Concerning my research interests, I'm a tireless learner when it comes to systems biology and artificial intelligence exploited for the extraction of insights from biological data. Working on the TransPot project I hope to develop advanced skills in the integration of omics data, panel and target validation from a clinical perspective and patent management.

During my spare time I enjoy playing the guitar to entertain friends as well as playing sports.


Cathal McKinney 2

Cathal McKinney
ESR at Almac Diagnostics

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My name is Cathal McKinney and I am from Republic of Ireland. I received my Bachelor's degree in Genetics from the Smurfit Institute of Genetics of Trinity College Dublin. I became interested in computational and statistical analysis during my studies and decided to further explore this field of research by securing a place in the master's program of Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics at Queen's University Belfast. As a Master's student, I researched the prognostic ability of hypoxia gene signatures in oesophageal adenocarcinoma. I am interested in personalised medicine, specifically disease stratification through biomarker discovery and assay development.

Within the TransPot training network, I will be working on the project "Consensus subtyping in prostate cancer" under the supervision of Dr. Nuala McCabe of Almac Diagnostics and Dr. Jaine Blayney of the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology. The main aim of this project is to identify novel molecular subtypes of prostate cancer, to investigate the biological and clinical characteristics of the identified subgroups and to determine their prognostic and predictive utility. Additionally, I will be validating pre-existing assays developed by Almac in prostate cancer including the DDRD and MEK/EMT assays. By working as part of the TransPot training network and Almac Diagnostics, I will have the opportunity to perform research that has the potential to have a profound impact on the treatment of prostate cancer. Outside of academia, my hobbies include running in the mornings, watching good movies, and exploring Belfast at the weekends.

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Ingrid Tomljanovic

ESR at GenomeScan

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My name is Ingrid Tomljanovic, I recently graduated with High Honors in Molecular Biology at the University of Zagreb after completing my MSc thesis in computational cancer genomics at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine - IRB Barcelona. Throughout my studies, I focused on acquiring bioinformatics competencies in addition to a wider background in molecular biology. As an undergraduate, I obtained my first research experience in the field of intrinsically disordered proteins using a combination of bioinformatic and experimental methods. Later on, my MSc thesis comprised a comprehensive association analysis of somatic mutations with mutational signatures across all TCGA cancer types. 

My research interests involve the genomic basis of various groups of complex diseases such as cancer and neuropsychiatric disorders. In particular, I am interested in the roles, mutation and expression of noncoding RNAs. As a TransPot ESR, I hope to integrate different data types from preclinical models for biomarker discovery and validation, as well as for elucidating gene regulatory mechanisms in prostate cancer.

Partner Organisations

Prostate Cancer UK


Prostate Cancer UK leads the fight against prostate cancer. We fund ground-breaking research, drive improvements in treatment, and fight injustice in care. Now we’ve set ourselves the toughest challenge yet: to stop prostate cancer being a killer. Through shifting the science to focus on radical improvements in diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support, we can make prostate cancer a disease the next generation of men need not fear.

Biography: Iain Frame is currently Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK He is a member of the Executive Team, reporting directly to the Chief Executive. With senior colleagues, Iain leads Prostate Cancer UK in key areas of business including, strategic planning, budget management, staff development and in ensuring the successful delivery of the charity's bold and ambitious strategy Ten Years to Tame Prostate Cancer. Iain also supports and advises the Board of Trustees on internal and external issues pertaining to medical research. Iain is a strong advocate of getting results by developing partnerships and using innovative approaches to support the research community to deliver results to benefit men with prostate cancer.

Iain was previously at Diabetes UK where he held the post of Research Director for five years, during which time he took forward its funding of high quality, internationally acclaimed studies and worked with the fundraising teams to help almost double the organisation's research spend. Iain started in the world of charitable research funding with the Wellcome Trust, following many years actively involved in research as a parasitologist.

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Helsinki University Central Hospital


Helsinki University medical campus has top facilities for contemporary translational prostate cancer research. Helsinki University Hospital, Dept. of Urology and the Dept. of Pathology (Haartman Institute) are situated next to the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), a research institute with Nordic EMBL partnership status. FIMM is a modern research institute with high-throughput tissue and cellular arrays, multispectral imaging and virtual microscope platforms developed in-house. FIMM technology centre offers sequencing and drug screening facilities as well as expertise in bioinformatics. Close collaboration with urologist forms an advanced environment for translational prostate cancer research and training. University of Helsinki is among 100 best universities in the world annually in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings' in clinical, pre-clinical and health research. In addition to comprehensive retrospective registries and tissue collections, the collaborative integration in Transpot offers world-leading environment for prospective integrated biobanking, with Helsinki Biobank as a provider of clinical prostate cancer materials.

Biography: Dr. Tuomas Mirtti, (MD, PhD, Adjunct Professor) is a consulting pathologist and senior research scientist at Helsinki University and FIMM. He has supervised 6 MD/M.Sc theses and is currently supervising 6MD, PhD theses. He is conducting research and clinical work on urological cancers, mainly prostate cancer, with 15 years' experience. The areas of expertise are urological, GI and breast pathology and research is conducted in a global network, especially with prostate cancer researchers. He has published 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles. The special interests are tissue biomarkers, survival and treatment effect prediction and personalised medicine in urological cancers.

European Association of Urology

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ESUR aims to promote basic and clinical research in the field of urology and related areas. We act as a platform for researchers in different disciplines, in order to improve the coordination of experimental research.

The EAU Section for Urological Research was founded more than 25 years ago by a small group of scientists as the European Society for Urological Oncology and Endocrinology (ESUOE). The society was renamed as the European Society for Urological Research. During the 24th Annual EAU Congress in Stockholm in 2009, ESUR became an EAU Section, and joined the EAU Section Office. Today, ESUR meetings provide top-quality content in the field of research. Speakers are selected on the basis of their contributions, scientific standing, and innovative approaches. ESUR has an ever-increasing number of participants and the meeting participants are drawn to the meetings' scientific content. ESUR also contributes to the Annual EAU Congress.

Most of our researchers are engaged in oncology research. However, ESUR also welcomes scientists in other areas. The section covers a number of subspecialty topics like non-malignant diseases and emerging fields such as tissue engineering. Both researchers with PhD and MD degree participate in ESUR activities and are represented in the Board.

Biography: Prof. Dr. Kerstin Junker is a senior physician and Head of the Department of clinical-experimental research at the Clinic of Urology, Homburg. She is a speaker of the German kidney cancer network and a member of the Interdisciplinary Task Force Renal Cell Tumors of the German Cancer Association. In addition, since 2009 she has been the Chair of the Section of Urological Research of the European Association of Urology.

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Carver Wilde Communications 


Carver Wilde is an integrated PR and marketing consultancy which focuses on clinical diagnostics, medical devices, life sciences, FMCG and sustainable resources.

Relevant Biomedical Clients and Partners include:

  • Beckman Coulter Life Sciences.
  • Philips Digital Pathology/Philips Handheld Diagnostics.
  • Stago UK.
  • Danaher business units - with a special focus on clinical flow cytometry and in vitro diagnostics.
  • European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC).
  • Pro- NEST: Associate Partner and Supervisory board member.
  • Translational Research Network for Prostate Cancer.

Biography: Jennie Wilde is a specialist in the global B2B communications and marketing of life sciences/biotechnology and clinical diagnostics solutions. As a writer she excels in taking complex content and creating clarity of message. A graduate in English, Latin and Biology, Jennie has formal marketing training and degree‐level study in philosophy. She is an individual member of the UK's Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Before establishing Carver Wilde, she spent several years at global PR consultancy Burson‐Marsteller, managing campaigns for international brands and organisations spanning healthcare, FMCG and legal issues. Jennie started her professional life as a newspaper and TV news & current affairs journalist and subeditor. She wrote widely on medical issues. Her TV work included current affairs documentaries on German industrial best practice. She carried out film assignments for UK government to promote UK expertise overseas. This included work for the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence for which she has signed the Official Secrets Act.

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Cancer Research Technology


At Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories (CRT DL, part of CRUK) we aim to translate basic research findings to therapies for cancer patients. We act as a bridge between large and small Pharma companies and academics, bringing the two together to exploit ideas and inventions for the benefit of cancer patients. We do this by offering small molecule drug discovery and alliance management expertise in large scale academic-pharma collaborations with the express goal of getting new therapies into patient studies. We rely heavily on partnerships with our clinical and academic contacts to enable the best teams of scientists to work with Pharma.

Biography: Tim Hammonds has a degree in Pharmacy and a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry and microbiology from the University of Nottingham. After five years of enzymology research in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Leicester, Tim joined CRT DL in 1999. During his time there he has built and run an assay development, protein production and an HTS department. Now Deputy Director of Discovery, Tim spends his time managing all aspects of translational drug discovery; from the operational aspects of the early drug discovery process, right through to the negotiation and management of multi-site academic/industry drug discovery alliances.

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Strathclyde University


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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 721746







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Read more about the Research Groups working at the Beatson Institute.



Seminars 2021

Find out more about our seminars including our Distinguished Seminar Programme.