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EU Providing $33M for Karolinska-led Initiatives

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The European Union is providing €24 million ($32.7 million) to fund two programs involving researchers from throughout Europe directed at cancer research.

The two initiatives, called the Systems Microscopy Network of Excellence, or NoE, and Systems Biology of Colorectal Cancer, or SYSCOL, are being funded by the EU's Seventh Framework Programme, and will be based at Sweden's Karolinska Institute. Each initiative will receive €12 million over five years.

NoE will be led by Staffan Strömblad, a professor of clinical molecular biology at Karolinska Institute, and will involve work by 60 researchers from seven European universities and one company. Their goal will be to create mathematical models "of biological processes in time and space," the institute said in a statement. Those models can then be tested experimentally

"The research methods that currently dominate the life sciences, such as genomics and proteomics, provide snapshots of the biological conditions prevalent at the precise moment of sampling," Karolinska said. "Biological processes are, however, the result of more than one such moment, and that is what the scientists will now be able to examine."

SYSCOL will be led by Jussi Taipale, a professor of medical system biology at Karolinska, who will coordinate the efforts of scientists from nine universities in Europe, one American university, and one biotech company. Their goal will be to identify genes associated with tumor formation, as well as to identify the regulatory elements controlling the expression of these genes.

Taipale and his team will use the latest technology for large-scale, genome-wide biological analyses, and DNA sequencing.

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