ONCORNET 2015-2019

Cancer is a leading health concern. There is a need to fully understand the fundamental processes underlying development of cancer. There is increasing evidence that G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and their associated signalling cascades are involved in both cancer progression and metastasis. As oncogenic GPCRs are likely to be amenable to manipulation via drugs they are ideal therapeutic targets. In ONCORNET (Oncogenic Receptor Network of Excellence and Training) we propose to target two oncogenic GPCRs; the chemokine receptors CXCR4 and CXCR7. These are highly expressed in a range of tumours and yet their role in cancer progression is not well understood. We will focus on unravelling how CXCR4 and CXCR7 are or can be modulated (small molecules, pepducins, nanobodies) and investigate the effects on oncogenic responses. This represents crucial knowledge that we currently do not have and yet may well provide potential leads for drug development and commercialisation.

ONCORNET will bring together the leading research scientists and labs in Europe with an interest in GPCRs and 15 early stage researchers. We will employ all the latest multidisciplinary research technologies to understand the role of these GPCRs in cancer and develop CXCR4 and CXCR7 tools for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Importantly, developed approaches can be extrapolated to other oncogenic GPCRs. The ONCORNET consortium will offer an extensive multidisciplinary training programme to the ESRs to ensure that they can operate in today’s drug discovery programmes. This will include both research (e.g. drug discovery, proteomics, imaging, modelling) and transferable (e.g. entrepreneurship, writing, media training) skill sets –that is rarely offered at PhD level. We will train ESRs to develop the next generation of multidisciplinary scientists with skills that are highly demanded by many of today’s employers in drug development industries.

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Great way to finish the week off with some #FCS measurements of CXCR4-expressing HEK cells at @UoNLifeSci 🔬 #FluorescenceFriday

Hello everyone!
I am Noemi Karsai and I’m the next in our #ESR introduction series. I’m #ESR11 and I’m originally from Hungary, currently doing my PhD at @UoNLifeSci @COMPARE_UoBUoN, UK.

The transatlantic ECI GPCR symposium #ECIGPCR is about to start, we are ready!! Thanks to the organizers for their excellent job gathering almost 500 people across the globe! @cyclic_Andreas @NicoleAPerry1 @BenderSci @DesislavaNeshe1

My project will be focused on the role of #CXCR4/ACKR3/GRK2 -governed networks in cancer cell migration and metastasis.

Hello 🙂
I am here to continue the series in which all #ESRs are presenting themselves. I am Viviana Marolda and I am in my first year of PhD. I am #ESR13, originally from Italy, and currently, I am working as a PhD student in @CBMSO_CSIC_UAM, at Universidad Autonoma de Madrid.

Hey twitter!
I am @DehanComez. I am taking over the Oncornet account for a while to start a series of all #ESRs writing about themselves and their projects. I am #ESR5, originally from Turkey and right now I am working as a PhD student in @COMPARE_UoBUoN , @UniofNottingham , UK.

New review on #gpcr structural dynamics out in COSB. Great teamwork with the @JanaSelent group. Thanks to @Lundbeckfonden and @novonordiskfond https://lnkd.in/eyjrA5V

ONCORNET2.0 is the successor to #ONCORNET. You can see some of the work of ESRs from the first ONCORNET in this special issue of @MolPharmJournal from 2019, with reviews on #CXCR4 and #ACKR3 structure and function: https://molpharm.aspetjournals.org/content/96/6

Hi everyone – we’re on Twitter! ONCORNET2.0 is a #MarieCurie ITN of 16 ESRs across Europe studying #chemokine #GPCRs #CXCR4 and #ACKR3 in cancer. Our projects cover molecular dynamics, medchem, #pharmacology through to translational work. Follow us for updates from our ESRs!

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Contact details

Please contact us at:

ONCORNET Coordinator
VU University Amsterdam
The Netherlands