A conference aimed at improving collaboration between the various sectors of cancer research will be hosted in Dundee, UK, this year.
The second Dundee-Toulouse Cancer Research Alliance Conference will be held in Dundee on 12–14 June 2008.
Some 250 delegates from Toulouse and Dundee are expected to attend the event, which forms part of a wider programme aimed at creating an international cancer research network and improving global alliances between key specialists.
Topics to be discussed over the three-day conference include cell signalling, clinical and translational research, technology, imaging and drug discovery.
The conference will bring together clinicians and scientists from academic institutes and biotechnology pharmaceutical companies.
Dr Jean-Christophe Bourdon of Dundee University explained that creating the opportunity for liaison between professionals across the cancer research sector was crucial towards improving diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
He said: “Significant studies into cancer are taking place on an international scale and Dundee is at the forefront of this research.
“Developing collaborations on an international basis is key towards making significant progress in terms of the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.
“Providing the occasion for experts from across the globe to liaise with one another to share ideas, collaborate and communicate is essential towards capitalising on the value and quality of the cancer research which is being conducted.
“The creation of long-term scientific cooperation between Toulouse Cancer Centre and the University of Dundee is the main objective of the conference,” he continued.
“The event will bring together experts from the diverse fields of cancer research within these two cities, with the aim of developing partnerships and fostering strong working relationships.”
He added: “The European population is ageing and cancer will affect more and more people in the next decades. Research of cancer treatment is therefore a top priority.”
Dr Bourdon explained that the French government had invested some £700m in setting up Europe’s largest cancer centre in Toulouse which, as the second university city in France, had international expertise in technology and biotechnology.
The inaugural Dundee-Toulouse Cancer Research Alliance conference, held in Toulouse in 2006, provided the basis for the establishment of joint PhD programmes and an exchange programme for scientists and clinicians between Dundee and Toulouse universities.
The universities are two of the institutes involved in an initiative by the French national medical research council INSERM.
The purpose of the initiative is to create an international network of research centres.
Dundee and Glasgow universities have set up INSERM-funded laboratories as part of this project. Other such labs have been set up in Japan, South Korea, China, Germany and the USA.