Prof Kristian Berg coordinator and lead for the project, from the Oslo University Hospital Department of Radiation Biology said of the meeting: “It is really inspiring to collaborate with such excellent scientists on this challenging, but highly exciting approach to treat the so far non-curable glioblastoma multiforme cancer disease. The multidisciplinary team brings an important and necessary dimension to rapid development of the new treatment modality LUMIBLAST. The meeting brought new ideas on the table that will be used to guide our research further towards new chemical entities for future clinical use.”
While Dr Theodossis A. Theodossiou project manager, also from the Oslo University Hospital Department of Radiation Biology commented: “The meeting was not only productive, inspiring, fascinating and stimulating but also helped the bonding of the project partners especially in the unexpected cataclysmic rain after a cordial meeting dinner. During the meeting the overall progress was montaged together so potential difficulties as well as unforeseen requirements could be visualised but most importantly our future actions could be shaped into an effective spearhead.”
While the partners are in frequent contact, the meeting provided each with an opportunity to make formal presentations of the results from the parts of the work packages they are responsible for and to receive feedback from all the participants. Equally important was an opportunity to catch up, in person, on both a social and professional level - sharing the latest news from their own institutes and areas of research, which feed into the LUMIBLAST Project.
LUMIBLAST is a remarkable idea, the brain child of Theo Theodossiou, that brings together leaders in the fields of PDT and photomedicine, synthetic organic chemistry, photochemistry, chemiluminescence and drug delivery.
Prof Dr Georgios C. Vougioukalakis from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens remarked: “The meeting was excellent in all terms. We had the opportunity to extensively discuss the progress of all LUMIBLAST work packages and design our work for the next year. While we are not a training network, as a result of the LUMIBLAST project our work has had a significant impact on the training of a new generation of European researchers: one full-time post-doctoral researcher, two partially-funded LUMIBLAST PhD students and two additional technicians working part time on the project. And two of our MSc students were so excited by the project at they provided in-kind contributions to the project. The discussions amongst the consortium and the advisory committee members were really stimulating. I was once again convinced that the consortium is perfectly designed and in the position to address all challenging research goals of the project.”
Prof Miguel A. Miranda from the Universitat Politècnica de València: “It was a really inspiring meeting. After the presentations by all partners there was a very constructive discussion. The contributions by the members of the Scientific Advisory Board were also quite helpful. I think that we came back home with an integrated idea on what was going on and with many new suggestions on how to deal with key issues. For example, we asked Dr Georgios C. Vougioukalakis from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens to synthesize some specific compounds for us, in order to check a hypothesis. We also received valuable advice from Prof Peter Ogilby on a stopped-flow setup for investigating the kinetics of different processes of interest”.
Dr Jan Knight from Knight Scientific Limited: “We had a great meeting in Pisa; not only was it very productive to get an update on everyone’s progress but really nice to meet our partners and some of their key scientists. For example, Prof Miguel A. Miranda from the Universitat Politècnica de València was accompanied by Dr Chelo Cuquerella who presented the results the results on behalf of her group. I also met Dr George Rotas and Miss Anna Pantelia, two of the scientists from Athens working with Dr Georgios C. Vougioukalakis. This was the second meeting we had this year as I was able to visit the group in July when I was in Athens on another EU Horizon 2020 project, Muscle Stress Relief. It was really nice to see Dr John Hothersall again, who is past collaborator and Prof Peter Ogilby and from the Science Advisory Board.
The consortium meeting in Pisa was a good example of constructive collaboration, a process that saw experts from different disciplines from across Europe, coming together and working towards the goal of shared success, knowing that at times this journey requires them to question and test each other’s work… an approach that mirrors the narrative of the great city of Pisa itself and one that all the Partners are proud to be part of and that all recognise is only possible through the European funding.
Prof Ingunn Tho from the University of Oslo: “Since our contribution, namely the development of drug delivery systems, builds on the research findings of the other partners, the Pisa meeting was very important to get up to speed on the latest news in order to best design our activity that will start-up in the second year of LUMIBLAST.”
Work continues between the partners with all eyes soon turning to the meeting in Brussels on November 29th 2017, which will determine the course of the research project.
Dr Jan Knight: “We are all looking forward very much to the review meeting in Brussels where we will have an opportunity to present to the Project Officer and three expert reviewers the work so far completed and other underway in this project which still has a three and half years left.
We are planning a series of communications designed to inform both the scientific community and everyone else with an interest, in this area of research through a range of media including animation, video and podcasts; content that will tell the individual stories from each of the Partners within the overarching narrative of success through shared funding and collaboration.”