DC-THERA - Dendritic cells for novel immuotherapies
Dendritic cell (DC) immune-biology has enormous potential for development of new immunotherapies for cancer and infectious disease. Europe possesses a critical mass of leaders in the field who have pioneered many innovative advances and provided initial pr oof of principle for the approach. This NoE, DC-THERA, will integrate the activities of 25 participant groups of scientists and clinicians and 6 high quality SMEs across Europe. It will incorporate additional groups, particularly from future member states, as Associated Members of the Network Their collective expertise and resources will be forged into an ambitious Joint Programme of Activities to restructure the field. It will translate genomic, proteomic and bioinformatic information, with knowledge from molecular cell biology and pre-clinical models, into therapeutic endpoints: clinical trials of DC-based therapies for cancer and HIV. Towards this end, four thematic S&T Clusters have been defined, with a fifth for horizontal activities. The latter inc ludes development of synergistic links with other Networks, providing added value to EC Programmes by underpinning all projects developing new vaccine strategies for major killer diseases. The Network will implement an IT-based integrated knowledge managem ent system and provide a centralised European resource of databases for the field. DC-THERA will develop new research tools, integrate existing and new technological platforms, recruit additional support staff, and make these available as shared resources for all partners It will implement an ambitious Education and Training Programme, including new PhD studentships, a Visiting Scholars Scheme, high quality training courses, and a postgraduate degree in translational DC immunobiology. DC-THERA will contribu te to the European biotechnology sector and have a major impact on European policy-making for the future. DC-THERA will evolve itself into a Centre of Excellence for DC Biology,with a lasting and global impact.