Prof. Jo Vandesompele (2013)

Posted on 17-06-2013
Jo Vandesompele

 

 

"This approach ensures that the project is focused and will generate more relevant results. It brings about project managing skills for scientists. The Foundation forces you from the start to think towards patients’ needs and benefits, instead of focusing only on the scientific part."
 

“I first learned about the Foundation Fournier-Majoie in 2008. The Foundation called, for the second time since its creation in 2007, for researchers to submit a project for their Awards. The Foundation focuses on supporting cancer biomarker research. This was an excellent opportunity for my laboratory; organizations that traditionally fund scientific research often are not interested in biomarker research because it is too applied."

Our neuroblastoma research (a rare cancer that affects little children) was selected for the Awards 2008. A new world presented itself and working with the Foundation was a perfect match. Their support goes beyond mere financial aid. They are very involved, interested in the research and offer market expertise to a team of scientists.  They have a meticulous follow-up for each of their projects via bi-annual steering committees. This implies that every six months our project is evaluated whereby we are challenged for every decision we made or have to make.

This approach ensures that the project is focused and will generate more relevant results. It brings about project managing skills for scientists. The Foundation forces you from the start to think towards patients’ needs and benefits, instead of focusing only on the scientific part.  Working with the Foundation Fournier-Majoie I’ve also gained a lot of know-how that has also helped me in my activities for Biogazelle, a Ghent University spin-off company offering genomics solutions, including quantitative and digital PCR.

Of course I was very enthusiastic to learn that the Foundation selected the research of my colleague prof. Speleman and myself for the Awards 2013. This renewed collaboration allows us to take our neuroblastoma research to the next level, meaning the validation of the mRNA and miRNA signatures, and the integration of a methylation signature under development.

Jo Vandesompele
Loterie Nationale