The ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded to outstanding researchers with at least seven and up to twelve years of experience after completing their PhD, and a scientific track record showing great promise.
“This ERC grant is a recognition of everybody in the laboratory as my research is very much team effort. It allows us to continue doing ground-breaking multidisciplinary research with the aim to improve treatment for cancer patients in the future.” says Louis Vermeulen.
“Previous research from my laboratory showed that bowel cancer is in fact a collection of different diseases. These so-called subtypes differ in the clinical presentation, the response to therapies and the prognosis of the patients. Our research is aimed at unravelling the molecular underpinning of these differences” he adds.
In the current project, Vermeulen and his team will focus on the subtype with the poorest disease outcome and seek to elucidate which signals drive the growth in these cancers. Although in most bowel cancers the environment is a key factor in promoting tumor growth, preliminary evidence suggests that this aggressive subtype is independent of the environment and the cancer cells found ways to mimic supporting cells. This provides a promising new target for therapies.