21 May 2015

Second ERC-Advanced grant for Hans Clevers

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The European Research Council (ERC) awarded prof. Hans Clevers the very prestigious ERC-Advanced grant, for the second time!

Clevers received his first ERC-Advanced grant in 2008 for the detection of and research on stem cells in multiple adult organs using marker genes. With his second ERC-grant, Clevers will use the organoid technology for dissecting microbiome and immune interactions in human intestinal (cancer) organoids.

As Clevers puts it: “Organoids model the key component of the tumour but they lack some important elements. We want to combine organoids with other elements to make more-complete tools. For instance, we would like to introduce the immune system so that we can study the effects of the fantastic new immunotherapy drugs. We think that we can build it up in a reductionist way — take lymphocytes isolated from a tumour, bring these together with cancer organoids derived from the same tumour and watch what happens. And maybe we can also put microorganisms in these organoids. For example, we could add Helicobacter, a major cause of stomach cancer, to stomach organoids.”[1]

The ERC 
The European Research Council (ERC) grants support individual researchers of any nationality and age who wish to pursue their frontier research. The ERC encourages in particular proposals that cross disciplinary boundaries, pioneering ideas that address new and emerging fields and applications that introduce unconventional, innovative approaches.