From the 15th to the 17th May 2017, the MELGEN researchers, together with their group leaders, will be gathering in Camogli, Italy to attend the 14th annual scientific meeting of the GenoMEL, BioGenoMEL and MELGEN consortia.
Founded in 1997, the GenoMEL consortium was formed by a number of melanoma research groups dotted around Europe, Australia and the US, who understood that in order for melanoma research to progress, groups around the world needed to collaborate effectively, sharing not only ideas but also biological samples. Between 2005 and 2011 GenoMEL was funded under the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) to the tune of €10.45 million, however in recent years GenoMEL has continued to evolve, giving rise to BioGenoMEL (a daughter consortium focusing on understanding the genetics of survival from melanoma) and most recently the MELGEN consortium which itself is funded by a €4.8 million grant through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 641458.
This year not only marks the 20th Anniversary of the formal creation of the GenoMEL consortium but also the upcoming retirement of one its most long standing members Prof. Giovanna Bianchi-Scarrà leader of the Skin Cancer Genetics Group at the University of Genoa. Over three days, scientists from the GenoMEL, BioGenoMEL and MELGEN consortia will present the latest breakthroughs and development in melanoma research. Presentations will focus on: the genes associated with determining risk of developing melanoma; alterations of genes both in the germline and specifically in the melanoma tumour that affect outcome; understanding how the melanoma tumour interacts with the host’s immune system; and how to use these new findings to improve patient care.
With around 90 of the world’s leading melanoma researchers attending the Scientific Meeting provides an opportunity for the MELGEN ESRs to present their work and discuss their projects in an environment where absolute confidentiality, one of the tenets under which GenoMEL operates, is assured. In addition to having access to the expertise of renowned scientists in their field, they will also be able to form new associations with the potential for collaborative research in the future.
Last but not least, following the conclusion of the scientific meeting, the ESRs will have the opportunity to train for two days with some of the best statisticians and bioinformaticians to develop their skills in analysing the large and complex datasets that are now common in biomedical, and melanoma research.