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Overview and Objectives of Target Melanoma:

Malignant melanoma is a highly aggressive disease, with minimal treatment options for patients that present in the later stages. In our Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) project, Target-Melanoma, we are investigating the molecular basis underlying this difficult-to-treat disease, focusing on the discovery of new biomarkers (i.e. indicators) or potential targets for therapy. Target-Melanoma involves collaboration between 7 partners across 5 EU countries, including 5 academic institutions and 2 SMEs. To implement our project, we believed that the Marie Curie IAPP program was the best funding opportunity to facilitate transfer of technological and intellectual expertise. We applied for the project in March 2008, and were placed on the reserve list after evaluation in July. In December 2008 we were informed that we were successful and have recently completed negotiations with the European Commission. The overall project has a total budget of just over €1.75M, which will fund both secondments and recruitments between the 7 partners.

This project is a wide ranging project to investigate several areas of melanoma biology and advanced biomedical research technology. Specifically, several of our academic groups bring expertise in relation to the study of melanoma progression and epigenetic mechanisms. In addition, they will be providing access to tumour samples, which will be used throughout the project. The SMEs are providing access to and training in advanced technologies, and this project will allow them to expand into the cancer/melanoma area.

 In regard to the Irish economy, it is worth noting that UCD is acting as the co-ordinating institution of the project. Moreover, there are two Irish SMEs involved in Target-Melanoma, namely Cellix and OncoMark. The project will support multiple secondments between the Irish SMEs and UCD, as well as the other European-based academic participants. In addition, it will also support recruitment of 3 experienced researchers into the Irish SMEs, which will lead to further development of the products/technology offered by the SMEs. Overall, this project will have a very positive impact on Ireland, by supporting and advancing its biomedical research capacity by high-level training of scientists, as well as leading the way to improvements in the management and treatment of melanoma patients.

For more information on Target Melanoma, including details on next generation biomarkers and research outcomes, please click on the following .pdf document:

Attached Documents