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Plymouth University-Led Initiative Awarded €3.7M for Brain Cancer Diagnosis

NEW YORK (360Dx) – Plymouth University announced today that the European Commission has awarded nearly €3.7 million ($4.4 million) to an international effort training new researchers in the early diagnosis of brain cancer.

The four-year initiative — called An Integrated Platform for Developing Brain Cancer Diagnostic Techniques, or AiPBAND — is being funded under the EC's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework program and will be led by Plymouth University. Focusing on gliomas, AiPBAND's specific objectives are to identify new blood biomarkers for the disease; to design plasmonic-based, graphene-based, and digital ELISA assay-based multiplex biosensors; and to develop a big data-empowered intelligent data management infrastructure and cloud-based diagnostic systems.

Through the initiative, which also includes partner organizations from China, an estimated 14 research fellows will be trained by academic and private sector experts from participating organizations in fields including neuroscience, engineering, healthcare, and economics. Individual research projects under the nonprofit Vitae Researcher Development Framework will be arranged into local training courses, network-wide events, secondments, and personalized career development plans with private sector involvement, according to Plymouth University.

"This approach will ensure exploitation of AiPBAND's achievements, maximizing the abilities of early-stage researchers in creative and innovative thinking, knowledge transformation, while encouraging a business-orientated mindset and entrepreneurship," the university added.

The initiative includes participants from University College London; the Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine; Stockholm University; the Karolinska Institute; Istituti Fisioterapici Ospitalieri; the University of Catania; Scriba Nanotecnologie; Medical Trials Analysis Italy; The Hyve; Stichting Katholieke Universiteit; and the University of Leuven. Partner organizations include Engage AG; Aesculap Academy; Hunan University; Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University; Beijing Genome Institute; and Biotecture Limited.

"This is an exciting bringing-together of a wide range of international interprofessional and interdiscipline expertise with one aim in mind — to futureproof research into brain tumours by creating a whole new generation of researchers," Plymouth University's Xinzhong Li, who is leading the initiative, said in a statement.