ICGEB Cape Town Cancer Genomics & Swiss-South Africa Joint Research Programme

The ICGEB Cancer Genomics Group is featured in the Swiss-South Africa Joint Research Programme (SSAJRP) publication, featuring two of the Groups collaborative projects, led by Dr Luiz Zerbini.

The publication, produced by the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, in collaboration with the South African Department of Science and Innovation, captures the 10-year science and technology collaboration between Switzerland and South Africa (2008-2018), and the impact of the Programme’s projects.

The first Project, a joint research collaboration with ICGEB and Dr Carlo Catapano from the Institute for Oncology Research at the University of Applied Sciences for Southern Switzerland was on ‘Epigenetic cross-talks and novel therapeutic strategies to prevent disease progression in ERG fusion-positive prostate cancer’.  In this collaboration, progress was made in understanding the mechanisms involved in prostate cancer progression. The Project’s main goal is to discover novel therapeutic approaches for a specific and highly frequent subtype of prostate cancer, called ERG fusion-positive tumours.

The second Project, a joint research collaboration with ICGEB and Dr Eduardo Moreno from the University of Bern, was entitled ‘Flower code and cell competition: Understanding its role in cancer initiation, proliferation and tumour therapy’.  Here, collaborators identified the Flower gene as a critical regulator of cell competition that, together with other cell competition regulators, can be used as a biomarker of cancer and for therapy purposes.

ICGEB Workshops held in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2016 and 2018 were activities as part of these respective projects.

Both of these projects trained young scientists, opened opportunities for the team members to pursue new research ideas, and increased the interaction of young scientists to strengthen future collaborations.

For further reading, A PDF version is available at www.eda.admin.ch/pretoria

L-R: Jacquelene Friedenthal (Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, Giuseppina Carbone, (IOR – Switzerland), Mmboneni Muofhe (Department of Science and Innovation – South Africa), Carlo Catapano (IOR – Switzerland), Dr Luiz Zerbini and ICGEB Director General Lawrence Banks (ICGEB)
Dr Eduardo Moreno, University of Bern, Switzerland