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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research

Chinese-Norwegian Partnership for Education and Research in Cancer Cell Biology (ChiNoCell)

Alternative title: Kinesisk-norsk samarbeid innen utdanning og forskning i kreftcellebiologi (ChiNoCell)

Awarded: NOK 3.8 mill.

All cancers arise from cells that divide and spread in an uncontrolled manner, and understanding the biology of cancer cells is therefore a major area in cancer research. Centre for Cancer Cell Reprogramming (CanCell) aims at identifying the "Achilles' heels" of cancers, which will be targeted for reprogramming cancer cells into harmless cells. In order to strengthen CanCell's research and education within cancer cell biology, the director and co-director of CanCell will now join a partnership with two world-leading Chinese cell biologists at the Tsinghua University of Beijing and the Yunnan University of Kunming. The partnership will involve joint activities in teaching at Msc/PhD courses, exchange of MSc/PhD students, visits of postdocs and senior researchers, joint symposia in China and Oslo, and joint research projects on cancer cell biology. The ChiNoCell project is expected to significantly improve research and training within cancer cell biology at the University of Oslo, and to form long-lasting partnerships with world-class research environments in China. The ChiNoCell project will also facilitate recruitment of excellent young Chinese researchers to CanCell, and will position CanCell groups for future international grant applications together with Chinese partners. The Project was initiated by a very successful kick-off seminar in Chengde near Beijing in June 2019. This was follwed by a visit by Norwegian partners to collaborators in Kunming and Beijing in December 2019 for seminars and discussions. Unfortunately, a planned joint ChiNoCell symposium in Oslo in May 2020 had to be postponed because of the covid-19 situation. We hope to be able to arrange the symposium in the Autumn of 2022 if travel restrictions are lifted by then. In order to maintain contacts between the research environments in Oslo and Beijing/Kunming we have been arranging joint electronic symposia every second months since the Autumn of 2020. Thsee have been very successful, even though they do not replace in-person meetings.

This proposal concerns research and education within the field of cancer cell biology. This is an area of biomedicine in which Norwegian research groups are making an impact internationally and two leading scientists at University of Oslo, heading a new Centre of Excellence, will now initiate collaborations with world-leading experts in China with special emphasis on training of MSc/PhD students, personnel exchange, workshops, and technology transfer. The two Chinese partners have outstanding track records with publications in Nature, Nature Cell Biology and Science. They are affiliated with two leading research and teaching institutions - the Tsinghua University and Yunnan University. The project will ensure an optimal utilization of the Norwegian Advanced Light Microscopy Imaging Network, which is coordinated by the project leader of ChiNoCell. Key deliveries of AutoChiNo are: 1. At least 6 joint papers by one year after project period published in medium- to high-impact journals. 2. MSc/PhD course hosted by UiO-MED with 15 hours contribution from Chinese cell biology experts. 3. At least 10 hours of lectures/tutorials per year from CanCell experts at Yunnan University. 4. Exchange of two MSc/PhD students or postdocs from UiO to Chinese partners each year, and exchange of two PhD students or postdocs from Chinese partners to UiO each year.5. Three joint workshops - one in Oslo and two in China.

Funding scheme:

INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research