The Oncode Communications Team is responsible for all communication to the Oncode research community and to external audiences such as funders, partners, media and other stakeholders. In 2021, the main goal of the Oncode Communications Team (CT) was to showcase the added value of Oncode Institute. The CT used Oncode communication channels such as its newsletters, digital magazine, website, and social media channels to share exciting stories about Oncode Researchers with the world.
PR success around the launch of PERSIST-SEQ
A lot of attention was given by several newspapers, including Trouw and Telegraaf, to the launch of the PERSIST-SEQ consortium, led by Oncode Institute and Astra-Zeneca. The consortium aims to investigate why cancer often returns after treatment and received seven million euros from the European Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI). Two of the lead researchers are the OI's Alexander van Oudenaarden & René Bernards.
Glossy annual progress report and two issues of the digital magazine
In 2021, the annual progress report and the digital magazines were produced by our Communications Team. Both the annual progress report and the digital magazines are designed with full Oncode branding and showcased the broader impact of Oncode in a visually appealing way. The annual progress report puts the spotlight on the three pillars of Oncode: scientific excellence, collaboration and valorization. In the digital magazines we bring together an OI and an external expert for a dialogue, we portray an OI on a more personal level and we take a deep dive into the science of one of our labs.
One of this year’s highlights in terms of events was the first ever online edition of Oncode’s annual scientific meeting. A new meeting on our agenda was the postdoc retreat where we brought together 67 participants in the middle of the Netherlands in September. Last but not least, we concluded the year with the annual conference at the Royal Tropical Institute at the beginning of November, with experts who delivered their knowledge with passion and insight.
A spotlight on valorization
The Communications Team proudly communicates about Oncode’s success stories which showcase the translation of basic science into tangible applications. In 2021 we shared news items about facilitating the transfer of the innovative algorithm developed by Jeroen de Ridder to SkylineDx on a shared patent, the spinout of a new company that will target senescence in oncology led by René Bernards, and the clinical trial with a vaccine against lung cancer developed by Sjoerd van der Burg.
A new way to reach out to industry
Together with the valorization team we identified a new opportunity to connect with our industry contacts. Through a freshly setup newsletter we highlight impactful research results from our community and pinpoint opportunities to collaborate on the basis of these new inventions. In 2022, we will further expand this newsletter by adding licensing opportunities and relevant events.
World Cancer Day Story
On February 4th, the global cancer community including Oncode commemorates World Cancer Day. To emphasize the importance of drug development and approval, the Communications Team told the story of OI René Bernards (NKI) and Deborah James, who was diagnosed with an unusual type of colorectal cancer. The two met in 2018 as James was running out of treatment options, and Bernard’s innovative therapy rescued her. The story is a grasping example of what it can mean to bring innovative therapies to clinic faster.
Interviews on science and programmes
Throughout the year, the Communications Team interviewed Oncode Investigators and Oncode staff about their work and the innovations they are driving forward. Among others, Sylvie Noordermeer, Sarah Derks and Judith Boer were interviewed on their experience with Oncode’s Mentoring Programme, their future goals, and research data management. We also highlighted the work of Shobbit Dhawan (Oncology Bridge Fund manager) who works hard to connect researchers, investors and industry.
We love technology
As a Communications Team, we have to admit we have a soft spot for technology. We are always happy to show the contribution of Oncode to breakthroughs in cancer research which have been made possible by investing in new technologies and facilities. The Oncode drug screening centres of expertise at the LUMC and the NKI are examples of such facilities which are used to study the way we can further optimize hyperthermia treatment of tumours.