Science in person
At the beginning of 2019, 19 new researchers strengthened Oncode’s ranks, one of them being Dr. Miao-Ping Chien. A scientist with a diverse background, she looks at what is needed in cancer biology and develops tools to meet those needs. But her vision reaches much further than that. Her ultimate goal is to develop technological tools that can be applied both in the lab and the clinic. “I really want my technology to be translated into clinical applications. Oncode provides me with both the tools and guidance to do so.”
Oncode Investigator - Erasmus Medical Center
Miao-Ping Chien on her first year with Oncode
How did this first year at Oncode help you advance towards your goals?
“Because of the Oncode funding, I have been able to extend my research team and hire an optical engineer, and that enabled me to build a new technical setup. And now we are looking into spinning off my technology into a start-up. Together with the valorization team, we came up with a very detailed plan to move forward, including contacts and resources I need before launching our spin-off.”
Contacts are important. Do you feel your network expanded during the year?
“For sure. Presenting my work to the entire Oncode community during the Oncode Annual Scientific meeting, for example, gave me the opportunity to connect with many other Oncode Investigators. This laid the foundations of new collaborations – with Reuven Agami (NKI) and Peter ten Dijke (LUMC) among many others. More recently, I also got in touch with Ruben van Boxtel (PMC). Ruben and I have some truly ‘outside the box’ ideas of how to look at the origins of cancer. Without Oncode these collaborations wouldn’t have happened.”
I really want my technology to be translated into clinical applications. Oncode provides me with both the tools and guidance to do so.
If you were asked to choose the one thing you value most in Oncode’s approach, what would that be?
“Oncode puts a lot of resources into its valorization team, and that is important. Within the valorization team there are different kinds of expertise, from business development and experience in launching a start-up, to drug discovery and contacts with private industries.”
Did this first year meet your expectations?
“I would say everything Oncode did for me has been way above my expectations. I took many important steps forward in such a short time. My goal of valorizing my technologies is being realized as we speak, and Oncode has paved the way towards achieving this goal step by step.”