It’s been three months since I started and I already feel at home. I found myself entering a position that brings together many elements from my previous professional lives. Oncode is about science, it’s about valorization, it’s about collaboration, and, in my position, it is also about running a business. It forces me to tap into my past as a scientist, medical doctor, and into my experience with challenges you face when bringing innovative research to patients. And I like this mix.
Managing director Oncode Institute - Utrecht
Still, cracking the code of cancer is not an overnight task
Looking back at these first months in the job, one word comes up: impressive. It's impressive to see what has been put together in 2,5 years. For people who have been with us from the start, it may not be obvious. But gluing together a community like Oncode and already executing an array of different supporting activities, struck me as a major achievement. I like to think of this unique effort as a network on a mission. Maintaining and growing this network is key to our success. No one can solve the puzzle of cancer alone, we need each and every stakeholder to step up.
To succeed as a network, however, we need time. I fully acknowledge that this is often a luxury which people who face the consequences of cancer do not have. Still, cracking the code of cancer is not an overnight task. Although we have put together a unique institute, I feel that we are only at the beginning. We are connecting our basic researchers to clinicians throughout the country, but it will take time to translate new insights into therapeutic opportunities. We are implementing state-of-the-art technologies in our institutes, but it will take time to reap the fruits of those. And we are investing in clinical proof of concept studies as early as possible, but it will take time to get new treatment options to patients.
If you ask me, the key to making this time as short as possible is combining scientific and valorization excellence and collaborate at each step. Mixed with operational flexibility and efficiency, we can continue to break barriers. Let’s grow our network beyond our 61 research groups, let’s look across our borders and let’s further integrate valorization in all possible ways. I would be very proud if Oncode Institute is seen as a best practice to bring innovation to patients. With an open mind, we can go a long way.