Radium hospital researchers involved in selected centres for research-based innovation

The Norwegian Research Council has now decided which centres for research-based innovation (CRIs) to support. The 14 selected CRIs - chosen among 58 applicants - were presented by minister of knowledge Øystein Djupedal on Friday June 16th. Several partners from the Norwegian Radium Hospital are heavily involved in the two selected CRIs named "Stem Cell Based Tumor Therapy" and "Statistics for innovation".
The main objective for the "Centres for Research-based Innovation" is to enhance the capability of the business sector to innovate by focusing on long-term research based on forging close alliances between research-intensive enterprises and prominent research groups.

Overview of the 14 selected CRIs :
  • Center for e-Field and Integrated Operations for Upstream Petroleum Activities: NTNU
  • COIN - Concrete Innovation Centre: SINTEF
  • CREATE - CRI in Aquaculture Technology: SINTEF Fiskeri og havbruk
  • Information Access Disruptions: FAST asa
  • Innovative Natural Gas Processes and Products: Universitetet i Oslo
  • MabCent; Marine bioactives & drug discovery: Universitetet i Tromsø
  • Medical Imaging Laboratory for Innovative Future Healthcare: NTNU
  • Multiphase Flow Assurance Innovation Centre: IFE
  • Norwegian Manufacturing Future: SINTEF
  • Statistics for Innovation: NR
  • Stem Cell Based Tumor Therapy (SENIT) : Rikshospitalet -Radiumhospitalet HF
  • Structural IMpact Laboratory: NTNU
  • The Michelsen Centre for Industrial Measurement Science and Technology: Christian Michelsen Research
  • Tromsø Telemedicine Laboratory: Universitetssykehuset i Nord Norge

About the two CRIs where researchers from the Norwegian Radium Hospital participate:

Statistics for Innovation

Eivind Hovig from the Department of Tumor Biology is involved in this project.
The project will receive 10 million NOK each year for a period spanning over 8 years.


The home page of the Norwegian Computing Center (NR)
Press release from NR (pdf format)

Stem Cell Based Tumor Therapy (SENIT):

Summary of the SENIT project:
The overall aim of the present project is to shift the focus in cancer research and cancer treatment from the tumor as a whole to an entity called the “tumor stem cell”. Bearing in mind that with few exceptions most of our knowledge about cancer and its treatment today is based on the characteristics of the bulk of tumors rather than that small fraction of cells with stem cell character, a shift of focus may have significant consequences. It is the firm conviction of the members of this consortium that this will change the way we understand and treat cancer in the near future, and that it is within our reach to contribute to such a change by bringing together basic scientists from several disciplines, clinicians and partners 8in Norwegian biotech industry.

The consortium:
  1. Rikshospitalet: Stefan Krauss (coordinator); Rikshospitalet, Norwegian stem cell center and Dept. of cellular therapy and I. Langmoen work stem cell signaling with a focus on neural stem cells. Ariel Ruiz in Altaba University of Geneve, Switzerland, will work on Shh signaling.
  2. The integrated tumor biology environment at the largest Norwegian tumor hospital - DNR.
    1. Dept. of Immunology: Gustav Gaudernack (deputy coordinator) and Steinar Funderud: with affiliated clinical departments will work on tumor vaccines.
    2. Dept. of Biochemistry: Harald Stenmark: will work on signaling in tumor stem cells (TSC) in animal models
    3. Dept. of Tumor Biology: Gunhild Mælandsmo and Ola Myklebost: will work on TSC assisted by S. Funderud with a particular focus on side populations.
    4. Dept. of Genetics: Therese Sørlie and Ragnhild A. Lothe: will work on TSC with a focus on breast cancer cells and germ cell tumors. Through clinical collaboration they will initiate early clinical trials.
  3. University of Oslo: Faculty of Medicine: J Glover will advance tumor stem cell detection on single cell resolution. Scott Fraser (consultant) will support the consortium on MR imaging
  4. University of Oslo, Department of Chemistry T. Greibrokk; will work on epitope characterization and peptide synthesis.
Industrial Partners:
  1. Affitech AS (industry coordinator), a highly successful Norwegian biotech company, will carry out advanced antibody discovery/development and work on using the antibodies in therapy.
  2. Dynal/Invitrogen: a large international player, will use the antibodies and isolated epitopes for creating diagnostic tools.
  3. GemVax AS, a successful Norwegian biotechnology start up now owned by Pharmexa. They will use the isolated epitopes for novel immunotherapy protocols.
  4. Alpharma a large Norwegian drug producer will upscale synthesis and production of isolated novel small drugs and other reagents that emerge from the consortium and Amplius, a start up, will carry out high throughput screens on tumor stem cells for Alpharma.
  5. Photocure, a highly successful Norwegian biotech company with several registered cancer drugs on the international market will use the TSC concept for improving curative photointernalization and explore new ways of TSC specific toxin internalization.
The proposed research activities will have three main goals:
  1. To characterize with innovative approaches tumor stem cells and provide methods for identifying, visualizing, isolating and targeting tumor stem cells.
  2. To create a concerted action between key players of the Norwegian biotechnology industry and academic researchers to use the gained knowledge for advancing tumor stem cell based diagnosis and therapy. For these goals, an integrated center will be established that allows a high mobility of researchers between the academic laboratories and the industry research facility, and between the Norwegian center and international partner laboratories.
  3. Finally, by being hosted by Rikshospitalet-Radiumhospitalet, the time from laboratory discovery to actual medical diagnosis and early clinical trials will be dramatically reduced, giving the industrial partners and the hospital a much needed competitive edge.
Overview of the seven SENIT work programs:
  1. Side populations with stem cell characteristics/ stemcellness pathways in tumors: the basics
  2. From tumor stem cells to therapeutic antibodies
  3. Modeling the tumor stem cell membrane for advanced drug and antibody screens: the Shh receptor complex
  4. Searching for pathway specific drugs that selectively affect tumor stem cells
  5. Visualizing and tracing tumor stem cells at single cell resolution
  6. Training the immune system to eradicate tumor stem cells: experimental immunotherapy
  7. Targeting tumor stem cells by photochemical internalization


Information about CRI (from the web pages of the Norwegian Research Council)

Centres for Research-based Innovation - who they are (ppt presentation (in Norw.) from the Norw. Res. Council web pages)