The ambition of the VIB Center for Cancer Biology (CCB) is to contribute to a better understanding of the biology that underlies cancer initiation, progression and metastatic dissemination with the ultimate goal to develop more effective and specific anti-cancer (combination) therapies.
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Infrastructure: The Core Facilities
To optimize the efficiency, increase the productivity, promote interdisciplinary research, facilitate training and education of junior scientists, streamline transfer of knowledge and expertise, several group leaders at VRC have organized their technical resources around an infrastructure of expert facilities.
To meet the increasing demands of performing competetive multidisciplinary research, VRC group geaders have, over the years, set up the following facilities: Mouse clinic, Aquatic facility (zebrafish & tadpoles), Mouse facility, Histology & imaging, Transgenesis, Cell Sorting - Metabolism and Molecular Biology, Genetic Technologies, and recently a Metabolic Expertise Center.
Each of these facilities is managed by a senior expert technician (belonging to the permanent VRC staff, often for >10 years), who supervises 2 to 4 junior technicians and is responsible for the organization of the work planning and daily management, maintains and updates standard operation procedures (SOPs) and databanks. He/she also offers insight and advise on protocols and techniques to junior scientists. The facilities are supervised by a group leader or a senior staff scientists.
Junior scientists (predoctoral and postdoctoral students, Master's students) interface with these core facilities and the senior scientists and, depending on their project, interact with one or (usually) several core facilities. VRC lab members have access to a technology platform of available SOPs and databanks on an intranet server. Junior scientists present and discuss their work at 2-weekly progress seminars and/or science lunches.