The 2nd TREGeneration General Assembly and Steering Committee meetings took place over two days (March 25-26 2017) in the charming French port city of Marseille. As this GA was arranged to coincide with the European Bone Marrow transplantation (EMBT) congress, the consortium also benefited from the presence of our assigned project officer from the European Commission (EC), Dr. David Gancberg, who kindly presented an informative update on current Horizon 2020 projects and upcoming EC funding opportunities.
This year’s GA offered a fantastic platform for all aspects of the project to be discussed in depth, problems identified and solutions proposed and agreed upon. Day one covered the presentation of each scientific work package (WPs1-5), covering progress, hurdles and results to date. The consortium was particularly enthused to hear preliminary results from Dr. Hans-Jörg Warnatz, WP4 lead, on T-cell receptor phenotype comparison between different T-cell subtypes from patient samples collected so far.
We were lucky to be able to additionally host not one but two external speakers. Dr. Sophie Paczesny (Indiana University) first shared her recent unpublished work investigating further novel biomarkers for GVHD. This was followed by Dr. Attilio Bondanza (San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan) who presented his preclinical data from the exciting new field of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells.Both speakers inspired consortium partners to look toward prospective collaborations. At the end of a long day, there was just about enough time remaining for partners to continue the discussion over a working dinner, whilst sampling local provençal dishes.
Day two focused on project management and dissemination strategies (WP6-7), looking to the future of the consortium, including agreement upon and enforcement of key deadlines regarding patient recruitment and formation of a plan to better manage the project data which is now being generated. All in all, a successful meeting!
Following the GA, representatives of TREGeneration’s clinical partners (IMM, UHREG, CHU S-T, Seràgnoli) stayed on in Marseille to attend, present and chair at the EBMT 2017 congress. Coordinator Prof. João Lacerda also took advantage of the highly appropriate audience present at EBMT to present the project poster, which was well received and covered in a video interview by health publisher NewsFarma.