firc institute of molecular oncology

An institute in a dynamic stage

A view from the Scientific Advisory Board

by Tomas Lindahl

July 2013

Research units and laboratories often have external Scientific Advisory Boards, which may vary considerably with regards to size, activity and relative importance. The present IFOM SAB only has five members, but they regularly provide constructive advice and attend the yearly two-day SAB meeting in Milan.

One or two SAB members also take part in committees for promotion of IFOM group leaders to tenured posts. This is done together with an external scientist with special expertise, and with the Scientific Director (Marco Foiani) and the Deputy Director (Francesco Blasi) of IFOM.

The members of the SAB have in general been recruited from Europe, to allow for regular short visits to Milan without significant jet lag.

IFOM is currently in a dynamic stage; several new tenured group leaders have been appointed over the last three years, whereas seven such scientists left IFOM during 2009 - 2012. The goal has been to further improve the excellent scientific establishment at IFOM. One young group leader, Simona Polo, successfully applied for tenure at the end of 2011, and three group leaders were similarly promoted in the early part of 2013. However, there were no such appointments at IFOM, Milan, during 2012.

Tomas Lindahl

2012 IFOM SAB members

Tomas Lindahl (Chairman), Director Emeritus of the Clare Hall laboratories of the London Research Institute of Cancer Research UK. Lindahl is an expert on DNA damage and DNA repair mechanisms.

Ralf Adams, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in M√ľnster, Germany. Adams is an expert on signal transduction pathways and angiogenesis, often employing transgenic mice to investigate cancer-related problems.

Julian Downward, Deputy Director of the Lincoln's Inn Fields laboratories of the London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK. Downward is an expert on the cell biology and drug sensitivity of transformed cells, and signal transduction with emphasis on Ras oncogenes.

Jan Hoeijmakers, Director of Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Hoeijmakers is an expert on the molecular mechanisms of the ageing process, genomic instability in cancer cells, and the pathology of defective DNA repair.

Michael Neuberger, Director of the Immunology Section, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, U.K. Neuberger is an expert on antibody hypervariability and the cellular processing of genes encoding antibodies.
Dr Neuberger passed away on October 26th, 2013.