IFOM ETS, the AIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology is a highly technological, non-profit research center supported by AIRC, the Italian Association for Cancer Research.
IFOM was established in 1998 by FIRC (the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research). The aim was to create a research environment where scientists from the major National scientific institutions in the Milan area (European Institute of Oncology, National Institute for Cancer Research, Mario Negri Pharmacological Research Institute, San Raffaele Biomedical Sciences Park, University of Milan) could collaborate and pool their organisational, economic and cultural resources, in order to meet the demands of modern-day science. IFOM is recognized as a Centre of Excellence for Research from the Lombardy Regional Council.
The research conducted at IFOM aims to understand the molecular processes responsible for the onset and development of cancer. IFOM leads its research with an interdisciplinary perspective, merging different cognitive fields: molecular, cellular, structural and computational biology, genomics, proteomics, molecular diagnostics, pharmacogenomics, immunology, metabolomics, physics and engineering.
Having established a solid base in basic research, IFOM is now concentrating its efforts on translational research for the rapid transfer of scientific findings from the laboratory to diagnostic and therapeutic clinical practice. IFOM has established a network of partnerships with cutting-edge scientific organizations around the world that go beyond traditional project-based collaborations. Complementary strategies, shared scientific objectives and integration of resources are the key elements at the heart of these international ventures. Thanks to these agreements, IFOM is becoming an important player in the global landscape of cancer research institutions.
A number of centralized facilities are present and accessible to the PI, including: basic services (i.e. kitchen and cell culture) and Technological Development Units (TDUs, http://www.ifom.eu/en/cancer-research/technological-units/). IFOM scientists are also supported by COGENTECH (http://www.cogentech.it), a company jointly owned by IFOM and IEO. Fields covered by such centralized services include, DNA sequencing, Microarray, Real-Time PCR, Mass Spectrometry, Electron microscopy, Imaging and FACS sorting, Proteomics, Animal Models (mouse, fruitfly, zebrafish) and Molecular Pathology. Moreover IFOM has a dedicated technology transfer office, supporting researchers of filing patents well as in approaching potential partners for commercial exploitation. All these facilities provide state-of-the-art technology and performances.
IFOM has a strong infrastructure for the administrative support and financial management of the fellowships. IFOM grants office staff is specialized in managing European Union projects (including FP6, FP7, 8 European Research Council (ERC) and Horizon 2020 projects) and is taking care of the management of funds (funding allocation, monitoring research expenditures and producing financial statements). IFOM administrative offices work closely together with scientific groups to ensure proper management of fellowships and ensure financial compliance.
Role of institution in the project
IFOM is sponsor of several Master Observational Trials empowering the collection and integration of both retrospective and prospective longitudinal clinical/molecular data, imaging and biological specimens from real-world and selected colorectal and breast cancer patients.
IFOM will participate in the definition of the guidelines for data federation, processing and management (WP5/T5.1) and in the identification of common data models/format for interoperability with external infrastructures (WP5/T5.6).
IFOM will be specifically involved in the validation of the infrastructure, participating in the definition of use cases from external and internal partners to demonstrate the usability (WP7/T7.1; T7.2) and clinical validation (WP7/T7.4) of the platform.