Oncode Institute is a virtual fundamental cancer research institute aiming to accelerate breakthrough discoveries and speed up their translation into new diagnostics and treatments for cancer patients. Oncode Institute coordinates the PERSIST-SEQ project and has a supporting role in the project management and financial management activities. In addition, Oncode is responsible for IPR management, sustainability, dissemination and stakeholder management in the project.

About Oncode Institute

Based in the Netherlands, Stichting Oncode Institute (Oncode) is a world-class innovative institute focused on fundamental oncological research. The institute was established in 2017 and unites, under a common strategy, over 700 of the most outstanding scientist The Netherlands that are specialized in fundamental oncological research. Oncode’s affiliated scientists are active in 61 research groups and employed at 12 different institutes including universities, research institutes and university medical centres across The Netherlands.

Oncode researchers receive funding to conduct high-risk & high-gain research and receive support to advance their discoveries. Oncode leverages its knowledge and experience to identify and foster scientific discoveries that are potentially beneficial to patients. Oncode helps to pave the path leading from such discoveries towards translational and clinical research and practical applications through various technology development, clinical proof of concept, affordable health care and bridge funds it makes available to its investigators. The institute fosters a climate in which contribution to valorisation is as highly esteemed as the scientific endeavour itself.

Oncode’s mission is “Outsmarting cancer and impacting lives”. Its vision is to help more patients survive, improve the quality of life for those afflicted, and ultimately cure cancer. Oncode seeks to achieve these objectives by driving innovation and getting more out of science.


Among the key facilities that Oncode provides to the PERSIST-SEQ consortium are its online community platform to connect cancer researchers, which allows easy and immediate interaction and initiation of collaboration. Moreover, Oncode provides access to courses, events, and equipment established at the 12 different Oncode affiliated research institutes.

Image above: Alexander Turkin (Oncode Institute), PERSIST-SEQ’s Coordinator business development

With no research facilities of its own, Oncode operates as a virtual institute with a small staff, consisting of a general support team and a team of valorisation experts. Alexander Turkin works as a Business Development Manager at Oncode Institute, and is Coordinator business development and project management  in the PERSIST-SEQ project. Alexander’s educational background is in physics (BSc) and nanoscience (MSc). His growing fascination for biology and medicine led him to pursue a PhD in biophysics at the University of Groningen. Subsequently, he decided to continue his journey in the Life Sciences branch as a Business Consultant. In this role he was helping both academic and industrial parties to obtain funding, establish partnerships, build consortia, do market research and develop commercialization plans. At Oncode, Alexander leverages this expertise to support Oncode Researchers with company creation, acquiring funding, establishing collaborations and with other valorisation strategies, ultimately creating impact for society.

Below, Alexander elaborates on Oncode Institute’s role in the PERSIST-SEQ project.

How is the Oncode Institute involved in PERSIST-SEQ?

Together with AstraZeneca, Oncode Institute is a co-lead of the PERSIST-SEQ consortium. This consortium perfectly matches the goal of Oncode Institute to outsmart cancer and impact lives. We support the research in terms of science, technology and our role is specifically focused on valorisation and business development.

What is your role in all of this?

Aside from Oncode’s valorisation support role in PERSIST-SEQ, Oncode took the lead in building the consortium, including writing the application and assembling the participating partners.

What do you hope to achieve in PERSIST-SEQ from a business development perspective?

We expect this extensive single-cell sequencing effort on a vast variety of samples (cells lines, organoids, patient tumour material) to deliver not only fundamental insights into therapy resistance, but also actionable outcomes, such as biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets.

Is there a single most challenging aspect of your contribution to PERSIST-SEQ? How do you address this?

Creative thinking on potential business models to ensure project sustainability. We will work with our partners to develop and implement a plan to ensure sustainability of the consortium and translation of novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets developed in PERSIST-SEQ to industry in support of patient care and treatment.

In your view, why is the project so important for the cancer research field?

The research in PERSIST-SEQ represents the first global effort of this scale to sequence persister cells in cancer. Besides generating vast amounts of valuable scientific data, this project will deliver a set of procedures and guidelines to standardise single cell sequencing, which will be of tremendous value to the scientific community.

16 maart 2023

Bericht delen