Exchange and training for future leaders - that was the goal of the third TRYTRAC meeting, for which almost 20 young scientists from Europe came to the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg. TRYTRAC stands for TRaining program of Young leaders in TRAnslational Cancer research. The program of Cancer Core Europe (CCE), a consortium of seven major Comprehensive Cancer Centers (CCCs), aims to train a new generation of decision makers in translational cancer research, in particular to support the interaction between clinical and translational researchers within CCE.
In addition to exchange and training, TRYTRAC offers fellows the opportunity to get to know the individual CCE sites and their structures of patient care, research, and technology. The focus is on building a strong collaborative network to leverage the opportunities of each partner's ideas and bring them together in collaborative projects. Each of the seven CCE partners hosts a three-day advanced meeting that showcases the strengths of the host center, allowing participants to learn from each other and from best practices within the consortium. Four of TRYTRAC's current 22 fellows are conducting research in Heidelberg at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD).
The three-day meeting at the NCT Heidelberg was the third in the series, which began with a virtual meeting and was followed by a visit to Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. The participants were treated to a comprehensive program with various lectures, workshops, tours of laboratories, core facilities, and the latest treatment rooms, as well as many interactive formats with senior physicians and scientists. Despite the packed program of the young scientists, there was also room for a touristic highlight: a walk along the Philosopher’s Walk with a view of the world-famous Heidelberg Castle. In this way, TRYTRAC at the NCT Heidelberg not only helped to bridge the gap between clinic and research, but also the physical distance between the centers and the participating scientists.