Horizon 2020 Marie Curie Innovative Training Network Programme Award

Endre Kiss-TothEndre Kiss-Toth is leader and coordinator of a successfully funded €3.8M Marie Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) called TRAIN ‘Tribbles Research and Innovation Network’ in the recent Horizon 2020 2016 round with colleagues Dr Heather Wilson (IICD), and partner institutions from London, Spain, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Portugal and Hungary. Work in this programme, undertaken by a network of 15 PhD students, will investigate how dysregulated innate immune responses and metabolism promote the development and progression of cancer.

Obesity is associated with a number of chronic diseases that reduce life expectancy, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and several common cancers, yet obesity levels continue to grow steadily in both industrialized and emerging economies. In addition to metabolic changes (including elevated plasma lipid levels and reduced responsiveness to the hormone insulin), obesity leads to chronic, low-grade inflammation, which also contributes substantially to most common diseases of the developed word. For example, in the EU, aggressive prostate cancer exhibits the highest incidence among cancer types in men and is the third most common cause of cancer death; obesity has been recognised as one of the major risk factors for the development of this cancer type.

However despite the emerging evidence that obesity and dysfunctional immunity underpin disease development, the molecular mechanisms and genes that provide critical communication between these are largely unknown.

TRAIN (Tribbles Research And Innovation Network) brings together a group of leading European scientists working at the interface of the control of energy homeostasis, metabolism and innate immunity to characterise the how the interaction between these physiological systems influences the development of prostate cancer. We will approach this by investigating the consequences of tissue specific loss of tribbles pseudokinases as these proteins have previously been shown to be potent regulators of both energy and immune homeostasis and have also been implicated as important regulators of cancer development.

TRAIN Figure

Our Network will train PhD students in fifteen highly integrated, interdisciplinary projects with the overall aim to gain clinical/mechanistic insights into the cell-specific metabolic and signalling pathways that both regulate cell proliferation/differentiation decisions made in metabolic tissues, immune cells as well as in prostatic epithelial cells. TRAIN will be coordinated from Sheffield and will also involve academic and industrial partners from the UK, Spain, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Portugal and Hungary.