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Interview with ttopstarter Aida about the challenges and ambitions of Immune-Image project

On the 27th and 28th of January 2020, the kick-off meeting of the Immune-Image project took place in Amsterdam. In this meeting, all consortium members were brought together to share knowledge, discuss the workplan for the upcoming years, and align the partners to successfully achieve Immune-Image objectives. ttopstart is the lead partner for external communications, engagement, sustainability, and business development activities of Immune-Image. We talked to Aida Peña Blanco, programme leader of this project, about the main aims of this kick-off meeting, the challenges, and the achievements they wish to accomplish.

Aida: “The kick-off meeting has been very stimulating and inspiring, since it was the first moment that all the partners have been together after the official start of the project. The main aims of the meeting were to get to know each other and to align the work that will be done during the coming year in order to achieve the project objectives. As a programme leader, ttopstart aims to give visibility to the project and its results as well as to plan and support the exploitation and sustainability of the project outcomes.”

Inspiring two days

She continues: “The kick-off meeting was a great occasion to interact with the rest of the partners and to plan the project roadmap, with a special focus on the first year. It has been two exciting days of getting to know all the organisations, how their expertise will be incorporated into the project, and how they will collaborate to successfully achieve Immune-Image’s objectives.”

Maximise impact

To align all the different partners, Aida makes sure that they all have their say in the project: “We make sure that all partners have the chance to participate in each project activity, such as brainstorming, revisions, preparation of materials, etc. We want to develop communication, engagement, and sustainability plans to maximise the impact of Immune-Image. Therefore, we truly believe that all the partners should be represented in our project tasks.”

Interactive

An important part of the meeting was about getting to know and understand each other, as well as discovering the best ways to work together. This was addressed from two different angles during the two-day meeting. Aida: “On one side, partners presented their organisations and their expertise to the rest of the consortium, which was followed by WP discussions to examine collaborations, alignments, and working procedures. On the other side, we all went together for dinner and a social event in the center of Amsterdam on Monday evening, where we interacted a lot with each other and had a lot of fun!”

Immunotherapy is one of the most effective treatments

A project like Immune-Image is needed in Europe and Aida talks about the main challenges they are trying to address: “Today, immunotherapies have become some of the most effective treatments for cancer and inflammatory diseases. However, immunotherapies are not always successful. The Immune-Image consortium brings together 22 leading entities to develop and implement tools, methods, and protocols that will allow us to obtain detailed information of patients’ immune responses. This will enable personalised immunotherapies with the selection of the right treatment for the right patient at the right time.”

Impact on patients

Eventually, it will be the patients who benefit from this project: “Immune-Image will lead to immune cell molecular imaging, which will provide insights into the immunological status of individual patients, leading to prediction of response to therapeutic interventions and insights into individual therapy responses. As a result, patients will benefit from tailored immunotherapies, enabling optimised treatments, increased safety, and prevention of unnecessary side effects.

More information

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