About us

Center for Gene and Cellular Therapies in the Treatment of Cancer (OncoGen) is a research center of Emergency Clinical County Hospital „Pius Branzeu” Timisoara. It was built with European financing support by Structural Funds; call POSCEE-A2-O2.21-2009-4.
The goal is to create a research-development and innovation infrastructure able to discover, sustain and facilitate the translation to clinical trials, and eventually to the medical practice of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic methods, bearing the potential to complete or even replace classic methods. Increase of research capacity is indirectly envisaged in order to improve the scientific competitiveness at international level and to attract young researchers and specialists from overseas. The main aim of the research facilities is to assure a rapid and coordinated translation of research results in clinical practice, being a unique center on that type in our country and also in the region.

The construction and the endowment of the Center for Gene and Cellular Therapies in the Treatment of Cancer – OncoGen (www.oncogen.ro) took place between 2010 and 2015, based on funding through the Sectorial Operational Programme ”Increasing of Economic Competitiveness”, Priority axis 2: Competitiveness through Research, Economic Development and Innovation, Operation 2.2.1. The project was coordinated by Prof. Virgil Păunescu, MD PhD. The total value of the project was 54,389,610 lei, from which eligible costs were 44,000,000 lei, out of which 38,909,200 lei from the European Regional Development Fund and 5,090,800 lei from the national budget. The center has been provided with all the facilities and technological flows required for top research, being equipped with fundamental and applied research facilities for translational medicine, including a GMP unit (2 clean rooms and a BSL2 room), a cell and tissue bank, and an animal facility.

OncoGen is the first state-of-the-art research center for gene therapies in Romania, dedicated to leading-edge research in areas that are closely connected to clinical branches of the Emergency Clinical County Hospital „Pius Brînzeu” Timișoara:

  • Advanced therapies in cancer – Tumor cell biology
  • Regenerative medicine – Adult stem cells study
  • Health and environmental factors
  • Immunotherapies.

OncoGen strategy is oriented towards the maintenance of the relationship between basic and clinical research, by a high throughput bench-to-bedside approach, enabling the rapid translation of research results into clinical practice, aiming to improve the outcomes for patients through personalized therapy. In order to reach this objective, 15 new research laboratories have been created and endowed with top equipment, which will enable a research activity of European standards. The center will benefit from the expertise of a core of 25 researchers, out of which 15 new positions, and this will be supplemented by numerous potential positions for master students, PhD students, and post-doctoral researchers.

The center is the only one of its kind in Eastern Europe, and it will enable the development of new therapeutics for human use, through its high safety standards. The inclusion of OncoGen center in the international network of similar centers will facilitate the running of multicentric clinical trials, for the development of innovative therapies in cancer and in chronic degenerative diseases. The aim is to promote research with potential application in the field of advanced therapies with human stem cells for regenerative medicine, and for the production of immunotherapeutics based on modern technologies of molecular biology.

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