In the context of the “Educated Romania” project and the designation of Timisoara as European Capital of Culture in 2021, the President of Romania, Mr Klaus Iohannis, attended a series of events held under the motto “Timisoara – Academic, Cultural and Scientific Centre”, which included the visit of Centre for Gene and Cellular Therapies in the Treatment of Cancer – OncoGen. The President has thus conveyed “a mark of encouragement for medical research, openness to researchers in the medical field, support for EU-funded research projects and also a message of encouragement for accessing new projects devoted to medical research.”
The President was welcomed by Prof. Virgil Paunescu, MD, PhD, the coordinator of OncoGen and the leadership of Pius Brinzeu Emergency County Clinical Hospital Timisoara. Mrs Diana Loreta Paun, state adviser, Department of Public Health, as well as local public officials and leading researchers in the Banat region had also attended the visit: Prefect of Timis County, Mircea Bacala, President of Timis County Council, Sorin Grindeanu, Mayor of Timisoara, Nicolae Robu, representatives in the leaderships of main universities in Timisoara and of local research centres. The meeting was also attended by the representatives of the West Regional Office Timisoara within the National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, who have supported the project through which OncoGen was built and equipped.
Prof. Paunescu presented the cutting-edge laboratories and equipment of OncoGen, after which the President was invited to a discussion on Romanian medical research, when he was informed on the results of OncoGen researchers, the research strategy and the projects we are currently running. During the meeting, both young and recognised researchers from Timisoara have had the opportunity to discuss with the President on various Romanian research issues. At the end of discussions, the idea of Timisoara reaching the status of excellence pole in biotechnologies by cooperation between all research capacities on interdisciplinary themes in order to reach the critical mass and to exploit human and material potential in the area has emerged.
In his address at the end of the visit, the President stated that “higher education is not to be reasonably imagined without research” and that OncoGen proves Timisoara is a place of innovation.