Our Research Training Group
The overall aim of our Research Training Group (RTG), entitled Tumor-Targeted Drug Delivery (acronym 2(TD)), is to take on the current challenges in the field of anticancer DDS development, and to explore therapeutic and theranostic scenarios that lead to improved patient outcomes and have a clear perspective for clinical translation. While the majority of drug delivery research consortia in Germany and in Europe primarily focus on new materials for nanomedicines, 2(TD) will center on medical needs and clinical applications, aiming to systematically identify and overcome pitfalls during the translation of tumor-targeted drug delivery concepts. For this purpose, the 2(TD) consortium will generate knowledge and promote collaborations at the interfaces of the key contributing fields of tumor biology, chemical engineering and clinical medicine.
Our consortium is highly interdisciplinary. It consists of medical doctors with different backgrounds (oncology, hematology, pathology, radiology and nuclear medicine), of recognized researchers in tumor biology, of chemical and pharmaceutical engineers with a proven track-record in the field of nano- and biomaterials, and of PIs and AIs with experience in industrial drug design, production and translation to early clinical trials.
To ensure the integration of our RTG in a top-level international research environment, we will closely collaborate with leading US scientists. These will complement the expertise available in Aachen, and they will allow our PhD students to perform part of their thesis research abroad and experience different research cultures. In addition, PhD students participating in 2(TD) will have the opportunity to rotate to industry (several companies working on drug development and image-guided therapy have expressed interest to host some of our students; see LOIs). The associated academic and industrial partners will also enrich the teaching program of 2(TD).
In conclusion, 2(TD) will generate basic knowledge and translational strategies for improving the treatment of cancer patients with DDS-based targeted drug therapies. As such, it follows the mission of RWTH Aachen University to promote the transition from idea to product, and from bench to bedside. The interdisciplinary and international character of 2(TD) will promote the quality and the visibility of our research, and it will improve the education and the career perspectives of our PhD students.