Welcome to TransPan

Identification of biological markers for prevention and translational medicine in pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer (PC) has a high mortality rate and is projected to become a massive public health problem in Europe. The TRANSPAN COST action aims to boost research on the prevention of PC, particularly in the discovery of genetic risk factors, risk stratification, identification of biomarkers for early detection and patient monitoring, elucidation of biological mechanisms and functional pharmacogenomics for personalised medicine. 

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding agency for research and innovation networks. Our Actions help connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation

These aims will be attained by expanding an existing interdisciplinary network and organised in four working groups
Working Group 1 - Disease Risk Profiling

This WG will use germline genetic variants, epigenetics, transcriptomics and environmental factors to model disease risk and apply risk stratification scores to better select individuals eligible to be screened for PC or its precursors.

Go to working group page

Working Group 2 - Non-Invasive Biomarkers

This WG will apply state-of-the-art liquid biopsies for the detection and characterization of circulating tumor cells and DNA, tumor-derived exosomes, tumor-educated platelets, epigenetic markers, and will test their diagnostic value for PC precursors and early-stage PC.

Go to working group page

Working Group 3 - Tumor Profiling

Genomic, epigenomic and transcriptional profiling of PC and its precursors in a multiregional analysis fashion will be used to identify novel biomarkers with prognosis and predictive value for PC patient stratification.

Go to working group page

Working Group 4 - Functional genomics and therapy

This WG will functionally validate candidate genetic variants from germline or tumor studies by using cutting-edge approaches such as CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. It will also generate novel approaches such as organoids / zebrafish avatars to implement (chemo)therapeutic strategies based on the patient in an effort to implement personalized medicine for PC.

Go to working group page

Latest Events

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Latest News

Latest Action Calls

This is a collection of all our calls about Open PhD and Post-Doc Positions, Short-Term Scientific Missions, Training Schools and other Grant Opportunities
call for applications for the Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSM) of our COST action for the first budget year

this is the call for applications for the Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSM) of our COST action for the first budget year. According to COST, STSMs consist of a visit to a host organization located in a different country than the country of affiliation by a researcher or innovator for specific work to be carried out and for a determined period of time.

Please refer to the COST annotated rules for a complete overview:
STSMs are described in sections A2-1.1.1, A2-2.3, A2-2.4, A2-3 and A3-3.1.

If you are interested in receiving an STSM grant, please do the following:
• Find your host-grantee match. You can finhttps://transpan.eu/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/STSM-application-template.docxd the list of all action participants here: https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA21116/#tabs+Name:Working%20Groups%20and%20Membership
Both host and grantee must be members of at least one WG of our action. If you want to be hosted by a group that is not yet part of TRANSPAN, please ask them to join our WGs (https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA21116/#tabs+Name:Working%20Groups%20and%20Membership).
The WG leaders of course are available to help you.

• Fill your application in e-COST here: https://e-services.cost.eu/activity/grants/add?type=STSM
with this information:
- Title of the STSM
- Start and end date (the end date must be by the end of September, in order to allow for time to write reports and complete grant payments)
- Budget requested by the applicant (maximum 4000€)
- Information about the host institution and contact person.

• Upload to e-COST this material:
- Application form (a template is attached) describing: Goals, description of the work to be carried out by the applicant, expected outcomes and description of the contribution to the Action memorandum of understanding (MoU) objectives. Our MoU is available here: https://e-services.cost.eu/files/domain_files/CA/Action_CA21116/mou/CA21116-e.pdf;
- Confirmation of the host on the agreement from the host institution in receiving the applicant;

The deadline for submission is June 10, 2023. Successful applicants will be notified shortly afterward. The applications will be evaluated by the core group according to the quality of the applicant CV and the content of the application. Extra points will be given if the grantee has affiliation in an ITC and if he/she is a PhD/MD student or a post-doctoral scientist (without tenure). 

Please be aware that the awardees should finish the STSM before the end of September!

We look forward to receiving your applications!

Download the application form template

Training School (TS) entitled: Genomic data analysis in association studies, the first TS of our COST action


this is the call for applications for the Training School (TS) entitled: Genomic data analysis in association studies, the first TS of our COST action. According to COST, TS consist of a course of a small number of days focused on a topic relevant to the Action. Our first TS will be held in Pisa from the 19th to the 21st of June 2023. All days the course will start at 9.00 and finish at 17.30. The topic is Genome wide association studies (GWAS) data analysis, please see the attached flyer for more details. We will be able to financially support 20 trainees for a maximum of 500€ for travel expenses and 150€ as maximum daily allowance, per person.

If you are interested in attending, please fill the application form at this link.


The deadline for submission of your application is May 15. The applications will be evaluated by the core group according to the quality of the applicant CV and the content of the application. Extra points will be given if the grantee has affiliation in an ITC and if the grantee is a PhD/MD student or a post-doctoral scientist (without tenure).

Download the PDF

International PhD fellowship on Liquid Biopsies in Turin, Italy

The interdisciplinary Cancer Heterogeneity Group is aiming to improve the outcome of patients with pancreatic cancer. Our working
language is English. We are using state-of-the-art technologies including single-cell omics to dissect the heterogeneity of pancreatic
cancers and develop more effective therapies. It has now become evident that cancer heterogeneity is not only related to the existence
of different sub clones within the tumor, but heterogeneity is further enhanced by so-called cancer stem cells at the subclonal level.
These cells are responsible for intraclonal heterogeneity, promote metastasis and are inherently resistant to conventional therapies.

Our research efforts center on large-scale and high-resolution interrogation of (metastatic) cancer stem cells in their natural
microenvironment. We use valuable fresh patient material, single-cell omics, and complementary approaches for functional taxonomy
of cancer stem cells. We aim to define the landscape of stemness and therapeutic resistance via non-genetic evolution. This provides
the basis for developing novel, more effective treatment strategies.

We are performing internationally leading research with a strong emphasis on translational research (e.g. Cell Stem Cell 2007, 2011,
2015, Cell Metab 2015, 2021, Cancer Cell 2008, 2014, 2016, 2023, Nat Methods 2014, Nat Microbiol. 2022, Nat Comm 2018, 2020,
2021, Gut 2015, 2016, 2019, 2022).

We are offering a PhD fellowship in the following research areas:

• Dissecting the heterogeneity of primary tumors and circulating cancer cells (CTC) at single-cell resolution;
• Bioinformatic analysis of large-scale single-cell omics data;
• Reprogramming the transcriptional circuitry of stemness / drug resistance.

The eligible candidate must have graduated outside of Italy.

The Candiolo Cancer Institute (FPO-IRCCS) is a private non-profit institution operated by the Fondazione del Piemonte per l’Oncologia
(FPO) and endorsed by the Italian Ministry of Health as an IRCCS (Institute for Scientific Research and Care) for its scientific activity.
The institute is a highly regarded medical center that combines a strong commitment to personalized patient care with cutting-edge
cancer research. The institute is accommodated in a modern 56.000-square-meter building with excellent infrastructure for translational
research. FPO-IRCCS is situated in a spacious green-field site just outside Turin in north-western Italy, close to the Alps and the
Mediterranean Sea. Turin is the main city of the Piedmont region and is a center for culture and technological innovation.

If you are interested, please contact:

Christopher Heeschen, MD PhD
Professor of Oncology
Head, Pancreatic Cancer Heterogeneity
Candiolo Cancer Institute - FPO - IRCCS
Strada Provinciale 142 Km 3,95
10060 Candiolo (Torino) - Italy
Phone: +39 011 993 3238