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ECNIS Network of Excellence: new EU network for environmental cancer research

The ultimate goal of ECNIS is to establish an internationally competitive network of European research centres to overcome the existing fragmentation of activities and to enhance the quality and relevance of research on environment, nutrition, and cancer risk as modulated by diet and genetic disposition.

It will bring together researchers from various fields (epidemiology, chemical analysis, genetics, molecular biology, nutrition, exposure assessment, risk assessment, harmonisation of methodologies and analytical techniques) toidentify data gaps and propose improvements of existing techniques. Through sharing ofcommon materials and human resources, it will facilitate the creation of a dynamic Europeanconsortium in the area of environmental cancer risk, nutrition and individual susceptibility. Itwill not only conduct research, but will also be able of providing support and advice toregulators, industry and the general public. The main focus of this virtual research centre ofexcellence will be on the use of biomarkers of exposure and bio-indicators of disease in molecular epidemiology of cancer with the ultimate goal to reduce the cancer burden in Europe. Support for the development of functional foods constitutes a potential important spin-off from this NoE. The overall objectives of ECNIS are to:,- overcome the fragmented nature of research in areas related to carcinogenesis caused by diet, the environment, occupation, or lifestyle, as well as exposure assessment, within Europe;,- integrate joint training and mobility programmes in area of environmental cancer molecular epidemiology;,- develop and validate novel biomarkers of exposure, effect and susceptibility for environmental and occupational cancer risk assessment;,- identify factors, which modulate the environmental and occupational cancer risk resulting from nutrition and lifestyle factors;,- develop hazard and risk assessment strategies based on mechanism of action of carcinogens;,- disseminate of acquired knowledge to the scientific community and external stakeholders;,- disseminate of acquired knowledge to external stakeholders;,- provide management structure for coordination of the network activities. Many of the ECNIS activities will be open to outside participation: for example, the ECNIS training courses, and the Network may expand and take on new members during its lifetime. After the five years, it is hoped that the Network will have become a permanent, self-standing structure. Although based in Europe, the ECNIS will extend its activities beyond Europe via,international contacts. ECNIS is coordinated by Konrad Rydzynski from the Nofer Institute (Lodz, Poland). There are 24 institutions in the consortium, incl. 3 SMEs, representing altogether over a hundred established researchers and a number of students. The European Commission contribution (grant for integration) over the five years is 11M. Contacts for further information: ECNIS Network of Excellence,Prof. Konrad Rydzynski,Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine,sw. Teresy 8, box 199,90-950 Lodz, Poland,phone: +48 42 6314504,fax: +48 42 6568331,e-mail: