Angiogenesis research addresses the molecular and cellular mechanisms that contribute to the formation of blood vessels. It is a multidisciplinary area of recent and rapidly growing scientific importance, notably because it holds strong therapeutic potential for a number of human diseases including the two foremost causes of handicap and mortality in Europe: cancer and vascular diseases. Angiogenesis is a field of important human, technological and financial investment in North America and Japan. In contrast, in spite of excellent science and a developing number of European-generated patents, the European angiogenesis research community is insufficiently supported.
One result is that there exists no regular high-level European conference on angiogenesis and European scientists must travel abroad to find a regular forum for scientific exchange. European postdoctoral level scientists do not have access to a European forum for high-level training and are largely exposed to offers of postdoctoral positions on other continents.
Our objective is to contribute to fill this void by creating a much-needed interdisciplinary forum for high-level training and for interaction between basic, clinical and industrial scientists, at the European level. We feel that this forum will contribute to the level of excellence in this field within the European scientific community, to catalyze trans-European cooperative basic and clinical research projects and to develop the European biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
This project has already drawn interest and pledged support from industry. These Euroconferences will focus on the molecular mechanisms controlling angiogenesis, vascular development in the embryo, pathological angiogenesis and current clinical trials. Importantly, the feasibility and efficacy of the manipulation of angiogenesis in the therapeutic setting will be assessed in the light of recent data. New therapeutic perspectives and the obstacles that must be overcome to achieve them will also be discussed.