Centre for Cancer Biomarkers CCBIO

CCBIO SAB (Scientific Advisory Board)

The CCBIO Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) consists of professors Carl-Henrik Heldin, Bruce Zetter and Ate van der Zee, all three being internationally leading researchers in CCBIO-relevant fields.

Group photo of Ate Van der Zee, Carl-Henrik Heldin and Bruce Zetter.
Ingvild Melien

Short bios of each SAB representative can be found at the bottom of this page.

In its 2016 report, the SAB stated that it was impressed with the progress made during the last year and particularly CCBIO’s quick and substantive responses to comments made by the SAB. This especially applies to CCBIO’s efforts on improving the bioinformatics infrastructure, initiation of clinical trials, integration of imaging modalities into the work of the center, increased emphasis on liquid biopsy in cancer management, and acquisition of supplemental funding. 

In the SAB’s opinion, CCBIO displays excellence and scientific rigor in its commitment to translate discoveries to a clinical setting and is rapidly becoming one of the world leaders in the study, discovery, application and translation of cancer biomarkers. It sees CCBIO’s basic biomarker research as a core strength and finds it encouraging that the new clinical trials are now in the process of accruing patients. The SAB found it especially promising that two of the trials are in collaboration with industry partners and that CCBIO is closely integrated with the Clinical Trials Unit at Haukeland University Hospital.

The SAB encouraged the continued exploration of biomarkers associated with immunotherapy efficacy as well as research on biomarkers associated with drug sensitivity and with the acquisition of chemo resistance in solid and liquid tumors. CCBIO’s effort within economics and Ethical Legal and Societal Aspects (ELSA) was characterized as unique and valuable and the SAB recommended a continued expansion of these programs and further integration into CCBIO’s medical research effort.

The 2016 SAB report also stated that CCBIO continues to display excellence in its scientific and administrative management, pointing out that the matrix based governance and functioning of CCBIO can provide a model for other similar Norwegian scientific centers. Further, CCBIO’s educational effort through the courses of its Research School for Cancer Studies as well as outreach towards the scientific audience through its symposium, research seminars and meetings were characterized as truly outstanding. CCBIO’s Junior Scientist Symposium was mentioned as a seminal effort that should be exported to other centers. CCBIO’s general dissemination effort in terms of website, newsletters, reports and public dissemination media outlets, the SAB felt was highly professional and represented CCBIO particularly well.

Further, CCBIO’s efforts in recruiting international collaborators was characterized as excellent, especially CCBIO’s program of 10% adjunct positions as it has given very good collaborative ties both in terms of scientific quality and range. The SAB encouraged further recruitment of adjunct researchers, e.g. with leaders within the related fields of cell-free DNA studies and exosomeassociated biomarkers. The SAB was also pleased with CCBIO’s efforts to improve the gender balance in its PI group by recruiting female junior- and associate investigators.

Short bio,  Heldin

Carl-Henrik Heldin is the chairman of CCBIO’s SAB and is professor and director at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Uppsala University, and chairman of the Nobel Foundation. 

Professor Heldin was born in 1952 and obtained a PhD degree in medical and physiological chemistry in 1980 at the University of Uppsala, where he continued to work until 1985 in a position sponsored by the Swedish Cancer Society. Since 1986 he has been the branch director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Uppsala, Sweden, and since 1992 also professor in molecular cell biology at Uppsala University. Professor Heldin is a member of several learned societies, including the European Molecular Biology Organization, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and Academia Europea, and he is an honorary doctor at the universities of Patras, Helsinki, Turku and Heidelberg.

He serves or has served on the scientific advisory boards for several companies and academic institutions, including the German Cancer Center, Heidelberg, the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, the European Institute for Oncology, Milan, and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg and now also CCBIO. Professor Heldin was vice president of the European Research Council until 2014 and is currently an associate editor for the journals Molecular Biology of the Cell, Genes to Cells and Growth Factors.

Professor Heldin has received several scientific awards, including the Prix Antoine Lacassagne (1989), K. Fernströms Large Medical Prize (1993) and the Pezcoller-American Association for Cancer Research Award (2002).

Short bio, van der Zee

Ate van der Zee is professor of gynecological oncology and member of the Board of Directors at the University Medical Center Groningen. Professor van der Zee was born in 1960 and obtained a PhD focused on targeted gynecologic oncology from the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of Groningen in 1994, where he has also been head of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology.

Professor Van der Zee serves and has served on various national and international advisory and program committees, including the Dutch Cancer Society, NCRN UK, IGCS, and ESGO. He is senior editor of the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer and leads a world-wide consortium (GROINSS-V-II) that performs landmark clinical studies in vulvar cancer. Professor Van der Zee is past president of the European Society for Gynecologic Oncology (2009 – 2011) and past president of the Dutch Working Party for Gynecologic Oncology. Further, he has recently initiated and established a managed clinical network for ovarian cancer for all hospitals in the north-east of the Netherlands, in which gynecologists and medical oncologists collaborate to improve the care for ovarian cancer patients and which forms a unique platform for translational research.

Professor Van der Zee combines his management position with clinical research, performing surgery in gynecological oncology, seeing patients during consulting hours, academic research and mentoring PhD students.

Short bio, Zetter

Bruce Zetter is the Charles Nowiszewski Professor of Cancer Biology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA. Professor Zetter was born in 1946 and obtained his PhD from the University of Rhode Island in 1974. He has been vice president of research and chief scientific officer at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Professor Zetter is frequently sought as an advisor on science and business practice to industry executives and scientists. He has served as consultant or scientific advisory board member to more than 30 biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, venture firms and investment firms and academic institutions. Further, he also serves on several grant review boards for public agencies such as the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society, and currently also serves on the editorial board of 8 peer-reviewed journals. In addition, he is often called on as an expert witness in court cases involving health and biotechnology.

As a frequent lecturer, he has given over 300 lectures to universities, conferences and businesses. He has also won numerous national and international awards for his work in the field of cancer research including a Faculty Research Award from the American Cancer Society and the prestigious MERIT award from the US National Cancer Institute and a Creativity Award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation. He has also received three teaching awards from the students at Harvard Medical School for excellence as a teacher and as a course director.