The mission statement of the School for Oncology and Developmental Biology (GROW) is as follows:
“GROW focuses on research and teaching of (epi)genetic and cellular mechanisms, as well as (micro)environmental factors that underlie normal (embryonic and fetal) and abnormal (cancer) development, with emphasis on translational research aiming at innovative approaches for individualizing prevention, patient diagnostics, and treatment.”
Tissue homeostasis and growth is mainly the result of a balance between cell proliferation and cell loss. These processes are key features of normal (embryologic) development as well as abnormal (oncologic) growth. As a consequence, research lines in embryology and oncology are closely interrelated in their basic concepts as well as in the application of research techniques.
Consequently, hypotheses originating from problems in clinical medicine can only be properly analyzed in a close cooperation between basic scientists and clinicians from all areas of research. Increasingly, new approaches and methodologies are used within the research lines, such as genomics, proteomics, imaging of living cells and tissues just to name a few, as well as the use of blood, tissues and other biospecimens stored in a biobank.