ES flag GR flag SK flag ENG flag


The main objective of VISION – the H2020 Twinning project - is to strengthen excellence and innovation capacity of Biomedical Research Center of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (BMC SAV). Close cooperation with four European leading research institutions will enhance the credibility, competitiveness and recognition of BMC SAV, contribute to overcome existing gaps in oncology research and reinforce the capacity for early diagnostics and innovative treatment approaches. Beyond increased scientific performance, collaborative approach may help to identify factors contributing to an extremely high incidence of colon and pancreatic cancer in Slovakia.

The specific aims of the VISION project are:

  • to raise the scientific excellence of BMC SAV in the gastrointestinal cancer research, in terms of its increased competence to perform an innovative and high-quality translational biomedical research;
  • to improve the capability of BMC SAV to successfully compete for national, EU and internationally competitive research funding;
  • to promote the involvement of early-stage researchers by enhancing the reputation, credibility, attractiveness and networking activities of BMC SAV at both international and national levels;
  • to initiate new avenues of cancer research, creativity and the development of new approaches in early diagnosis and treatment of cancer;
  • to translate the scientific state-of-the-art knowledge beyond the professional community at the national level, unifying scientist and medical doctors.
  • to translate the scientific state-of-the-art knowledge beyond the professional community at the national level, unifying scientist and medical doctors.

More information on the VISION project can be found in the videoWatch video


Project structure

The VISION proposal consists of five inter-related work packages with particular tasks.

WP1 Management

This WP is dedicated to ensuring efficient and transparent coordination and management of the VISION project to successfully achieve its main objective and all specific aims and to administratively fulfil the contractual obligations towards the EC.

WP2 Strengthening excellence in gastrointestinal cancer research

The main objective of this WP is to enhance the credibility, competitiveness and recognition of BMC SAV at international and national levels. Performance of high-quality state-of-the-art research will be mediated by exchange and transfer of knowledge, collaboration, and networking with leading research institutions in Europe. International collaboration will help to identify factors that can lead to the high pancreas and colon cancer incidence in Slovakia.

WP3 Increasing the innovation capacity and skills of early early-stage researchers

The aim of this WP is the development of early-stage researches, the exchange and translation of knowledge between VISION partners, acquisition of practical skills in cutting-edge technologies and innovations in the field of GI cancers and nanobiotechnology with a potential of clinical applications. Short-term staff exchanges, expert visits and training/courses will contribute to development and acquisition of scientific and technical skills of early-stage researchers, strengthening their personal and professional development.

WP4 Mining and bridging the gaps between research and clinics

The WP4 aims at establishing an active network between relevant research and clinical institutions at an international and national level. Involvement of medical faculties, non- governmental organizations (NGO) and patient organizations will help to enhance translation of research achievements and foster cancer prevention, with support from VISION partners as advisors.

WP5 Ethics requirements

The aim of WP5 is to ensure compliance with the 'ethics requirements' set out in this work package.



Scientifc Advisory Board


Prof. Nuria Malats (Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), Madrid, Spain) has a broad expertise in the field of cancer research focusing mainly on pancreas and bladder cancer. She coordinates several large national and international studies integrating different levels of information, including omics data, in both disease development and progression. She chaired the EUPancreas COST Action (BM1204), is a board member of the International Pancreatic Cancer Case Control Consortium (PanC4), and the chair of the Research Work Stream of Pancreatic Cancer Europe (PCE) multistake-holder platform.

Prof. Stefano Bonassi (Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, San Raffaele University, Rome, Italy) is interested in the use of biomarkers in human population and clinical studies. He coordinated the epidemiological part of international projects, such as ESCH on chromosome aberration, HUMN and HUMNxl on the micronucleus assay, and ComNet on DNA damage.

Prof. Andrew Collins (University of Oslo, Institute of Basic Medical Science) is interested in DNA damage and DNA repair, in relation to nutrition and cancer. He coordinated numerous international projects, such as ESCODD on oxidative DNA damage, COMICS on high throughput comet assay method, EcoGenoTox on ecogenotoxicity, ComNet and hCOMET.

Prof. Victor Puntes (Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Barcelona, Spain), is expert in synthesis, conjugation and application of inorganic nanoparticles, nanotoxicology and nanosafety, and a variety of applications including nanomedicine and environment. He has participated in more than 29 research projects funded by the the European Union, the Spanish Government and private companies, and co-founder of several spin offs.



Steering Committee


Dr. Julie Earl (Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, Spain)

Dr. Agapi Kataki (University of Athen, Greece)

Assoc. prof. Maria Dusinska (Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Norway)

Dr. Yvonne Lydia Kohl (Institute for Biomedical Engineering, FhG, Germany)

Dr. Alena Gabelova (Biomedical Research Center SAS, Slovakia)

Dr. Bozena Smolkova (Biomedical Research Center SAS, Slovakia)