Ruud van der Noll has been involved in the network from the very beginning of Cancer Core Europe.
First as coordinating officer, then as member of the operational board. A retrospective.
How did you end up at Cancer Core Europe?
“I first joined Cancer Core Europe through the involvement of my professor in the Clinical Trials task force. Since I liked the idea of creating a European network a lot I approached Emile Voest and asked if I could be the local Coordinating Officer for CCE in NKI.”
What appealed to you?
“I really enjoyed the idea of creating a network, not only on a European level, but also bridging the gaps between different research groups and areas. Having worked in oncology research for almost 12 years now, I notice that a lot of great work is being done, but that many research groups remain ‘on their own island’. I believe we can reach much higher quality and quantity of research when we connect and share more.”
What does the Operational Board stand for?
“The Coordinating Officers from each of the CCE institutes eventually ‘evolved’ into the so-called Operational Board over the years. The Operational Board is basically ‘the spider in the web’ of CCE. We help in connecting researchers and other colleagues in our institutes to the CCE network, keep track of all ongoing activities, and identify and help solve any issues.”
How did you fulfill that role?
“At first my role was focused on spreading the word of CCE within NKI and to assist the local Director and task forces in coordinating and controlling CCE activities. In 2016, I helped in establishing and leading the so-called Ethical, Legal and Financial Issues (ELFI) task force, because we anticipated that a lot of work would be required from these supporting offices and it would be good to get these colleagues involved at an early stage. Since NKI took over chairing CCE from IGR in 2020, my work load focused more on establishing and leading the CCE central support office, which includes a legal, communication, grants and financial office.”
What is going well in the Operational Board?
“The Operational Board is an enthusiastic, ambitious and competent group of colleagues in the CCE network. Since most of us have been involved in CCE for a longer period of time, we know the history, the players and the connections well. We are able to quickly identify issues and provide solutions and can therefore provide great daily support to our Directors and task forces.
What could be done better in your opinion?
“In my opinion, the Operational Board sometimes feels like a slightly invisible glue and I think their abilities are therefore overlooked at times. I believe giving the Operational Board a more prominent and visible role within CCE (giving mandates for example) would greatly benefit the daily running of the network. In addition, I would champion all colleagues who work in the ‘supporting’ offices (e.g. legal, communication, grants, finance, et cetera). While the science and the substance deserves the spotlight without a doubt, I do believe that giving proper attention and appreciation to our colleagues who help facilitate the start-up and smooth running of all projects is equally important.”
What are your most important accomplishments?
“My proudest accomplishments within CCE are having been part of establishing the ELFI network, setting up the central office (communication), but most importantly having been part of the Operational Board and the wider CCE network.”