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Ulrik Lassen



Head of Department
Department of Oncology
Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen

Ulrik Lassen, Professor, MD, Ph.D., is specialised in internal medicine and medical oncology. He graduated from the University of Copenhagen in 1991 and started training in medical oncology in 1992. In 1998 he achieved the Ph.D. degree on a thesis on PET imaging in oncology, and he was ESMO board certified in medical oncology in 2003.

Ulrik Lassen was president of the Danish Association for Cancer Research 2011-2014, and from 2013-2016 he served as president of the Danish Society of Clinical Oncology (DSKO). In 2015 he was appointed Professor in Clinical Oncology with focus on precision medicine.

In 2005 Ulrik Lassen established the Phase I Unit at the Department of Oncology at Rigshospitalet. In 2014, the Phase 1 Unit, in collaboration with the Centre for Genomic Medicine, initiated a comprehensive program for Integrative Cancer Genomics (the Copenhagen Prospective Personalized Oncology (CoPPO) project), where cancer patients are selected for personalized medicine. The patients undergo a comprehensive genomic analysis, employing whole exome and RNA-sequencing in combination with expression and SNP array analyses to unravel copy number variations. Based on the integrated information, a complete map of somatic mutations and alterations in gene expression patterns are derived to select the most optimal treatment. More than 1000 patients have been enrolled, and more than 200 patients are every year sequenced to incorporate precision medicine in early phase trials. At present time more than 40 phase 1 trials in solid tumors and hematological malignancies are active in collaboration with major pharmaceutical companies and biotech, and the unit is amongst the largest and most active in Europe.

NEXT: National Experimental Therapy Partnership is a public-private partnership within clinical research consisting of the regions of Denmark, universities, twelve pharmaceutical companies and one GTS institute*). The partnership was established in November 2014 as an INNO+ partnership, with the Innovation Fund Denmark investing DKK 50 million in the partnership over a five-year period and the partners investing DKK 114 million. The NEXT Center for Oncology is based at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Department of Oncology, Phase I Unit, and was in 2014 established and headed by Ulrik Lassen.

Ulrik Lassen is heading a research group, with 2 postdocs and 7 Ph.d.-students,  focusing on translational research to identify new targets and mechanisms of resistance, and together with Professor Janine T. Erler from BRIC he is running the PreCan program using organoids and PDX-models for pre-clinical testing of drugs, selected based on targets identified by NGS.

Since February 2017 Ulrik Lassen has also served as head of Department of Oncology. The department has the infrastructure for clinical trials to support this project, including funding for WES and RNA-sequencing of all the patients to be included. As such, Ulrik Lassen provide expertise, equipment, patients, and network for this project.

Last update: November 2020

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