by Martina Rauner Universitätsklinikum Dresden
Along the lines of Aristotle who said “The whole is greater than the sum of its part” I am fortunate enough to embark on the mission of the DFG priority program “uBONE” to unravel mechanisms of skeletal metastases together with several fellow researchers in Germany. I have teamed up with three researchers in particular, Ben Wielockx (Dresden) as well as Björn Busse (Hamburg) and Kay Raum (Berlin) to address the role of hypoxia and osteocytes in the bone metastatic process. Having been part of two priority programs in the past, ImmunoBone and ThyroidTransAct, it has been remarkable to see how much these programs pushed their respective fields forward. On a personal level, the networking, exchange of methods, intense discussions, and establishment of collaborations amongst consortia members has been extremely helpful for acquiring profound knowledge and for developing my career. Also, I feel that my students thrive in the collaborative atmosphere of priority programs as they obtain a comprehensive overview of the topic, they can easily get in touch with the best researchers in the field in Germany, and they can develop their own set of professional and personal skills via courses offered by the SPPs. Thus, I am grateful to be part of the µBone initiative. I am confident that this priority program will bring us closer to understanding how bone metastases develop, how they can be treated, and how we may be able to prevent them in the future.