Wistar-Led Team Awarded More Than $12 Million Grant from the NCI to Investigate Link Between Epstein-Barr Virus and Carcinomas

PHILADELPHIA, PA, July 26, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — It’s been known since the 1960s that Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) causes a variety of cancers, but research has overwhelmingly focused on its connection to lymphomas. Now, a multidisciplinary team of scientists led by The Wistar Institute has been awarded a more than $12 million National Cancer Institute (NCI) Program Project Grant (P01), a highly competitive five-year grant that includes a crosssection of researchers from various disciplines and institutions throughout the country. The multidisciplinary team led by Wistar scientists is exploring the role of Epstein-Barr Virus in epithelial cancers. Epithethelial cells form functional structures in organ tissue throughout the human body; they are often the site for solid organ cancers, including the most common cancers, which are known as carcinomas.

The new research will focus on basic questions about how EBV infection of normal epithelial cells transforms them into cancer-cells. Scientists also intend to build on this research to identify better and more selective therapeutic targets.

“We are investigating unexplored aspects of EBV and malignancies, potentially uncovering unique characteristics or pathways that can be targeted for therapeutic intervention,” said Italo Tempera, Ph.D., associate professor of the Gene Expression & Regulation Program of the Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center at The Wistar Institute. “This fresh perspective could lead to groundbreaking discoveries and innovative treatment strategies for EBV and epithelial malignancies.”

The project brings together scientists from The Wistar Institute and Harvard University, including experts in epigenetics, metabolomics and drug discovery. It’s the first time researchers from this variety of disciplines have combined their efforts to focus entirely on the EBV-epithelial cancer link.

“We’ve put together a new strategy, a new way of attacking the problem,” said Paul Lieberman, Ph.D., Hilary Koprowski, M.D., Endowed Professor and director of the Center for Chemical Biology and Translational Medicine at Wistar. “By working together across different modalities, there’s an opportunity for each of us to learn from the synergy and expertise of the other investigators.”

EBV is one of the most common human viruses, infecting an estimated 95% of people by the time they reach adulthood. Symptoms are usually mild, and most people recover within a few weeks. However, the virus can remain latent in the human body for years or even decades, and it causes some people to develop cancer later in life.

While research has historically focused on lymphomas, EBV-linked epithelial cancers are both more common and more deadly. Epithelial cancers represent 75% of the 200,000 EBV-related cancer cases diagnosed each year, and these cancers also have higher mortality rates and treatment failures.

“This grant put together a team that is now focused on this type of cancer that has been neglected, even though it’s the most common form of EBV cancers,” Lieberman said. The grant will fund three main research projects. The first will look at how EBV establishes a long-term infection within epithelial cells. The second will study how it causes genetic and metabolic changes to trigger cancer growth. Finally, researchers will use these findings to investigate new therapeutic strategies.

The research builds on past work by Lieberman’s lab, which has focused on developing small molecule inhibitors targeting EBV. He said the new project would focus on studying drugs that are already in development, and looking for ways to make them more targeted or use them in combination with other therapies.

Tempera said the group’s integrated approach sets it apart.“Our project will study both metabolic and epigenetic vulnerabilities simultaneously,” he said. “Combining these two aspects can provide a comprehensive understanding of the role of EBV infection in cancer and its underlying mechanisms, leading to unique insights and therapeutic opportunities.”

Co-authors: Ben Gewurz of Harvard; Joseph Salvino, Samantha Soldan, Andrew Kossenkov, Louise Showe, and Qin Liu of Wistar.

Darien Sutton
The Wistar Institute

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8881269

Hitachi Energy selected as preferred technology provider for the longest HVDC link in the UK

HVDC interconnection to secure power transmission and support new renewable electricity generation with the country’s largest electricity transmission project

Zurich, Switzerland, July 26, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hitachi Energy, a global technology leader that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all, today announced it has been selected as preferred technology provider of SSEN Transmission and National Grid, to supply two high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations to interconnect the Scottish and English power grids.

The energy transition requires a collaborative effort that can only be achieved with advanced technologies and new ways of working. In appointing Hitachi Energy as their preferred technology provider, SSEN Transmission and National Grid secure best-in-class technology and future production capacity in a rapidly growing market. For Hitachi Energy, this enables investment in new production capacity and to undertake large-scale recruitment drives. It also strengthens collaboration, standardization of solutions, and synergies between projects.

The integration of renewables requires solutions that make the grid resilient, stable, and flexible. Hitachi Energy’s innovation and long development of voltage sourced converter (VSC) power electronics and control and protection (MACH™) technologies meet the requirements alongside many other landmark grid integration projects.

Eastern Green Link 2 will consist of two 525-kilovolt (kV) bipole VSC converter stations connected by 440 kilometers of subsea cable and 70 kilometers of underground cable, making it the longest HVDC link in the UK. The link will efficiently supply a total of 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, which is enough to power around two million UK homes.1

The link will help to secure power transmission in the northern UK and support the integration of new renewable electricity generation in Scotland, as part of the UK’s Net Zero Strategy.2 As much as 11,000 MW of offshore wind capacity is possible in Scottish waters by 20303, and HVDC transmission will play a large part in bringing this vast amount of renewable power to shore and south, to communities across the country.

“The UK’s Net Zero Strategy has ambitious targets which will require vast amounts of new renewable generation. Electricity will be the backbone of the entire energy system,” said Niklas Persson, Managing Director at Hitachi Energy’s Grid Integration business. “Our pioneering HVDC technology will ensure that this electricity will reliably and efficiently get where it’s needed most.”

“This is another important milestone for EGL2 which is part of the new network infrastructure required to help the UK meet its net zero and energy security ambitions,” said Sarah Sale, Deputy Project Director of National Grid. “Along with cabling bidder and formal joint venture announcements, this is another key part of the project which is now in place and ready for the delivery phase. We look forward to working in collaboration with Hitachi Energy and BAM as the project continues to progress.”

“The converter stations at either end of the cable will play a crucial role in making the power transported subsea suitable for transportation around the onshore transmission network – getting Hitachi Energy and BAM in place to deliver that technology is great for the project,” said Ricky Saez, the EGL2 Project Director from SSEN Transmission.

“BAM is delighted to work in collaboration with Hitachi Energy on this vital renewable energy project for National Grid and SSEN Transmission,” said Huw Jones, Executive Director of BAM Nuttall. “The converter stations will enable the transmission of green energy from areas of offshore wind generation to centers of population, supporting the UK’s net zero ambitions and providing better energy security. We look forward to engaging with local communities and suppliers in Aberdeenshire and North Yorkshire, supporting BAM’s vision to deliver sustainable infrastructure for our clients, stakeholders, and the communities in which we work.”

Hitachi Energy is collaborating with BAM, a construction company that designs, builds, and maintains sustainable buildings and infrastructure, to provide the civil and installation scope for the project. The collaboration with BAM will leverage the core competencies of the two companies to deliver a best-in-class solution for the project.

Hitachi Energy pioneered commercial HVDC technology almost 70 years ago and has delivered more than half of the world’s HVDC projects.

1 https://www.nationalgrid.com/electricity-transmission/network-and-infrastructure/segl2
2 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/net-zero-strategy
3 https://www.gov.scot/publications/offshore-wind-policy-statement/
4 Modular Advanced Control for HVDC (MACH™)

HVDC website:


Photo captions:

North Sea Link Blyth Converter Station UK

Eastern Green Link 2

About Hitachi Energy
Hitachi Energy is a global technology leader that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all. We serve customers in the utility, industry and infrastructure sectors with innovative solutions and services across the value chain. Together with customers and partners, we pioneer technologies and enable the digital transformation required to accelerate the energy transition towards a carbon-neutral future. We are advancing the world’s energy system to become more sustainable, flexible and secure whilst balancing social, environmental and economic value. Hitachi Energy has a proven track record and unparalleled installed base in more than 140 countries. Headquartered in Switzerland, we employ around 40,000 people in 90 countries and generate business volumes of over $10 billion USD.

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi drives Social Innovation Business, creating a sustainable society through the use of data and technology. We solve customers’ and society’s challenges with Lumada solutions leveraging IT, OT (Operational Technology) and products. Hitachi operates under the business structure of “Digital Systems & Services” – supporting our customers’ digital transformation; “Green Energy & Mobility” – contributing to a decarbonized society through energy and railway systems, and “Connective Industries” – connecting products through digital technology to provide solutions in various industries. Driven by Digital, Green, and Innovation, we aim for growth through co-creation with our customers. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal year 2022 (ended March 31, 2023) totaled 10,881.1 billion yen, with 696 consolidated subsidiaries and approximately 320,000 employees worldwide. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at https://www.hitachi.com.


Jocelyn Chang
Hitachi Energy

GlobeNewswire Distribution ID 8881044

Race for SDF National Chairmanship: Limbe District Chairman, Godden Zama, tipped to run

Ahead of the elective convention of the Social Democratic Front, SDF, slated for October 27-28 in Yaounde, some bigwigs of the party are being tipped to run for the post of National Chairman, to replace the deceased emblematic chairman, Ni John Fru Ndi.

The grapevine has it that among those who will take part in the race for the SDF national chairmanship is the party’s Limbe Electoral District Chairman, Ndenge Godden Zama.

Zama, we gathered, will be locking horns with the party’s 1st National Vice President, Joshua Osih Nambangi, and others who have also been tipped to be eying the coveted post of National Chairman of the SDF.

The young, dynamic, charismatic and firebrand Ndenge Godden Zama, many political analysts say, is well suited for the position given his huge political repertoire and achievements. As Limbe Electoral District Chairman, Zama, for years, gave the ruling Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement, CPDM, in the area sleepless nights, particularly during election periods.

While it had often been mooted that the tussle for the SDF top job will pit Hon Jean Michel Nintcheu, erstwhile Littoral Regional Chairman of the party, and Hon Joshua Osih, first vice national president of the SDF, with Nintcheu having been excluded from the party among the G27+ members, Osih, many opine, was in pole position. But with Ndenge Godden Zama now tipped to enter the race, Osih, analysts hold, will be given a good run for his money.

Contacted by phone, Ndenge Godden Zama neither confirmed nor refuted the information.

“Where ever you got that information from, I don’t know,” he said, adding that the SDF is mourning its National Chairman and so all party activities not related to the funeral have been put on hold.

However, Zama said it is the right of every SDF supporter to aspire to any position within the party.

It should be noted that before the SDF National Chairman, John Fru Ndi’s demise on June 13, 2023, SDF, the once vibrant leading opposition party, had seen its political fortunes dwindle considerably. SDF supporters, analysts say, are looking forward to having a new leadership that would take the party back to its 1990-type vibrancy. Ndenge Godden Zama, given that he is youthful and charismatic, political observers say, may just be the right person for this, if he decides to run as is being mooted within political circles.

Other candidates eying the position

Meanwhile, it is also being whispered within political circles that the former SDF Member of Parliament, MP, for the Bafut/Tubah constituency in the North West Region, Hon Fusi Naamukong, may also throw his hat into the ring to aspire for the position of SDF National Chairman.

Ndenge Godden Zama the man

A graduate of the University of Buea, Ndenge Godden Zama is a businessman, education, and football promoter.

He was Secretary General of the Limbe Electoral District from 2011 to 2014 when he was overwhelmingly elected District Chairman.

Among other notable actions Zama, as District Chairman carried out, he stood against destruction of artisan houses in Limbe, advocated for the construction of durable market stalls, fought against the sale of community water projects to private companies, campaigned for the National Oil Refining Company, SONARA, to engage in corporate social responsibility, massively mobilized youth militancy in the SDF in Limbe.

He also carried out many social programs to engage supporters and sympathizers of the SDF. It was therefore no doubt that during his tenure of office, the SDF saw its supporters in Limbe increase in leaps and bounds.

After the Anglophone crisis broke out in 2016, Zama, was in 2017, arrested and detained. He was, however, later released by the President of the Republic after his innocence was established.

By Solomon Tembang* First published in The Guardian Post newspaper

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Angola reaches over 6,000 Megawatts of energy production

Angola currently has a production capacity of 6,300 Megawatts (MW) of energy from different sources, such as thermal, hydro and photovoltaic, thus improving its electricity supply as a result of the government’s investments, the CEO of the Electricity Production Company (PRODEL), Pedro Eduardo Afonso, said Wednesday.

Pedro Afonso said the government’s commitment to the construction of hydroelectric dams and the installation of photovoltaic plants aims to increase electricity production capacity in the country.

The PRODEL CEO advised the population to avoid cultivation on the banks of the Kwanza River to avoid flooding and damage to agricultural production.

Cuanza Norte is home to the hydroelectric dam located in Cambambe, with an installed capacity of 960 MW.

A hydroelectric plant is being built in the São Pedro da Quilemba commune, 74 kilometers from Dondo city, which will generate 2,172 MW and produce electricity for more than eight million Angolans.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

President authorises expenditure for upgrading Lubango roads

Angolan government has announced plans to improve more than 90 kilometers of surrounding and urban roads in the neighborhoods of Lubango city, southern Huíla province.

The upgrade of those infrastructure, currently in run-down condition, is part of the integrated infrastructure construction programme underway in the country.

The plan also covers complementary services, such as the collection and treatment of solid waste, water collection and distribution, rehabilitation of public buildings and lighting.

The Presidential Order No. 181/23 of 24 July published on the Government Portal, states that the head of State João Lourenço authorises the expense for opening the Simplified Contracting Procedure, based on material criteria.

The purpose is to ensure the awarding of the USD 287.3 million contract. The Head of State also determines the supervision of public urban requalification works in Lubango, with an expenditure of USD 2.8 million.

In June 2017, Lubango received the assignment of the city’s integrated infrastructure works, in a Government financing of USD 212. 682 million, awarded to the consortium Omatapalo and Imosul.

The works covered an area of one hundred kilometers of infrastructure, including roads and social facilities. They also covered another 17 kilometers of drinking water supply network to Quilemba satellite city, as well as arrangements for leisure facilities.

These works, which lasted five years, involved 31 streets, most of them in the urban centre, and others were born in the surrounding, improving neighborhoods such as Machiqueira, Ferrovia, Mitcha, Mapunda and Tchioco.

In addition to the streets and kilometers of technical networks, it also involved repairing gardens and restoring green spaces.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Scrap on coastal areas of Luanda and Bengo provinces will be removed

The scrap along the sea coastal areas of Luanda and Bengo provinces will be removed soon, Angop learnt on Wednesday from an official source.

The chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Maritime Agency, Anisabel Veríssimo e Costa, told press in Luanda that the two companies were recently selected through a public tender to carry out the cleaning work on coastline and the seabed I both provinces.

Anisabel Veríssimo e Costa spoke to press on side-lines of the 3rd Conference on “The Cluster of the Sea beyond Oil”, promoted by the magazine Economia e Mercado”.

Without advancing a starting date, she said that “to carry out this activity, the only thing missing is the signature of the contract for the last adjustments”.

Anisabel Veríssimo e Costa also informed that there are already other companies in both provinces to start this year the work of collecting waste from the seas.

“Now that the tender is held, it is not the responsibility of the national maritime agency to inform the details, but of the winning companies”, she clarified.

Regarding the theme of the conference, Anisabel Veríssimo e Costa considers that the blue economy at national level can be boosted with cooperation between regulatory bodies in the maritime sector.

She stressed that in order to protect the sea; the agency is committed to maritime regulation in partnership with the ministries of Fisheries and the Interior.

In turn, the administrator for the Commercial area of the Regulatory Agency for Cargo and Logistics Certification of Angola (ARCCLA), Maria Bravos, underlined that Angola has the conditions to expand the blue economy in the country.

“We have conditions to leverage our blue economy, if we look at the Port of Lobito, where we have a very strong fishing and salt industry”, she said.

The blue economy promotes economic growth based on the preservation of marine ecosystems and environmental sustainability

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)