POSTED: April 26 2016
Cancer Research UK shortlists teams for £20m Grand Challenge to tackle cancer’s toughest problems

Cancer Research UK shortlists teams for £20m Grand Challenge to tackle cancer’s toughest problems

Cancer Research UK has shortlisted nine teams for the final stages of its £20m Grand Challenge award – the world’s most ambitious cancer grant helping scientists attack some of the hardest unanswered questions in cancer research.

World-class multi-disciplinary researchers representing 15 countries and 50 organisations have collaborated to make the shortlist. The shortlisted teams are led by:

– Professor Roy Bicknell from the University of Birmingham, UK, with collaborators from the USA, UK, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland will research developing vaccines to prevent non-viral cancers.
– Professor Alan Rickinson from the University of Birmingham, UK with collaborators from the USA, Netherlands, UK, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and China will research how to eradicate EBV-induced cancers from the world.
– Professor Sir Mike Stratton from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK with collaborators from France, the USA and UK will research how unusual patterns of mutation are induced by different cancer-causing events.
– Dr Jelle Wesseling from the Netherlands Cancer Institute, The Netherlands with collaborators from the USA, UK and Netherlands will research how to distinguish between lethal need treating and non-lethal cancers that don’t.
– Dr Surinder Sahota from the University of Southampton, UK with collaborators from the USA, UK, Spain and Germany will research how to distinguish between lethal need treating and non-lethal cancers that don’t.
– Professor Freddie Hamdy from the University of Oxford, UK with collaborators from Finland, the USA and UK will research how to distinguish between lethal need treating and non-lethal cancers that don’t.
– Dr Josephine Bunch from the National Physical Laboratory, UK with collaborators from the UK will find a way of mapping tumour at the molecular and cellular level.
– Professor Greg Hannon from the University of Cambridge, UK with collaborators from Switzerland, Ireland, Canada, the USA and UK will find a way of mapping tumour at the molecular and cellular level.
– Professor Ehud Shapiro from the Weizmann Institute, Israel with collaborators from Israel, the UK and USA will find a way of mapping tumour at the molecular and cellular level.

Sir Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “One of the driving forces behind our Grand Challenge is the ambition to unite researchers from all sciences around the world so that they can come up with game-changing ideas to solve cancer’s most challenging questions. We’re delighted that our shortlist includes so many talented, multi-disciplinary teams.

“We’ll award at least one of these teams the first ever Grand Challenge later this year and hope that this global approach will go on to help the 14.1 million people diagnosed with cancer around the world annually.”

Jim Elliott, member of the Grand Challenge patient panel, said: “When reviewing the applications for the Grand Challenge initiative I was struck by scientists’ enthusiasm to work with people they hadn’t worked with before to tackle the challenges in new ways. Some of the teams were really pioneering – spanning the globe and the sciences. I’m honoured to have been part of this innovative way to research cancer and for the opportunity to make sure that the research coming out of Grand Challenge puts patients at the heart of things.”

Full press release on www.cancerresearchuk.org