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UK Cancer Charity Launches £100M Grand Challenges


13 October 2015 at 11:42 am
Ellie Cooper
One of the world’s largest cancer charities, Cancer Research UK has launched what it describes as the biggest and most ambitious cancer grants in the world aimed at overcoming the barriers to beating cancer.

Ellie Cooper | 13 October 2015 at 11:42 am


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UK Cancer Charity Launches £100M Grand Challenges
13 October 2015 at 11:42 am

One of the world’s largest cancer charities, Cancer Research UK has launched what it describes as the biggest and most ambitious cancer grants in the world aimed at overcoming the barriers to beating cancer.

The charity has pledged a £100 million investment in a program called Grand Challenges to revolutionise the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer by uniting teams of the best scientists around the world.

"This is research on a scale never before attempted in cancer – it’s big, it’s bold, and I’m very excited to be part of this journey,” Chair of the Grand Challenge board, Dr Rick Klausner, said.

“A panel of influential scientists worked with cancer researchers and patients worldwide to set seven challenges which cover some of the most important unanswered questions in cancer research.

“Cancer Research UK will now invite international scientists across all disciplines from academia, technology and business to come up with innovative, ambitious approaches to tackle these problems. If successful, these will revolutionise our understanding of cancer and could save more lives.”

The first winning proposal will be announced in early 2016, with the successful team awarded up to £20 million to fund five or more years of research.

“During the next five years Cancer Research UK plans to make at least five Grand Challenge awards to stimulate fresh thinking and investment in multiple areas of cancer research,” Dr Klausner said.

“Seeing the scientific community come together to find new ways to tackle cancer has been truly inspiring. Cancer Research UK is challenging the very way we think about cancer by bringing together scientists and patients with fresh new ideas unconstrained by discipline or location.”

The panel includes Professor Sir Adrian Bird, Professor Suzanne Cory, Professor Dame Sally Davies, Professor Ed Harlow, Professor Tyler Jacks, Dr Rick Klausner, Professor Sir David Lane, Dr Christopher Wild and Dr Brian Druker.

The initial seven Grand Challenges are:

  • to develop vaccines to prevent non-viral cancers

  • to eradicate EBV-induced cancers from the world.

  • to discover how unusual patterns of mutation are induced by different cancer-causing events

  • to distinguish between lethal cancers that need treating, and non-lethal cancers that don’t

  • to find a way of mapping tumours at the molecular and cellular level

  • to develop innovative approaches to target the cancer super-controller MYC

  • to deliver biologically active macromolecules to any and all cells in the body


Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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