• Dundee joins global challenge tackling cancers in children
    Alessio Ciulli, Director CeTPD at Dundee University

Research News

Dundee joins global challenge tackling cancers in children

Jun 13 2024

Dundee joins global challenge to tackle cancer in children

Experts from the University of Dundee’s Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD) have joined other international researchers in a global effort to explore new ways to tackle solid tumours in children. Professor Alessio Ciulli, Director of the CeTPD and a recognised leader in the field of targeted protein degradation will be part of the Cancer Grand Challenges KOODAC team, which brings together clinicians, advocates and scientists with expertise in structural biology, chemical biology, paediatric oncology and medicinal chemistry, across ten institutions and five countries.

Founded by two of the largest funders of cancer research in the world – Cancer Research UK and the National Cancer Institute in the US – Cancer Grand Challenges will fund five teams for five years with sums of up to $25 million each. The KOODAC team is funded by Cancer Research UK, Institut National Du Cancer and KiKa (Children Cancer Free Foundation) through Cancer Grand Challenges.

Cancer remains a leading cause of death due to disease among children globally, with outcomes for some childhood cancers not having improved in more than 30 years. Treatments for solid tumours in children still rely on decades-old chemotherapies and often radiotherapy.

Team KOODAC will use protein degradation strategies to target previously undruggable drivers of children’s cancers. Any drug that could emerge from these programmes has the potential to revolutionise the field and transform the lives of those affected by that particular cancer type.

 “We were honoured to be invited and immediately felt a sense of purpose, a strong focus on team science, and realised the unique opportunity and call ahead of us,” said Professor Ciulli.

“Revolutionising paediatric solid tumour treatment demands global collaboration in the face of persisting outdated therapies.

“We have assembled a team with unrivalled technology and expertise to realise our ambitious goal of driving innovation in targeted paediatric cancer therapeutics. Our vision is to pioneer drugs that will become the new standards of care for children with oncoprotein-driven solid malignancies.”

Dr David Scott, Director of Cancer Grand Challenges, added, “Together with our network of visionary partners and research leaders, Cancer Grand Challenges unites the world's brightest minds across boundaries and disciplines and aims to overcome cancer’s toughest problems.

“With this investment, our largest to date, we continue to grow our global research community and fund new teams that have the potential to surface discoveries that could positively impact cancer outcomes.”

More information online


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